In all creative writing, the question of what is true and what is real are two very different considerations. Figuring out how to dance between them is a murky business.
Most of What Follows Is True is an examination of the complex relationship between fact and fiction, between the “real world” and the stories we tell to explain the world to ourselves. Drawing on his own experience appropriating historical characters to fictional ends, Michael Crummey brings forward important questions about how writers use history and real-life figures to animate fictional stories. Is there a limit to the liberties a writer can take with the real world? Is there a point at which a fictionalization of history becomes a falsification of history? What responsibilities do writers have to their readers, and to the historical and cultural materials they exploit as sources? Crummey offers thoughtful, witty views on the deep and timely conversation around appropriation.