unreliable narrator

"Every unreliable narrator is making the case 'you would have done the same thing if you were in my shoes.' " This from mystery writer Laura Lippman at a really good panel at Bouchercon, an annual crime fiction conference I attended for the first time this year.

I'm a big fan of unreliable narrators, because they're flawed and they're human and they're surprising. And to me, they're a good reminder that we are all – every one of us that has ever had a relationship or human interaction – an unreliable narrator at some time, in some context. We want something badly enough to lie about it. Or we deceive ourselves because confronting the truth is too painful. This vulnerability, out of which we all, inevitably, sometimes choose poorly, is what makes us human.