Readers never cease to be moved by great characterization in literature. Lady Macbeth's guilt as she sleepwalks and cries, "Out damn spot" in Shakespeare's Macbeth, Septimus Smith's disturbing case of "shell shock" in Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway, the intense, undercover love affair between Winston Smith and Julia in George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four – all of these are key moments in a reader's experience with fiction. Why are we endlessly fascinated with characters such as these? In his book, THE PASSIONATE MUSE: Exploration of Emotion in Stories (Oxford | April 5, 2012), author Keith Oatley explains the reason why we are drawn to such stories in the first place, as well as the value of fiction for our psychological well-being.
THE PASSIONATE MUSE is the only psychology book with an author who is both an internationally known researcher on emotions and an award-winning novelist. The book is a hybrid of a short story in seven parts, written specially for the book, and a psychological discussion of the emotions of each part. In it, the reader encounters emotions and is invited to reflect on how they represent the deeper aspects of us, while at the same time they offer keys to understanding others.
Oatley is available to discuss the following points:
Keith Oatley is available for interviews. If you are interested in speaking with Oatley, please feel free to contact me at 212.726.6113 or Aryana.Fargo@oup.com.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Keith Oatley is Professor Emeritus of Cognitive Psychology at the University of Toronto. He is the author of three novels and six books of psychology, and co-author of the textbook Understanding Emotions.
THE PASSIONATE MUSE: Exploration of Emotions in Stories
by Keith Oatley, will be published in hardback, by Oxford, on April 5, 2012.
(Oxford | $29.95 | 272 pages | ISBN 13: 9780199767632)
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