Can reading fiction make us more empathetic?

When was the last time you read a fictional book?

Among other research, last year creative writer Professor Beth Ann Fennelly suggested that reading fictional books can in fact teach us more about empathy. Recent figures from the Australian and New Zealand “Books and Publishing” show that Australians are reading more adult fictional books at the same time as a survey from Edith Cowan University reveals that more Australians are showing more concerns towards other people.

Is this a mere coincidence or is it time to dust off the bookshelf? To learn more about the power of books, The Daily was joined by Emeritus professor Margot Hillel OAM.

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