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Showing posts from October, 2019

Isn’t that the whole freaking point of fiction?

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If you read fiction, chances are you’re drawn now, more than ever, to stories that help you escape today’s polarizing politics. Nostalgic stories. Futuristic stories. Stories that draw you into worlds other than your own.

Penguin Random House editor Sally Kim, during a panel in New York City at this year’s BookExpo (the industry’s mega trade event), suggested to the audience that readers are urgently craving perspectives that are not their own.

“Which, of course,” she said, “is the whole freaking point of fiction.”

So why is it so hard for us, when it comes to politics, to lift the cloak of opinion from our own back and crawl inside someone else’s skin—just for a minute?

We do it all the time when we read fiction—we jump from one character’s point of view to another’s without batting an eye. We lose ourselves in a scene where the author takes us deep inside the heroine’s innermost desires, and them—bam—we’re taken inside the mind of the man who’s about to break her heart, and we under…