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I very rarely read any fiction. I love biographies; I read about all kinds of people. I love theology and some philosophy.
I research the role, and if it's a literary character, I read the book, and if it's an historical figure, I research documents and biographies. If it's a fictional character, I work off the script.
I read a lot of biographies and books with an African background.
I sometimes think that, since I started writing biographies, I've had more of a life in books than I have had in my real life.
Writing Charles Dickens' biography is like writing five biographies.
Biographies are, in their nature, far more difficult to make into films than novels, because novels come with plots constructed and dialogue written, whereas I don't invent dialogue for my subjects or plot their lives for them.
It can be a long gap between the emergence of fully researched historical biographies.
I have hundreds of art books and the biographies of artists I love, such as Thomas Eakins and Edgar Degas.
I once interviewed David Herbert Donald, the Lincoln historian, and we talked about how one deals with the secondary sources and the previous biographies. He said something which kept coming back to me as I worked on Cleopatra, which was: 'There's no further new material; there are only new questions.'
I mainly read histories and biographies, but I'm also a big fan of Graham Swift and Thomas Hardy.
I love to read different books on completely different subjects at the same time. I cannot focus on one. I read a few pages of literature, then I jump to philosophy and at the same time I'm reading biographies of Mahler.
I love reading. I'm very much into history, novels, biographies and I have a wide range of thrillers.
I have believed in the biographies I have written. I truly can tell you that they have influenced our society politically, culturally, socially.
The difference between authorized and unauthorized biographies is the difference between riding in carriage or squatting in steerage.
I like reading biographies because most of them are slightly similar, and it's voyeuristic, looking into someone's life.
I've always enjoyed reading history, particularly presidential biographies.
I've been a lifelong horror fan, but at the same time, I would say 90 percent of my reading is biographies and nonfiction history.
On the other hand, when I give it closer thought, I realize I'm not enough of a dictator to conduct an orchestra because it requires a pretty awful person. When you read these biographies of famous conductors, they are all awful people who fail in their private relationships.
That was par for the course but I also found that commissions were being canceled and in fact I considered this directly libelous - I write biographies for a living as well as being a journalist - for a non fiction book to be called fiction from beginning to end.
I greatly enjoy reading the biographies of scientists, and when doing so I always hope to learn the secrets of their success. Alas, those secrets generally remain elusive.
Jack W. Szostak
I love biographies. I read Patti Smith's 'Just Kids.' I'm into that time frame in New York, the '70s and '80s. In art school, I read 'Close to the Knives,' the autobiography of the artist and AIDS activist David Wojnarowicz.
In the late 1990s, I left the teaching field to write biographies and histories for young adults.
Charles J. Shields
When I was younger, when I was at school, I did read a lot of fiction. I think as you get older perhaps you're interested in essays and biographies and things like that. I think it's just important to just read as much as you can.
What novels do that biographies don't is get at truths by penetrating the facts, by going deeper to what's underneath fact, through invention.
There are biographies, I looked at a lot of photographs of him, I heard his voice over and over and over again. You get in there and get to know the man by all of those pieces of information.
John F. Kennedy
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