I set A Lost Tale, one of my Unicorn novels, on The Isle of Man. Well, The Isle of Man is in the whole trilogy to a degree, but I digress for accuracy.
I took pains to research the island and use many of the real places, but - let us say - with unicorns present there just might have been an aura of fantasy.
In one of the first newspaper reviews of my novel, the reviewer tore the book apart, from plot to characters to conceit. But, he Loved (with a capitol LUV) my depiction of The Isle of Man. He even called the place an additional character. So I did something right. [DE]
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10 Imaginary Countries in Books
By Ben Ryder Howe
This spring, In Partial Disgrace, a novel by the late Charles Newman more than twenty years in the writing, is being published by Dalkey Archive. Since the book concerns an imaginary Central European nation, Cannonia, we asked its editor, Ben Ryder Howe, to come up with a list of ten novels featuring mythical countries.
A good mythical country is not a place that doesn’t exist. It’s a place that does exist but you weren’t aware of it, either because you didn’t look at the map carefully, haven’t spent enough time in that particular part of the subarctic Eurasian hinterlands, or simply got confused by the exotic-sounding name. (For its part, Cannonia, the setting of In Partial Disgrace, is a country that is “effectively all border,” and usually covered on maps by the compass sign or coat-of-arms.)
#4. Amerika – What’s weirder, Kafka’s America, which E.L. Doctorow called “gloriously insane,” or the real one (which Kafka too never visited)? Which one really exists?