Although Mark Twain apparently didn't coin the phrase "truth is stranger than fiction," he offered perhaps the best explanation for why it is so. "It is because fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities," he wrote. "Truth isn't." History is replete with proof; try, for instance, plotting a novel that faithfully replicates the events of September 11 or John F. Kennedy's assassination and watch it be dismissed as absurd.
Scott Anderson, The New York Times Book Review, August 30, 2020