Author

Sofia Perez

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)

Department

English

First Advisor

Alex Peary

Abstract

Susan Orlean is one of the most innovative creative nonfiction writers of our time. Her interest in people and the ability to connect with them greatly inspires her work. She has worked for the New Yorker since 1992 and has published multiple collections of literary journalism pieces and book-length works such as The Orchid Thief, Library Book, and Saturday Night. Orlean is known for her ability to draw inspiration from the ordinary things in life. She takes on the role of a researcher, spending time with people all over the country (and sometimes the world), exploring normal aspects in their lives that seem outlandish to others. Writing about the eccentric, abnormal, and mundane is not a challenge for her, as some subjects she has written about are orchid collecting, taxidermy, library fires, and female bullfighters. As we dive into the world of creative nonfiction, I will ask, what makes us so interested to hear about the truth within everyday life that she writes about? How does she catch our attention and keep it? Orlean writes nonfiction, yet as readers, we feel as if we are reading a story that we cannot put down. She utilizes techniques such as; dialogue, word choice, and scene-setting to establish a strong narrative voice that compels you to keep reading. This presentation explores the creative nonfiction works of Orlean and analyzes her writing strategies and tactics she uses to both inform and interest her audience.

COinS