We now come to the question of the long narrative, the novel, and how we can approach the writing of one. I must admit that this is the fence I do not want to jump, for although 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 Color 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 against which it was written.
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