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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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Readers’ Empathy

Readers’ Empathy

(p.65) 3 Readers’ Empathy
Empathy and the Novel

Suzanne Keen

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines several kinds of evidence about reactions to reading a novel based on a study conducted by Wayne Booth which surveyed readers of different ages and backgrounds about the novels that had led them to make a change in their behavior or beliefs. It discusses readers' experiences related to narrative empathy and explains a set of working hypotheses about the qualities of novels that evoke empathy in readers. It also analyzes the result of empirical studies concerning the effects of reading and discusses ideas about readers' empathy.

Keywords:   novel, behavior change, belief change, Wayne Booth, readers, narrative empathy

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