Jane Alison is the author of four novels—The Love-Artist, The Marriage of the Sea, Natives and Exotics, and Nine Island, as well as a memoir, The Sisters Antipodes, and Change Me, translations of Ovid’s stories of sexual transformation. Her newest book, on the craft and theory of writing, is Meander, Spiral, Explode: Design and Pattern in Narrative. Her essays and stories have appeared in the Paris Review, New York Times, and Washington Post, among others, and her writing has been set to music by the late Thomas Sleeper. She is Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Virginia and divides her time between Charlottesville and the Hudson Valley, with her partner, architect Edward Tuck.
Works by Jane Alison
“[A] boundlessly inventive look at narrative form… filled with clarity and wit, underlain with formidable erudition.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Alison’s close readings can be exhilarating. One of her more seductive ideas is the notion of ‘correlations between kinds of stories and certain patterns.’” . . . The fecundity of Alison’s writing is of a piece with her larger mission: to turn narrative theory into a supersaturated mindfuck of hedonistic extravaganza. It is a special kind of literary criticism.” —Katy Waldman, The New Yorker
“Alison’s book is like a cold shower to ward off the standard narrative arc and rewire our mental circuitry to see the patterns of nature in the structure of novels. . . . A playful and exciting book that opens up all sorts of new possibilities for narrative.” —Sarah Boon, Chicago Review of Books
“Doctors don’t imitate Galen. Why should writers follow Aristotle? Jane Alison in her fresh, original book about narrative is our new Aristotle.” —Edmund White, author of The Unpunished Vice: A Life of Reading
- Movement and Shape in Narrative