An epistolary novel is a novel written as a series of documents. The usual form is letters, although diary entries, newspaper clippings and other documents are sometimes used. (from Wikipedia)
Realizing that I tend to like epistolary novels, I’ve been on the lookout for them and recently I found this clever book by Caroline Preston. Preston assembles real newspaper clippings, photos, and other period documents into a scrapbook, through which she tells the story of fictional Frankie Pratt. An early page spread from the book:
Besides the fact that this was a fun book to read, I couldn’t help but think – we have a family trunk filled with miscellaneous items from my grandmother’s life (similar time period to Frankie Pratt) and I can imagine the contents assembled much like this book.
And that is always an interesting trail for the story enthusiast, meaning-maker that I am…..what stories do we tell from the scraps left behind? Which scraps do we choose? And (how) does it matter?