Understanding Fiction

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Houghton Mifflin, Apr 1, 2004 - Fiction - 816 pages
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An intelligent, relevant, and lively new introduction to fiction builds on the success of its parent text, Understanding Literature. With accessible discussions of historical and cultural contexts and critical approaches, biographical information, and a stimulating table of contents, Understanding Fiction offers instructors and students an innovative option in anthologies. Accompanied by the Understanding Literature CD-ROM and Web Site, Understanding Fiction enriches the reading experience, enhances critical thinking, and promotes mastery in writing about fiction. Well-balanced selections juxtapose canonical authors with new voices not often anthologized and focus particular attention on ethnically diverse writers. Complete coverage of formal elements ensures that students understand such basics as character analysis, setting, point of view, plot, and narration. Extensive writing guidance teaches students how to write critically about literature in general and about fiction in particular, and includes instruction on writing a research paper. Unique, integrated, and accessible treatment of critical approaches enriches the course with more complex tools of literary study to help students develop insights and explore meaning in literature. A wealth of visual texts—including a color insert—enriches the study of literature with related photographs and works of art and provides lively new contexts in which students can view authors, artistic movements, and cultural developments. Chapter 17, "Fiction Across Media: Film," compares how stories are constructed in print and in film and includes a case study analysis of the print and film versions of Julio Cortazar's "Blow Up." Unique Chapter 18, "The Limits of Fiction: Autobiography" discusses how autobiography's combination of fact, memory, and opinion can fall between fiction and nonfiction writing. The chapter highlights such authors as Mark Twain, Jean Rhys, Carl Van Vechten, Chester Himes, Nicole Brossard, and W.S. Penn Chapter 19, "Writing Communities: The Beats," adapted from "The Beats" inter-genre chapter in the parent text, retains a short story by William S. Burroughs and adds selections from Diane di Prima and Jack Kerouac.

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Reading Fiction
The Formal Elements of Fiction

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About the author (2004)

JUDITH ROOF is associate professor of English at Indiana University, Bloomington.

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