A Life in Words: Literary Fiction Love
This week I was blogging on A Life in Words, the blog of bestselling literary fiction author Terri Giuliano Long. The subject? 10 Reasons to Love Literary Fiction. Here’s a quick teaser. Don’t forget to visit Terri’s site for the full piece!
Teaser: Reasons to Love Literary Fiction
1) It could enhance your emotional intelligence
A study by David Comer Kidd and Emanuele Castano at New York’s ‘New School for Social Research’ suggests that reading literary fiction could make you more empathetic, if only temporarily. As the New Scientist reports:
They randomly assigned volunteers to one of three groups – literary fiction readers, popular fiction readers and a non-reading group. The first read extracts from texts shortlisted for the US National Book Award, while the second read extracts from Amazon.com bestsellers – popular fiction books with characters that are likely to be two-dimensional and straightforward to understand.
All three groups were then asked to identify the emotions behind facial expressions – a standard test of empathy. Those who had read the literary fiction showed a heightened ability to empathise compared with the other groups. The result was the same when they ran different tests with different volunteers (Science, doi.org/n5p).
The results were shortlived but there’s some scope to believe that prolonged reading could lead to longer term effects, and no doubt further research will expand on the (several) studies already completed.
Here’s what NPR had to say: