Writer’s Desk: Making Up the Truth

John Rechy, who scandalized and thrilled with his vividly scabrous novel City of Night, drew heavily from his own life. That does not mean that he felt bound to the record of what actually happened or how:

When you use ‘real people’ as characters, there may come a time when the real person and the character become one; I sometimes can’t remember what I put into a book and what ‘really happened’ … I think that’s good. Narrative assumes its own life, and all ‘nonfiction’ is finally ‘a lie…

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