Posted on January 18, 2024 at 7:20 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

“Write what you know” is a perfectly good servant, but a bad master — that is, an author’s lived experience can contribute a great deal to their work if they choose to incorporate it.

To wit: Book Riot highlighted several works in which authors wrote not just what they know, but who they knew … and who they knew best. Themselves.

Some of the novels were sly references to themselves; others were overt; and the results were a mixed bag.

Two other reading blogs highlighted nonfiction in which the author’s personal experience carried great weight.

Minna Dubin, author of Mom Rage (which, yes, takes a warts-and-all look at motherhood), wrote an essay about how she brought her children on the book tour and lived to tell the tale; you can read it at Electric Literature.

And NPR featured Joe Sacco's graphic novel Palestine, which, thirty years after its publication, is flying off shelves.

Sacco talked about what inspired him to travel to Palestine in the first place and why he was then inspired to illustrate and narrate the experience.

Categories: Today in Books

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