This warm Spring Friday I’m dragging out an old Blog that never made it to publication. My Fiction-Fact writing makes me sensitive to writers who seek a form to fit their growing ideas and desires: how to both entertain and inform – while sometimes inciting readers to support active changes in our world. Here is a small sample of what I’ve found.
The closest to what I think I’m doing is Michael Paterniti’s The Telling Room: A Tale of Love, Betrayal, Revenge, and the World’s Greatest Piece of Cheese. Michael Paterniti uses footnotes (sometimes a page of fine print). These footnotes can be distracting as he tells a haunting story he’s trying to understand—over the twelve years he works on The Telling Room (and gets publisher advances—how envious am I!).
Paterniti blends Fiction-Fact in his footnotes (as I came to endnotes) in sheer desperation! No other form would contain the hard information Michael Paterniti wished to convey.
Will Schwalbe, The End of Your Life Book Club is not to everyones taste, time, place or interest. But, if Books are a topic for you, The End … is terrific. Life and especially Death. We learn the grim details of modern death by cancer told through a loving son’s eyes about his accomplished Mom. We also get uplifted, and learn a lot by how the two deal with the situation: their chosen road of communication is books and reading and sharing. They’re a Book Club of two. And we get the refreshing benefit of named books and critiqued comments on them.
Another book which beautifully stretches my previous ideas of the Novel is Sena Jeter Naslund’s The Fountain of St. James Court or, Portrait of the Artist as an Old Woman. Sena Naslund alternates chapters: A factual diary from a woman artist during the Revolution in France alternates with a modern thinking-about-aging woman writer. Most fascinating are Sena Naslund’s views on the Artist as a young man AND the Artist as an old woman!
A primary appeal for me in writing Fiction-Fact is that, specious or not. I feel less alone and more as if the reader and I are on the same side—sharing our mutual discovery of our world as we find it.
And last, but not least: if you appreciate my Fiction-Fact Princess Ruth, please take a look at A Secret Kept in Hawaii—newest in my series of Fiction-Fact! www.joannlordahl.com