The Decay of Lying by Oscar Wilde said that “Life imitates art far more than art imitates life,” which is true. If that’s true, we should not forget that real life can be even more crazy or weird than fiction, which is why there are so many great books and movies based on true stories.
As even if aliens don’t come to our back yards, or princes don’t slay dragons in these stories, there’s something to be said for fiction that goes beyond reality and helps us understand the world we live in.
Books Based on True Stories
Below are stories that only real life could make interesting.
Beautiful Exiles by Meg Waite Clayton
Martha Gellhorn, a well-known journalist, met Ernest Hemingway at a bar in Key West in 1936. Because Hemingway and Pauline Pfeiffer were married, their flirtatious friendship turned into something more as they covered the Spanish Civil War together in Madrid, even though they were married. Legendary and tumultuous love is what inspired Ward to write this gripping novel, which follows the two around the world and also shines a light on a trailblazing woman who went on to become a war correspondent with a career that spanned more than six decades.
Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward
Teenage narrator Esch is pregnant and lives with her brothers and father in Mississippi. She tells us about her life there. When Hurricane Katrina comes, the family has to stay inside, and the storm makes the tensions between them even worse.
The author, Jesmyn Ward, went to visit her family in a small town in Mississippi in late August 2005, as Katrina was coming down.
Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
Kidnappers took the young child of a well-known pilot and demanded money in exchange. The ransom was paid, but soon after, the child was found dead and had been killed.
Murder on the Orient Express is a book by Agatha Christie. It tells the story of a real-life crime and tragedy that happened in 1932. Charles Lindbergh’s 20-month-old son was kidnapped and killed. There was a sad story that led to events in this murder mystery by the queen of suspense, who made it into a movie.
See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt
There are four perspectives in this book about the Borden axe murders: Lizzie Borden; her sister Emma; their housemaid Bridget; and a stranger named Benjamin. It doesn’t matter that Lizzie was found not guilty in real life. The story of these gruesome murders has become an important part of American folklore.
The Girls by Emma Cline
If you’ve ever heard of the name Manson, you should be able to figure out what this one is about. It’s summer in the late 1960s, and 14-year-old Evie is in love with Suzanne, a mysterious person she meets in a Los Angeles park.
Soon, she joins Suzanne in a cult, which has a huge but run-down ranch hidden in the hills. Edie has to decide if she can do what the cult and their charismatic leader want her to do.
The Revenant by Michael Punke
Hugh Glass, a fur trapper, was mauled by a bear in 1823. His friends thought he was dead, so they left him alone. Glass kept going even though he didn’t have any food or water. He found the men who left him.
Even though Glass was able to forgive the people who left him, this book focuses on Glass’s determination and survival because of his one desire for revenge.
Every Man for Himself by Beryl Bainbridge
Morgan is the American nephew of the owner of the shipping company. Over the course of four days, he tells us about the events that led up to and after the Titanic hit an iceberg. He also shows how his fate is linked to that of other passengers, whose real names we’ve come to know.
A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James
During the general election in Jamaica in December of 1976, seven gunmen broke into the house of singer Bob Marley. They shot Marley, his wife, his manager, and many other people, including some of the people who worked for him.
This Booker Prize-winning book looks at this tumultuous time in Jamaica’s history and the rumors about the unnamed assassins’ fates.
White Houses by Amy Bloom
First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt was the subject of reporter Lorena “Hick” Hickok’s story when she went to the White House. She didn’t think she would fall in love with the First Lady. The two became close friends and were never apart.
More information about their relationship has been revealed in love letters that were written after their death. Bloom’s novel, which is based on their relationship, also includes information about FDR’s presidency and his own extra-marital affairs.
Girl Waits With Gun By Amy Stewart
When Constance Kopp was a deputy sheriff in the United States, she was one of the first women to do that job. This is true. Afterward, Constance and her sisters worked together to bring the person who did this to justice. This led to her getting a job on the New Jersey police force, which is where she works now.
The Perfect Nanny by Leila Slimani
In 2012, Yoselyn Ortega is said to have killed two children while they were in her care in New York City. Ortega was inspired to write this award-winning best-seller by a real-life story about a mother who trusted her “perfect nanny” with her young children. The setting is moved to Paris, and the focus is on the relationship between the mother and the nanny.
What Are Books Called that Are Based on True Stories?
A book based on true stories doesn’t have a special name. Most are just like any other novel, but the plot was inspired by a real-life event or story in different ways.
Sometimes, the main characters are real people who lived in the past, but their lives are reimagined on the page, and many details are made up or guessed at. There are also times when the names are changed, or when some events are based on a true story.You need to remember the difference between fiction and nonfiction when you read books like these. Only writing that is 100% based on facts can be called nonfiction.