Thursday, June 12, 2008

Creative non-fiction: A Natural History of the Senses

In her book, 'A Natural History of the Senses', Diane Ackerman writes in a genre that can best be described as creative non-fiction. The writer flavours her well researched book with her own style - a mixture of poetic prose and fact.
The covernotes say that, 'if Colette had studied science and spent time listening to icebergs in Antartica and interviewing a professional nose in New York, she might have written a book as luscious and erudite as 'a Natural History of the Senses' - the book is luscious (richly sweet in taste/voluptuously attractive/mouth-watering, rich, succulent) - fitting words to describe a book about the five senses.
Diane Ackerman uses all her skills as an experienced writer to weave a tapestry in words, calling upon learned research from universities and medical sources and poetry and great literature - she casts the reader adrift to float along on her narrative, dream-like at times, intensely factual at others - fascinating throughout - a great read, something not easy to define - whether it is the style or the subject - I suspect it's both in this great read.


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