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When History Meets Imagination: Russell Shorto and Jennifer Egan on Fiction, Non-Fiction, and Where They Cross
Join non-fiction writer Russell Shorto and novelist Jennifer Egan for a one-on-one conversation about fact, fabrication, and the complicated area in between. Shorto’s new family memoir “Smalltime” tells the story of his grandfather, a small town mobster. To research it, Shorto spent years listening to aging witnesses’ first-hand accounts, combining their memories with archival material. For her novel “Manhattan Beach,” Egan also dug deeply into archives and eyewitness memories, yet ultimately her fictional work enjoyed a license to embellish. Together they explore questions of reliable narrators, where facts leave off and imagination begins, the urge for fiction writers to represent history accurately and non-fiction writers to maintain a lively narrative, and how a writer judges when the lines have been crossed.

Photo credits: Shorto by Pamela Twig; Egan by Pieter van Hattem

Mar 3, 2021 06:30 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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