The essay (or the essay-affect) at its best interrogates these questions of truth and verification, bringing the reader directly into the process of evaluating fact and fiction, and providing the reader with some kind of navigation for our current state in which truthfulness is such a fraught concept. In a contemporary landscape in which fact is so regularly and systematically disregarded, the essay responds not just by demanding its own truth, but by turning our attention to the means by which we evaluate the information around us. Biss, Nelson, Jameson and other modern essayists all work, as D’Agata says of Joe Brainard’s essay, ‘I Remember,’ to ‘engineer significance out of doubt.’