The best of the best of CNF's first 20 years.

"Inviting, inquisitive and attentive" - Kirkus Reviews

"Moments of vulnerability will hit home with readers and bind these disparate essays into an emotionally coherent whole." - Publishers Weekly

"Intelligent, polished, surprising essays that will have you wiping away tears one moment, laughing out loud the next. An indispensable resource for writers, teachers, and those who simply love to read true stories, well told." - Dinty W. Moore, author of Between Panic & Desire


In 20 years of publishing Creative Nonfiction magazine, we've published brand-new nonfiction by more than 500 writers.

Now, in this book, we've collected the very best of the best--the stories we've been unable to forget. Some of them make us a little weepy, even after multiple readings, while others have not yet lost their power to make us laugh out loud. Some make us grapple with our place in the world, while other stories take us to far-away lands. Some help us experience and maybe even understand, at least briefly, other lives. And there are even a few stories here that have quite literally changed our lives.

Perhaps they'll change yours, too. That's what a good story can do.

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