Fred Kaplan Gore Vidal: A Biography

ISBN 13: 9780747548188

Gore Vidal: A Biography

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9780747548188: Gore Vidal: A Biography
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Novelist, culture critic, essayist, historian, comic satirist, image maker, actor, homosexual, bisexual, controversial, confrontational - finding words to describe Gore Vidal is never difficult. And yet, an accurate picture of this multifaceted chameleon has eluded us until now. This book provides a biography of a literary icon.

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Review:

Veteran biographer Fred Kaplan, praised for his evocative portraits of 19th-century masters like Charles Dickens and Thomas Carlyle, turns with aplomb to a contemporary writer in this lengthy yet cogent work. Indeed, the multifaceted Gore Vidal, born in 1925 but positively Victorian in the breadth of his interests and achievements, is fortunate to have a biographer as wide-ranging as Kaplan. He traces the familial roots of Vidal's lifelong political engagement (his maternal grandfather was a U.S. senator) and lucidly assesses his nonfiction as well as his bestselling novels such as Washington, D.C. and Burr, reminding readers that Vidal has for decades been an astute, sardonic observer of the American scene. Vidal's personal relations are depicted frankly but briskly, as befits a staunch defender of homosexual rights who is open about his own orientation but refuses to be pigeonholed as a gay writer. The famous feuds with William Buckley, Norman Mailer, and Truman Capote get enjoyably full treatment, properly situated in the context of larger issues. If the inner workings of Vidal's psyche remain ultimately elusive despite Kaplan's access as authorized biographer to thousands of unpublished letters, that too seems right for someone of whom a friend once remarked, "I've always thought that Gore is a man without an unconscious." --Wendy Smith

From the Inside Flap:

ajor, authorized biography of a towering literary and cultural figure, published to coincide with The Golden Age (Doubleday, Fall 200), the seventh title in Vidal's Narratives of Empire series.

No writer since Hemingway has lived his life on as ambitious or international a scale as Gore Vidal, whose work, like Hemingway's, has become a prominent landmark in twentieth century American literature. Thanks to Vidal's complete cooperation and Kaplan's complete autonomy, this meticulously researched biography has all the glamour, sex, gossip, and family scandal one would expect. But more than that, Kaplan ties together the diversity and variety of his subject's work and life in a highly satisfying, utterly thorough study that will be the starting point for any critical and cultural analysis of Gore Vidal for years to come.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780385477031: Gore Vidal: A Biography

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ISBN 10:  0385477031 ISBN 13:  9780385477031
Publisher: Doubleday, 1999
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9780385477048: Gore Vidal: A Biography

Anchor, 2000
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9780747546719: Gore Vidal: A Biography

Blooms..., 1999
Softcover

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