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Reading for Storyness


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Table of Contents

Once more into the forest; Learning the ropes of preclosure; Preclosing an "open" story; Stages of preclosure and the history of the American short story; Preclosure in issue-bound stories; Everybody (?) loves Raymond Carver; Currents in a still pond; Minimalism and social history; The short story and its non-fiction counterpart.

Promotional Information

In her irresistible, jargon-free style, Susan Lohafer expertly investigates the human response to the mystery of story in an important new study that reveres the text and respects the reader. -- Charles May, author of The Reality of Artifice: A Study of the Short Story and editor of Short Story Theories The notion of pre-closure in stories is a fruitful one for writers, critics, and readers. Lohafer's analysis is a clever one because it shows how various kinds of readers pre-fashion-even preempt-stories, but also shows how contemporary stories often embody archaic narrative modes. Reading for Storyness would be a useful teaching book. -- Jean McGarry, The Writing Seminars at the Johns Hopkins University

About the Author

Susan Lohafer is a professor of English at the University of Iowa.


Lohafer explores a unique idea, one 'revolv[ing] around an experiment in which one or more readers identify sentences within a story when the text could end.' Lohafer presents student response to this experiment and goes on to analyze a number of short stories... This approach, deconstructive yet traditional, permits the author to open up new possibilities of interpretation. Choice Lucid, often subtle and artfully constructed interpretations. -- Richard Walsh Modern Language Review

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