I’ve posted before about Adam Braver‘s novel, Nov 22, 1963. It’s a novel about that day, the day President Kennedy was shot, but mostly it’s a novel about Jackie Kennedy. It’s beautifully, artfully, achingly spare: a work of art in words.

I’m excited about his participation on this week: click here if you’re interested. I’m especially interested, because of that subject so dear to me (for obvious reasons): the intersection of fact and fiction.


To quote Braver:

One of the things that I’d been thinking about for the past couple of years is the equation: stories + memories + facts = history. This doesn’t necessarily have to apply to history as “the historical record,” but also to our family histories, personal histories, social histories, etc. From a writing standpoint, it was also about finding the somewhat artificial distinction between genres—namely fiction and nonfiction. When you deal with facts, memories, and stories, I’m not sure it’s possible that anything can be pure fiction or pure truth.

I love this:

I really wanted to write a book that consciously combined those elements: where the facts were facts, the stories were stories, and the memories were memories. Put them together in one space, yet let each one speak for itself.

And this:

I’ve always been attracted to books that allow the quiet moments to tell a bigger story, and, I suppose, I was trying to follow in that suit. It wasn’t a matter so much of sifting through so much information, and then whittling it down. It was that conscious/subconscious radar for finding the little yet moving details.

I sent the current draft of the plot off this morning for a writers’ group meet this coming Friday, so I’ll have some time to following this fascinating Braver dialogue.