Balancing key foundational topics with new developments and trends, Engagements with Narrative offers an accessible introduction to narratology. As new narrative forms and media emerge, the study of narrative and the ways people communicate through imagination, empathy, and storytelling is especially relevant for students of literature today. Janine Utell presents the foundational texts, key concepts, and big ideas that form narrative theory and practical criticism, engaging readers in the study of stories by telling the story of a field and its development.
Distinct features designed to initiate dialogue and debate include:
This guide teaches the key concepts of narrative—time, space, character, perspective, setting—while facilitating conversations among different approaches and media, and opening paths to new inquiry. Engagements with Narrative is ideal for readers needing an introduction to the field, as well as for those seeking insight into both its historical developments and new directions.
"Janine Utell's Engagements with Narrative is a wide-ranging, well-informed, and appealing introduction to narrative studies. Its highlights include explications of cutting-edge theory, interviews with a diverse group of contemporary scholars, and provocative engagements with numerous print,film, graphic, and digital, narratives." James Phelan, Distinguished University Professor, The Ohio State University, USA
'Clear and authoritative, with interesting historical tidbits and flashes of wit, this is an introduction to narrative that will help anyone quickly understand the basics of the field. Janine Utell explains key concepts and then shows how they work in exemplary texts. The abundant, wide-ranging examples--from classic literature, graphic novels, film, and t.v.-- keep the writing lively and consistently reinforce the many, intersecting identities and modes of narration in the stories we tell and how we understand them.' Anne E. Fernald, Professor of English, Fordham University, USA
'Engagements with Narrative is an excellent short introduction to its subject, and should prove greatly useful to students and instructors alike. Janine Utell clearly and engagingly addresses the elements of narrative and how they work in a wide variety of stories, from classic novels to recent films and graphic novels. Everyone will learn something from this rich volume--I certainly did.' Adam Potkay, William R. Kenan Professor of Humanities, The College of William & Mary, USA
'Engagements with Narrative is a lively introduction to narrative theory in its many forms. Particularly clear-eyed in its analyses of feminist plotting, it offers a broad range of approaches and examples, from modal philosophy to cognitive theory, Austen to Capote to Dangarembga. Each chapter ends by helpfully supplementing Utell’s perspective with questionnaire responses by other scholars in the field.' Paul Saint-Amour, Associate Professor of English, University of Pennsylvania, USA
'Wonderful — Janine Utell has given us by far the most enjoyable and accessible introduction to story-making. Her book explores how the world of a ‘good story’ is constructed, encouraging readers to engage with key concepts, media and critical practices. More than this, she stimulates her readers to discover their own ideas and insights as they figure out how exemplary stories are shaped and structured. Highly recommended.' Nicholas Roe, Professor of English, University of St. Andrews, UK
'Janine Utell explores narratology in writing that is itself lucid and unpretentious. The style sets off her remarkable erudition as the perfect setting does a fine gem. This is a book that will become a classic.' David Cowart, Louise Fry Scudder Professor of Humanities, University of South Carolina, USA
"[Engagements with narrative] is meant for those serious about literary theory and about deconstructing something inaccessible to make it accessible. Summing Up: Recommended." - S. L. Rottschafer, Aquinas College in CHOICE
Introduction Chapter 1: Story Parts and Purpose Chapter 2: The Reader in the (Story) World Chapter 3: Stories Beyond the Page, Stories on the Screen Chapter 4: Narrative, Ethics, and Empathy Index
Routledge Engagements with Literature is a series that presents engagement as a means of discovery. Unlike other books that simply provide references and overviews, this series offers students and instructors new ways to engage with the literature they are studying, teaching, or researching. Each book balances foundational information and key topics with new developments and trends while also looking forward to work yet to be done, offering different or challenging approaches and perspectives.