Is fiction the reality we would wish to drown in?
Stories help us see the world through the eyes of others: We see what they see; we’re provoked or inspired or amused; we take sides or withhold judgment—but in the end, we find order in disorder. We make sense of the world around us through the language of stories. When we follow a narrative thread, we experience, at least for a while, a feeling of control. Reading fiction also allows us to expand the limits of our imagination and helps us develop empathy—qualities that seem to be in short supply at the moment.
Laila Lalami, novelist, Professor of Creative Writing at the University of California, writing in The Nation