“I get really angry when someone says they don’t read fiction because it’s all made up and ‘not real.’ Bullshit! Nothing is more real than fiction. Nothing helps us make sense of the real world more than fiction. Nothing instills in us empathy for others like fiction. As David Foster Wallace said, ‘Fiction is what it is to be a fucking human being.’ That’s my favorite quote of all time, because nothing more true has ever been said.”
We couldn’t agree more.
This reminds me of something Paul Harding once said to me when I interviewed him for Bookslut. When I asked him if he wrote TINKERS in order to tell his family’s story, he said: “To imagine a version of it. I turned it into a legend. I turned it into a myth. It’s imaginative, but I don’t think it’s any less true than what the facts are. I tried to imagine my way into the spirit of the thing. So the spirit of the thing is more important than the letter.”