Dona Munker: Writing a Biography

      ~ Writing a Biography ~
      About Writing Biography and Imagining a Life


July 19, 2011

Tags: Biographers International, Place, Robert Caro

Robert Caro.

        Speaking of the power of place, no one knows more about that than Robert Caro, who appeared at the 2011 Compleat Biographer Conference luncheon to accept this year's BIO Award for his contributions to the art and craft of biography in his books on (more…)


    July 16, 2011

    Tags: Lyndall Gordon, Place

    Istanbul at sunset. (Photo: qmannola)

          It's never smart for anyone working on a biography to underestimate the power of place. Especially when the writer is reading someone else's work.

          When I went on vacation two weeks ago, I brought along Lives Like Loaded Guns, the biography of Emily Dickinson by Lyndall Gordon, to read on the transatlantic leg of a trip to Istanbul. (more…)

          The disciple of a famous sculptor came upon his master carving an elephant from a huge, shapeless chunk of stone. "Master," cried the disciple, "What splendor! What realism! What insight! How do you do it?" "Simple," replied the sculptor. "You just cut away everything that isn't elephant."

          Stalking the Elephant is a blog about creating an elephant from a chunk of stone, a.k.a. writing a biography.

          It's also about the biographer's writing life (well, mine, anyway) and a work in progress, SARA AND ERSKINE, AN AMERICAN ROMANCE. This is an intimate reconstruction of the life of SARA BARD FIELD, a World War One-era minister's wife, suffragist, and poet, and her extraordinary affair with an outspoken attorney, philosophical anarchist, and Renaissance man CHARLES ERSKINE SCOTT WOOD.

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          This couple takes up a lot of time (not to mention a lot of oxygen), and since I don't have a regular posting schedule, the best way to receive updates is to sign up to be notified when I post something new.

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      Visit the RESOURCES page and take advantage of a growing list of links, blogs, and books for anyone interested in biography and writing lives.

        Sidebar Photo Credit: Elephant Country Web

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