Janie B. Cheaney

Janie is a senior writer who contributes commentary to WORLD and oversees WORLD's annual Children's Book of the Year awards. She also writes novels for young adults and authored the Wordsmith creative writing curriculum. Janie resides in rural Missouri.

Krieg Barrie/WORLD

Right decision

| What led to David Mamet's denunciation of liberalism?
by Janie B. Cheaney
Posted 4/19/08, 12:00 am

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Their so-called lives

| When popular mémoir turns out to be wholesale fiction
by Janie B. Cheaney
Posted 4/05/08, 12:00 am

Daniel Dafoe's Robinson Crusoe was, as we say today, "based on a true story": the ordeal of Alexander Selkirk, shipwrecked on an island off the coast of Chile for five years. In fact, when the book first appeared in 1719, the public believed it was a true story and Crusoe an actual person. Credulous readers could be excused on the ground that they were experiencing a new genre. Fiction, until this time, had taken the form of legend, myth, and epic poetry: Realistic, book-length fiction was unknown, or otherwise known as "lying."

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Alliance Defense Fund

Unfriendly visitors

| Schools of social work demand a conformity that lasts beyond graduation
by Janie B. Cheaney
Posted 3/22/08, 12:00 am

Mrs. B. is an appreciative person, with a good knowledge of how to use canned beef."

"Girl has not fallen but is on the brink."

So a turn-of-the-century social worker, known as a "friendly visitor," described her clients after making her rounds in the crowded slums. Presumably kindhearted, she could also be testy: "Visitor absolutely disgusted and tells [client] for all she cares they can starve if unwilling to follow good advice."

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