May 10, 2021
The Art of Perspective: Who Tells the Story
Posted by Christopher Castellani

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 of the characters But in what voice, and from what vantage point How to decide Avoiding prescriptive instructions or arbitrary rules, ChrA 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 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.

  • Title: The Art of Perspective: Who Tells the Story
  • Author: Christopher Castellani
  • ISBN: 9781555977269
  • Page: 499
  • Format: Paperback
  • 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 i

    Crystal King

    If you are a writer, get this book ASAP Castellani is brilliant and this book is a serious gem for any writer looking to understand point of view and writing perspective.


    Part literary criticism, part craft book I couldn t put this book down.


    For anyone who loves to write, for anyone who loves to read about writing, this book is a pearl Using a wide range of texts, from E.R Forster, Nabokov Dostoyevsky, to Grace Paley, Lorrie Moore and Virginia Woolf and everything in between , Chris Castellani examines and illuminates choices of narrator, what effect each one has, what makes different perspectives successful or not for different stories, all in a clever and entertaining fashion It is a MUST READ for any writer on an essential topic [...]

    Lynne Griffin

    Lots of insight in this special little book Part of the Graywolf the art of series edited by Charles Baxter Chris Castellani does a terrific job broadening the writer s understanding of point of view.


    This is a short book focusing on narration I think it s interesting to reflect on who tells stories, and how who tells stories affects the story itself The author uses literary examples as a way to illustrate different methods of perspective telling, in a helpful manner you don t have to be familiar with the book he is using to illustrate something, but it is helpful if you are familiar One of my favorite characteristics is the way the book illustrates how a good story trumps flaws of a morally [...]


    The Art of Perspective by Christopher Castellani gives writers much to think about as he approaches the issue of point of view Who is the person telling the story I read three of Castellani s novels, so I know he can shape a story The insights are powerful in terms of consider how to approach writing It is not just first, second or third person, but the voice you selected It takes work to identify how one wants to share how they see the world It took a while to read it, but I did finish it durin [...]

    D. Arlene

    I thought it was an interesting read Don t read it if you re looking for an instructional book This book analyzes the different ways writers use pov point of view to progress the narrative and develop it by looking at specific texts I m working through the entire series the ones relating to fiction nonfiction anyway.It was good I d recommend it.

    Steven Elliott

    A sometimes humourous, sometimes academic view in the role of narrator and perspective in writing While geared towards novels and short stories and a little sluggish in the first third, I was pleasantly surprised but the shift to less known literature and plays Angels In America in the last bit A fascinating examination of writing indeed.


    This is not my favorite book on perspective There is some great discussion of perspective in a Lorrie Moore short story collection midway through, but that s after a really lengthy discussion of E.M Forster, which, to me, misses the point of contemporary writing Perspective is such a vivid and powerful tool for use in 21st century writing, that I think this book misses the mark by not talking about recent progression in what makes voice powerful in writing today I was disappointed to not have [...]


    Not as good as some of the others in The Art ofries.


    A brilliant discussion of how to choose and use perspective in storytelling A must for all existing and inspiring writers.

    Sarah Goldhagen

    My favorite Art of yet

    Daniel Goldhagen

    Good introduction Too short but that s the format , still, it s a lively read and quite insightful.A good introduction to a complex topic.

    Milton Brasher-Cunningham

    Though Christopher Castellani is writing to writers, which was my primary reason for picking up the book, I found a great deal here to challenge how we tell our stories, whether or not we are wrting them down And though he was speaking mostly of writing fiction, which is not what I write for the most part, he gave me so much to think about when it comes to how I tell a story, because that s what good nonfiction is as well a narrative We are living out stories on a daily basis How we tell them, a [...]

    Colin Marks

    As Castellani says, in devising and drafting a narrative strategy, an author makes all sorts of craft decisions that influence how the work will be read and enjoyed He adds that the language can seduce the reader, maintaining the staying power of the work It s both of these that won me over the book opens with his account of an incident in Philadelphia, the quality of the writing and the questions posed made it clear that this book will be truly memorable He goes on to analyse the work of other [...]

    Peter Schmidt

    An accessible and deeply intelligent guide to think about what s at stake in the way the narrator tells a story Valuable to both writers and readers, especially if you love fiction Includes lovely reflections on particular authors and books Forster, Woolf, Faulkner, Paley, Kushner, Lorrie Moore, Chimamanda Adichie, Tayeb Salih Season of Migration to the North Plus thoughts on narrators or characters we love to hate but can t stop listening to the sick man who gives us Notes from Underground, Hum [...]


    I won this book or else I might not have ever read it I m no aspiring writer and not even a very wide literary reader So it was with quiet enjoyment that I was even able to follow along and get some great thought provoking stimulation A short book, only around 100 pages size 4x5 give or take but packed with lots of depth, analysis, and angles for those who are looking to tell a story and trying to figure out just WHO is going to tell it Very nice Definitely heightened my awareness.

    Lara Thompson

    Very interesting book on the point of view POV , narrative structure, and other perspective related writing concerns If you liked The Art of Subtext Beyond Plot, then this book of the same series is a must read Highly recommend.

    Jenn Leiker

    Chris s book is chock full of food for thought, and I come back to it regularly This little gem has given me such confidence in choosing the right perspective for my novel It s worth the price for the chapter on omniscience alone


    I received this as a first read This was an interesting read This was a small book but was filled with interesting thoughts of way to write better Definitely gave me interesting thoughts on how to write a story Recommend this book for anyone interesting in the craft of writing.


    Very engaging, useful craft book I wish I had read it at the start of my MFA program.


    So many good ideas in here And so engaging for a book on theory and craft I m sure I ll be dipping into this slim volume for inspiration again an again


    The voice is easy, the tone perfect This isn t a how to, instead this will live with you, ignite you and remind you why you write.

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    The Art of Perspective: Who Tells the Story