The Truth of Brushstrokes or Brushstrokes of Truth?


Autofiction is in these days. Discussing her first novel Fantasian at the Asian American Writers’ Workshop’s The Margins blog, Larissa Pham unpacks her perspective on inserting autobiographical elements into fiction:

I knew that no matter what I wrote in my novella, given my history of truth-telling, there would be an implication that it was true. That it had happened. Isn’t that what all young novelists do—write about their lives, thinly veiled, with pseudonyms? Rather than push back obstinately, I thought it’d be more interesting to flirt with such assumptions. Why not challenge the way we read? Why not challenge art’s interpretation?

Sam Metz is a writer living in Morocco on a Fulbright. His reporting and criticism has appeared or is forthcoming in The Nation, Public Books, Lit Hub and Muftah. He formerly worked on the editorial team at The Nation. More from this author →