Shaped by Stories

The Ethical Power of Narratives

ISBN 13: 978-0-268-02974-6

In his latest book, Marshall Gregory begins with the premise that our lives are saturated with stories, ranging from magazines, books, films, television, and blogs to the words spoken by politicians, pastors, and teachers. He then explores the ethical implications of this universal human obsession with narratives. Through careful readings of Katherine Anne Porter’s “The Grave” and Thurber’s “The Catbird Seat,” as well as David Copperfield, Wuthering Heights, and other works, Gregory asks (and answers) the question: How do the stories we absorb in our daily lives influence the kinds of persons
we turn out to be?

"Shaped g narrative, with Marshall Gregory serving as a highly engaging and ethically admirable narrator—a very model of good company.” — James Phelan, Distinguished University Professor of English, Ohio State University

“From a lifetime of reflecting on the ethics of fiction, Marshall Gregory has given us an elegant analysis of the power of stories to instruct and delight. No one interested in storytelling will want to be without this incisive guide to both the myriad ways that stories shape our lives and the strategies writers use to affect our responses to their fictions. Both the theoretical and practical halves of Shaped by Stories have clarity and eloquence that yield their own instruction and delight.” —Robert D. Denham, Fishwick Professor of English, Roanoke College

“Marshall Gregory’s Shaped by Stories brings ethical criticism to the level of felt experience. Witty and passionate, full of personal reflections and sharp examples, this book will help anyone who has been drawn to the mysterious power of stories to think more carefully about the connections between narrative art and human ethos. Gregory reminds us that the urgency of our need for stories is tied permanently to the requirements of being human, the need to exercise judgment, belief, and empathy in the process of becoming who we are.” — Annette Federico, James Madison University

Shaped by Stories is a well-written, interesting, and humane book on the value of narratives in ethics and in our lives. The volume enters into conversation with a growing, and popular, body of literature, which considers the role of stories, narrative, and literature for ethics and for moral education more generally. Marshall Gregory combines well-grounded observations about literature and about human life, including his own life, in this illuminating interdisciplinary contribution to the ethics of literature.” — Pamela Hall, Emory University

Teaching and Learning English Literature

Sage Publishers
Co-author:  Ellie Chambers, Open University, UK

Teaching and Learning English Literature presents a comprehensive overview of teaching English Literature from setting teaching goals and syllabus planning, through to a range of student assessment strategies and methods of course evaluation and improvement. A range of teaching methods are explored, from the traditional classroom, to newer collaborative work and uses of electronic technologies. Set in the context of the modern classroom Teaching and Learning English Literature will help both seasoned and less experienced faculty members become more informed, and better teachers of their subject.

The Harper & Row Reader

Liberal Education Through Reading and Writing

Harper & Row Publishers, Inc.

Co-author:  Wayne C. Booth, University of Chicago

First Edition, 1984

The Harper & Row Reader and its subsequent editions remained in print for over 20 years.

                                    Second Edition, 1988                    Brief Edition, 1989                         Third Edition, 1991


The Harper & Row Rhetoric

Writing as Thinking, Thinking as Writing

Harper & Row Publishers, Inc.

Co-author:  Wayne C. Booth, University of Chicago       2nd Edition, 1990

First Edition, 1987

The Harper & Row Rhetoric remained in print for two editions.

Books in Progress:

                      Think Again:  Rediscovering the Aims of a Liberal Arts Education

               So You Want To Be A Teacher


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