The Thing About Novellas


Novellas, such as Ian McEwan’s Black Dogs, seem to be way more popular outside the U.S., and I don’t understand why.

What does a novella offer the casual reader?

  • a concise story
  • a quick read
  • a small but memorable cast of characters.

Think of the novella, then as a short, three-act play.


But if you don’t want your reading spoon-fed, if you want literary merit to go along with entertainment value, what does a well-written novella offer?

  • the depth of poetry
  • deceptive complexity
  • much for the reader to infer, i.e., offers the reader a place in the story.

The best novellas urge re-reading, peeling away the onion of meaning that lies before you, much as the best poetry begs you to read, and re-read, and re-read…


Visit my website here, and my FB Fan Page here for more on ideas and events that matter to me – and possibly to you.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s