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Quotes / All First Person Narrators Write Like Novelists

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By the time Freedom is over, the reader feels less enlightened than manipulated. The manipulation has to do with the novel's reliance on Patty's "autobiography" to tell major chunks of the story from her perspective... Patty, to put it gently, is no intellectual: from the start, the novel identifies her as a jock. In college, she is nonplussed when Walter asks her on a date to a play. Two decades later, when he suggests that she occupy her time with some kind of job, she chooses to become a receptionist at her gym. Yet we are meant to believe that she turns out a journal hundreds of pages long that chronicles the history of her marriage and her affair with Richard in smooth, if occasionally imperfect, prose—prose that is for the most part indistinguishable from the voice of the novel itself. This is the stuff of the MFA workshop.
Ruth Franklin, book review in The New Republic


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