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Elaine Auyoung is a doctoral candidate in the Department of English at Harvard University. Her dissertation draws attention to the economical means by which fictional persons, places, and worlds can be constructed. In her consideration of work by British novelists such as Jane Austen, Thomas Hardy, and Ian McEwan, she employs literary analysis, aesthetic philosophy, and cognitive psychology to elucidate the reader's aesthetic and epistemological relationship to fictional representation. She received her undergraduate degree in English from Stanford University with honors and with distinction.