Anna Chiari

Anna Chiari

Anna Chiari is a researcher at the University of Edinburgh and Sorbonne Nouvelle in Paris. Her research interest focuses on comparative literature, modernism, trauma and gender studies.


  • Hello everyone! Thank you; you have all been very participative, interested and polite! It has been a pleasure to go on this journey with you. I have read your comments and found them all very interesting! It is nice to know that there are so many literature enthusiasts to talk to on such a high level. Thank you very much for the kindness you have shown me....

  • Thank you! I'll take care of the summer run and consider all these suggestions!

  • Thank you too!

  • @MH Thank you for the suggestion!

  • Anna Chiari made a comment

    Hello, everyone! As this is our last discussion, I would like to expand it; I would like you to use all the tools you have been given so far to read a novel and put them together to analyse the books we have discussed so far or even just the one you have preferred and which you find most interesting.

  • Anna Chiari made a comment

    Hello everyone, we have reached our last week. It's unbelievable! I hope you enjoyed this trip, discovered or deepened new and different aspects of the novel and how to approach it, and enjoyed the exchange with each other. I certainly did! This last week, we will focus on another fundamental element of the genre, namely the setting, which can directly...

  • @juliamansell, thank you so much for such lovely feedback on my work!

  • Anna Chiari made a comment

    Hello, everyone; as we're nearing the end, we could review the books we've tackled so far and compare them. Which of these three interests you the most, and which one do you plan to read if you haven't already done so? Or even more generally, which one comes closest to your sensibilities and interests? Soon, we'll tackle the last week, the last book among the...

  • Hello everyone!
    I want to share with you a novel that I love by one of my favourite authors, where the dialogues form the plot itself (in a story where very little happens) and create a narrative tension on which the whole story is based. I am talking about Henry James' Turn of the Screw, where the two main characters’ dialogues compose a pattern of blank...

  • Hello everyone, welcome to this third week of 'How to Read a Novel.'
    We are already halfway through the course; I can't believe it! I hope you have found it valuable and inspiring so far and that it gives you insights into reading a novel.
    This week, we will focus on dialogue, how it can give voice to a character, tell or conceal essential parts of the...

  • @MH What you say is very true; these are just stimuli to work on. It may be that a flat character results from an author's inability to create complex and multifaceted characters who can communicate something to the reader instead. What do you think in this case? :)

  • Anna Chiari made a comment

    Hello everyone! Again, I would like to know your opinions on this week's book, 'Bitter Orange Tree.' Are you planning to read it if you haven't already? It's been an exciting week. I've seen some lively and thought-provoking debates about character, which are more compelling and less so, and I'd like to see that continue. I have seen you collaborating, helping...

  • @MH It's a difficult question: most of Duras' novels are pretty experimental, and choosing one over the other is difficult. Whichever you choose, you can't go wrong. ;)

  • @JanB Thank you for sharing this with me!

  • @MH My research is specifically on Virginia Woolf and Marguerite Duras, an author I recommend if you are interested in trauma related to women and the female sphere.

  • @JanB It is an excellent point: a character can also be portrayed as 'flat' because that is the choice many trauma victims make, to suppress it as much as possible and hide the disturbances of the mind even from themselves.

  • I am starting this discussion by telling you about my favourite character, Elizabeth Bennet. I am probably being incredibly trite, but I first read Pride and Prejudice when I was about 11 years old and was going through a difficult time. The wit of her intellect, her nonconformity, her disregard for social constraints, and her ante-litteram feminism made her...

  • @MH @JanB
    Your observations are very interesting. My doctoral research is, in fact, on trauma and how it can be represented in literature. Some authors have dedicated themselves to this; just think of Virginia Woolf and her Mrs Dalloway, where almost all the characters are haunted by painful experiences, and how the rambling of their minds is rendered...

  • Hello everyone, welcome to this second week of 'How To Read A Novel'. I hope you have enjoyed the first week and that it has given you a lot to consider and take into future readings. This week will be dedicated to the core of each narrative, namely the character, whose interiority and narrative arc can shape the entire novel. I hope this week will also lead...

  • @TomHalsall, thank you! It sounds really interesting, and I'm fascinated by the topic. I'll add it to my list for sure!

  • Hello everyone; this could be an excellent occasion to dig into your favourite kind of narrator and the reasons why. Do you have specific genres you particularly enjoy that use one more than the other?

  • Anna Chiari made a comment

    Hello everyone! I thought of expanding this discussion board by asking you what are your impressions of ‘Demon Copperhead’ so far if you haven’t read the book just by the abstracts you have encountered. What did you find interesting? Is it a reading you’re willing to pursue in the future? Did it intrigue you or not at all? Have you read its model ‘David...

  • That's a very good comparison! Wuthering Heights is indeed a good example of this.

  • Hello everyone! I hope you’re enjoying your first days of ‘How to Read A Novel’ and already familiarizing yourself with some technical terms while getting to know each other! Remember that literature, like any form of art, has this unique power of shortening distances and resonating with each of us, so take advantage of that and share your passions and...

  • Anna Chiari made a comment

    Hello everyone, and welcome to this new run of ‘How To Read a Novel’!
    It’s great to see so many returning and new participants. I look forward to discussing these acclaimed books again - the 2023 JTB fiction shortlist is nothing short of amazing and worth exploring further!
    No worries if you haven’t read the texts - you’ll find several quotes from the books...