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If the Truth Be Told: Accounts in Literary Forms plays with the sense of truth. It is composed of six chapters, “Childhood Dangers,” “Relational Logics,” “Jesus Chronicles,” “Criminal Tales,” “Aging, Illness, and Death Lessons,” and “Telling Truths.” Each chapter includes fictional and nonfictional accounts, including poems, stories, monologues, short dramas, essays, creative nonfiction, and mixed genres, to address each chapter’s subject. Pieces are based on the author’s personal experiences, newspapers accounts, and purely fictional accounts (all revealed in an appendix at the end of the book).
Moving through the book from beginning to end, readers may or may not know whether they are reading a nonfictional or fictional text. Pelias intentionally subverts assumptions readers may have in reading the different pieces in order to blur the boundaries of what counts as evidence, what might be accepted as truth, what might be of use in everyday lives. In this vein, Pelias invites readers to consider what they value and why. As an engaging compilation of literary works, this book can be read by anyone simply for pleasure.
If Truth Be Told can also be used in any number of college courses in communication, creative writing, cultural studies, ethics, narrative inquiry, philosophy, psychology, sociology and qualitative inquiry. The book includes an extensive appendix with general and chapter-by-chapter discussion questions.
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