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Related to Epistolary novel: historical novel, Picaresque novel


1. Of or associated with letters or the writing of letters.
2. Being in the form of a letter: epistolary exchanges.
3. Carried on by or composed of letters: an epistolary friendship.

[From Latin epistolāris, from epistola, epistle; see epistle.]


(ɪˈpɪstələrɪ) or archaic


1. relating to, denoting, conducted by, or contained in letters
2. (Literary & Literary Critical Terms) (of a novel or other work) constructed in the form of a series of letters


(ɪˈpɪs tlˌɛr i)

1. contained in or carried on by letters: an epistolary friendship.
2. of, pertaining to, or consisting of letters.
3. written in the form of a series of letters: an epistolary novel.
[1650–60; < Latin epistolāris. See epistle, -ar1]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.epistolary - written in the form of or carried on by letters or correspondence; "an endless sequence of epistolary love affairs"; "the epistolatory novel"
informal - used of spoken and written language


[ɪˈpɪstələrɪ] ADJepistolar


adjBrief-; epistolary novelBriefroman m
References in periodicals archive ?
In addition to managing a full-time practice, Kaufman is currently writing an epistolary novel entitled, "Letters from the Rhineland," based on a series of letters written by his grandparents when they were trying to get out of Nazi Germany.
This epistolary novel unfolds as Eleanor makes new friends, loses old ones, gets to know James's mother, and finds ways to reconnect with her mother.
An epistolary novel for the 21st century, When You Read This sparkles with a perfect blend of humor, pathos and romance.
The book is written as an epistolary novel and it is composed entirely of letters written by the various characters to each other.
Encyclopedia of Early Modern History; Volume 5: Epistolary Novel - Geocentric Model
Then they each set up anonymous email addresses and suddenly we're in the quasi-eighteenth century world of an epistolary novel with information and feelings dripped in very skilfully.
"Letters were such a critical part of the war - the only way loved ones could keep in touch - so it felt right that Last Christmas in Paris would be written as an epistolary novel."
Yet, the oral residues lurking in these two works are key to understanding each author's designs in writing, respectively, an epistolary novel and a hypertext fiction.
Even a fragment of the Boston Globe's review of Elif Batuman's debut novel would have hooked me: "At once a cutting satire of academia, a fresh take on the epistolary novel, a poignant bildungsroman, and compelling travel literature."This summer I'll travel to the Hungarian countryside (through Paris) with Selin, Batuman's heroine.
It was Samuel Richardson who "invented" the genre we call the epistolary novel, the prose narrative told in letters; and it is his novel Pamela we now designate formally as the first epistolary novel.