When I was in college, I heard John Logan read "Poem, Slow to Come, on the Death of Cummings," an elegy that recounts Logan's grief over the death of his mentor, E. E. Cummings. In the poem, in verses of great musicality, Logan works through his sadness by remembering moments he shared with Cummings, by celebrating his mentor's profound influence as an artist and teacher.
I wish I could speak with ironclad certainty about the right of fiction writers to portray anyone, from any culture, in any way we wish. In her opening address at the Brisbane Writers Festival, Lionel Shriver, a celebrated U.S. author, adamantly took that stance. Her argument appeared sound: the genre is fiction, therefore it's made up, imaginary, and nobody should take offense.