One of the premisses on which my PR in Fiction (Stirling21) and Scoop! projects are based is that authors must depict the disciplines and their practitioners in a way which resonates with the reader's preconceptions.
Perhaps he is thinking more about emotion that accurate description, but here is William Boyd talking to Mariella Frostrup on Radio 4's Open Book (Sept 17, 2009, 14.30 into the podcast).
"What is the truth?
".... Everything is subjective and one person's lie is another person's true story and, funnily enough, the more I have written, the more I think the power of the novel, the power of fiction resides in the fact that even though it is completely made up, we actually guarantee its versacity thereby.
"So if you want to know how people react, or how people feel in certain situations, it maybe in time of war, or in a love affair, funnily enough, the place to go is a novel or a short story because everything in that depiction has been made up, but made up in a way to achieve absolute authenticity, Whereas if you go to a memoir, or a biography, or a work of history, or a work of reportage it is selected and shaped by the author in a way that cannot possibly replicate whatever that truth was.
"So it is one of those strange paradoxes that to find out what life is like in all its complexities, read fiction."
I am not sure I can sustain the argument that Confessions of a Shopaholic is "made up in a way to achieve absolute authenticity" but I was pleased that quite a few people at Stirling 21 seemed to find some value in my approach. None would admit to having read Shopaholic, which I think is rather a shame, but I did pick up a couple of very promising titles for PR in Fiction.