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The Art of Perspective

Who Tells the Story

Christopher Castellani

Graywolf Press

The Art of Perspective Download image

ISBN10: 155597726X
ISBN13: 9781555977269


160 Pages



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A writer may have a story to tell, a sense of plot, and strong characters, but for all of these to come together some key questions must be answered. What form should the narrator take? An omniscient, invisible force, or one—or more—of the characters? But in what voice, and from what vantage point? How to decide? Avoiding prescriptive instructions or arbitrary rules, Christopher Castellani brilliantly examines the various ways writers have solved the crucial point-of-view problem. By unpacking the narrative strategies at play in the work of writers as different as E. M. Forster, Grace Paley, and Tayeb Salih, among many others, he illustrates how the author's careful manipulation of distance between narrator and character drives the story. An insightful work by an award-winning novelist and the artistic director of GrubStreet, The Art of Perspective is a fascinating discussion on a subject of perpetual interest to any writer.


Praise for The Art of Perspective

"[Castellani] does an excellent job guiding readers through numerous literary texts and clearly has the 'criticism' portion of the book down."—PopMatters

"[Castellani] offers a master class—in 140 pages—on how various narrative strategies make novels tick. Castellani knows how to hook a reader."—The Boston Globe

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Christopher Castellani

Christopher Castellani is the author of three novels, including All This Talk of Love. He is the artistic director of GrubStreet and teaches in the MFA program at Warren Wilson College. He was recently awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for fiction.