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Five Books That Help Us Rethink History

Photo of Gavin McCrea

Gavin McCrea


The classification ‘historical fiction’ ignores the fact that all novels, whatever their temporal setting—be it the recent past, the distant past or indeed an imagined future—are necessarily, inescapably historical. There is no novel that is more historical than another. Fiction cannot escape the past; indeed it is the past—as we remember, understand and tell it. Here are five novels that offer profound insights into the relationship between individual lives and history. Only one is usually classified as ‘historical fiction’.

About the Author

Gavin McCrea

Gavin McCrea was born in Dublin in 1978 and holds an MA and a PhD from the University of East Anglia. He currently lives in London, England and northern Spain. Mrs. Engels is his first novel.