epistolary novel

novel written as a series of documents

An epistolary novel is a novel written as a series of documents. The usual form is letters, although diary entries, newspaper clippings and other documents are sometimes used. Recently, electronic "documents" such as recordings and radio, blogs, and e-mails have also come into use. The word epistolary is derived from Latin from the Greek word ἐπιστολή epistolē, meaning a letter (see epistle). The epistolary form can add greater realism to a story, because it mimics the workings of real life. It is thus able to demonstrate differing points of view without recourse to the device of an omniscient narrator. An important strategic device in the epistolary novel for creating the impression of authenticity of the letters is the fictional editor.
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genre: epistolary novel



1818 novel by Mary Shelley

author: Mary Shelley



1897 Gothic horror novel by Irish author Bram Stoker

author: Bram Stoker
illustrator: Pierre Falké


The Sorrows of Young Werther

autobiographical novel by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

author: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


Flowers for Algernon

short story and novel by Daniel Keyes

author: Daniel Keyes


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