Tag Archives: Curtis Sittenfeld

Contemplating Structure, Time and the First-Person

In another incarnation I spent some time teaching screenwriting, which, as you may know, is all about structure. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that there is no screenwriting without structure. Typically, that means three acts highlighting a tightly causal chain of events with linear narration. In films that utilize flashback structure, these flashbacks are usually ordered so that they unfold in a linear fashion. Even Memento, to provide a notable example of a film that plays with time, employs linear temporality…

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The Man of My Dreams by Curtis Sittenfeld

Synopsis: Snapshots in the life of a slightly depressed young woman with low self-esteem. Review: I loved Sittenfeld’s debut novel Prep, and had high expectations for this one. I was pretty disappointed. Hannah is passive and largely disinterested in life, and this just doesn’t make for a compelling main character, unless her passivity is what the story is about. But Sittenfeld doesn’t have a strong premise, nor has she engaged with some of the ideas that pepper the narrative. The book feels loose and disconnected,…

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