Saturday, May 04, 2019

Ten books in which the narrator isn't the main character

Juliet Grames's new novel is The Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna.

At Publishers Weekly she writes:
Many—maybe even most—of my favorite books are novels narrated by an observer who does not consider themselves the main actor in the story. Think Nick Carraway, Jay Gatsby’s sort-of friend, the perfect mournfully sardonic narrator for one of American literature’s most enduring novels. I love stories told by the supposedly innocent bystander; the less charismatic best friend; the hapless fan or scholar whose own life recedes in the shadow of their subject of adoration.
Grames tagged ten favorite books in which the narrator isn't the main character, including:
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See

This 2005 novel hits heavy on one of my favorite themes: remorse. Its 80-year-old narrator, Lily, reveals how the story of her own long life has been framed by that of her long-lost best friend, Snow Flower, and how she let her obsession with their friendship ruin both their lives.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue