What is the point of novel writing anyway? Aren’t there enough books out there?
Fluffy romances for summer reading, thrillers and mysteries for entertainment. If I want to effect change wouldn’t it make more sense to write non-fiction, like a self-help book?
Fiction, by definition is “not true.” And yet, a good novel can tell the truth, about our human condition, the world and our place in it. A literary work takes me on a journey to some place I’ve never been and into the psyche of someone I would not otherwise understand. The writer reveals something of what he or she understands about humanity and invites me to that place of dilemma, pain or joy with a different set of choices than I am presented with. Often these choices force a re-examination of what I believe. To be challenged in this way is a good thing.
Some of the most influential books throughout history have been novels. Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and George Orwell’s 1984 are two such works. Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, though written 200 years ago, reminds us that our assumptions about other people are often wrong. George Orwell’s classic book about Big Brother’s pervasive presence, long before the advent of smart phones or even TV was a prophetic look at the world we live in today.
“The truth will set you free,” Jesus said, and though he was talking about Himself and the gospel, telling the truth in general can be freeing.
When I began writing my book, based on actual events, I felt compelled to tell the story of what happened during a period of history that has been largely hidden from view.
As I tried to find out more, I was stumped by the lack of information. In fact one author, John Sacks, who wrote about specific aspects of the post-World War Two years, was initially censored and suppressed for his efforts. Truth telling is not always popular.
Fortunately in the past twelve years or so, the internet has made information increasingly available to a diligent seeker. Glimpses of the past, previously shrouded from common knowledge are resurfacing. Truth cannot be kept concealed. Survivors are speaking out and some of the infamous camps in Poland now have monuments and plaques explaining what happened after the Holocaust. Books in the english language are emerging on the topic.
The long silence did not make pain and suffering go away. It has to be revealed because hatred is bred where ignorance and misunderstanding reigns. That is why, through the fabric of a novel, I strive to tell the truth.