Sunday, November 16, 2008

Improve Your Social Conscience, Grab a Novel

Psst! Want to learn about how the world really works? Forget those dry factual tomes and pick up a novel instead!

Researchers from Manchester University and the London School of Economics have found that fiction writers are just as effective academics and policy researchers in communicating the world's problems, Hermione Hoby discovers in the Guardian.

You can read the whole report named (somewhat ambiguously, as Hoby points out) The Fiction of Development: Literary Representation as a Source of Authoritative Knowledge here.

So here's something else you can say when someone starts grouching about your out of control reading habit : "Go away! I'm developing my social conscience!"

But then, we already know that fiction readers are better people.


Anonymous said...

The adage that 'Truth is stranger than fiction' is one reason why I prefer to read history, biography and autobiography. John Lennon's assassin Mark Chapman was much enamoured with Salinger's novel 'The Catcher in the Rye'. Did that make him a better person?

Alice Teh said...

I share the same thoughts, Sharon. Just a few days ago I finished Janet Fitch's PAINT IT BLACK and it's a very disturbing story and one filled with problems.

Faizah Roslaini said...

As tired and stressed out as I could be, a working mother of two, I know I need to develop a social concience of some sort but I can hardly keep my eyes open from non-fiction. Your post reaffimed that I am actually getting something good and beneficial out of reading fiction. On one of my typical days, God knows how desperate I am for 'a spoonful of sugar'. (just watched Mary Poppins with my small children)