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Lives of the Writers: Comedies, Tragedies…
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Lives of the Writers: Comedies, Tragedies (and What the Neighbors Thought) (original 1994; edition 2014)

by Kathleen Krull (Author)

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The lives of twenty writers, ranging from Dickens, the Brontes, and Poe to Twain, Sandburg, and Langston Hughes, are profiled in this humorous and informative collection.
Member:artscibal
Title:Lives of the Writers: Comedies, Tragedies (and What the Neighbors Thought)
Authors:Kathleen Krull (Author)
Info:HMH Books for Young Readers (2014), Edition: Reprint, 96 pages
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Lives of the Writers: Comedies, Tragedies (and What the Neighbors Thought) by Kathleen Krull (1994)

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  pszolovits | Feb 3, 2021 |
Krull and Hewitt's book is a collection of vignettes on the lives of twenty authors. As the title implies, Lives of the Writers: Comedies, Tragedies (and What the Neighbors Thought) takes a humorous approach to the mini-biographies, highlighting lesser-known, quirky facts about the many of geniuses behind the literary canon. Although no explanation is given as to how the authors devised their list of "literary luminaries," (inside cover) the selection seems to cover authors that American students are likely to come across in school, such as Edgar Allan Poe, Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, and William Shakespeare, to name a few. A light-hearted piece, Lives of the Writers breezes through some of the more tragic elements of these authors' lives without being juvenile or patronizing. In fact, for creating such a short book, Krull makes the most of the format of the text, adding "Bookmarks" at the end of each chapter to include important or memorable points in the author's life or career that otherwise might not fit into the larger narrative for the author. Snippets at the beginning of each chapter also give the basics: life, death, birthplace, and notable works. While it may not be the most thorough or absolutely accurate collection of biographies, it's a fun book to get students interested in the lives behind the books. ( )
  sgudan | Mar 21, 2017 |
Kathleen Krull's "Lives of the Writers" was an absolutely excellent read and I have actually already used the section on Charlotte and Emily Bronte in concurrence with "Jane Eyre" in the high school AP English class I am observing.

Throughout this book, Krull makes it fun to learn about a variety of amazing writers by providing information about each writer that most biographies do not provide, such as what Jane Austen ate for breakfast and about how Zora Neale Hurston once punched a fellow elevator passenger. I found each of the writer's sections so intriguing that it inspired me to look up a few and read more about them. Even the subtitle for each writer were comical and informative. For example, the chapter on Charles Dickens has the subtitle "From Raisin Pudding to Oysters and Champagne" and Louisa May Alcott's says "Paddling Her Own Canoe". These subtitles are interesting and make you want to know more about them and why this relates to said writer.

The section on Charlotte and Emily Bronte was wonderful to use with Charlotte's novel "Jane Eyre" because it helped the students see how even though this novel is fiction, it was written with many autobiographical aspects.
  ADReed | Mar 2, 2015 |
I picked this book up in the children's section of the library, ostensibly to read to my children; however, I found myself completely intrigued as well. The excellent biographical sketches of some famous and influential writers left me wanting to read their full-length biographies. ( )
1 vote silva_44 | Oct 7, 2012 |
This is a marvelous introduction to the lives of various writers. Once again, I am intrigued at how Krull manages to dole out just enough information to create more curiousity about her subjects. Leaves you hanging, in a way, wishing for more. I 'm also pleased to see so much diversity, not just in the subjects, but in the elements of time, going back an entire millenium to find worthy subjects. ( )
  viviandoughty | Dec 1, 2008 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kathleen Krullprimary authorall editionscalculated
Hewitt, KathrynIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brown, John C.Narratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hughes, MelissaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Susan Cohen, friend of writers --author K.K.
To Pam Moore, artist and sister extraordinaire --illustrator Kathryn Hewitt
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You might think that writers--even famous ones--lead quiet, mousy lives.
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The lives of twenty writers, ranging from Dickens, the Brontes, and Poe to Twain, Sandburg, and Langston Hughes, are profiled in this humorous and informative collection.

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