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When I was 8 years old, I made my own encyclopedia of American biography - Johnny Appleseed, Jim Bowie, Davy Crockett, Daniel Boone, Charles Lindbergh, my pantheon of favorite heroes. Then I would write my own things and sew them together and try to make my own book.
I don't consider 'American Rose' to be a biography so much as a microcosm of 20th-century America, told through Gypsy's tumultuous life - it's 'Horatio Alger meets Tim Burton.'
In writing biography, fact and fiction shouldn't be mixed. And if they are, the fictional points should be printed in red ink, the facts printed in black ink.
Catherine Drinker Bowen
The biography I've written about Wendy Wasserstein will almost invariably be different than the one anyone else would write.
I wrote a great deal about the Civil Rights Movement when I was writing for 'The Nation' in the '60s, and also for Esquire magazine. Reading the biography of Coffin, it just reminded me that in those days, when you saw the term 'Christian,' it usually meant people for civil rights and for justice.
I remember once asking Grandma about a book she was reading, a biography of Abraham Lincoln, and how she answered me: this was the first conversation of my life that concerned a book, and 'the life of the mind' - and now, such subjects have become my life.
Joyce Carol Oates
I'm also doing a special for Comedy Central called Autobiography. It's going to be a spoof of Biography.
Biography is a very definite region bounded on the north by history, on the south by fiction, on the east by obituary, and on the west by tedium.
My first biography written in '73 was not 'Journey To The Moon.' It was 'Return To Earth.' Because for me, that was the more difficult task - disappointment.
The most frequent thing people said to me about Princess Diana when I was conducting interviews for my biography was that she could create a circle of intimacy in the middle of a crowd.
I have had the unfortunate experience of having someone write an unauthorised biography of me. Half of it is lies and the other half is badly written. My feeling is that if I'm going to write my life story, I ought to have my life first.
I had lost faith in biography.
A. N. Wilson
I didn't want to write a biographie romancee especially since I already write novels, nor did I want to challenge the rules of the biography game, arbitrary as those rules might be.
I had to do the book because there was an unauthorised biography which didn't tell it like it was.
Writing Charles Dickens' biography is like writing five biographies.
So many people had been asking me to write an autobiography, or threatening to write my biography without any input from me, that I thought I'd better tell my story before other people told it for me.
In these days a man is nobody unless his biography is kept so far posted up that it may be ready for the national breakfast-table on the morning after his demise.
I don't see that my age has anything to do with what is between the covers of my book, any more than the fact that I am right-handed. It's a fact of my biography, but it's uninteresting.
People who attack biography choose as their models vulgar and offensive biography. You could equally attack novels or poems by choosing bad poems or novels.
I realize that I had always in my heart of hearts planned to write a biography of Marie Antoinette.
I had no expectation that the Prince would offer me the unprecedented and unfettered access to the original and entirely untapped sources on which this biography is based.
I think that every so-called history book and film biography should be prefaced by the statement that what follows is the author's rendition of events and circumstances.
I don't think there is ever objective biography. Our vision of our subject is always shaped by who we are. So I do, of course, think the biographer's view is always something to keep in mind.
I would love to do an unauthorized biography about Congress... It's like a secret society up there.
I don't think my writing has much to do with my age. For me, my biography is more about what I was reading at what age. It's more of an intellectual thing of wanting to be free to write and think without being too bound by categorisation. I don't think I'm made for these times; I feel more like an old-fashioned writer.
John F. Kennedy
Martin Luther King, Jr.
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