Saharra George

Exposition and 'telling' instead of 'showing' are heavily criticized in literature, and new writers are strongly discouraged from doing these things. It's even generally labelled as markers of bad writing. Why is that the case when apparently making half your book rote exposition doesn't disqualify it from winning the Man Booker?

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Marcella Vokey I was struck by how expository this book was, as well. I don't have an answer for you except that "show vs. tell" is more of a guideline than a hard and fast rule.

In defense of The Vegetarian and its nomination, expository language can still be beautiful and purposeful prose. Remember, narrators are not 100% honest and can be betrayed by their language. Which some of the exposition certainly does. My personal preference is for less exposition, but its use is only egregious to me when the "showing" could have been so. much. better. than the telling. With Kang, there was plenty of beauty and violence to experience in addition to the exposition.

Now, could this work have been more effective with less exposition? I'm not sure. I try my best to not lose sight of the pleasure in reading. And breaking the rules sure is pleasurable.
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