1st person narrators--love 'em!
First person narration tends to get a bad rap among writing circles, as the current trend is to use 3rd person. Although I agree that it's a bit tricky to use 1st person point of view, it occasionally creates some incredible voice in a piece of literature. I'm a huge fan. I've been reading a few books that especially strike me as bold and different simply because of that choice in 1st person narration. I find the following books well-crafted and riveting, and for those who love reading 1st person point of view, these works will not disappoint.
1. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime by Mark Haddon.
My students are reading this right now for their summer reading program, and I really do think that many of them love it. The 1st person narrator has autism, which makes the whole thing even more rich. It's in the format of a "mystery novel" that the autistic kid is writing, but really it's a story about the kid--his inability to adapt to society's norms, his dysfunctional parents' inability to cope with his disability, and his incredible intelligence and way of thinking.
2. Room by Emma Donaghue
This was an amazing story told, again, from the point of view of a 6-year-old child who lived in one room with his mother. His mother had been kidnapped as a college student and forced to live in the room, where her son was the product of continual rape over a period of years. The child's attempts to process what is happening in his life, his love for his mother, and his mother's love for him is poignant and endearing. Now that Jaycee Dugard is telling her real-life story, one can't help but see the parallels and sympathize with the challenges that she would have faced after reading this novel.
3. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
Although many novels/film about clones have already been made, it is the 1st person narration and the slight twists to the storyline that sets this novel apart from the rest. In this novel, it is one of the clones who tells her life story from childhood to later on in life as her childhood friends and fellow clones sacrifice their bodies and lives for organ harvesting. Of course, the underlying question is whether or not the clones are human after all, and whether clones can love, hate, think and feel the same way that human beings do. Fascinating read!
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