We now come to the question of the long narrative, the novel, and how we can approach the writing of one. I must admit this is the fence I do not want to jump, for though I know there are new novels that succeed, I am at something of a loss to describe, in reasonable critical terms, why they succeed. The novels that have moved me most (Tillie Olsen’s Yonnondio, F M. Mayor’s The Rector’s Daughter, Alice Walker’s The Colour Purple) leave me with the impression that a miracle has happened — a ‘How could it be done? Oh! She has done it.’ I am surprised whenever a good novel comes to be written because I understand the odds it was written against.
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