This is a book about openings: the author’s opening of the text, the reader’s opening of the text, and the critical ‘opening up’ of the text. In line with the quotation above from Ian McEwan, the chapters that follow this introduction are very much concerned with using the opening of a narrative as one way to make sense of ‘what follows’, as well as using what follows as a way to make sense of the opening. It is this double process that the book discusses by looking at the opening to 24 commonly studied texts, 22 of which are novels.
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