Picasso has often been called the greatest artist of this century. This biography defines his greatness: his accomplishment and versatility as a painter, sculptor, graphic artist, ceramicist, and designer. Most of the innovations in 20th century art are associated not only with his work but with the legend he built of himself as the quintessential modern artist.
American Isis is the first Plath biography benefiting from the new Ted Hughes archive at the British Library, which includes 41 letters between Plath and Hughes as well as a host of unpublished papers. The Sylvia Plath that Carl Rollyson brings to us in American Isis is no shrinking violet overshadowed by Ted Hughes; she is a modern-day Isis, a powerful force that embraced high and low culture to establish herself in the literary firmament.
"Sylvia Plath/ Marilyn Monroe, spot the difference!"
He provides entertaining and informative accounts of her feud with Mary McCarthy, and her many love affairs and surprising friendships. He also provides a provocative and compelling portrayal of this complex and brilliant woman, who was called everything from a "viper" and "a goddam liar" to "an empathetic genius with a highly original and penetrating mind." Near death, Hellman spoke of being blocked; this biography will show what got in her way.
Carl Rollyson was Norman Mailer's first literary biographer to draw on unpublished letters and manuscripts as well as on interviews with the writer's friends and foes. Rollyson provides a full account of Mailer's college years, especially his fear of being drafted. Here are the sources of Mailer's mental crisis in the 1950s that led to the stabbing of his second wife, Adele. Norman Mailer: The Last Romantic gets at the sources of Mailer's obsession with violence while also portraying a major literary figure in the making.
Rollyson fully explores Brennan's work with Hollywood's greatest directors, such as Howard Hawks, John Ford, and Fritz Lang. As a father and grandfather, Brennan instilled generations of his family with an outlook on the American Dream that remains a sustaining feature of their lives today. His conservative politics, which grew out of his New England upbringing and his devout Catholicism, receive meticulous attention and a balanced assessment in A Real American Character.
Professional biographer Carl Rollyson has pioneered a new kind of biography for children and adults alike. His narrative of Marie Curie's life is rendered in simple, precise prose. Each chapter is designed to provoke further discussion and research into the life and career of one of the century's greatest scientists and - as Rollyson shows - one of the most important figures in human history.
From this comprehensive, yet critically measured wealth of material, Rollyson offers a distinctive and insightful portrait of Marilyn Monroe, highlighted by new perspectives that depict the central importance of acting to the authentic aspects of her being.
Rollyson proposes a number of apologias for biography, including the thought that in the right hands the literary biography is a continuation of the writer's work and life. In such instances, there seems to be a symbiosis between the biographer and subject. In other cases, biographies spearhead the rediscovery of important writers. He rejects the idea that literary figures are not good subjects for biography because they are not men and women of action.
This volume represents more than 25 years of writing about female icons and biography. Rollyson provides the bits and pieces that resulted not only in his biography of Marilyn Monroe but also in much of the work he has subsequently done on Lillian Hellman, Martha Gellhorn, Rebecca West, Susan Sontag, and on the nature of biography itself.
Biography as a literary genre is largely the product of the 18th century and of one seminal work, James Boswell's Life of Samuel Johnson (1791). Boswell's innovations revolutionized the genre and made it the target of suppression and censorship. He sought not only to memorialize a great man but also to reveal his flaws. Boswell reported long stretches of Johnson's conversation, noted his mannerisms, and in general gave an intimate picture such as no biography had ever before dared to attempt.
Martha Gellhorn died in February 1998, just shy of her 90th birthday. Well before her death, she had become a legend. She reported on wars from Spain in the 1930s to Panama in the 1980s, and her travel books have become classics. Her marriage to Ernest Hemingway and affairs with legendary lovers like H. G. Wells, and her relationship with two presidents, Roosevelt and Kennedy, reflect her campaigns against tyranny and deprivation, and her outrage at the corruption and cruelty of modern governments.
Emily Dickinson exemplified the virtue of self-discipline. She wrote poetry largely for her own pleasure, and to exercise and increase her creative talents. Very few of her poems were published during her own lifetime, yet we know that she wrote consistently - perhaps every day - over several decades. Poetry was her way of knowing herself and understanding the world.
"Boooooo Where's the scholarship?"
Dana Andrews (1909-1992) worked with distinguished directors such as John Ford, Lewis Milestone, Otto Preminger, Fritz Lang, William Wyler, William A. Wellman, Mervyn Le Roy, Jean Renoir, and Elia Kazan. He played romantic leads alongside the great beauties of the modern screen, including Joan Crawford, Elizabeth Taylor, Greer Garson, Merle Oberon, Linda Darnell, Susan Hayward, Maureen O'Hara, and most important of all, Gene Tierney, with whom he did five films.
The first book to survey the broad range of Ms. Sontag's work, including full discussions of her fiction. One can ask for no better guidebook.
This engaging collection of essays restores Amy Lowell's rightful place in the history of American literature. Carl Rollyson, author of several major literary biographies, corrects the distorted and often hostile accounts of Lowell that have appeared in biographies of D. H. Lawrence, Robert Frost, Ezra Pound, and other writers who collaborated with her in establishing the "new poetry" as an integral part of post-World War I American culture.
The Literary Legacy of Rebecca West is the first book to explore the entire corpus of her extraordinary 71-year writing career. The general introductory studies of West are outdated and do not take into account her posthumous publications, or her large literary archive of unpublished letters and manuscripts. Previous scholarly books have chopped West up into categories and genres instead of following the evolution of her career.
Rollyson accumulated what's now another book about Rebecca West. This new collection tells the story of how his biography got written, of what it means to think like a biographer, and why West's vision remains relevant. She's one of the great personalities and writers of the modern age, and one that we are just beginning to comprehend.
This memoir of a professional biographer's life tells the inside story of how he became interested in his subjects and reveals the mechanics of the trade: how to assemble proposals for publishers, conduct interviews and archival research, and joust with editors, subjects, and their literary estates. Other biographers have described their process but remained discrete, not wishing to offend their sources and supporters. This author has forgone such caution.
Thurgood Marshall was one of the original forces behind the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), one of the organizations that advocated the rights of African Americans in the 20th century. His pursuit of civil rights reached a highpoint when, as a lawyer, he helped the NAACP win Brown vs. Board of Education, the Supreme Court case that ended segregation in education in American public schools.
The biography's new title emphasizes that Rebecca West was a prophet - one not always appreciated in her own day. As early as 1917, she understood where the world was headed and realized that the revolution in Russia held out false hope. Because she took this view as a socialist, those on the left scorned her as an apostate, whereas she understood that Communism would result in a disaster for the British left.
"Well written biography of a boring subject"