Kathleen Collins Writing Styles in Whatever Happened to Interracial Love?

Kathleen Collins
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Point of View

Each of the stories in the collection is told by a different narrator, with a fairly even mix of first and third person, including occasionally direct address to a listener as if in the second person. This last point of view is particularly deceptive, as the listener is not always identified. In “When Love Withers All of Life Cries,” Ricardo addresses his entire story, including detailed transcripts of conversations, to a listener: “Listen man, listen” (93). This listener cannot merely be the reader because Ricardo replies as if to questions posed. Since the reader does not know the listener, Ricardo’s narration becomes unreliable; the reader cannot predict how he may distort memories and timelines for the benefit of his audience.

Many of the stories’ principal characters, including exegetic narrators, remain unnamed. In some cases, principal characters are unnamed while minor characters are, such as Ramona...

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This section contains 1,136 words
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Buy the Whatever Happened to Interracial Love? Study Guide
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