Review of Locher, Jucker, Landert & Messerli (2023): Fiction and Pragmatics

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Book Review

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As a dialogic scholar interested in teaching language and communication practices using fiction, I happily approached the 2023 book Fiction and Pragmatics by co-authors Miriam A. Locher, Andreas H. Jucker, Daniela Landert, and Thomas C. Messerli. I was eager to see how others in the related field of pragmatics approached fiction as data, something happening in affinity fields like Communications, Literature Studies, and Sociology in the United States. I was pleased to discover a simple, well-organized treatise that considers fiction through the lens of pragmatics. As part of Cambridge "Elements in Pragmatics" series, this book is designed to be succinct and authoritative, providing readers with deep comprehensive introduction of fiction and pragmatics. In a slim 66 pages, the authors demonstrate how fiction is appropriate data for pragmatic analysis and outline a methodology for doing so within the context of various types of fiction. Showing not only that literary interpretation can gain insights from pragmatic analysis but also that pragmatic analysis of fiction gives insight to the work of pragmatics itself, Locher, Jucker, Lander, and Messerli have provided scholars in pragmatics and adjacent studies a launching point. Furthermore, this reviewer commends the authors and Cambridge Elements for providing open and free access to this high-quality text, allowing wide scholarly and educational use.