One has to look no further than the audiences hungry for the narratives served up by Downton Abbey or Wolf Hall to know that the lure of the past is as seductive as ever. But incorporating historical events and figures into a shapely narrative is no simple task. The acclaimed novelist Christopher Bram examines how writers as disparate as Gabriel Garcia Marquez, David McCullough, Toni Morrison, Leo Tolstoy, and many others have employed history in their work.
Unique among the “Art Of” series, The Art of History engages with both fiction and narrative nonfiction to reveal varied strategies of incorporating and dramatizing historical detail. Bram challenges popular notions about historical narratives as he examines both successful and flawed passages to illustrate how authors from different genres treat subjects that loom large in American history, such as slavery and the Civil War. And he delves deep into the reasons why War and Peace endures as a classic of historical fiction. Bram’s keen insight and close reading of a wide array of authors make The Art of History an essential volume for any lover of historical narrative.