Facts in Fiction: How to tell which is fact and which is fiction?

Hi Everyone!

How are you? I hope you all are doing well. I have always wondered about what’s truth in a fiction book. I have read through many fiction books but I have never looked up to verify the facts. Have you?

I am currently reading All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater and she mentioned about a flower called tamarisk that only grow in the desert. For some unknown outside force, I googled it, and it’s true and I looked at all the image results as I read the author’s descriptions of the flower. The book also mentioned Harry Harlow – monkey experiment. I looked it up as well and the name is based of a real person, a researcher from University of Wisconsin-Madison. I am super amazed of the facts written in fiction books!!

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven mentioned about Virginia Woolf is also fact. I then learned about Woolf’s classics. I haven’t read any but they are on my always growing TBR list 🙂

John Grisham’s books focus on lawyer and courtroom. I know many of those are true because I have been a juror once.

It’s Not Like It’s a Secret by Misa Sugiura mentioned of locations like Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Wisconsin Dells. I know they are fact because I have been there.

Somehow I always thought that a fiction book only contains made up information. After all, fiction means fake right?

I just read Sophie’s review @ Blame Chocolate on Stalking Jack the Ripper and she compliments how accurate the history is in this fiction book. This sounds amazing! I would rather read history in a novel than from a history book 🙂

Here are two areas where you can identify which is fact in a fiction book:

  • Acknowledgements. The author thanking the experts in the acknowledgements section at the end of the book.
  • World building & background building. The mention of Virginia Woolf because it involves suicides and the book All the Bright Places deals with suicides.

Share your experiences below, of what facts surprises you in which fiction books.


5 thoughts on “Facts in Fiction: How to tell which is fact and which is fiction?

  1. Sophie @ Blame Chocolate says:

    Great post, Jasmine! Yeah, I’ve always been curious about these facts and I’ve always researched them afterwards. There’s no excuse for not doing so now that we all have something called the internet hahaha
    Sometimes they’re fiction, sometimes they’re fact, and sometimes they’re loosely based off facts but have some twist to them.
    Interesting topic and thank you so much for mentioning my post! I’m glad it made you want to talk about it more 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jeanne says:

    When I reviewed Paolo Bacigalupi’s novel The Water Knife (May 16, 2016) I commented that I was surprised to find out that a book referred to in the fiction, Cadillac Desert, is a real book, and I could read it!

    Liked by 1 person

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