Posted by Joshua DeJoy, GD Creative Nonfiction Reader for 5.1
Can fiction authors write outside of their own experiences? To ask the question is to answer it: Of course! It’s fiction, isn’t it?
At least, that’s what American-born novelist Lionel Shriver argued at the Brisbane Writers Festival on September 8 in her keynote address, “Fiction and Identity Politics,” which deals extensively with the concept of cultural appropriation. I think her speech is worth reading in full, but I’ll attempt to summarize it: fiction writers have to use experiences outside of their own in order to write compelling fiction. “This is a disrespectful vocation by its nature—prying, voyeuristic, kleptomaniacal, and presumptuous. And that is fiction writing at its best,” Shriver says. Continue reading