Is "Beyond the Mango Tree" non fiction or fiction?Is the story real or not real

Expert Answers
Lorraine Caplan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Beyond the Mango Tree is classified as a work of fiction, but it is based on the author's childhood in Africa. The fact that the book is narrated in the first person, meaning the narrator herself is "talking" to us, makes the novel feel as though it is real.

One way to tell whether something is fiction or non-fiction is to look at the page on the back of the cover page. Often, at the bottom, there will be a series of numbered "keywords," and a fictional work will usually include the word "fiction."  Also, whenever someone refers to a "novel," that means that the story is not "real." 

This brings up an interesting point about fiction that is based upon real events.  There was a scandal a few years ago, when an author, James Frey, wrote a best-seller about his experiences as a drug addict.  He presented the book as non-fiction, and then it was discovered that he had made up or exaggerated many incidents in the book.  People criticized him a great deal for his dishonesty.  There is a lesson to be learned here, which is that if you change things around in a story, even if it mostly a true story, you really should not present the story as "real."

Read the study guide:
Beyond the Mango Tree

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question