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Sunday, April 7 • 10:00am - 11:15am
9E: Perfecting Voice in Historical Fiction
Limited Capacity seats available

The language we choose when writing historical fiction can either bring the past to life or spoil it for our readers. The pitfalls of wrong tone, word choice, or cadence are ever present, and yet, when we get it right, we can succeed at integrating all aspects of our story to make a distant era as real as our present day. Through close readings of Jim Shepard’s The World to Come, Paulette Jiles’ News of the World, Christina Baker Kline’s Orphan Train, and Colson Whitehead’s Underground Railroad, we’ll study how authors combine contemporary and period language to build their fictional worlds. We’ll also look at examples of where it goes wrong: fussy, old-timey, or pseudo-historical language that disrupts the narrative. We’ll then consider our own writing, applying what we’ve learned as we find our own most perfect, historically inspired voice.

avatar for Virginia Pye

Virginia Pye

Virginia Pye is the author of two award-winning novels, Dreams of the Red Phoenix and River of Dust, and the recent story collection, Shelf Life of Happiness. Her stories, essays, and interviews have appeared in Literary Hub, The New York Times, The Rumpus, Huffington Post, The North... Read More →

Sunday April 7, 2019 10:00am - 11:15am EDT
Franklin Room - 4th Floor