Writing Techniques in The Stone Diaries

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The use of overlapping and various narrative voices has become common since the metafiction of the 1970s broke the traditional linear mold for contemporary fiction. Rarely, though, are the parts so seamlessly joined together as in The Stone Diaries. By the time Shields wrote this novel, she was already an accomplished poet and playwright, and it shows in her careful attention to language and the convincing dialog. The Stone Diaries is a monument of words, with little in the way of a conventional plot, that gets right to the heart of human feeling and consciousness.

"When we say a thing or an event is real, never mind how suspect it sounds, we honor it," Shields writes. "But when a thing is made up—regardless of how true and just it seems—we turn up our noses.

That's the age we live in. The documentary age." Shields explores...

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This section contains 402 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Stone Diaries Study Guide
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