Elizabeth Greenwood is the author of Playing Dead: A Journey Through the World of Death Fraud. She holds an MFA from Columbia University, where she teaches creative nonfiction. Greenwood grew up in Worcester, Massachusetts.
EB: How did you begin writing nonfiction?
EG: I began dabbling in nonfiction upon the suggestion of a favorite ex-boyfriend who liked my emails and urged me to try something a bit more ambitious. I blogged under a pseudonym for a while which was totally freeing. I’d always loved writing and revered books but had no clue how one went about becoming a writer, outside of academia. I was teaching English as a Second Language in the NYC public schools and wanted to make a switch, so I spent about a year asking everyone what they did for work and what they liked about it. Fortune smiled upon me when I was seated next to a woman at a dinner party who described her job as teaching writing at Columbia and taking classes, and getting paid to do so. Bingo. That was what I wanted to do.
EB: So you decided to pursue an MFA. But why nonfiction as opposed to fiction or poetry? Continue reading