Course: The Craft of Narrative Nonfiction
Jonathan Harr, the 2008 Robert Vare Nonfiction Writer in Residence, is the author of two books: the national bestseller and winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction, A Civil Action, and The Lost Painting, a New York Times bestseller. A Civil Action spent two-and-a-half years on the New York Times bestseller list and is required reading at many law schools across the US, in courses on Civil Procedure, Ethics, Torts, Trial Practice, and Environmental Law. It is used in conjunction with a legal textbook, A Civil Action: A Documentary Companion, published by Foundation Press in 1999. The book is also used in geology courses at Ohio State University, the University of Arizona, Brigham Young University, among others. It was the basis of a film starring John Travolta and Robert Duvall.
The Lost Painting, also published by Random House, spent several weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and has been translated into 19 languages. Harr is a former staff writer at the New England Monthly and has written frequently for The New Yorker and The New York Times Magazine. From 1999-2000 he was a visiting writer at the American Academy in Rome. He lives and works in Northampton, Massachusetts, where he has taught nonfiction writing at Smith College.