What Stories Are and Why We Read Them

by Ron Hansen

Author and CCCA 2014 Spring Visionary-in-Residence Ron Hansen at the 2014 CCCA Razor's Edge Conference considers why stories have the incredible power to captivate attention and engage listeners. He notes that stories for their own sake, without a particularly intentional theme from the author, are the most engaging sort. Hansen states that stories bring a listener into the mind of another and provide opportunities to relate and learn that are wholly unique to the medium.

Ron Hansen is the Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J. Professor in the Arts & Humanities at Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, California. Hansen is a graduate of the University of Iowa’s Writers Workshop and Stanford University. At Stanford University he held a Wallace Stegner Creative Writing Fellowship. He has also received fellowships from the Michigan Society of Fellows, the National Endowment for the Arts, the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the Lyndhurst Foundation, and was presented with an award in literature from the American Academy and Institute of Arts & Letters. Mr. Hansen has written ten works of fiction, edited two short story collections and written a book of essays on faith and fiction.

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