Prufrock's Page

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Whatever Happened To 'Write What You Know'?

Paul Torday’s recent debut novel, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, about a fictional project to create a salmon river in the highlands of the Yemen, was a critical and commercial success. Yet Torday never visited Yemen before writing his book: it was only last week that he went there for the first time.


  • That adage can be modified to "Write What You Don't Know, But Only If Most People Don't Know About It Either." With most potential readers, Yemen would certainly qualify.

    By Anonymous Pete, at 11:23 PM  

  • Or as Howard Nemerov's irreverent take goes "Write what you know. That should leave you with a lot of free time."

    Incidentally, my favourite Jeanette Winterson novel "The Passion" has a good portion of the action set in Venice. A city which she has never been to. I would never have guessed. Her vision of it is just Very powerfully and credibly imagined.

    - Hatshepsut

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:57 PM  

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