How “Good Stories” Make Sense of Crisis

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For the Guardian, author Gillian Cross explains how fiction might help people to better understand and empathize with the experience of Syrian refugees:

It might seem frivolous to be talking about stories at a time like this. Shouldn’t we be concentrating on the real world? Isn’t fiction soft and sentimental compared with the terrible news we keep hearing about drowning and suffocation? No, it’s not. Only bad fiction is soft and sentimental. Good stories help us make sense of the world. They invite us to discover what it’s like being someone completely different. They are explorations – for the writer as well as the reader.


Jake Slovis earned his MFA in Writing from Rutgers University, where he now teaches English Composition. He is a second-generation Argentine American and has spent significant time living and writing in Buenos Aires. He currently resides in Brooklyn. More from this author →