In this elegantly written and theoretically sophisticated work, Rukmini Bhaya Nair asks why human beings across the world are such compulsive and inventive storytellers. Extending current research in cognitive science and narratology, she argues that we seem to have a genetic drive to fabricate as a way of gaining the competitive advantages such fictions give us. She suggests that stories are a means of fusing causal and logical explanations of 'real' events with emotional recognition, so that the lessons taught to us as children, and then throughout our lives via stories, lay the cornerstones of our most crucial beliefs. Nair's conclusion is that our stories really do make us up, just as much as we make up our stories.
'Narrative Gravity is a truly international effort and a path breaking theorisation. It is going to inspire a legion of studies in the interpretation of narratives as cultural texts.' - Gurupdesh Singh in The Hindu
'Somewhat grandly, we need to learn how to hail Nair as one of the first to transform swords into plough-shares in the world of theory.' - Probal Dasgupta in The Journal of the Central Institute of the English and Foreign Languages
'[Narrative Gravity] is a rich source of material for those interested in the relation between the study of mind and literary narrative. Its synthesis of technical discourse analysis with postcolonial theories of nationalism is novel and exciting.' - Jonathan Goodwin in Modernism/Modernity, Johns Hopkins University Press.