The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human (Paperback)
How Stories Make Us Human
Mariner Books, 9780544002340, 248pp.
Publication Date: April 23, 2013
"New York Times"
Humans live in landscapes of make-believe. We spin fantasies. We devour novels, films, and plays. Even sporting events and criminal trials unfold as narratives. Yet the world of story has long remained an undiscovered and unmapped country. Now Jonathan Gottschall offers the first unified theory of storytelling. He argues that stories help us navigate life's complex social problems just as flight simulators prepare pilots for difficult situations. Storytelling has evolved, like other behaviors, to ensure our survival. Drawing on the latest research in neuroscience, psychology, and evolutionary biology, Gottschall tells us what it means to be a storytelling animal and explains how stories can change the world for the better. We know we are master shapers of story. "The Storytelling Animal" finally reveals how stories shape us.
This is a quite wonderful book. It grips the reader with both stories and stories about the telling of stories, then pulls it all together to explain why storytelling is a fundamental human instinct.
Edward O. Wilson
Charms with anecdotes and examples . . . we have not left nor should we ever leave Neverland. "Cleveland Plain Dealer.
Praise For The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human…
"A lively pop-science overview of the reasons why we tell stories and why storytelling will endure..[Gottschall's] snapshots of the worlds of psychology, sleep research and virtual reality are larded with sharp anecdotes and jargon-free summaries of current research... Gottschall brings a light tough to knotty psychological matters, and he’s a fine storyteller himself."