As I wait to hear back from my editor (latest revision submitted January 1st), I continue to tinker with the biography of Crockett Johnson and Ruth Krauss. Does my manuscript’s silence on the homosexuality of two important figures – Maurice Sendak (who illustrated nine of Ruth’s books) and Ursula Nordstrom (editor of Ruth, Dave, Maurice) –
Following the deaths this month of Brian Jacques, Janet Schulman, and Margaret K. McElderry, we turn to the last words of those who wrote for the young – Seuss, Dahl, Thurber, Montgomery, Nesbit, Charles M. Schulz, Crockett Johnson, and others. “Yes. I’m not going to die tomorrow.” – Dr. Seuss (Theodor Seuss Geisel, 1904-1991) “Ow,
Last week, I finally finished Donald Sturrock’s Storyteller: The Authorized Biography of Roald Dahl.Â I highly recommend it.Â In addition to being well-written and carefully researched, it’s a heck of a story.Â In it, you’ll encounter such facts as these: During World War II, Dahl was a spy.Â (This has previously been documented in Jennet
On a First-Name Basis with People Iâ€™ve Never Met: A Personal Introduction to Crockett Johnson and Ruth Krauss
Yesterday, I sent off (what I hope is) the final revision of the manuscript for my biography of Crockett Johnson and Ruth Krauss.Â After I did, I began reading Storyteller: The Authorized Biography of Roald Dahl (2010), which Donald Sturrock (the author) begins by describing his own relationship with his subject.Â It helped me understand
Is reporting on one’s editorial process the height of self-indulgent blogging? Join us in one man’s journey to find out.
For those who care about such minutiae, here are some outtakes from Chapter 14, “At Home with Ruth and Dave” – from which I’ve just cut 540 words. Â The chapter, which covers Crockett Johnson and Ruth Krauss in 1947 and 1948, draws heavily on Ruth’s 123-page account of their daily lives in late winter 1948:
Meeting interesting people is one of the benefits of writing a biography. I never met Syd Hoff (1912-2004) in person, but we corresponded and talked on the phone in 2000. You may know Hoff as the author of Danny and the Dinosaur (1958) or as the creator of over hundreds of New Yorker cartoons. As
Working in a little biography-editing while at the American Studies Association conference in San Antonio. Â (Why, yes, I would like some more workahol. Â Thank you for offering!) Â I’ve just condensed three paragraphs on Crockett Johnson‘s visit to Commonwealth College (radical labor school in Mena, Arkansas, 1922-1940) down to a single paragraph. Â For the record, that
One reason that so much must be thrown out from a biography – or, at least, from my forthcoming biography of Crockett Johnson and Ruth Krauss – is that a lot of research can underwrite a very small fact. Â For example, I sometimes had to read a book in order to write a single sentence.
Will publishing the “outtakes” from my forthcoming The Purple Crayon and a Hole to Dig: The Lives of Crockett Johnson and Ruth Krauss (UP Mississippi, 2012) help to promote the book or dissuade people from picking it up? Â After all, these are the bits cut from the book, not the parts that remain. Â Well, since