Immersion: A Writer's Guide To Going Deep

Paperback | October 24, 2016

byTed Conover

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Over three and a half decades, Ted Conover has ridden the rails with hoboes, crossed the border with Mexican immigrants, guarded prisoners in Sing Sing, and inspected meat for the USDA. His books and articles chronicling these experiences, including the award-winning Newjack: Guarding Sing Sing, have made him one of the premier practitioners of immersion reporting.

In immersion reporting—a literary cousin to ethnography, travel writing, and memoir—the writer fully steps into a new world or culture, participating in its trials, rites, and rituals as a member of the group. The end results of these firsthand experiences are familiar to us from bestsellers such as Nickel and Dimed and Behind the Beautiful Forevers. But in a world of wary strangers, where does one begin?

Conover distills decades of knowledge into an accessible resource aimed at writers of all levels. He covers how to “get into” a community, how to conduct oneself once inside, and how to shape and structure the stories that emerge. Conover is also forthright about the ethics and consequences of immersion reporting, preparing writers for the surprises that often surface when their piece becomes public. Throughout, Conover shares anecdotes from his own experiences as well as from other well-known writers in this genre, including Alex Kotlowitz, Anne Fadiman, and Sebastian Junger. It’s a deep-in-the-trenches book that all aspiring immersion writers should have in hand as they take that first leap into another world. 

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Over three and a half decades, Ted Conover has ridden the rails with hoboes, crossed the border with Mexican immigrants, guarded prisoners in Sing Sing, and inspected meat for the USDA. His books and articles chronicling these experiences, including the award-winning Newjack: Guarding Sing Sing, have made him one of the premier practit...

Ted Conover is a journalist and associate professor of journalism at New York University. His book Newjack: Guarding Sing Sing won the National Book Critics Circle Award in 2000 and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Conover is also the author of Rolling Nowhere: Riding the Rails with America’s Hoboes; Coyotes: A Journey Across Bor...

other books by Ted Conover

Newjack: Guarding Sing Sing
Newjack: Guarding Sing Sing

Paperback|Jun 12 2001

$19.88 online$19.95list price
Rolling Nowhere
Rolling Nowhere

Kobo ebook|Sep 12 2012

$9.55

see all books by Ted Conover
Format:PaperbackDimensions:192 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.7 inPublished:October 24, 2016Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022611306X

ISBN - 13:9780226113067

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Introduction
I. Why Immerse?
II. Choosing a Subject and Gaining Access
III. Once Inside
IV. Undercover: Moving beyond Stunt
V. Writing It
VI. Aftermath
Acknowledgments
Annotated Bibliography
Index
 

Editorial Reviews

“Conover distills decades of hard-won knowledge into a how-to guide for journalists.”