from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. a piece of fiction, especially a novel, containing real-life people and/or events


French roman à clef ("novel with a key") (Wiktionary)


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  • Wall Street Journal (May 27, 2011) "As Slang Changes More Rapidly, Expert Has to Watch His Language"

    "Mr. Dalzell became a slang expert by accident. In his twenties, he studied law at the United Farm Workers union through an old-school apprenticeship under union lawyer Jerry Cohen. Mr. Dalzell was captivated by his boss's quirky charisma and decided to write a roman à clef based on their work together."

    October 7, 2015