OK, so I don’t know how much backstory is needed, nor can I figure out how to weave it in skillfully, so I’ll plop it right here in three paragraphs or less.
Someone was wrong on the Internet. Sylvia Woodham tweeted a critique at Adrianna Herrera’s announcement of an Afro-Latinx book set in 1880s Paris. She said she wasn’t aware of travel from Latin America to Europe in the 19th century, therefore, the book should be historical fantasy, not fiction. She accused Herrera of historical inaccuracy.
Herrera explained the historical premise to her book. People piled on Woodham. Piper J. Drake wrote a good thread on why some people got so mean about an “little” mistake on Woodham’s part. (Scare quotes – little in some people’s eyes, part of a huge pattern of erasure and historical inaccuracy and simple ignorance in others.)
This led to a big discussion on truth in historical fiction. And as you know, on the internet a discussion
tends to spread out in all directions with tentacles and tangents. Emma Barry tweeted, “I wrote an unmarried, super hot astronaut in 1962. No one has ever called me out for that even though it’s not historically accurate. That’s a form of white privilege.” August 21, 2020. She’s talking about Star Dust, the first book in her Fly Me to the Moon series. It was set in Houston, 1962, and published on October 14, 2015.
And that, my friends, is what sparked my blog for today. But I see we’re almost out of time, so . . . .
Nah, just kidding. True facts are not believed. Untrue facts are. What is this weird phenomenon?
You see, there’s no historical basis for unmarried 60s astronauts, Barry says. But the trope was well-accepted. Look at I Dream of Jeannie.
When I was a kid, my afternoons were homework with Gilligan’s Island, Bewitched and I Dream of Jeannie in syndicated re-runs. Extremely Continue reading
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