Friday, March 31, 2017

Revisiting novels

Growing up, I read fiction almost exclusively (outside of the textbooks I had to read for school, of course). Over time, more nonfiction crept into my reading pile. The recent popularity of memoir and personal essays--which I already loved--has led to more books available in those genres, enabling me to revel in the abundant choices. So my reading stack tilted even farther away from fiction.

But I've made an effort to read a few more novels lately. And I've been happy to rediscover that special absorption that comes with a wholly imaginary world, with a story that is unconstrained by reality so that every piece of it was deliberately chosen by the author, with a work where the author knows the truth about, and the motivations of, every character. It's a different experience from nonfiction. I won't say one is better or worse, because it depends on my mood. I'm glad to have both.

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