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Huffington Post: The (Starring) Role of Small Towns in American Novels

by Davidson College

Alan Michael ParkerIn his latest piece for the Huffington Post, Douglas C. Houchens Professor of English Alan Michael Parker spotlights seven novels in which the stories' locations hold starring roles amid their assorted (human) characters. "...Good novels give us memorable places to inhabit along with the characters whose identities tromp through those places," Parker writes.

From William Faulkner's fictional Jefferson, Mississippi, to Olive Kitteridge's Crosby, Maine, Parker looks at the ways "place" impacts both the characters in novels and the readers of those novels. A reader's sense of place- be it the topography, scenery, society, culture, architecture, or a combination-can influence the reader's relationships with the other characters in the novel, he suggests.

Read the Huffington Post blog.