epistolary novel

epistolary novel

“A novel told as a series of letters written by one or more of the characters. [. . .] One of the earliest types of the novel, it offered readers an immediate entry into the world of the characters through the inherently social medium of correspondence. [. . .] Contemporary use is rare, perhaps related to the waning of letter-writing as a social phenomenon” (Source: NYPL, 642).

Examples: Alice’s Tulips by Sandra Dallas is an example of a traditional epistolary novel, in which all the letters are written by the same person. Fan Mail by Ronald Munson illustrates a contemporary twist on the genre by employing several forms of written communication: memos, faxes, telephone messages, e-mail, reports, newspaper clippings.


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