Beta
X

05Apr

Cultural clash: the trouble with writing about the lives of others

Novelists are being attacked for telling stories about experiences that aren’t their own. But isn’t that the point of using the imagination?

Billed as the big page-turner of the season, My Dark Vanessa, American author Kate Elizabeth Russell’s first novel, is a tale for the Time’s Up generation. Its involving drama invites readers to look back again at any treasured youthful memories they may harbour of a past relationship with an older lover and ask: was it really all so pure and so romantic?

But her provocative book has also caused a stir, first in America and now in Britain, for a different reason. Like Jeanine Cummins, author of this year’s American Dirt, Russell has been repeatedly asked to defend her right to tell a story that is not her own.

Continue reading...

Related

Dr Zhivago’s heroine takes centre stage in plagiarism row

Courtroom battle looms as author argues her book revealing inspiration for character became basis of...

Read More >

Children’s book on the Queen’s jubilee given cold shoulder by schools in Wales and Scotland

Details released of tale about Queen’s 70-year reign, which is felt to be too ‘Anglocentric’ by d...

Read More >

Hay festival director quits after bullying claim upheld

Exit of Peter Florence adds to list of woes that include two years of Covid cancellations and a sex ...

Read More >

‘You are the one spark in my life’: Laurie Lee’s loving letters to secret daughter

Newly discovered exchanges between the Cider with Rosie author and painter Yasmin David show their j...

Read More >

Jackie Collins: the reality of life in Joan’s shadow

The bestselling author cultivated a confident image. But it belied a personal life dogged by self-do...

Read More >

Unseen lockets reveal grief that haunted Charles Dickens’s writing

Tokens of affection were exchanged with sister-in-law whose early death influenced the author’s wor...

Read More >