Tell It Slant

Thirteenth TaleI think I mentioned a while back that I joined a monthly book club in order to discover new books I need to read. There are times where I’m not sure what to read next and scouring for recommended reads doesn’t really cut it. The book club allows me to try out some literature I hadn’t heard about before. In addition, I get to talk to people about books and it’s been ages since I’ve gotten a moment to share insights about a book with someone!

Our last book was The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. To be brief, it’s the story of a young woman who lives/works in a family-owned bookstore, absorbed in various texts. She receives a letter accepting her to be the biographer for Vida Winter, a famous writer who had several biographies already written about her. What’s interesting is that each biography was a lie, a completely different fabricated story by Winter. Now the aged writer wishes to share her final story–the real one.

It’s a very easy read and the story picks up with some interesting surprises. This is a novel I would recommend as a beach read. It keeps you interested and it provides some very memorable characters (some being disturbing–always a good sign for a story!).

I write creative nonfiction for my personal pleasure and I’m always interested in the ongoing debate about the genre, one that is not journalism and not fiction. Even if we do look back on our lives and write about it, we are remembering things through fragments and distortions. But we consider it non-fiction. Winter is looking back on her life and trying to give the “real” story, but it still comes out with embellishments. In addition, we are reading a novel here, so our whole story is fiction.