Political Fiction, Without a Capital P


Political fiction can come across as heavy-handed, but avoiding all politics in writing may overlook the fact that people lead political lives. Over at the Atlantic, author Molly Antopol talks about how reading the fiction of Grace Paley taught her to write about political characters without sounding preachy—as she puts it, political fiction without a capital P:

When political fiction fails, it can be because it manifests a kind of moral certitude, an assured sense that one worldview is better or truer than another. Paley never falls prey to this kind of arrogance. Her work is rooted in the assumption that other people’s opinions—no matter how different they may seem, or how similar—warrant open consideration.

Want more on Antopol and her debut collection The UnAmericans? Check out the Rumpus interview with the writer here!

Kathryn Sukalich is a Wisconsin native living in Oregon. She received an MFA in Creative Writing and Environment from Iowa State University. You can find her online at kathrynsukalich.com. More from this author →