Unreliable narrators, imaginative authors make for compelling reading

My July 12, 2022 book culture column for the San Francisco Chronicle:

Recently, watching the 2020 remake of “Rebecca” (a film not nearly as good as Alfred Hitchcock’s 1940 original) on Netflix, I started musing on the idea of unreliable narrators. The young woman who narrates the story misunderstands everything about the world around her. ¶ The idea of unreliable narrators wasn’t new even in 1938, when Daphne Du Maurier wrote the novel on which the films were based. Back in 1847, Emily Brontë introduced us to Nelly, the biased, gossipy and ultimately villainous servant girl, on whose story Mr. Lockwood depends for narrating “Wuthering Heights.”


Hernan Diaz

more …