Identifying in the First Person

August 8, 2014

Jessica Love writes for The American Scholar about some recent psychological studies on the art and perspective of storytelling. Of particular interest is the way “the first person does seem to encourage us to identify with the narrator, especially when that narrator is a lot like us.” Not that identifying with narrators is the primary purpose of reading, as the New Yorker reminds us in a piece against “relatability,”  but it’s something to consider the next time you pick up a novel and find a character who seems to be just like you.

is a staff writer for The Millions. She lives in New York and every so often writes things at

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