The articles with which David Lodge entertained and enlightened readers of the Independent on Sunday and the Washington Post are now revised, expanded and collected together in book form. The art of fiction is considered under a wide range of headings, such as the Intrusive Author, Suspense, the Epistolary Novel, Time-shift, Magic Realism and Symbolism, and each topic is illustrated by a passage or two taken from classic or modern fiction. Drawing on writers as diverse as Henry James and Martin Amis, Jane Austen and Fay Weldon and Henry Fielding and James Joyce, David Lodge makes accessible to the general reader the richness and variety of British and American fiction. Technical terms, such as Interior Monologue, Metafiction, Intertextuality and the Unreliable Narrator, are lucidly explained and their application demonstrated. Bringing to criticism the verve and humour of his own novels, David Lodge has provided essential reading for students of literature, aspirant writers, and anyone who wishes to understand how literature works.