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Empathy and the Novel$
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Suzanne Keen

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195175769

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195175769.001.0001

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Empathy in the Marketplace

Empathy in the Marketplace

(p.101) 4 Empathy in the Marketplace
Empathy and the Novel

Suzanne Keen

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the impact of empathy on the saleability or the market performance of novels. It argues that novels inviting empathy do better in the marketplace and that empathetic reading habits make up a core element of middlebrow readers' self-image. It analyzes whether novel reading extends the empathetic circle and discusses the market influence of Oprah's Book Club. It contends that readers' behavior or reactions to novels can be attributed to the opinions and teaching of literature professors.

Keywords:   empathy, novels, readers, self-image, empathetic circle, Oprah's Book Club

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