The Schmooze

Writing What You’ve Never Seen

Earlier this week, Janice Weizman wrote about the bildungsroman and the Jewish woman. 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:


All fiction writers have a streak of audacity. To make up something and then ask readers to suspend their disbelief and give themselves over to your vision is, well, a little outrageous. Among the most audacious are the writers of historical fiction. How can anyone presume to know what it was like to live and work and raise a family in a time other than their own? How can one comprehend the hopes, the limitations, and the challenges of people who lived their lives in historical periods with radically different circumstances and assumptions?

Logic says that it’s impossible. Yet the imagination insists that it’s not. It insists that, with a little bit of help, it can transcend space and time and understand something beyond the here and now.

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Writing What You’ve Never Seen

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