Summer reading and the research conversation

Land's End in Cornwall, England
Public Domain,


Currently I am reading Rebecca’s Tale, by Sally Beauman.  The story builds upon Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca.  In a sense the two novels speak to one another.  Likewise we can see research as a conversation (Association of College & Research Libraries, 2015).

Rebecca’s Tale takes place 20 years after the events in Rebecca, and the first narrator, Colonel Julyan, disputes news coverage of the earlier events (Beauman, 2001, pp. 11-20).  The ACRL Framework (2015) notes that “ideas are formulated, debated, and weighed against one another over extended periods of time” (Scholarship as Conversation section, para.1).

Note that I mention a first narrator.  Multiple narrators–including Rebecca herself, through diary entries–offer their respective views on the events.  In other words a conversation takes place within the novel, as well as between novels.  As we research, we seek different perspectives on a topic (ACRL, 2015, Scholarship as Conversation  section, para. 1).

Scholarly articles are not novels.  Listening to the conversations in novels and between novels, though, can attune us to scholarly conversations.


Association of College & Research Libraries. (2015).  Framework for information literacy for higher education. Retrieved from ACRL website :

Beauman, S. (2001). Rebecca’s tale. New York, NY: HarperCollins.

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