Thursday, January 14, 2016

Authors as Characters in Fiction

As for the most popular fictionalized writers? No surprise to see a ton of Shakespeares, Austens, Dickenses and Brontës scampering with pens through the pages of other peoples’ novels. But a...[c]ranky Robert Frost? Witty Alexander Pope? These are some of the delights we uncovered for your reading pleasure.
~Sarah Seltzer, "50 Novels Featuring Famous Authors as Characters"

With the recent success of books like The Paris Wife and movies like Midnight in Paris, nostalgia for times past - and the famous people who lived through those eras - continues to be popular. Why is imagining the lives of the famous from history so entertaining? People with romantic or tragic lives seem to be often chosen as subjects; also people of whom not too much is known. Trying to blend non-fiction and fiction seamlessly is always an interesting experiment. A good novel might bring a famous person or their era alive for you - instead of just the facts, the emotional truth can be evoked. When you try to imagine the real-life experiences of famous authors, the challenge seems to be writing about those whose words resonate with so many and making your own words live up to theirs. What novels with famous authors, or other famous historical figures, as characters have you enjoyed? Or do you eschew historical fiction of this type in favor of biography or history?

With some help from the folks at Flavorwire, we've compiled a lists of books with authors as characters that are available in the library catalog. Please note, we have touched upon fiction with Jane Austen as a character in a recent post, so we have not included any in this list.

Dorothy Parker Drank Here by Ellen Meister [Dorothy Parker]

Vanessa and Her Sister by Priya Parmar [Vanessa Bell & Virginia Woolf]

The Hours by Michael Cunningham [Virginia Woolf]

The Master by Colm Tóibín [Henry James]

The Scandal of the Season by Sophie Gee [Alexander Pope]

Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler [Zelda Fitzgerald]

Drood by Dan Simmons [Charles Dickens]

Under the Wide and Starry Sky by Nancy Horan [Robert Louis Stevenson]

The Book of Salt by Monique Truong [Gertude Stein & Alice B. Toklas]

Old School by Tobias Wolff [Robert Frost, Ayn Rand, & Ernest Hemingway]

The Poe Shadow by Matthew Pearl [Edgar Allan Poe] 

Angelmonster by Veronica Bennett [Mary Shelley; YA]

Loving Will Shakespeare by Carolyn Meyer [William Shakespeare; YA]

Fall of Frost by Brian Hall [Robert Frost; eAudiobook]

The Blue Flower by Penelope Fitzgerald [Novalis]

Wintering: A Novel of Sylvia Plath by Kate Moses [Sylvia Plath]

Passion by Jude Morgan [Mary Shelley]

1 comment:

abcreading said...

I'm really looking forward to reading the novel with Nelly Dean from Wuthering Heights.