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Just for fun > Unwritten Biography - who would you most like to read about?

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message 1: by Ivan (new)

Ivan | 2166 comments Mod
Have you ever read about someone from history and then tried to find a biography about them and couldn't because there hasn't been one written yet?

There are so many fascinationg people from all walks of life whose stories are just begging to be written. Name someone you'd like to read about and why. Feel free to list some biographies or memoirs you'd recommend to group members.


message 2: by Ivan (last edited Dec 29, 2012 07:16AM) (new)

Ivan | 2166 comments Mod
Lorraine Hansberry Lorraine Hansberry - New York City in the 50s & 60s - the theatrical and art worlds were so vibrant. Lorraine Hansberry was a playright most famous for A Raisin in the Sun. Her play was based in part on real events from her own history - a case that went to the Supreme Court http://supreme.justia.com/cases/feder.... She left Chicago to attend university in Madison but left to start her writing career in NYC. There she met and married a white Jewish intellectual theatrical producer Robert Nemiroff. Their marriage ended in friendship when she fully embraced her lesbian sexualty. A Raisin in the Sun became a giant hit - winning the NY Drama Critics Circle Award. She wrote the screenplay for the acclaimed film version. She wrote a number of other plays, essays and worked with James Baldwin and others on civil rights - even meeting with Bobby Kennedy. Her play Sign In Sidney Brustein's Window opened on Broadway to qualified praise - but was championed by a group of actors and writers who took out adds in the NYTimes to keep the show alive. Sadly, Hansberry died of cancer at the age of 34 (in 1965).

There have been a few short biographies written about her aimed for High School students, but no substantive biography of this most remarkable woman.

Digressions on Some Poems by Frank O'Hara A Memoir by Joe LeSueur Digressions on Some Poems by Frank O'Hara: A Memoir by Joe LeSueur is one of my favorite biographical books. LeSueur lived with O'Hara off and on for years. Each chapter starts with an O'Hara poem which LeSueur uses as a springboard to tell us what was happening in O'Hara's life when the poem was written. It's a great book, with lots of detail - a fascinating portrait - unique in the way it's presented.

O'Hara also died very young. He was walking on the beach and was struck by a dune buggy which lacerated his liver. He was only 40.

I'll come back with some other biographical works I'd recommend.


message 3: by Ally (last edited Dec 29, 2012 01:19PM) (new)

Ally (goodreadscomuser_allhug) | 76 comments Interesting question Ivan...you know that quote - "For most of history Anonymous was a woman"...I'd love to know more about those forgotten women but since they're 'forgotten' I'm not sure where to begin looking for them!

I saw a documentary earlier in the year called Divine Women about the prominent women in different religions which was facinating. I also saw a documentary about the early Queens of England like Matilda - I think it was called She Wolves.

From this distance of time its never going to be possible to 'know' the truth of how powerful or influential these women were but if this is about fantasy biographies then those are the stories I want to hear.


message 4: by Ivan (new)

Ivan | 2166 comments Mod
What frustrates me about Hansberry is that all the material is available, but the people who actually knew and worked with her are shuffling off this mortal coil.

Yes, Ally, fantasy biographies could prove fun. I read an early novel by Gore Vidal about Blondel and Richard the Lionheart called A Search for the King, and ever since I've been fascinated by this relationship of King and troubadour.


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