James Wood

presents

How Fiction Works:
Tenth Anniversary Edition Updated and Expanded

This event includes a book signing

Date

Sep
19
Wednesday
September 19, 2018
7:00 PM

Location

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Tickets

This event is free; no tickets are required.

Harvard Book Store welcomes acclaimed writer, New Yorker critic, and Harvard professor JAMES WOOD for a discussion of the new Tenth Anniversary Edition of his classic How Fiction Works.

About How Fiction Works

How Fiction Works is a scintillating study of the magic of fiction―an analysis of its main elements and a celebration of its lasting power. Here one of the most prominent and stylish critics of our time looks into the machinery of storytelling to ask some fundamental questions: What do we mean when we say we "know" a fictional character? What constitutes a telling detail? When is a metaphor successful? Is Realism realistic? Why do some literary conventions become dated while others stay fresh?

James Wood ranges widely, from Homer to Make Way for Ducklings, from the Bible to John le Carré, and his book is both a study of the techniques of fiction-making and an alternative history of the novel. Playful and profound, How Fiction Works will be enlightening to writers, readers, and anyone else interested in what happens on the page.

Praise

“This admirable book is, among other things, a successful attempt to replace E. M. Forster’s Aspects of the Novel as an accessible guide to the mechanics of fiction. Without losing sight of its promise to address the common reader rather than the specialist, How Fiction Works is much more sophisticated than Forster’s book . . . Wood has thought keenly and profitably about such matters. He also benefits, as Forster did not, from wide reading in contemporary fiction.” ―Frank Kermode, The New Republic

“Wood’s arranging of source material to prove his points is as fluid and lovely as any great composer’s arrangement of musical notes, and, if nothing else, How Fiction Works will inspire you to simply read more . . . [A] lovely, eloquent ode to reading.” ―The Oregonian

“By examining the minutiae of character, narrative, and style in a range of fictional works that starts with the Bible and ends with Coetzee and Pynchon, he fondly and delicately pieces back together what the deconstructors put asunder.” ―The Guardian (UK)

James Wood
James Wood

James Wood

James Wood is a staff writer and book critic at The New Yorker and the recipient of a National Magazine Award in criticism. He is the author of How Fiction Works, as well as two essay collections, The Broken Estate and The Irresponsible Self, and two novels, The Book Against God and Upstate. He is a professor of the practice of literary criticism at Harvard University.

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 2 minutes

As you exit the station, reverse your direction and walk east along Mass. Ave. in front of the Cambridge Savings Bank. Cross Dunster St. and proceed along Mass. Ave for three more blocks. You will pass Au Bon Pain, JP Licks, and TD Bank. Harvard Book Store is located at the corner of Mass. Ave. and Plympton St.

Unable to attend a Harvard Book Store author event? You can still pre-order a signed book by one of our visiting authors.

While we can't guarantee fulfillment of a signed book pre-order, our authors are almost always able to sign extra books to fulfill such orders.

Ordering a signed book on harvard.com:

  • Add the book to your shopping cart and then click Checkout.
  • Specify in Order Comments that you want a signed copy of the book.
  • Please note: online orders for signed copies must be placed at least one business day before the event. If you are ordering the day of, please call us instead.

Ordering a signed book by phone:

  • Call us at (617) 661-1515 and one of our booksellers will take your order. Specify you'd like a signed copy.
  • If you are requesting a personalized inscription and/or requesting your book be shipped, we'll need to take down credit card information. If you are planning to pick up the signed book in the store, you can pay on pick-up.

FAQ:

Can I request a personalized inscription?
Unless otherwise noted, we are happy to take requests for the author to sign your book to a specific person, but we can't guarantee it. If you do get a personalized inscription, the book will be non-returnable. We will require credit card information when you place the order.

Do signed books cost more?
There is no extra fee for a signed book!

Do I have to pick it up in the store, or can you deliver my signed book?
As with all web or phone orders, we can hold your book for in-store pickup, or ship it anywhere in the country.

I am planning to attend an author event. Do I need to pre-order a book?
No need. We'll be selling books at the event, and nearly all of our events include a signing at the end of the talk.

More questions? Give us a call!

Purchase the Book
Featured event books will be for sale at the event. Thank you for supporting this author series with your purchases.
General Info
(617) 661-1515
info@harvard.com

Media Inquiries
mediainquiries@harvard.com

Accessibility Inquiries
access@harvard.com

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