Lifespan of a Fact


Product Details

$18.95  $17.62
W. W. Norton & Company
Publish Date
6.9 X 9.0 X 0.4 inches | 0.5 pounds

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About the Author

Jim Fingal is now a software engineer and writer in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
John D'Agata is the author of About a Mountain, Halls of Fame, and editor of The Next American Essay and The Lost Origins of the Essay. He teaches creative writing at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, where he lives.


A fascinating and dramatic power struggle over the intriguing question of what nonfiction should, or can, be.--Lydia Davis
An enraging, fascinating, singular book.-- "Slate"
More than anything, The Lifespan of a Fact pushes readers to consider not just the possibilities of art, but also its boundaries. It's as concerned with what we can get away with as whether we should.-- "A.V. Club"
A singularly important meditation on fact and fiction, the imagination and life, fidelity and freedom. Provocative, maddening, and compulsively readable, The Lifespan of a Fact pulses through a forest of detail to illuminate high-stakes, age-old questions about art and ethics--questions to which the book (blessedly!) provides no easy answers.--Maggie Nelson
Thus begins the alternately absorbing and infuriating exercise that is The Lifespan of a Fact, a Talmudically arranged account of the conflict between Jim Fingal, zealous checker, and John D'Agata, nonfiction fabulist.--Gideon Lewis-Kraus "New York Times Magazine"
Genius...In The Lifespan of a Fact, D'Agata and Fingal turn everything around on us until even our most basic assumptions are left unclear...A vivid and reflective meditation on the nature of nonfiction as literary art.--David L. Ulin "Los Angeles Times"
The Lifespan of a Fact might be the most improbably entertaining book ever published.-- "NPR"
A whip-smart, mordantly funny, thought-provoking rumination on journalistic responsibility and literary license.-- "Publishers Weekly, starred review"
Less a book than a knock-down, drag-out fight between two tenacious combatants over questions of truth, belief, history, myth, memory and forgetting.--Jennifer McDonald "New York Times Book Review"
The Lifespan of a Fact is remarkable not only as an intellectual adventure, but for its portrayal of the search for these kinds of truths as a conversation. It is a high-stakes exercise not of surety but of to the production of wonder, but equally to that of doubt, frustration, and betrayal.-- "The New Republic"