Reading quiet, literary fiction, like Someone by Alice McDermott, nudges us towards contemplation and self-examination. But according to a recent study conducted at the New School for Social Research in New York, it may do even more. This much-publicized study, "Reading Literary Fiction Improves Theory of Mind," concludes that reading literary fiction can better the ability to "read" the thoughts and feelings of others. The researchers, Ph.D candidate David Comer Kidd; and professor of psychology, Emanuele Castano; suggest that this is achieved by an increase in empathy and the ability to recognize and share the feelings of others.
In addition to reviewing books, BookBrowse goes "beyond the book" to explore interesting aspects relating to each book we feature. Here is a "Beyond the Book" feature written to complement our 2013 review of Goat Mountain by David Vann:
David Vann fits into an American literary tradition that has been around since the 1960s, but was only given a name in 1983. Bill Buford, former editor of Granta literary magazine, coined the term "dirty realism" to characterize two trends in American fiction: a tendency toward simplified language, largely free from adverbs or flowery language (as is true of Vann's matter-of-fact prose in Goat Mountain), and frank consideration of the awfulness of ordinary, lower- or middle-class lives.
Would you like to know more about World War I but are nervous about getting bogged down in weighty nonfiction or possibly flawed fiction reads?
Do you enjoy listening to a good yarn that wraps historical fact around a great narrative story?
If you do, then I urge to tune into BBC Radio 4's Home Front.