Why I Write Historical Fiction


Thursday March 16, 2023    
5:00 - 6:30 pm CET

Why I Write Historical Fiction is the fourth in a series entitled “Insurgencies: Speculative Fiction, Cultural Organizing, and Utopian Thought”, that Larissa is giving under the auspices of a Maria Zambrano Fellowship at the University of Huelva.

Each seminar in this public series Larissa Lai addresses a term of interest to her recent thinking on speculative fiction, cultural organizing and utopian thought. Emerging from a lifetime of reading and writing, in addition to organizing to make cultural space for others, these seminars will offer a set of field notes aimed addressing the question: What does our cultural moment require, and how can we get where we need to go from where we are?  How can literature, especially speculative fiction literature, help us get from here to there?

In this seminar, Larissa Lai offers seven reasons for writing historical fiction and explains each one in relation to her recent novel The Lost Century:

  1. You can’t know who you are until you know where you’ve been.
  2. The people around you can’t know who you are or how to relate to you until they know where you’ve been.
  3. Historical fiction combats anti-Asian racism.
  4. Historical fiction helps make sense of the present.
  5. Historical fiction addresses the remembered past.
  6. Historical fiction brings forgotten relationships to light.
  7. Historical fiction investigates what the imagination can and can’t do with regards to the forgotten past.

Register for the series at the University of Huelva event portal. (Note that registration is for the whole series, and that for online events, Zoom links will be emailed 24-48 hours before each event.)


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