Points of View

Last week in my Plainville Library writing group, we talked about point of view as narrative determination, and I thought of a book I had once used in my English classes called, appropriately enough, Points of View. It was originally edited by James Moffett and I used it many decades ago. It was revised in 1995 by Kenneth R. McElheny, and it’s still out there.

Points of View is not just another anthology of short stories: instead of the works being arranged chronologically or by author, they’re arranged according to the narrator’s method of telling the story—memoir, subjective narration, third person limited, etc. In that book are many forgotten gems, little classics, and among them is “My Sister’s Marriage” by Cynthia Marshall Rich. In it a narrator tries to win us over to her side, much like Holden Caulfield in J.D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye.

It’s a masterful story from the 1950’s, and for those of you interested in writing, it’s a perfect example of exposing a character who may not want to be exposed. Read it if you get the chance—you won’t forget it.


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