The polyphonic novel: “…a hybrid of the short story and traditional novel. This newly reinvigorated genre — let’s call it the polyphonic novel — uses a chorus of voices and narrative styles to create a whole that’s greater than the sum of its parts.”
It cites A Visit from the Goon Squad as an example. Should this be a new literary category? I’m not opposed to the idea. Egan’s book can be split up into short stories by chapter, and they’d stand on their own just fine. But it’s impressive the way she can subtlety weave in similar themes and ideas in stories that could seem, on the surface, really dissimilar. It says something about the universality of the human condition, about living life, growing old. I like the way Egan’s technique challenges the meaning of the “novel” form and “short story” form. Maybe a new category is emerging.
Very interesting article!