My book-blog guru, Petrona recently wrote about the hoo-ha over the shocking discovery that Costa Book of the Year Award winner Stef Penney whose novel
The Tenderness of Wolves is set in the Canadian tundra didn’t visit even a non-frozen bit of Canada while researching her book!
As Petrona observed (in a comment that got her blog blogged by The Guardian): "Since the invention of the papyrus and parchment, people have written about events and places that they have witnessed only in their imagination. It is interesting to be able to write convincingly about somewhere you have never been, but not overwhelmingly so."
"Here, here!" say I.
After all, did Shakespeare ever go to Denmark, Venice or fair Verona --- or even, come to that, Scotland?
And what about all those writers who've described places where even Ryanair don’t fly, such as Lilliput, Narnia, Wonderland and Oz, Gormenghast, Middle-earth and Earthsea, Moominland, Neverland and Cloudcuckooland!
Frankly, if we'd waited until those authors actually found a way to their fantastic destinations before they told us about them, we'd have had a very LONG wait!
[Image: Map of Oz by Dick Martin]