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Saturday, April 30 • 1:15pm - 2:30pm
7E: Living History: Waking the Dead LIMITED

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Limited Capacity seats available

Bringing a historical figure to life in fiction can feel a little like biography, a little like heresy, and a little like witchcraft. A fiction writer is in pursuit of details that historians and biographers typically don't or can't use--and don't mention--but that can still be found. In this session I will outline a research-based approach to imagining historical figures into life that makes appeals to the intuition and the imagination, and teaches writers how to search for what they need. And then, having found that research, how to use it as food for the imagination. Some of the topics we will cover: the ethics of writing about the dead; the ethics of writing difference; best uses of special collections libraries; the magic of JSTOR; the construction of idiom and tone; anachronism; research travel; and the most common tactical errors.

avatar for Alexander Chee

Alexander Chee

Alexander Chee is the author of the novels Edinburgh and The Queen of the Night. He is a recipient of a 2003 Whiting Award, a 2004 NEA Fellowship in prose, and a 2010 MCCA Fellowship, and residency fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the VCCA, and Civitella Ranieri. His essays and stories have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, Tin House, Slate, Guernica, NPR, and Out, among others. He is a contributing editor at The New Republic... Read More →

Saturday April 30, 2016 1:15pm - 2:30pm
Franklin Room