Conference Schedule 2019
Friday, February 22, 2019, 1:45 p.m. - 2:45 p.m.
The Family Saga: History and the Multi-Generational Novel with Joseph Han
Date(s): Friday, February 22, 2019, 1:45 p.m. - 2:45 p.m.
Location: Traditions, University Club (view map)
Type(s): Discussion, Presentation, Seminar
Genre and Form(s): Fiction, Novels
Tags: Novel, Plot, Character, Point of View, Narration, Flashbacks, Family, History, Colonialism, War, Diaspora
About the Session
This session explores the role of history in contemporary novels—of colonialism, war, and diaspora—as events and periods become catalysts for narrative and character movement through time. It will provide an overview of the “family saga” as a narrative structure: its merits and challenges from both a reading and writing perspective. What gaps are irreconcilable or inevitable in a novel’s spanning across time and through generations of characters? Through brief close readings of novel excerpts by Min Jin Lee and Shawna Yang Ryan, among others, we will observe how narrators and characters of family sagas negotiate memory and forgetting through shifting point-of-views, revelatory backstory, and flashbacks as they may hamper or move along a novel’s plot.