The Shell Game: Writers Play with Borrowed Forms


Product Details

$24.95  $23.20
University of Nebraska Press
Publish Date
6.0 X 9.0 X 0.61 inches | 0.89 pounds
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About the Author

Kim Adrian is a Boston-based creative writer and a visiting lecturer of nonfiction writing at Brown University. She is the author of Sock, part of the Object Lesson series, and the forthcoming memoir The Twenty-Seventh Letter of the Alphabet (Nebraska, 2018). Adrian is the recipient of a Bread Loaf scholarship, a PEN/New England Discovery Award, and an artist's grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Brenda Miller directs the MFA in Creative Writing and the MA in English Studies at Western Washington University. Cheyenne Nimes is a cross-genre writer currently working on poetry/nonfiction hybrids on the nature of evil and Jonestown. She won the Edwin Ford Piper Scholar Award and was a University of Iowa Art Museum resident writer.


"The Shell Game may serve to expand what readers may think of when they think of the essay. Among the grocery lists and Post-It notes, comic sketches and sermons, and the other ephemera of our everyday lives, essayistic elements exist--searching for their shells."--Sadaf Ferdowsi, Punctuate-- (4/25/2018 12:00:00 AM)
"Of course you'll want to let essay fans know they'll enjoy this book. But also be sure to let people know that, if they're also a writer or if they teach writing, this collection can serve as a model. You've always been somewhat of a rebel, so you'll want writers, especially those who stick to more rigid forms, to read this book to encourage them to have fun with their work. To take risks and chances."--Hippocampus Magazine-- (5/1/2018 12:00:00 AM)
"The essays in this collection bring with them a sense of hope about literature and its capacity for evolution and change. . . . Ultimately, maybe it's this promise of transformation and adaptation that makes hermit crab essays so appealing. They encourage us to move forward, and they show us how many different paths we might take."--Vivian Wagner, Millions-- (6/9/2018 12:00:00 AM)
"If you are looking for a book that fits into the genre of "Creative Nonfiction," especially as an introduction, your best bet is to pick up The Shell Game immediately. . . . This book is the science fiction of creative nonfiction, or better yet, the Ulysses of the modern essay. It's a shell for itself, in that, without claiming these essays as "essays," one wouldn't know what to call them, what to do with them. The Shell Game is far from the five paragraphs that grammar schools teach, and it makes readers feel as if they are learning what an essay is (or could be) all over again."--Cody Lee, New Pages-- (10/8/2018 12:00:00 AM)
"If good creative writing sparks the instinct to write, The Shell Game provides ample embers to inspire a wide range of writers. . . . If any writer stumbles into The Shell Game, even for a few essays, they are bound to come away with some fresh ideas and new perspectives, a renewed hankering to examine the quotidian and evaluate the details and textures around them to render them in new, yet recognizable ways."--Rachel Kathryn Rueckert, Columbia Journal-- (10/10/2018 12:00:00 AM)
"Hermit crab essays, without proper care, are at risk of devolving into cute pets . . . but The Shell Game makes a unique and significant contribution to helping avoid this fate."--Rebecca Fish Ewan, Split Rock Review-- (5/21/2019 12:00:00 AM)
"Daring, innovative, and mind-bending, this anthology showcases the best of what is arguably the most exciting new thing on the literary landscape today: the borrowed form essay."--Kathy Fish, coauthor of Rift and author of Wild Life
-- (9/16/2017 12:00:00 AM)
"Virginia Woolf asked of the essay 'simply that it should give pleasure.' The Shell Game fulfills this request, even exceeds it, bringing startling diversity of subject, voice, and form. Each essay is a new surprise, a prettier shell than ordinary, demonstrating astonishing originality in mimicry and providing, for this reader at least, pure joy."--Patrick Madden, author of Sublime Physick and Quotidiana
-- (9/16/2017 12:00:00 AM)