Why fiction novels play an important role in society

Fiction writing can teach us a lot about society and humanity.

Though all literature is important, many often perceive fiction novels to be inferior to non-fiction.

Readers of fiction can carry lessons learned from a book forever. But why is it that fiction makes such a lasting impression?

Writer and editor Kate Sidley explains that fiction readers relate to experiences and characters on emotional and other levels.

She describes a fiction novel as a simulated social world which has its own dynamics and complexities.

Fiction makes meaning and makes sense of the world in a different kind of way.

Kate Sidley, writer and editor

According to Sidley, reading fiction contributes to a person's moral psychological development and their ability to have empathy or understanding.

It enhances out ability to connect with each other. It makes us a little bit more aware and informed.

Kate Sidley, writer and editor

The social realism highlighted in many fiction works presents themes that allow readers to encounter diversity but also see themselves through representation.

In particular, Sidley says dystopian novels explore economic and political structures and social scourges.

She mentions two recent fiction works that tell us about society:

  • The Mandibles by Lionel Shriver

An intriguing book set in near future, after the economic collapse of the US. A family gradually looses their trappings of middle class life.

It explores the fragility of the economy and how social contracts are eroded.

One of the characters says that plots that are set in the future are about what people fear in the present, they are not about the future at all.

Kate Sidley, writer and editor
  • Sarcophogas - Tuelo Gabonewe

A book set in a impoverished village in the Northern Province and doesn't romanticise rural life or poverty of the family, as many local novels tend to.

Listeners also called in to share their favourite fiction reads.

Kate Sidley and host Eusebius McKaiser talk books below:


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI
Read More
Is the ANCYL still relevant and who is likely to take over the leadership reins?

Is the ANCYL still relevant and who is likely to take over the leadership reins?

Former ANCYL spokesperson and eNCA political reporter Samkele Maseko discuss who is up for the new ANCYL leadership.

Do we need yet another Commission of Inquiry?

Do we need yet another Commission of Inquiry?

Callers weigh in on whether South Africa needs another commission of Inquiry.

Facing retrenchment? Here's how your employer is meant to handle it

Facing retrenchment? Here's how your employer is meant to handle it

The law requires an employer to give an employee a notice and conduct consultations when they contemplate retrenchments.

Richard Pithouse publishes piercing anthology on SA's political violence

Richard Pithouse publishes piercing anthology on SA's political violence

'Writing the Decline' is the latest offering by author, activist and academic Richard Pithouse exploring the state of play in SA.

Authors' fine line between appropriation and artistic licence

Authors' fine line between appropriation and artistic licence

While representation in literature is important, it is key for authors writing about others people's identities to be sensitive.

Msizi Nkosi pens tell-all book on picking up the pieces after alcoholism

Msizi Nkosi pens tell-all book on picking up the pieces after alcoholism

TV and radio producer Msizi Nkosi opens up about his life struggles and debut novel, "I'm a Different Mess than I Was Yesterday."

Popular articles
How to pay up to 45% less tax (and save the SA economy while you’re at it)

How to pay up to 45% less tax (and save the SA economy while you’re at it)

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviews Darryn Faulds, a fund manager at Grovest Group.

Calls for more women to come forward and testify at Timothy Omotoso's trial

Calls for more women to come forward and testify at Timothy Omotoso's trial

Thanduxolo Jindela explains why he is running a campaign to encourage more of Omotoso’s victims to come out and testify.

10-year-old maths whiz Sbahle Zwane gets a scholarship from Curro school

10-year-old maths whiz Sbahle Zwane gets a scholarship from Curro school

Azania Mosaka catches up with Sbahle Zwane's mother to hear about developments with his schooling.

Is the ANCYL still relevant and who is likely to take over the leadership reins?

Is the ANCYL still relevant and who is likely to take over the leadership reins?

Former ANCYL spokesperson and eNCA political reporter Samkele Maseko discuss who is up for the new ANCYL leadership.

'It's unacceptable that government officials pay R75 for luxury apartments'

'It's unacceptable that government officials pay R75 for luxury apartments'

IFP national spokesperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa says the party is calling for a review of these rates that are a cost to taxpayers.

[WATCH] Sars boss confusing, evasive testimony at Nugent Commission

[WATCH] Sars boss confusing, evasive testimony at Nugent Commission

Khabazela shares some of the most popular tweets, posts, and videos on 'What's gone viral'.

Getting drunk improves creative problem solving - Harvard Business School

Getting drunk improves creative problem solving - Harvard Business School

Bruce Whitfield asks branding and advertising expert Andy Rice about a peculiar study that has creatives reaching for the tequila.