You know. Some people just don't get fiction.
They will say: “Why would I want to read about people who don't exist and situations that are not real and a series of events which haven't ever, in fact, taken place?”
My simple answer to this is that fiction can move you and make you laugh and make you cry and make you think – in ways that non-fiction never will.
Non-fiction will give you the facts. Fiction can give you a deeper truth.
Good fiction is about the human condition. It's about people, our interactions, our innermost thoughts and emotions, addressing the little questions and the big questions. It's about who we are and what makes us tick.
Just flap through the review pages of The Guardian to be inspired . . .
“Seething with inventiveness, humanity, wit and language fit for the Big Rock Candy Mountain, indomitable and adroit, full of angelic swagger and pretend pratfalls, Ali Smith's gleaming 'There But For The' took the biscuit this year”
So wrote Sebastian Barry, adding: “A book that moved the heart and soul and head down into a sombre gear”.
Those few lines alone make me want to read 'There But For The'.
And yet it will be full of people who don't exist and situations that are not real and a series of events which haven't ever, in fact, happened.