USING REALITY IN FICTION
by Anthony S. Maulucci, author of the new novel Love and Exile coming in June through Amazon in both e-book and print formats
One of my all-time favorite authors is Albert Camus. I read The Stranger in one night in the summer after I graduated from high school while I was on vacation in Vermont and it made a very deep impression on me. Camus believed that literary fiction must be rooted in reality, and I have whole-heartedly embraced that concept. This is how he put it:
“Real literary creation . . . uses reality and only reality with all its warmth and its blood, its passion and its outcries.”
My new novel, LOVE AND EXILE, is what the French call a roman a clef, which means a story that is based on fact but is overlaid with fiction. In other words, I wrote a semi-autobiographical story about my life in Montreal during the Vietnam War but added the element of imagination – my characters are based on real people but the circumstances and incidents are made up.
The history of the American expatriates who moved to Canada in the 1960s and early 70s should not be forgotten. They were brave young men who chose exile in Canada rather than allow themselves to be drafted into the military to fight a war that they considered to be immoral and politically motivated. They stood up for their beliefs. Many of us, myself included, marched in the streets to protest the war. Many were arrested and some went to jail. They decided that their highest allegiance was to themselves rather than the State. Thousands of us moved to Canada. I left my home in Boston and relocated to Montreal where I lived from 1971 to 1978. Those years were some of the best years of my life because I discovered my true vocation and began earning my living as a writer.
Writers should be truth-tellers, and there’s no better way to express your view of the truth in a convincing manner than by using reality in your fictional story.
Synopsis of LOVE AND EXILE
Set in Montreal and Boston, LOVE AND EXILE by Anthony S. Maulucci is the story of an American draftee’s search for freedom during the turbulent years of the Vietnam War.
Living in Boston in 1967, Wexler Giovanni is finding his way as a writer and a man with the help of his friends and lovers. He is a Harvard drop-out who smokes weed, discusses philosophy, makes love to his beautiful girlfriend, and dreams of literary success. When he is drafted, his life is upended, and he decides to flee to Montreal rather than fight in what he believes to be an immoral, unnecessary and politically-motivated war to protect American business interests. In Montreal a few years later, he is earning a living as a newspaper writer while working at being a serious novelist in his spare time. Separated from his British wife, he is struggling to maintain a meaningful relationship with her. At the same time he is trying to help his closest friend and publisher whose life has started to unravel.
Through all of his personal turmoil and the social unrest of the times, Wexler remains true to his own values and aspirations. Ultimately, he must choose between freedom and security, both of which come at a price, and by the end of the story he is well on his way to living an independent life on his own terms.