Alexander McCall Smith

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Why does the narrative perspective shift towards the end of Alexander McCall Smith's "No Place to Park"?

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Andrew McCall Smith's short story “No Place to Park” shifts in narrative voice over its course. The story begins by describing the proceedings of a literary panel and its discussion of violence and realism in crime fiction . About a third of the way through this short story, the narrative...

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Andrew McCall Smith's short story “No Place to Park” shifts in narrative voice over its course. The story begins by describing the proceedings of a literary panel and its discussion of violence and realism in crime fiction. About a third of the way through this short story, the narrative makes a noticeable shift to focus on the thoughts, feelings, and actions of the main character, the writer George Harris. The reader then learns quite a bit about George in just a few paragraphs. The story then closely follows George as he sets off to research and write a short story based on the challenge he is given by one of the critics of the panel.

This change in narrative focus serves to make the story more character-driven. By starting this short story off with a general idea—that crime fiction is too gory and unrealistic—and then narrowing it down to the thoughts and actions of a single person, the story becomes more relatable to the reader who may then be able to imagine themself in George's shoes.

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