Ideas behind "It Matters," in a Pittsburgh op-ed

I've written op-eds on other subjects, but today's piece published by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is my first following the line of my forthcoming book, "It Matters." I argue that nature is humankind's pre-eminent guide to survival and that following its lead not only solves our environmental problems, but many personal ones as well.

Please comment here, and share widely.

Facts can get in the way of a good story

Close readers of the blog know that I have occasionally hosted the work of others, and what follows below is a special treat. Rarely do celebrated authors ask if they can drop by, but that is the case here: Bruce DeSilva is an Edgar Award-winning novelist who is about to release his third book, Providence Rag. Bruce and I were colleagues at the Hartford Courant, and he was even my tenant for a month when his temporary need overlapped with my temporary vacancy. During our time at the Courant, Bruce shifted from reporter to writing coach, a path that eventually led to a high position at the Associated Press. It's easy to see now the common footing of what he preached about narrative nonfiction to Courant reporters and what he pours into his novels.

During the 40 years I worked as a journalist, I was troubled by brilliant writers such as Truman Capote and Norman Mailer, who delighted in blurring the lines between faction and fiction. How is a reader supposed to know how much of “In Cold Blood” or “The Executioner’s Song” is literally true and how much was tweaked for the sake of the narrative?


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