“Human minds yield helplessly to the suction of story. No matter how hard we concentrate, no matter how deep we dig in our heels, we just can’t resist the gravity of alternate worlds.”
Educator and science writer Jonathan Gottschall traces the roots, both evolutionary and sociocultural, of the transfixing grip storytelling has on our hearts and minds, individually and collectively. What emerges is a kind of “unified theory of storytelling,” revealing not only our gift for manufacturing truthiness in the narratives we tell ourselves and others, but also the remarkable capacity of stories — the right kinds of them — to change our shared experience for the better.
From cave paintings to Maurice Sendak to the iPad, the fascinating evolution of the picturebook as a storytelling medium and a cultural agent.
On New Year’s Eve 1969, Monica Searle was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of breast cancer. Experimental at the time, chemotherapy — the course of action Monica’s doctor recommended — was a leap of faith. After each treatment, her husband Ronald made Monica a Mrs. Mole drawing “to cheer every dreaded chemotherapy session and evoke the blissful future ahead.”
A 1928 manual by dime novelist William Wallace Cook cataloging every possible narrative through a method that bordered on madness. Cook’s final plot count? 1,462.
A field guide to the visionaries—and the fans—who are reinventing the art of storytelling.
“Finish each day before you begin the next, and interpose a solid wall of sleep between the two. This you cannot do without temperance.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
From Mark Twain to Kurt Vonnegut to Stephen King, advice on writing from modernity’s greatest writers.