Best Biographies Quotes

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Best Biographies Quotes

The best interviews like the best biographies should sing the strangeness and variety of the human race.
— Lynn Barber —

I make up as little as possible. I spend a great deal of time on research, on finding all the available accounts of a scene or incident, finding out all the background details and the biographies of the people involved there, and I try to run up all the accounts side by side to see where the contradictions are and to look where things have gone missing. And it's really in the gap - it's in the erasures - that I think the novelist can best go to work because inevitably in history in any period, we know a lot about what happened, but we may be far hazier on why it happened. And there's always the question, why did it happen the way it did? Where was the turning point?

— Hilary Mantel

If you read the biographies of people who have written good books, you often see the point where they suddenly come into themselves, and those weeks in the spring of 1997 were when I came into myself as a writer. They feel like some of the best weeks of writing I'll ever have. The discovery that I could write better about something as trivial as an ordinary family dinner than I could about the exploding prison population of the United States, and the corporatization of American life, and all the other things I'd been trying to do, was a real revelation.

— Jonathan Franzen

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