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By Blake Bailey

The first biography of acclaimed American novelist and tale author Richard Yates

Celebrated in his leading, forgotten in his ultimate years, merely to be championed anew through our best modern authors, Richard Yates has consistently uncovered readers to the unsettling hypocrisies of our smooth age. vintage novels such as progressive Road and The Easter Parade are incomparable chronicles of the quiet and not-so-quiet desperation of the yankee middle-class. Lonely housewives, addled businessmen, determined career-girls and frightened boys and squaddies, Yates's the USA used to be a landscape of excessive residing, self-doubt and self-deception. And within the culture of alternative nice life like writers of his time (Fitzgerald and Hemingway, Cheever and Updike), Yates's fictional global reflected his personal. A manic-depressive alcoholic and unapologetic gentleman, his existence used to be a hornets' nest of youth ghosts, the horrors of battle, funds woes, and ebullient cocktailed evenings in ny, Hollywood, and the Riviera.

A Tragic Honesty is a masterful evocation of a guy who in lots of methods embodied the struggles of the good American author within the latter 1/2 the 20 th century. popularity and gift by means of heartbreak and obscurity, Richard Yates the following stands for what the author needs to sacrifice for his craft, the devil's cut price of artistry for happiness, compliment for sanity.

National e-book Critics Circle Award Nominee for Biography (2003)

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Additional resources for A Tragic Honesty: The Life and Work of Richard Yates

Sample text

It was there, on January 29, 1954, in a small wooden farmhouse, that Oprah Gail Winfrey was born, the great-granddaughter of slaves who were freed after the Civil War. S. Supreme Court declared segregation in public schools to be illegal, and a seed of hope for a better future for blacks was planted. From the start, thanks to what might be considered a quirk of fate, Oprah’s name was marked with attention. Her great-aunt Ida had come up with the name Orpah after a little-known character in the Bible’s Book of Ruth.

So impressed was she with the novel, she bought several copies to give to her closest friends as gifts. 1 Winfrey was not alone in her admiration. The Color Purple went on to win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and has been translated into more than twenty languages. It has sold millions of copies all over the world. When Winfrey first read the book, she identified strongly with Sofia, the same character Jones had in mind for her to play in the film. Sofia is a woman who, like Winfrey, refuses to let the hardships of her life destroy her spirit.

Their militant philosophy did not fit in with Oprah’s view of the world. Although she felt pride in her heritage, she was not angry. She did not feel as though she had experienced discrimination. This set her apart from many of the other students. She said her college classmates “resented me. ”9 Oprah focused on her work in the drama department. In one memorable production, she played Coretta Scott King, wife of Martin Luther King, Jr. While a freshman in college, Oprah entered the Miss Black Nashville Pageant, sponsored by the Negro Elks Club.

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