The Art of Perspective: Who Tells the Story



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.

Product Details

$14.00  $12.88
Graywolf Press
Publish Date
January 05, 2016
5.0 X 0.4 X 7.0 inches | 0.3 pounds
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About the Author

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.


Remarkably perceptive and gracefully written. . . . Anyone with an interest in how good stories are constructed will find this book both enjoyable and useful. "Shelf Awareness," starred review

Great for diving deeply into a single aspect of writing that can be applied to any number of goals, including fiction and non-fiction writing. . . . A handy reference guide. "Brooklyn Rail"

Reading this little book was a pleasure . . . funny, full of stories, and [Castellani s] insights are profound. Caroline Leavittville

"The Art of Perspective" is a wonderful book, full of good advice and smart close reading. Peter Turchi"