Many years ago I read a book titled "Literature of Fact." I know the last name of one of the authors is Costello, don't know the others.

I know that chapter 4 is titled "Short Fiction" and chapter 6 is "Poetry."

I've searched the internet but get results with Abbot and Costello, and Elvis Costello.

Is anyone familiar with this book?
Does anyone have more information like the author's full name, or who the other authors are?
Does anyone know where I can purchase it?

I've attached two photos. One is a photocopy of Chapter 4 titled "Short Fiction" and the other picture is Chapter 6 titled "Poetry."

Photo of Chapter 4

Photo of Chapter 6

I read the book about ten years ago, but it wasn't new then so the copyright could very well have been many years prior. I don't remember anything about the physical nature of the book, whether it was hard cover or soft. I do know that the last page of the "Poetry" chapter is 641 so it's a big book. I have more photocopies of the two chapters but I don't think that will help.

From these copies and the many notes I took, it looks to be a very good book from what I remember. One that may help me in my quest to perfect my writing.

  • Fletcher, Angus; Editor The Literature of Fact: Selected Papers from the English Institute New York: Columbia University Press, 1976. commoncrowbooks.com/pages/books/B48751/angus-fletcher/… //This is a series of articles with that editor's name.
    – Lambie
    Jan 31 at 19:31
  • 1
    @TinfoilHat I was going by the title and the fact it sounded like an edited series. So glad you know it is not the right book.
    – Lambie
    Jan 31 at 19:52
  • 2
    Hi and welcome to LitSE. How many years ago is “many”? Where did you read the book? What do you remember of the contents, aside from the chapter headings? What did the book look like? Please provide such details to help narrow down the search. Thanks!
    – verbose
    Jan 31 at 22:00
  • Hey @R.P. - glad that Lit.SE was able to help! I've done a bit of housekeeping to edit your question to be a bit more streamlined and not chatty, and converted your answer confirming the correct answer to a comment. If you have any more questions, feel free to ask!
    – Mithical
    Feb 1 at 22:13

2 Answers 2


There's "Forms of Literature: A Writer's Collection" by Jacqueline Costello and Amy Tucker from 1989 with such chapters according to the Google Books record.

This book is available for checkout at the Internet Archive.

title page

contents chapters 4-6

  • Where do you see the chapters?
    – Lambie
    Jan 31 at 22:36
  • Thank you to shoover or Ayshe (Sorry, I'm new here and having a hard time figuring this out). That is the book I'm looking for. I tried to vote "This answer is useful" but I get a message that says "Thanks for the feedback! You need at least 15 reputation to cast a vote, but your feedback has been recorded." My best to you all. I can't thank you enough. Graze mille, R.P. Infantino
    – R.P.
    Feb 1 at 2:17
  • @Lambie on Google Books it has snippet view so entire pages are not visible but it came up searching for the phrase "Chapter 4 Short Fiction" and then I also searched inside for "Chapter 6 Poetry" and it was there.
    – Ayshe
    Feb 1 at 6:12
  • That's great.
    – Lambie
    Feb 1 at 15:01
  • @R.P. Ayshe create the answer; I merely added the images.
    – shoover
    Feb 1 at 23:00

Amazon has this book, published in 1980.

The Literature of Fact: Literary Nonfiction in American Writing (hardcover)

  • Pretty much fits with the title, but it doesn't have a Costello...
    – CDR
    Feb 1 at 0:55
  • You might get some clues from this: cambridge.org/core/books/abs/…. One of the novelists cited is Mary Costello.
    – Xanne
    Feb 1 at 1:49

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