On Holding Attention
with Jack Wang
What kinds of narrative strategies earn attention in fiction?
According to Will Storr in The Science of Storytelling, all writers face the challenge of “grabbing and keeping the attention of other people’s brains.” What can evolutionary psychology and neuroscience tell us about the kinds of stories that engage us most? Through evolutionary scholarship and literary examples, this lecture will explore the art of captivating readers through fiction.
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JACK WANG received a B.Sc. from the University of Toronto, an M.F.A. from the University of Arizona, and a Ph.D. in English with an emphasis in creative writing from Florida State University. In 2014–15, he held the David T. K. Wong Creative Writing Fellowship at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England. Stories in his debut collection, We Two Alone (House of Anansi Press), have been shortlisted for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize and longlisted for the Journey Prize, and have appeared in PRISM International, The Malahat Review, The New Quarterly, The Humber Literary Review, and Joyland. Originally from Vancouver, Jack Wang is an associate professor in the Department of Writing at Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York, where he lives with his wife, novelist Angelina Mirabella, and their two daughters.