Suspend Your Disbelief

Posts Tagged ‘point of view’

Essays |

In Praise of Kid-Speak

“Perhaps the greatest benefit of writing about kidhood from a kid’s point of view is the dramatic possibilities of trapping a protagonist or narrator in his/her present, in his/her right now, without reference to the broader, more reflective environs of adulthood.”

Shop Talk |

I, He… We?

We writers gravitate towards a few particular points of view: we love the first person singular, the ultra-personal “I”; we adore the third-person limited and its inside-outside-blurring stance; we even use the omniscient and look down on our characters as if we were gods.  Now and then, we’ll try the second person to switch it up—we’ve all read Lorrie Moore’s Self-Help and thought about it, haven’t we? But what about the first person plural?  Why haven’t we, as writers, embraced this viewpoint and its potential?  A few of us—Jeffrey Eugenides, Steven Millhauser—have tackled it, but most of us just shrug […]

Reviews |

Arcadia, by Lauren Groff

Lauren Groff’s second novel, Arcadia, gorgeously renders a commune’s rise, fall, and life-long resonance for the people who grew up within it. Unfolding as a series of snapshots, the book’s events span the birth of this late-1960s utopia and its central character, Bit Stone, to his middle age in a bleak—and imminent—dystopic future.

Reviews |

A Meaning for Wife, by Mark Yakich

“There are people who talk about themselves in the first person, people who talk about themselves in the third person, and people who don’t talk about themselves at all,” says a character in A Meaning for Wife. Yet poet Mark Yakich’s debut novel is narrated–quite successfully–in the controversial second-person.

Reviews |

[Reviewlet] The Buddha in the Attic, by Julie Otsuka

A finalist for the National Book Award, Julie Otsuka’s innovative novel The Buddha in the Attic pushes the bounds of narrative form with a collective narrator and a resistance to fixed fates. By inviting the reader to consider what could have happened, instead of what did, Otsuka makes her complicit in the fate of the story’s mail-order-brides.