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A Field Guide for Immersion Writing: Memoir, Journalism, and Travel Hardcover – March 1, 2012

ISBN-13: 978-0820338507 ISBN-10: 9780820338507

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: University of Georgia Press (March 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780820338507
  • ISBN-13: 978-0820338507
  • ASIN: 0820338508
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,647,457 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Hemley constructs a vocabulary and taxonomy for the immersion genre and makes a compelling argument for why these books matter, beyond the gimmickry, and why these stories hit home.” —Dinty W. Moore, author of Between Panic and Desire


A Field Guide for Immersion Writing is indispensable. In it, Robin Hemley is very funny but serious all the while. He explains and defines and prompts and reports with great clarity, teaching and informing and urging as he entertains. The quotations and examples from accomplished writers are generous and just plain great, many of them from essays and articles and books I’ve missed, with lessons in the most unexpected places. ‘A good book is always about more than one thing,’ Robin says, and the Field Guide is a book about life as much as it’s about writing. I mean, it’s that important, whether you plan to write or not.”—Bill Roorbach, author of Writing Life Stories and Contemporary Creative Nonfiction


“This ‘field guide’ is exactly that: lessons for writers wishing to practice these forms. It brings principles of ethnographic methodologies into focus for writers not schooled in introductory anthropology. It is also an entertaining survey of contemporary writing. Hemley’s categorical approach serves to highlight similarities and (sometimes subtle) differences among these forms and the practices that create them.”—Choice


"Robin Hemley has written an excellent book on immersion writing. . . . He writes with humour and passion and injects himself into the prose, thus making for a great example of what he is describing. . . . There are many writing books and sometimes it is difficult to know which, if any, are useful. This one is because it has a different focus, gives numerous fine examples and is written with verve and wit."—Sue Bond, M/C Reviews

About the Author

Robin Hemley is a professor of English at the University of Iowa and director of the Nonfiction Writing Program. He is author or editor of eight books including Do-Over! and Turning Life into Fiction and is editor of the magazine Defunct.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Virginia Peters on June 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover
If you're thinking about writing nonfiction, venturing into the middle of a real story, you might be wondering what this will entail. I did a while ago, and have just learnt after reading Robin Hemley's book that I've been lost in strange and surreal world of immersion writing for the last few years. My advice is read Hemley's entertaining guide before you `immerse', because you're in for a ride.

`Immersion isn't for the faint hearted,' he warns. `Whether you're putting yourself in harms way emotionally, psychologically, or physically, it's almost a guarantee you're going to get pummeled in one way or another'. Hemley's voice is perfectly pitched to help you shoulder that pummeling, to whisper encouragement and appeal to your humour while he explains in detail, with lots of references to his and other writers' experiences, what the hell is going on.

`If you knew what was going to happen in the end, there would be no point starting', he says, and this is what I really love about the adventurous spirit of this book. From finding what your real story is to the ethical and legal considerations of writing about others, Hemley's field guide to immersion is designed to lure you from the comfort of your desk and free you up as a writer.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Tim Doody on May 29, 2012
Format: Paperback
Throughout A Field Guide for Immersion Writing, Robin Hemley's voice is warm and knowing like old-time jazz. Playful, too. "The country of yourself," he writes, "can be explored as fruitfully as any country outside yourself. There's always some place you're going in your writing, some destination of which you had no idea when you started."

Whether your journey takes you inward or abroad, you'll likely encounter pitfalls, which may include prose blobs, an orphaned book or kidnapping at gunpoint. But don't panic! Instead calmly open Hemley's Field Guide and consult. He's been there, done that. He's here for you now.
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By Sarah Huizenga on June 14, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I did find the book helpful by seeing what genre of Immersion Writing I fall into, which by the way is Immersion Journalism. Some helpful tips thoughts. My one negative comment would be I wish he had talked a little less about the books that he wrote .
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