Fiction is the playground where authenticity can be developed. Reading and writing fiction pushes a participant to go through the world as experienced by another. Fiction can legitimately present the inner-world of characters, letting outsiders experience the turmoil of daily interactions. Authenticity is rooted in a deep understanding of the world and the place that one holds in it, which fiction safely allows to occur.
Toni Morrison, Armistead Maupin, Carson McCullers, and Caitlin R. Kieran brought readers into their and their characters’ worlds. Each author presented the inner-life of a marginalized group; Morrison revealed the psychological scars of slavery on African-Americans; Maupin showed the normalcy of LGBTQ+ community; McCullers and Kiernan gave representation to mental illness’ isolating ability.
Fiction explores these identities to form connections to understand an increasingly diverse world. Stories expose radically different cultures, not Americanized variations, where presupposed rules can’t be applied, and are unable to change the culture. Authors create narratives that demonstrates blanket-solutions can’t be applied to every problem and expected to work. Instead, fiction demonstrates that solutions must be unique to problem and culture, requiring imagination in examine the setting’s effect on characters and interactions.