So, lady writes a novel and so, well, lady writes a novel. A novel being fiction. At which point people start demanding that she prove she went through the experiences in the novel. As if Lee Child should have shot some member of a bow hunting people club through the head.
You know, fiction:
Although Ortiz is careful not to use the P-word, she questions Russell’s rationale in writing a novel about sexual abuse, and for “mining books that deal with the subject” in order to write it. Her use of the words “fictionalise” and “sensationalise” are worth noting as they seem to imply, in the case of the former, that a white woman cannot experience that kind of trauma, and in the case of the latter, that a novel is not an appropriate way to relate such an experience. When people began demanding that Russell prove she lived through the experience her novel represents (one shudders to think what such evidence might consist of), Russell revealed that My Dark Vanessa is based on experiences she had as a teenager. “I do not believe that we should compel victims to share the details of their personal trauma with the public,” she wrote in a short statement, sharing her fear that “opening up further about my past would invite inquiry that could be re-traumatising”.
We have a way of distinguishing between stuff that is made up – fiction – and stuff that is not made up. We call that second “non-fiction”. Non-fiction does not include novels.
All of which leaves the interesting question. Why are so many of the people arguing about this book so profoundly illiterate?