How to Read a Novel
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By Caroline Gordon
How to Read a Novel is a stimulating tour of the development of fiction and a spirited account of its goal and how writers and readers can be best situated to attain it. Considering two key questions regarding the art of fiction—“What is a novel?” and “How should it be read?”—Gordon moves effortlessly amongst authors and critics alike to examine, among other facets, moralism in fiction; complication and resolution; scene composition; authorial viewpoint and narrative styles; the decline of the hero; and the novel and the consolation of the truth.
Caroline Gordon (1895–1981) was an American novelist and critic. Her writing earned her the prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship and O. Henry Award and a prominent place in the Southern Renaissance. A convert to Catholicism, she was friend and mentor to Flannery O’Connor, Walker Percy, and others. Robert Penn Warren praised her for “enriching our literature uniquely.”