I briefly wrote about how, in early 2015, as part of a MA module that looked at critical approaches to development and social change, I worked on an essay exploring the role of fiction in development. I drew on two texts that have enjoyed wide success, recognition, and commendation since their publication; Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun.
In the essay, I argue that fiction can be a valuable source of information for development practitioners, providing insights into the daily realities of the others’ life that we may or may not be familiar with. In doing so, fiction has the ability to let a wider audience hear from those they otherwise wouldn’t hear from – giving voice to the voiceless. A key element of fiction is also its ability to build empathetic connections, allowing readers to walk in the shoes of the other. Yet, fiction – that is sometimes considered as a product of an author’s imagination – constructs images that become familiar and gradually begin to define a reality.
The essay is available here.