The PEN TEN: An Interview with Jamila Minnicks

“The words truth and fiction seem at odds because fiction is, by definition, a product of our imagination. But bell hooks told us: “To be truly visionary, we have to root our imagination in our concrete reality while simultaneously imagining possibilities beyond reality.” 

Historical fiction is the concrete reality of our past meeting the imagination of our pen. Some people and events had volumes written about them; some are memorialized in oral tradition; and some are all but lost to the stars. To me, imagining the possibilities beyond reality means building carefully-constructed evidence- and research-based narratives to represent lives we would otherwise never know. It’s allowing our honest, accurate, and complete history to enrich the stories of the people in our stories, which, by extension, gives readers the chance to explore the far reaches of our past.” Read more here.

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