Relevant ‘Start the Week’ on BBC Radio4 this morning . In a time of invented facts fiction can tell the truth. I understand completely where Miranda Doyle is coming from ‘fictionalising’ her memoir. I have been on a similar journey. I spent 3 years interviewing Qu Leilei- one of a group of courageous Chinese artists called The Stars . I asked Wang Keping what he felt before he left his flat to march to Tiananmen Square (October 1979 ). He said he burned his diaries and any letters that could link him to someone because he thought he wouldn’t be coming back and he wanted to protect his friends. I wanted to write their story! In the end I wrote Brushstrokes in Time a memoir of a FICTIONAL female artist called Little Winter. I believe my novel expressed the emotional truth better than a non-fiction account of the Stars. The Reith Lectures will be given by Hilary Mantel and she knows what it takes to get to the truth through fiction.
The Truth is best told through fiction
November 27th, 2020