Login to your ABC account
Create a new ABC account
Complete your ABC account
Forgot your password?
Password reset link sent…
We've sent an email to email. Please follow the instructions in it to set your new password
Reset your password
Novelist and writing teacher Jane Alison illuminates the many shapes other than the usual wavelike ï¿½narrative arcï¿½ that can move fiction forward. The stories she loves most follow other organic patterns found in nature―spirals, meanders, and explosions, among others. Alisonï¿½s manifesto for new modes of narrative will appeal to serious readers and writers alike.
As Jane Alison writes in the introduction to her insightful and appealing book about the craft of writing: ï¿½For centuries thereï¿½s been one path through fiction weï¿½re most likely to travel―one weï¿½re actually told to follow―and thatï¿½s the dramatic arc: a situation arises, grows tense, reaches a peak, subsides. . . . But: something that swells and tautens until climax, then collapses? Bit masculo-sexual, no? So many other patterns run through nature, tracing other deep motions in life. Why not draw on them, too?ï¿½
W. G. Sebaldï¿½s The Emigrants was the first novel to show Alison how forward momentum can be created by way of pattern, rather than the traditional arc―or, in nature, wave. Other writers of nonlinear prose considered in her ï¿½museum of specimensï¿½ include Nicholson Baker, Anne Carson, Marguerite Duras, Jamaica Kincaid, Clarice Lispector, Gabriel Garcï¿½a Mï¿½rquez, Susan Minot, David Mitchell, Caryl Phillips, and Mary Robison.
Meander, Spiral, Explode is a singular and brilliant elucidation of literary strategies that also brings high spirits and wit to its original conclusions. It is a liberating manifesto that says, Letï¿½s leave the outdated modes behind and, in thinking of new modes, bring feeling back to experimentation. It will appeal to serious readers and writers alike.