Notes on an ending, Elspeth Sandys

Novelist and memoirist Elspeth Sandys reflects on the need and use of endnotes

We are all familiar with the conversation about the relation between fiction and non-fiction. “I write fiction and I’m told it’s autobiography. I write autobiography and I’m told it’s fiction,” Philip Roth famously complained. I suspect his complaint will continue to be heard until there are no more writers and no more books, since the only thing critics seem able to agree on is that the border between fiction and non-fiction is, to use Andrew O’Hagan’s word, “unstable”. Any attempt to erect a wall between the two is doomed to fail.


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