Gavriel Savit is the author of the young adult novel Anna and the Swallow Man. From his Q&A with Deborah Kalb:
Q: You've described your novel as a fairy tale, but added that your relationship with fairy tales is "complicated." How would you say Anna and the Swallow Man fits into the fairy tale tradition, and what do you find especially complicated about the relationship?--Marshal Zeringue
A: In some important ways, I think our fairy tales are the truest stories we allow ourselves to tell. This is probably because we assume that fairy tales are patently false.
It is, of course, a bit nerve-wracking to write a fairy tale about the Second World War for that reason-- despite the strength of the historical record, it seems that there are all sorts of crazy people invested in dismantling it, and one certainly doesn't want to be implicated in that.
On the other hand, I think it’s important to draw a distinction between truth and fact. Fairy tales are good at truth precisely because they dispense with fact, and without juggling these two perspectives on reality (internal and external respectively), we lose a lot of...[read on]