Inspired by the lament, “Everything I write is so small!” Debra Spark examines the characteristics of what we generally consider “big” fiction. How can novels incorporate the big world and its big concerns, Spark asks, while avoiding the obvious pitfalls of a historical or overtly political novel? Spark focuses primarily on three “big” books by Elizabeth Strout, Philip Roth, and Dara Horn, exploring how these authors create a sense of magnitude, paradoxically, through their careful attention to the domestic.
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