Keren David Talks To Bookbag About Alternative Facts

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Keren David Talks To Bookbag About Alternative Facts

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Summary: It wasn't until someone on Twitter tagged her book The Liar's Handbook with #alternativefacts that Karen David realised quite how well the title and themes hit the zeitgeist.
Date: 6 February 2017

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External links: Author's website



It wasn't until someone on Twitter tagged my book The Liar's Handbook with #alternativefacts that I realised quite how well the title and themes hit the zeitgeist.

In a political climate labelled 'post-truth' the whole question of how we sift fact from fiction - particularly when they come from people in power – is crucial for all of us.

It's something that I've had years to think about, ever since I started my career as a journalist at the age of 18. As a trainee reporter it was stressed to me, over and over again, that journalism is the 'first draft of history', that my job was to establish the facts as far as I could, and to report them with no varnish of bias or opinion. Those principles were ones I have always tried to uphold throughout my career as a journalist, first as a reporter and later as an editor.

When I started writing books, the shift from non-fiction to imagined characters and stories was, well, a bit strange. Maybe that's why my books so far have mostly been inspired by actual news stories and often examine the very many shades of truth, as well as the ways in which we tell stories. One of my books is even called Almost True.

My first book, When I Was Joe, is about Ty, a boy who tells the truth, and then has to lie about everything to save his life when he is given a new identity and taken into witness protection. In that case, Ty's lies are given to him by the police, representing the state and the law. The Liar's Handbook is almost a mirror image. In River's case, the lies are his - but the state and the law have been lying too. I think that anyone who enjoyed the 'Joe' trilogy will like River's story too.

My hope, as always, is that my books will give readers more than just an exciting adventure (although that's important too). They might make them think about the deeper issues that I touch on. Now, more than ever, we need a handbook to help us work out the difference between lies and truth.

Keren David THE LIAR'S HANDBOOK