[Today’s post is by Robert]
Biography written as fiction, or “biofiction,” is a newly emerging genre in literary fiction. This genus tells other people’s stories complete with dialogue, characterization, plot and protagonist in fascinating and highly readable ways. Biofiction captures those wonderful tales grandparents relate to younger generations. It brings to life family anecdotes, neighborhood legends, even community or multi-family sagas.
During the five years Glenn and I spent writing And Then Came Life, the telling of David Goldberg’s story became amazingly personal, moreso than any fiction I’ve written. Almost daily, as Glenn emailed additional snippets of David’s life, as he revealed more and more about the troubled youth growing to adulthood, I came to know our protagonist as a true friend. It was a rare privilege, indeed.
Through this biofiction work I became intimately acquainted with a young man I’d never met. While David had lived a life beyond my experience, beyond my understanding, I soon began relating to him. His desire for approval, though expressed in ways I’d never considered, was no different from my own longing. His want for genuine friendship and love, while sought in bars and dank bathhouses, was most similar to my own need sought through family and co-workers and church activities.
Sometimes, I confess, I was shocked at David’s antics. Frequently I was amused. More importantly, I realized the heart and soul of this young man deserved to be portrayed. The world would become a better place for having known David Goldberg and his journey to the Love and Truth for which he so desperately yearned. It became my holy mission to accomplish this telling.