I’ve got a problem.
I’m writing a novel* that includes episodes set in London in 1975. I want one of my characters to go to a concert by Ravi Shankar and Yehudi Menuhin at Southwark Cathedral. The concert actually took place – I was there, and I remember that it was very long and I was very uncomfortable on the cold stone floor.
Trouble is, that concert was in 1972, not 1975.
Or was it? According to a website that catalogues Ravi Shankar’s tours from 1964 to 2012, the maestro didn’t play any concerts in London at all in the seventies. But then I found a copy of the concert program for sale on Italian eBay, and it’s eerily there in black and purple – 1972.
Should I rewrite history? All my instincts tell me ‘no’ – I was, after all an academic researcher for years of my life, and fiddling with evidence was on a level with shoplifting.
Is that particular concert so important to the book? Well, yes, but I suppose there is some other emblematic event that I could replace it with.
I’ll keep you posted.
*The sequel to Cairo Mon Amour (to be published in London in 2017). The working title is Bury Me In Valletta.
Note on the portrait: I call this my querulous guinea pig picture, but somehow it acquired the title of Arthur or Martha?. For non-Australian readers, the origin of the phrase can be found here.