Friday, April 8, 2011
Hi guys! Have you ever read an epistolary novel?
It's a story that uses letters, found notes, diary entries, newspaper clippings, etc., to help tell a story. They can be monologic (all letters/entries from one character), dialogic (from two characters), or polylogic (multiple).
The great thing about this type of novel is you can get different view points without using an omnicient narrator. Also, it can seem as if the story is non-fiction, when it isn't.
Dracula, by Bram Stoker is an epistolary novel written entirely with documents such as these. Even if it's not a novel, I can't help but mention Love Letters, a play by A. R. Gurney which I really enjoyed from a while ago. The two characters sat side by side the whole play and read letters to each other that span decades.
Many other novels will use documents to aid in the narrative, but won't have the entire story via documents, such as Stephen King's Carrie or Jandy Nelson's The Sky is Everywhere.
Fictional diaries are also a type of epistolary novel. Think Bridget Jone's Diary, or Flowers for Algernon.
Do you have a favorite epistolary novel?