Monday, February 01, 2010

Promising Biographers for Readers to Consider

In Appendix B of my book Real Lives Revealed, I identify top biographers, authors who have at least three biographical titles in their portfolios. Here are some additional names to consider when looking for biographical authors. Some have only two titles but show promise of making a career in the genre. Most are younger. A couple I just overlooked.

Adams, Henry (1949- ): Writes about 20th century artists.

* Eakins Revealed: The Secret Life of an American Artist
* Thomas Hart Benton: An American Original
* Tom and Jack: The Intertwined Lives of Thomas Hart Benton and Jackson Pollock

Carlin, Peter Ames: Writes about pop music figures.

* Catch a Wave: The Rise, Fall & Redemption of the Beach Boy's Brian Wilson
* Paul McCartney: A Life

Carlo, Philip: Novelist turned biographer who grew up among future mafia bosses.

* The Night Stalker: The Life and Crimes of Richard Ramirez
* The Ice Man: Confessions of a Mafia Contract Killer
* Gaspipe: Confessions of a Mafia Boss
* The Butcher: Anatomy of a Mafia Psychopath

Clinton, Catherine: Historian who writes about nineteenth century American women.

* Harriet Tubman: The Road to Freedom
* Fanny Kemble's Civil Wars
* Mrs. Lincoln: A Life

Gavin, James: Writes about jazz musicians.

* Deep in a Dream: The Long Night of Chet Baker
* Stormy Weather: The Life of Lena Horne

Goldstone, Nancy: Novelist now writing about historical queens.

* Four Queens
* The Lady Queen: The Notorious Reign of Joanna I, Queen of Naples, Jerusalem, and Sicily

Gooch, Brad: Among his many books are two well-reviewed biographies.

* City Poet: The Life and Times of Frank O'Hara
* Flannery: A Life of Flannery O'Connor

Holroyd, Michael: Writes about British art and literary figures.

* Hugh Kingsmill
* Lytton Strachey
* Augustus John
* Bernard Shaw
* A Strange Eventful History: The Dramatic Lives of Ellen Terry, Henry Irving, and Their Remarkable Families (2009)

Krakauer, Jon: Two of his popular works are biographical.

* Into the Wild
* Where Men Win Glory

Louvish, Simon: Writes about comic actors and film directors.

* Man on the Flying Trapeze: The Life and Times of W. C. Fields
* Monkey Business: The Lives and Legends of the Marx Brothers
* Stan and Ollie: The Roots of Comedy: The Double Life of Laurel and Hardy
* Keystone: The Life and Clowns of Max Sennett
* Mae West: It Ain't No Sin
* Cecil B. DeMille: A Life in Art

Rogak, Lisa: Writes about contemporary authors.

* A Boy Named Shel: The Life and Times of Shel Silverstein
* The Man Behind the Da Vinci Code: An Unauthorized Biography of Dan Brown
* Haunted Heart: The Life and Times of Stephen King

Schiff, Stacy: Versatile biographer.

* Saint-Exupery: A Biography
* VĂ©ra (Mrs. Vladimir Nabokov)
* A Great Improvisation: Franklin, France, and the Birth of America

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