Wednesday, January 12, 2011
The Truth of Fiction
Some have argued that the value of literature is in how it portrays the human dynamic with more truth than a psychology book. But what about the veracity of historical fiction? With The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory becoming a best seller and motion picture, the popularity of this genre has reached new heights. It has become a favorite of mine as well. Recently I finished reading the stunningly written Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant, who also wrote In the Company of the Courtesean. Both novels, set in Renaissance Italy, pull from a rich context of art and literature to craft fictional accounts of women, not unlike The Girl With the Pearl Earring. Two other books in the genre which I've enjoyed are The Coffee Trader and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Although these books pull details from history, some more accurately than others, it is their compelling stories which give them the complexity of a good read.