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Epistolary Novel

A novel consisting of letters written by a character or several characters. The form allows for the use of multiple points of view toward the story and the ability to dispense with an omniscient narrator.

The author uses this literary technique in parts of the novel to show the reader the events and thoughts of characters as they write in letters or diaries


A device that allows the writer to present events that happened before the time of the current narration or the current events in the fiction. Flashback techniques include memories, dreams, stories of the past told by characters, or even authorial sovereignty. Flashback is useful for exposition, to fill in the reader about a character or place, or about the background to a conflict.

A character in the story remembers pasts events while being interviewed. The author uses flashbacks to show prior happenings

Historical novel

A novel where fictional characters take part in actual historical events and interact with real people from the past.

The novel is a partly fictional story about the real Mirabal sisters revolting against the Trujillo dictatorship in the Dominican Republic

Multicultural novel

A novel written by a member of or about a cultural minority group, giving insight into non-Western or non-dominant cultural experiences and values, either in the United States or abroad.

This novel was written by Julia Alvarez, born in the Dominican Republic, about latin american peoples, cultures, and their struggles against the government


a serious drama typically describing a conflict between the protagonist and a superior force and having a sorrowful or disastrous conclusion that excites pity or terror.

The story is a tragedy because all the sisters or "butterflies" and their husbands die, except for one