Quotation by Elizabeth Bowen

What is a novel? I say: an invented story. At the same time a story which, though invented has the power to ring true. True to what? True to life as the reader knows life to be or, it may be, feels life to be. And I mean the adult, the grown-up reader. Such a reader has outgrown fairy tales, and we do not want the fantastic and the impossible. So I say to you that a novel must stand up to the adult tests of reality.
Elizabeth Bowen (1899–1973), British novelist, story writer, essayist, and memoirist; born in Ireland. Seven Winters, part 2, sect. 4, ch. 2 (1962).

From "Truth and Fiction," a 1956 talk which Bowen gave on a British Broadcasting Company (BBC) Home Service radio program.
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