Literary Gossip: Tid-bits and Trivia
One of the side effects of working in a bookstore is the collecting of certain tid-bits; literary "gossip" so to speak. This information will not earn you conversational points at any cocktail party or bar (unless you have a lot of really bookish friends) nor will it particularly impress anyone who doesn't know whom you're talking about. But...if you do know who these people are, well then, you're sure to go "Really?" So here goes...
Did you know that:
Geraldo Rivera is Kurt Vonnegut's (SLAUGHTERHOUSE-FIVE, DEADEYE DICK, BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS) ex son-in-law? Read about it in Rivera's book EXPOSING MYSELF. (Is this what led Vonnegut to write WELCOME TO THE MONKEY HOUSE?)
When Horatio Alger, Jr., author of rags-to-riches stories of determined young boys, was accused of pederasty by the parish committee of the Unitarian Society of Brewster, he did not deny the charges, saying that he had been "imprudent." He then left town. Read it all in the tell-it-all biography of Alger, HORATIO'S BOYS.
V. C. Andrews, whose first successful novel FLOWERS IN THE ATTIC appeared in 1979, has published about a book a year since then... even though she died in 1986. It sort of gives you a whole new perspective on the term "ghostwriter" doesn't it?
Anne Perry, well-known author of murder mysteries (CATER STREET HANGMAN, SUDDEN FEARFUL DEATH) was convicted of murder herself for the death of her best friend's mother, when Anne was a pre-teen. Janice Holt Giles who wrote uplifting, funny, thoughtful novels of Kentucky (THESE ENDURING HILLS, TARA'S HEALING, MISS WILLIE, 40 ACRES AND NO MULE) died an alcoholic. (Not the only author to do so, by any means, but one of the few whose works give you no idea that there might be a problem somewhere.)
Also along the lines of literary tid-bits, but not necessarily gossip, is marriage...who was married to whom?
William Beebe, well-known naturalist, explorer and author (GALAPAGOS: WORLD'S END, PHEASANTS: THEIR LIVES AND HOMES) was married to Elswyth Thane who probably wrote more than he did (FROM THIS DAY FORWARD, QUEENS FOLLY, DAWN'S EARLY LIGHT). Robert Penn Warren (ALL THE KING'S MEN) was married to Eleanor Clark, also a writer (BALDUR'S GATE). Both Beebe and Warren are mentioned in Encyclopedia Britannica and the World Book, but neither Thane nor Clark exists, even as minor mentions in their husband's biographical listings in these tomes. Ah...but we know better
Well, all we can say is that all of us here know quite a few of these little literary tid-bits. Why dont you check with us about your favorite writers when you come by or call. All we need is a little encouragement to spill the beans.
Copyright 1996 - 2001 C. Dickens Fine, Rare and Collectible Books, Atlanta, Georgia