- Demonstrates how reading fiction can contribute to a greater understanding of, and the ability to change, ourselves
- Informed by the latest psychological research which focuses on, for example, how identification with fictional characters occurs, and how literature can improve social abilities
- Explores traditional aspects of fiction, including character, plot, setting, and theme, as well as a number of classic techniques, such as metaphor, metonymy, defamiliarization, and cues
- Includes extensive end-notes, which ground the work in psychological studies
- Features excerpts from fiction which are discussed throughout the text, including works by William Shakespeare, Jane Austen, Kate Chopin, Anton Chekhov, James Baldwin, and others
1 Fiction as dream: Models, world-building, simulation.
2 The space-in-between: Childhood play as the entrance to fiction.
3 Creativity: Imagined worlds.
4 Character, action, incident: Mental models of people and their doings.
5 Emotions: Scenes in the imagination.
6 Writing fiction: Cues for the reader.
7 Effects of fiction: Is fiction good for you?
8 Talking about fiction: Interpretation in conversation.