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Creative nonfiction journalist to teach writing course

By Rachel Cromidas, Chicago Maroon, February 22

For students who believe their Sosc readings are tiring, Jonathan Harr, this year’s Robert Vare Writer-in-Residence, thinks they should try nonfiction writing and reporting.

“Nonfiction is exhausting,” said Harr, a journalist who has contributed to The New Yorker and The New York Times Magazine. “You have to follow people around and you have to get access to them, which is not easy to do. And it doesn’t always go the way that makes for an interesting story.”

Harr says that he hopes to teach University of Chicago students how to find and create those interesting stories this spring in his class, The Craft of Narrative Nonfiction, which he is teaching through the University’s Creative Writing committee.

Alumnus Robert Vare (A.B. ’67, A.M. ’70) created the Writer-in-Residence program in 2001 to bring nonfiction writers and journalists to campus to work with students to hone their writing skills. Vare, a former editor at The New Yorker and The New York Times Magazine, is now senior editor of The Atlantic Monthly.

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