Thursday, April 30, 2009

Top Biographers

From today it is two months until publishing day! June 30, 2009 is the date my book Real Lives Revealed will be officially unveiled. You may now find it for pre-orders on Amazon, Baker & Taylor, and Barnes & Noble. I look forward to seeing it on display at the Libraries Unlimited exhibit at the American Library Association Annual Conference in Chicago, July 11-14.

In the meantime, I plan to post several pieces about and around the subject of biography. I'll start by identifying some top biographers. As with any literary genre, there are men and women who repeated write biographies. I identify dozens of them in the second appendix in my book. Here are three samples.

Fraser, Antonia (1932) – Popular mystery writer who also writes novel-like biographies of British and French monarchs.
· Mary, Queen of Scotts (1969)
· Cromwell: The Lord Protector (1973)
· King James VI of Scotland, I of England (1975)
· Royal Charles: Charles II and the Restoration (1979)
· Warrior Queens (1989)
· Wives of Henry VIII (1992)
· Marie Antoinette: The Journey (2001)
· Love and Louis XIV : The Women in the Life of the Sun King (2006)
Authors to try: Stephen Coote, Benita Eisler, Robery K. Massie, Nigel Saul, Claire Tomalin, Alison Weir, Derek Wilson

Macintyre, Ben (1963- ) – Journalist who writes about flamboyant historical characters.
· Forgotten Fatherland: The Search for Elisabeth Nietzsche (1992)
· The Napoleon of Crime: The Life and Times of Adam Worth, Master Thief (1997)
· The Englishman's Daughter: A True Story of Love and Betrayal in World War I (2002)
· The Man Who Would Be King: The First American in Afghanistan (2004)
· Agent Zigzag: A True Story of Nazi Espionage, Love, and Betrayal (2007)
Authors to try: Andrew Cook, Laurence Bergreen, Mary S. Lovell, Charles Nicholl, Jack Repcheck, David S. Reynolds, Kenneth Silverman

Spoto, David (1941- ) – Celebrity biographer interested in film directors who has recently also begun to write about religious figures.
· Stanley Kramer, Film Maker (1978)
· The Dark Side of Genius: The Life of Alfred Hitchcock (1983)
· The Kindness of Strangers: The Life of Tennessee Williams (1985)
· Falling in Love Again: Marlene Dietrich (1985)
· Lenya: A Life (1989).
· Madcap: The Life of Preston Sturges (1990)
· Blue Angel: The Life of Marlene Dietrich (1992)
· Laurence Olivier: A Biography (1992)
· Marilyn Monroe: The Biography (1993)
· A Passion for Life: The Biography of Elizabeth Taylor (1995)
· Rebel: The Life and Legend of James Dean (1996)
· Notorious: The Life of Ingrid Bergman (1997)
· Diana: The Last Year (1997)
· The Hidden Jesus: A New Life (1998)
· Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis: A Life (2000)
· Reluctant Saint: The Life of Francis of Assisi (2002)
· Enchantment: The Life of Audrey Hepburn (2006)
· Joan: The Mysterious Life of the Heretic Who Became a Saint (2007)
· Spellbound by Beauty: Alfred Hitchcock and His Leading Ladies (2008)
Authors to try: Charlotte Chandler, Anne Edwards, Fred Lawrence Guiles, C. David Heymann, Charles Higham, Kitty Kelley, Andrew Morton, Sally Bedell Smith, Tom Santopietro, J. Randy Taraborelli

These and the other top biographers entries may be used to develop readalike lists.

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