Distancing Author and Narrator


The line between fiction and non-fiction has always been blurry, but an author’s choice of genre—be it novel, memoir, or even autobiography—results in different relationships between the reader and narrator. Writing in HTMLGIANT, Art Edwards takes a closer look at these relationships and the effects that genre choice has on the narrative.

That’s where the power of fiction truly lies: Despite my wanting to know more about the novelists who write the novels I love, reading one isn’t the act of me learning about the writer’s life. It’s a metaphoric meeting place outside both writer and reader where the two come together. The novel can bridge further physical, cultural, emotional and experiential points, creating a connection that feels deeper.

Ian MacAllen is the author of Red Sauce: How Italian Food Became American (Rowman & Littlefield, April 2022). His writing has appeared in Chicago Review of Books, Southern Review of Books, The Offing, 45th Parallel Magazine, Little Fiction, Vol 1. Brooklyn, and elsewhere. He tweets @IanMacAllen and is online at IanMacAllen.com. More from this author →