Foreword Reviews

Origins of a Story

202 True Inspirations Behind the World’s Greatest Literature

2017 INDIES Finalist
Finalist, Reference (Adult Nonfiction)

Stories have stories, and when these stories are about stories like To Kill a Mockingbird or Frankenstein or Lolita or Charlotte’s Web or another classic, beloved novel, those stories take on great meaning.

Of Infinite Jest, in an interview with Salon, David Foster Wallace said that after the funny and heavy, intellectual writing he’d done over the years, he

wanted to do something sad … about what it’s like to live in America around the millennium … There’s something particularly sad about it, something that doesn’t have very much to do with physical circumstances, or the economy, or any of the stuff that gets talked about in the news. It’s more like a stomach-level sadness.

And, knowing that, suddenly his novel changes in our memories.

Of Rabbit, Run, in an interview with the National Book Foundation, John Updike said

I suppose I could observe, looking around me at American society in 1959, a number of scared and dodgy men. And I felt a certain fright and dodginess within myself. This kind of man who won’t hold still, who won’t make a commitment, who won’t quite pull his load in society.

This is the manner of captivating material Jake Grogan has compiled in Origins of a Story. If you’ve wondered how your favorite masterpieces got their starts, the itch can now be scratched.

Reviewed by Matt Sutherland

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The publisher of this book provided free copies of the book to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. No fee was paid by the publisher for this review. Foreword Reviews only recommends books that we love. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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