Center for Brooklyn History presents When History Meets Imagination: Russell Shorto and Jennifer Egan on Fiction, Non-Fiction, and Where They Cross

March 3, 2021, 6:30 PM

Join non-fiction writer Russell Shorto and novelist Jennifer Egan for a one-on-one conversation about fact, fabrication, and the complicated area in between.

Shorto’s new family memoir Smalltime tells the story of his grandfather, a small town mobster. To research it, Shorto spent years listening to aging witnesses’ first-hand accounts, combining their memories with archival material.  For her novel Manhattan Beach, Egan also dug deeply into archives and eyewitness memories, yet ultimately her fictional work enjoyed a license to embellish. Together they explore questions of reliable narrators, where facts leave off and imagination begins, the urge for fiction writers to represent history accurately and non-fiction writers to maintain a lively narrative, and how a writer judges when the lines have been crossed.

This is a Center for Brooklyn History event with books provided by Community Bookstore. 

Register here