“What happens to who?”
“Oh, you mean after they eat so many bananas they can’t get out of the banana hole?”
“Yes,” said Sybil.
“Well, I hate to tell you, Sybil. They die.”
“Why?” asked Sybil.
“Well, they get banana fever. It’s a terrible disease.”
-an exchange between Seymour Glass and six year-old Sybil Carpenter, A Perfect Day for Banana Fish, J.D. Salinger
Feature writers are gifted with dialogue. Their task is to then craft a story around those words, which can be a blessing and a curse. How much should be left on the cutting room floor? Should you, the writer, become a narrator?
How much of yourself should you put in a feature?
The line between feature and fiction is often blurred. Authors of fiction draw on their own experiences. Their works are full of personal anecdotes and even when a writer tries to avoid taking a more personal tack their point of view will subconsciously bleed into their words.
What does this have to do with J.D Salinger’s A Perfect Day for Bananafish and Akimi Yoshida’s Banana Fish manga, or the recent anime adaptation?
What is a bananafish?