Kirin Nayaran's Alive in the Writing: Crafting Ethnography in the Company of Chekhov is a five - section book about finding "company amid the often isolating and difficult aspects of writing" (p. xiii). As an English Literature major, I recall the basic tenets of story - writing: plot, setting, and characterization. Narayan's chapters offer a kinder entry. "Story and Theory" invoke Anton Chekhov as an ethnographic companion offering expertise about the essentials of writing a good story. "Place," "Person," and "Voice" take the innocent writer further in to the power of writing, until "Self" provides a denouement of sorts, when the reader finally realizes that learning to write with Narayan, Chekhov, and a host of others was actually a foray into ethnography itself. This book is at once an insightful textbook, an inspiring read, and an ethnographic experience


Ethnography, Writing, Story, Chekhov

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