Be it the “real life inspired” movies or autobiographical fictions, a dash of truth is enough to get hooked. It is difficult to point out what really is so intriguing about autofiction – a term used in literature to refer to a form of fictionalised autobiography – is it the sweetness of drama added to real life grim stories? Whatever it is, most writers start their career by writing autofiction. It is the pinch of truth in a broth of drama, or sometimes otherwise, that does the trick.
Small Days and Nights by Tishani Doshi
Set in a landscape like Tishani Doshi’s real home in Paramankeni, the story is about Grace and her internal struggles. Her almost broken marriage, her younger sister who suffers from down syndrome and the broken memories of her childhood. In her dealings with all the complicated aspects of her life we see the real Grace while she struggles to choose between duty and freedom. Doshi, in her interviews, has expressed how she could use her real-life experience of growing up with a sibling who suffers from down syndrome and autism.
Little Women By Louisa May Alcott
After being adapted in several television shows, films and inspiring so many reel and real life people, Little Women is one novel that can’t be read too many times. The story of four sisters weaves the little adventures and thrills of childhood with the perils of their womanhood. It’s amusing to see Jo March being a typical ‘tom boy’ and yet yearning for love like other women do. The story is inspired by the author, Louisa May Alcott’s real family and the struggles she faced in a man’s world to become an author. Also check out some of the most powerful quotes from Little women here.
Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson
Inspired by Jeanette Winterson’s real life, the novel tells the story of a lesbian teenage girl stuck between fundamentalist Christians. Her rebellion isn’t as extreme as one would image novels and movies to have. It is rather close to reality. Jeanette, being indoctrinated by her mother, at first struggles to brush off the orthodox Christian ideas. It is only later when she realises what she truly believes in.
Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo
The novel is about interlinked lives of black women living in the UK, dealing with racist and xenophobic people around them. The author, Bernardine Evaristo, explores the relationship between the mothers and daughters, drugs, art and love. The book is almost conversational in nature. One feels second pleasures as Evaristo examines the lives of these vastly different women one similarity-their race.
It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini
Ned Vizzini wrote this amusing yet scathing novel by taking inspiration from his experience with depression. The story follows a teenage boy, Craig Gilner who suffers from clinical depression. He struggles to beer the pressure of his over demanding school and suffers from loneliness. What is impressive is how Vizzini is able to write so breezily about such a tragedy .The story of Craig also gives us major insights to Ned Vizzini’s mind who died by suicide in 2013.