January 16, 2010

The Whole Family, twelve authors.

Each chapter of this is by a different author, in the first-person voice of a different member of the 'whole family', as they annoy and assist each other and absorb a newcomer. It isn't an exercise in subtle characterization in any of them; it's more as though they chose the three-word, easy to sell description of each character and went for easy wit instead. It might be a television show; catchy, a little bit catty.

The father / William Dean Howells -- The old-maid aunt / Mary E. Wilkins Freeman -- The grandmother / Mary Heaton Vorse -- The daughter-in-law / Mary Stewert Cutting -- The school-girl / Elizabeth Jordan -- The son-in-law / John Kendrick Bangs -- The married son / Henry James -- The married daughter / Elizabeth Stuart Phelps -- The mother / Edith Wyatt -- The school-boy / Mary Raymond Shipman Andrews -- Peggy / Alice Brown -- The friend of the family / Henry Van Dyke.

Project Gutenberg file #5066, The Whole Family

So wrote clew in Fiction (20th c.).
And thus wrote others:
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