CNF: Histories I do not Belong to X

by Gwendolyn Edward


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Gwendolyn Edward writes nonfiction, poetry, and fiction. Her work has been accepted by Crab Orchard Review, Bourbon Penn, Crack the Spine, and others. She retains a MA in Creative Writing from the University of North Texas where she worked with American Literary Review, and she is currently pursuing a MFA at Bennington. She works with Fifth Wednesday Journal as an assistant non-fiction editor and also teaches Creative Writing.

What surprising, fascinating stuff can you tell us about the origin, drafting, and/or final version of “Histories I do not Belong to X”?

    The “Histories I do not Belong to” series came about after I stopped defining nonfiction by what it is, and rather started defining nonfiction by what it could be. This lead to a lot of questioning regarding how we convey truth and what truth really is; namely, that words are faulty in their ability to fully communicate meaning because there seems to be paradox inherently embedding in the English language: we use words to communicate but are often lacking understanding of the words themselves. In writing “Histories I do not Belong to X,” I obsessed over word meaning and how for most of my life I’ve been rather lax in understanding exactly what’s been communicated to me and how I communicate to others. In addition to the narrative about wishful thinking and heartbreak, there’s the understanding that when I begin to truly begin to question what language is used to analyze events and emotion, I can begin to scratch the surface of truth; the realizations evolve from preciseness, or an effort to achieve it.
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