205 episodes

Talks and interviews about the life of biography as experienced by a biographer over forty years and fourteen biographies, dealing with subjects ranging from Sylvia Plath to William Faulkner, Marilyn Monroe to Susan Sontag, and much more.

A Life in Biography Carl Rollyson

    • Arts
    • 4.6 • 16 Ratings

Talks and interviews about the life of biography as experienced by a biographer over forty years and fourteen biographies, dealing with subjects ranging from Sylvia Plath to William Faulkner, Marilyn Monroe to Susan Sontag, and much more.

    My listeners respond

    My listeners respond

    My listeners respond and I comment on their comments

    • 20 min
    Why Biography Doesn’t Belong

    Why Biography Doesn’t Belong

    A rambling meditation on the biographer as exile.

    • 16 min
    A talk with Marian Janssen, biographer of Carolyn Kizer, one of the wild women of American poetry

    A talk with Marian Janssen, biographer of Carolyn Kizer, one of the wild women of American poetry

    A talk with the delightful Marian Janssen who describes her career as a biographer and why she chose to write about the American poet Carolyn Kizer.

    • 30 min
    How close is too close when it comes to the biography of your subject?

    How close is too close when it comes to the biography of your subject?

    I explain what happened when I became part of the lives of my two subjects while researching and writing To Be a Woman: The Life of Jill Craigie and A Private Life of Michael Foot

    • 33 min
    You’ve heard of Chaplin and Keaton, but Al Christie?—the subject of Mark Kearney’s new biography

    You’ve heard of Chaplin and Keaton, but Al Christie?—the subject of Mark Kearney’s new biography

    Al Christie: Hollywood’s Forgotten Film Pioneer by Mark Kearney. A wide ranging discussion of a pioneer Hollywood filmmaker, how to write his biography, and what implications there are for biographers of film figures.

    • 36 min
    Tim Christian discusses his audiobook version of Hemingway’s Widow

    Tim Christian discusses his audiobook version of Hemingway’s Widow

    How to do a biography as an audiobook

    • 29 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
16 Ratings

16 Ratings

SheilaAstro ,

How the art of biography reframes everything

I’ve always read biographies since i was a child but never understood until this podcast how each biography shifts the prism through which we understand history, psychology, and culture. Thanks to this podcast, I’ve not only read books I probably would otherwise have passed by, but am reading with a wider and deeper appreciation. Thanks!

Bob Batchelor ,

Outstanding Podcast!

Carl Rollyson's "A Life in Biography" dives into biography through interviews and discussions with top biograhers, writers, and historians from around the globe. Rollyson is the Dean of American Biography and guides the conversations with insight, wit, and excellent questions. This podcast is a master class in writing, research, publishing, and the life (and lives) of biography.

eclectic7 ,

Sound quality is distracting

Interviews are top-notch, but the sound quality (or lack thereof) is distracting. Invest in a $70 Samson mike. You will still maintain that great interview style without the distraction of poor sound quality. EDIT: upgraded to 5 stars. Improvement in sound quality noted and appreciated.

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