Search results for: conversations-with-biographical-novelists

Conversations with Biographical Novelists

Author : Michael Lackey
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How does a writer approach a novel about a real person? In this new collection of interviews, authors such as Emma Donoghue, David Ebershoff, David Lodge, Colum McCann, Colm Tóibín, and Olga Tokarczuk sit down with literary scholars to discuss the relationship of history, truth, and fiction. Taken together, these conversations clarify how the biographical novel encourages cross-cultural dialogue, promotes new ways of thinking about history, politics, and social justice, and allows us to journey into the interior world of influential and remarkable people.

Truthful Fictions Conversations with American Biographical Novelists

Author : Michael Lackey
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In this new collection of interviews, some of America's most prominent novelists identify the key intellectual developments that led to the rise of the contemporary biographical novel, discuss the kind of historical 'truth' this novel communicates, indicate why this narrative form is superior to the traditional historical novel, and reflect on the ideas and characters central to their individual works. These interviews do more than just define an innovative genre of contemporary fiction. They provide a precise way of understanding the complicated relationship and pregnant tensions between contextualized thinking and historical representation, interdisciplinary studies and 'truth' production, and fictional reality and factual constructions. By focusing on classical and contemporary debates regarding the nature of the historical novel, this volume charts the forces that gave birth to a new incarnation of this genre.

Conversations with Biographical Novelists

Author : Michael Lackey
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Interviews with some of the world’s most famous biographical novelists that provide new insights into how novelists from China to Morroco to Canada to South Africa deal with the moving boundaries that separate truth, history, and fiction.

Conversations with Joanna Scott

Author : Michael Lackey
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Joanna Scott (b. 1960) has been one of America’s leading writers since the 1990s. Both critically acclaimed and winner of numerous prestigious awards, Scott’s unique and probing vision and masterful writing has inspired readers to adjust their perceptions of life and of themselves. Her fiction jolts and illuminates, frequently exposing the degree to which the perverse is natural and the ordinary is twisted and demented. Conversations with Joanna Scott presents eighteen interviews that span two decades and are as much about the process of reading as they are about writing. Witty, probing, wide-ranging, and insightful, Scott’s off-the-cuff observations about literature and life are as thought-provoking as some of the most memorable lines and scenes in her fiction. Not only shedding new light on Scott’s fiction, Conversations with Joanna Scott also illuminates enduring areas of inquiry, like the challenge of trying to make art out of sentences; the effort to recover and imagine lost stories from the past; the changing status of the literary imagination; fictional portraiture and the productive possibilities that come from blending biography and fiction; and concerns about literacy. Joanna Scott has made her name through brilliant, award-winning novels, but this volume clarifies why she is also one of America’s leading public intellectuals and an astute critic of literature and culture.

The American Biographical Novel

Author : Michael Lackey
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Before the 1970s, there were only a few acclaimed biographical novels. But starting in the 1980s, there was a veritable explosion of this genre of fiction, leading to the publication of spectacular biographical novels about figures as varied as Abraham Lincoln, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Friedrich Nietzsche, Emily Dickinson, Virginia Woolf, Henry James, and Marilyn Monroe, just to mention a notable few. This publication frenzy culminated in 1999 when two biographical novels (Michael Cunningham's The Hours and Russell Banks' Cloudsplitter) were nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, and Cunningham's novel won the award. In The American Biographical Novel, Michael Lackey charts the shifts in intellectual history that made the biographical novel acceptable to the literary establishment and popular with the general reading public. More specifically, Lackey clarifies the origin and evolution of this genre of fiction, specifies the kind of 'truth' it communicates, provides a framework for identifying how this genre uniquely engages the political, and demonstrates how it gives readers new access to history.

Biofiction and Writers Afterlives

Author : Bethany Layne
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The twelve essays collected in this work explore the afterlives of nineteenth- and twentieth-century writers in biographical fiction, or biofiction, and its sister genre, the biopic. The essays situate these genres in relation to their generic, cultural, and ideological contexts, and are organised into four groups. The first locates the origins of biofiction in the historical novel, and in Modernist experiments in life writing, while the second consists of case studies of biofiction about writers from the long nineteenth century: Charlotte Brontë, Henry James, Constance Fenimore Woolson, and Rupert Brooke. A guest essay by novelist Maggie Gee opens the third group, which analyses the fertile sub-genre of biographical novels about Woolf, while the fourth and final part of the book concerns the related genre of the biopic. The volume is comprised entirely of original commissions, whose authors include postgraduate students, practitioners and specialists in biographical writing. It will appeal to undergraduates and postgraduates on life writing and contemporary literature modules, as well as fans of the featured biographical novelists and their subjects.

Biofiction

Author : Michael Lackey
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Biofiction: An Introduction provides readers with the history, origins, evolution, and legitimization of biofiction, suggesting potential lines of inquiry, exploring criticisms of the literary form, and modeling the process of analyzing and interpreting individual texts. Written for undergraduate and graduate students, this volume combines comprehensive coverage of the core foundations of biofiction with contemporary and lively debates within the subject. The volume aims to confront and illuminate the following questions: • When did biofiction come into being? • What forces gave birth to it? • How does it uniquely function and signify? • Why has it become such a dominant aesthetic form in recent years? This introduction will give readers a framework for evaluating specific biofictions from writers as varied as Friedrich Nietzsche, George Moore, Zora Neale Hurston, William Styron, Angela Carter, Joyce Carol Oates, and Colm Tóibín, thus enabling readers to assess the value and impact of individual works on the culture at large. Spanning nineteenth-century origins to contemporary debates and adaptations, this book not only equips the reader with a firm grounding in the fundamentals of biofiction but also provides a valuable guide to the uncanny power of the biographical novel to transform cultural attitudes, perspectives, and beliefs.

Ireland the Irish and the Rise of Biofiction

Author : Michael Lackey
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Biofiction is literature that names its protagonist after an actual historical figure, and it has become a dominant literary form over the last 35 years. What has not yet been scholarly acknowledged or documented is that the Irish played a crucial role in the origins, evolution, rise, and now dominance of biofiction. Michael Lackey first examines the groundbreaking biofictions that Oscar Wilde and George Moore authored in the late 19th and early 20th centuries as well as the best biographical novels about Wilde (by Peter Ackroyd and Colm Tóibín). He then focuses on contemporary authors of biofiction (Sabina Murray, Graham Shelby, Anne Enright, and Mario Vargas Llosa, who Lackey has interviewed for this work) who use the lives of prominent Irish figures (Roger Casement and Eliza Lynch) to explore the challenges of seizing and securing a life-promoting form of agency within a colonial and patriarchal context. In conclusion, Lackey briefly analyzes biographical novels by Peter Carey and Mary Morrissy to illustrate why agency is of central importance for the Irish, and why that focus mandated the rise of the biographical novel, a literary form that mirrors the constructed Irish interior.

Neo Victorian Biofiction

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Highlighting neo-Victorian biofiction’s crucial role in reimagining and augmenting the historical archive, this volume explores the complex ethical consequences of a creative movement of historiographic revisionism, combining biography and fiction in a dialectic tension of empathy and voyeuristic spectacle.

Virginia Woolf s Afterlives

Author : Monica Latham
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This book explores Virginia Woolf’s afterlives in contemporary biographical novels and drama. It offers an extensive analysis of a wide array of literary productions in which Virginia Woolf appears as a fictional character or a dramatis persona. It examines how Woolf’s physical and psychological features, as well as the values she stood for, are magnified, reinforced or distorted to serve the authors’ specific agendas. Beyond general theoretical issues about this flourishing genre, this study raises specific questions about the literary and cultural relevance of Woolf’s fictional representations. These contemporary narratives inform us about Woolf’s iconicity, but they also mirror our current literary, cultural and political concerns. Based on a close examination of twenty-five works published between 1972 and 2019, the book surveys various portraits of Woolf as a feminist, pacifist, troubled genius, gifted innovative writer, treacherous, competitive sister and tragic, suicidal character, or, on the contrary, as a caricatural comic spirit, inspirational figure and perspicacious amateur sleuth. By resurrecting Virginia Woolf in contemporary biofiction, whether to enhance or debunk stereotypes about the historical figure, the authors studied here contribute to her continuous reinvention. Their diverse fictional portraits constitute a way to reinforce Woolf’s literary status, re-evaluate her work, rejuvenate critical interpretations and augment her cultural capital in the twenty-first century