Secret Lives of Great Authors: What Your Teachers Never Told You About Famous Novelists, Poets, and Playwrights

Overview

Strange-but-true tales of murderers, adulterers, drug addicts, and other literary legends.
 
With outrageous and uncensored profiles of everyone from William Shakespeare to Thomas Pynchon, Secret Lives of Great Authors tackles all the tough questions your high school teachers were afraid to ask: What’s the deal with Lewis Carroll and little girls? Is it true that J. D. Salinger drank his own urine? How many women—and men—did Lord Byron ...

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Secret Lives of Great Authors: What Your Teachers Never Told You about Famous Novelists, Poets, and Playwrights

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Overview

Strange-but-true tales of murderers, adulterers, drug addicts, and other literary legends.
 
With outrageous and uncensored profiles of everyone from William Shakespeare to Thomas Pynchon, Secret Lives of Great Authors tackles all the tough questions your high school teachers were afraid to ask: What’s the deal with Lewis Carroll and little girls? Is it true that J. D. Salinger drank his own urine? How many women—and men—did Lord Byron actually sleep with? And why was Ayn Rand such a big fan of Charlie’s Angels? Classic literature was never this much fun in school!

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal

Adult/High School

Schnakenberg packages the lives and loves of 41 famous writers into a supermarket-tabloid parody. All rumors, idiosyncrasies, feuds, etc., are fodder for laughs or sarcastic jeers; no event is so tragic as to be exempt. Each biography starts with birth/death dates, nationality, astrological sign, major works, contemporaries and rivals, literary style, and words of wisdom. Because Emily Dickinson wrote her poems in iambic tetrameter, they can be sung to the tune of "The Yellow Rose of Texas." She may have been a closet lesbian, but was definitely a Sagittarius. J. R. R. Tolkien (Capricorn) was one of the original translators of the Old Testament Books of Jonah and Job of the Jerusalem Bible and also snored so loudly that he was relegated to the bathroom to sleep while his wife remained in the bedroom. Agatha Christie, a Virgo, had a disability called dysgraphia and had to dictate all of her writing. Also, both of her husbands cheated on her. Schnakenberg compares F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald to P. Diddy and Lindsay Lohan as King and Queen of the celebrity party circuit, "astounding guests with their outrageous, drunken behavior." He cites Hemingway and Fitzgerald as the Oscar and Felix of America's Lost Generation. Thanks to modern headlines and reality TV, nothing here is particularly shocking, but the author does show that celebrity is celebrity no matter when it occurs. All readers will find at least a few "you have to hear this" tidbits.-Dana Cobern-Kullman, Luther Burbank Middle School, Burbank, CA

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781594742118
  • Publisher: Quirk Publishing
  • Publication date: 4/10/2008
  • Series: Secret Lives Series
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 1,395,205
  • Product dimensions: 5.25 (w) x 7.98 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Schnakenberg is the author of several nonfiction books including Distory: A Treasury of Historical Insults. He lives in Brooklyn, New York. 

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 4, 2009

    A humorous look at the authors you thought you knew.

    This book provided interesting back stories on the lives of famous authors. A fun read !

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2008

    Solid Research Solid Fun

    This book is fun and factual. I'm not an expert in literary biography but I've researched Mark Twain and Jack London and for documentary films and SECRET LIVES provides a true (and entertaining) glimpse into these boys' shenanigans. Based on this I can trust the scholarship and accuracy throughout. Fun, fun stuff. If all history and biography read as enjoyably I'd have probably made it through high school in less than six years.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 21, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews

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