On Monday, Francesca Segal wrote about recasting a classic novel. Her blog posts are featured on The Arty Semite courtesy of the Jewish Book Council and My Jewish Learning’s Author Blog Series. For more information on the series, please visit:
It’s amazing how many North Londoners have taken me aside in a furtive, conspiratorial kind of manner, in order to ask me for the truth. “Go on,” a new acquaintance might urge, within moments of our meeting, “you can tell me. Who is it based on? Who are they really? I won’t tell anyone.” Many people share the conviction that fiction must draw its cast members, if not its story lines, from the writer’s own life, and that conviction seems to be redoubled when the fiction in question takes place in a specific, familiar world. I grew up in Golders Green, a small Jewish suburb in North London, and my novel “The Innocents” is set nearby, in Hampstead Garden Suburb. Perhaps it was therefore inevitable.