A novel takes you somewhere and asks you to look through
the eyes of another person, to live another life.
Good stories let us try on other lives and other places. We can encounter the stranger and the strange, without leaving the safety of home. And yet, the experience may rock us to the core. Heart-felt fiction creates empathy. In a world whose physical and virtual domains feel increasingly hostile, empathy is an essential antidote.
But empathy can bog down in commiseration — unless you add hope. Hope moves. Hope shows us how others have navigated the challenges of their life and times. A hopeful story charts a course. “Look up,” it says, “is that your next lodestar?”