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04 October 2012

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I wish I could get hold of the Jackson biog, having loved both her creepy and her domestic novels. It might be nicer if I could just believe the life she projects in Savages and Demons, though...

Simon,
I wish you could get hold of this bio too--it really, REALLY adds a lot to reading the Savages book and her fiction. Ironically I have a hard time finding Raising Demons but I'm going to try and track it down.
Are you in the UK? How do your libraries work there? Is it possible to do what we call interlibrary loan--where you ask your local library to ship hard-to-find books in for you from other libraries across your country? Or maybe it's just not available there at all. Bummer.

Just having Robert Caro's biographies of LBJ is evidence enough for me to believe that we indeed live in a golden age for biography.

Robert,
I've read one of those books by Caro, and I wanted to read more (just haven't had the time yet). So I know his writing MUST be good, as I have less than zero interest in LBJ, the sixties, or politics. Let's hear it for the golden age of bios!

Private Demons is one of the books I dragged with me to Korea. The biographer does tend to slather on the conjecture, but when it was written, there was absolutely nothing about Jackson except a turgid maybe 50 page bio of her written by someone whose first name was Ludmilla. Ludmilla knew almost nothing about Jackson except the basics, which she delivered in hard little turds of prose, so the Oppenheimer biography was like a bracing cool wind and sunlight streaming into..etc etc. Isn't it great that all 4 of the kids and so many of her friends agreed to interviews? My favorite anecdote in the book is the one in which Shirley 'gaslighted' Stanley about his favorite movie "Freaks".

Not Ludmilla. Lenemaja. Oops. Sorry about getting the name wrong. I'm sticking to my comments about the critical biography, though.

Bybee,
How great that this is one of the books you took along to Korea. I can see why you would--even if I quibble with the writing, Shirley is a fascinating character. I think "slather on the conjecture" is a great (and accurate) descriptive phrase, but like you, I am just thankful someone, somewhere, wrote this biography. Why isn't there more critical interest in Jackson?

I blew right through the book and have already forgotten a lot of it, which is so sad. I do not remember the Stanley movie anecdote, but I'm still shocked about the general gist of how she waited on that guy hand and foot. I wonder how all of her kids are doing now.

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