Meet Dr Dina Gusejnova, lecturer and researcher in Modern History at Sheffield University and author/presenter of the BBC Radio 4 documentary Tarpaulin-A Biography . We collaborated with her on an oral history project on the Isle of Man in 2017 and she has agreed to join us as our adviser on all things to do with thinking through the historical research aspect of our workshops. She believes that Historical Fiction is an important way in which teenage minds can interact with sometimes impenetrable history.
She asks two questions of young fiction writers creating historical characters:
How do your characters see their lives developing? If they could do something now, how would they change the world they live in?
She writes: By engaging with history, we open our eyes to the multifaceted nature of our world: the paths not taken, things that might have been, the factors which led to things as they are now, a universe of peculiar but forgotten characters, of past dreams and expectations.