Fictionalizing Jack London Charmian London and Rose Wilder Lane as Biographers , Washington State University Few twentieth-century American authors have been as frequently interpreted--and misinterpreted--by biographers as has Jack London. As Jeanne Campbell Reesman sums up the shortcomings of London biographies in a recent essay for Resources for American Literary Study, London's colorful life story attracted some "hero-worshippers" among those who knew him, notably his wife Charmian London, but also biographers such as Irving Stone, who was "obsessed with London's medical problems and personality flaws" (154) to the point of distorting facts about his life and death. The problems of writing Jack London's life did not begin with Stone, whose popular Sailor on Horseback (1938) enshrined a number of myths about London that persist in current biographies. In the years immediately following London's death, London's life became the subject matter for two women writers: Charmian London, whose The Book of Jack London appeared in 1921; and the journalist Rose Wilder Lane, who became London's first biographer with her serial "Life and Jack London," published in Sunset magazine from October 1917 to May 1918. In "Life and Jack London," by weaving incidents from London's autobiographical fiction with biographical details,
Studies in American Naturalism – University of Nebraska Press
Published: Apr 17, 2012
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