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Virginia Insight

Getting at Fact through Fiction


Sometimes the most effective route to the truth is through fiction.

So says Lexington writer Chris Gavaler.

His newest novel is based on the true story of two young people who cheated their way into America’s most infamous so-called "Indian School."

Writing a fictional account of historical fact, says Gavaler, was the best way he knew to reveal "the absurdity of racism."

Whites trying to pass as native Americans, blacks trying to pass as whites, the government "science" of race, and the inner lives of children victimized by prejudice are just some of the controversial themes Gavaler examines. We ask him what he learned in the process.

NOTE: This is an encore presentation, originally broadcast January 10, 2011.

Chris Gavaler, M.F.A. - Author, School For Tricksters [Southern Methodist University Press, 2011]. Visiting Assistant Professor of English, Washington and Lee University.