May 9, 2008
Biography, the Bastard Child of Academe
Meryle Secrest recently wrote a book called Shoot the Widow: Adventures of a Biographer in Search of Her Subject (Knopf, 2007). The title is darkly humorous. Secrest does not literally plan homicide. But, like many biographers, she resents the widows (and widowers) who block access to documents that would reveal the foibles and accomplishments of the subjects under scrutiny.
Secrest — author of nine biographies, including studies of Frank Lloyd Wright and Leonard