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Biography: A Very Short Introduction (edition 2009)
by Hermione Lee
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0199533547, Paperback)
Biography: Questions for Consideration and Discussion Do you think there can be set rules for biography? What do you think are the particular challenges of writing literary biography? Do you think biography should tell the whole truth? What do you think is the relationship between different kinds of “life-writing”: diaries, memoirs, letters, autobiography, biography? Could you have a biography of a river, or a city, or a disease? Do you think men’s and women’s lives have been written about in different ways, and if so, why?
(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:34:56 -0400)
Lee considers the cultural and historical background of different types of biographies, looks at the factors that affect biographers, and asks whether there are different strategies, ethics, and principles required for writing about one person compared to another. She also discusses contemporary biographical publications and considers what kind of "lives" are the most popular and in demand. And along the way, she answers such questions as why do certain people and historical events arouse so much interest? How can biographies be compared with history and works of fiction? Does a biography need to be true? Is it acceptable to omit or conceal things? Does the biographer need to personally know the subject? Must a biographer be subjective?
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