CAROLYN'S COMPOSITIONS

March 25, 2010

Amish Grace, Thomas Cornell, & Intertwined Love: Risks of Writing Historical Fiction

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

AMISH GRACE, INTERTWINED LOVE, & THOMAS CORNELL:

The Risks of Writing Historical Fiction

     “…the most disturbing aspect of the upcoming television move “Amish Grace” is the fictional liberties it takes in depicting the aftermath of the 2006 killings of five Amish girls in a Nickel Mines schoolhouse,” according to Herman Bontrager, an Akron man who acted as a spokesman for the Nickel Mines Amish community after the shootings. “Amish tell the truth and are accustomed to telling the truth. When you take an account like this, and make it appear like it happened, and fictionalize it, that’s troubling.”*

     Authors of the book on which the movie is based, “Amish Grace: How Forgiveness Transcended Tragedy,” agree on this point.**

     Fiction based on an actual historical framework is always up for criticism. It’s an issue I’ve been aware of since I began delving in writing my novel, “Intertwined Love.” The historical framework includes 1790s people, both the well known— Henry Knox, William Duer, William Bingham, Alexander Baring, Thomas Jefferson among them—and the less well known: Franco van Berckle, Madame Rosalie de Leval, Louis des Isles, Mary Googins, and Joseph Swett.

     I encountered the criticism issue in two situations. First, my in-depth research disproved some oral traditions about East Lamoine, Maine. I shared the documentation with a community native. The late Gladys Vigent (a Samuel Des Isles descendent) was (to continue reading this post click on: http://intertwinedlove.wordpress.com/2010/03/25/amish-grace-thomas-cornell-intertwined-love-risks-of-writing-historical-fiction/ )

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ADDITIONAL READING:

KILLED STRANGELY: A NEW ENGLAND MURDER STORY

Two Photographers Named Cornell

POPHAM BEACH, MAINE

CHILDISH CHARACTERISTICS

RAINBOW’S END Part 1

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January 9, 2010

Blogging: Does it Have Value? Part 1

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

BLOGGING: DOES IT HAVE VALUE? Part 1

This is the first segment of a three-part post on blogging.

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     On the evening of December 7, three days before the death of Latrobe (PA)’s last Holocaust survivor, Robert (Reibieson) Mendler, Carolyn’s Composition’s writing site received a comment on his posted story (THE HOLOCAUST STORY OF A TEENAGE VICTIM (Part 1)). Janet, a survivor of Nowy-Targ, Poland—Bob’s childhood community— had discovered Bob’s story after she typed Nowy-Targ into her computer search engine. She wanted to meet the only other Nowy-Targ (Poland) child survivor she’d discovered. And she discovered his survival by reading my blog. (to read post click on AN UNEXPECTED VISIT WITH BOB MENDLER ON DECEMBER 8, 2009 )

     On December 8, my husband Monte and I met with Bob, who was thrilled. Yes, he remembered he was ten years old when Janet was born. Both his and her families knew each other well. He would (and did) E-mail Janet. He told her he would call her.

     As fate would have it, the phone call was never to be. Bob died the evening of December 10. However, I’ve since talked to Janet. Although she feels the loss of a man she never knew, there is potential for our continued contact.

     This is only one of the surprising results of my blogging—connection and new friendship.

     I’m often asked if blogging is valuable. My response is (more…)

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