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Finding a little bit of the Author in their Work

Discuss the March 2017 Book of the Month, Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel.

Finding a little bit of the Author in their Work

Post Number:#1 by Scerakor
» 14 Mar 2017, 11:08

An author writes what they know. Sometimes, this very fact lends itself so well to the work that it becomes more and more real. In this book, you can see that Emily St. John Mandell has an easy handle on three different physical locations: and island in BC, Toronto, and New York. A little bit of research here shows that this is in fact due to some of the main places that she has lived. Similarly, some of the topics she uses (theatre, music, etc) are equally relevant.

I love seeing examples of how a bit of the author comes out in their books, whether intentionally or not. Hemmingway was an alcoholic, most characters in his books drink a lot; George R.R. Martin's descriptions of feasts lead me to believe that he is an individual that likes his food; and the list goes on.

What are your favourite examples of authors leaving a little bit of themselves in their works? What do you think would come out about yourself if you wrote a book (or if you already have)?
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Re: Finding a little bit of the Author in their Work

Post Number:#2 by Aimy
» 17 Mar 2017, 07:50

It's true writings do tell about their authors. It's either personal experience that is reflected in the stories or a thorough research.
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Re: Finding a little bit of the Author in their Work

Post Number:#3 by Rebeccaej
» 23 Mar 2017, 16:00

Anansi Boys, by Neil Gaiman, has a subplot with a character who sings quite well, but has horrible stage fright. It doesn't end with him learning to be less afraid. He learns how to be terrified and do it anyway.

It's a lot more touching when you learn that Gaiman, for all that he travels the world giving public readings and speeches, still has so much performance anxiety he sometimes vomits before he goes onstage. That whole subplot was about himself.

For myself--I can't help but notice how many of my characters have autistic traits, and how often they talk to plants or objects, due to not having enough meaningful contact with other people.
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Re: Finding a little bit of the Author in their Work

Post Number:#4 by Scerakor
» 23 Mar 2017, 17:53

Rebeccaej wrote:Anansi Boys, by Neil Gaiman, has a subplot with a character who sings quite well, but has horrible stage fright. It doesn't end with him learning to be less afraid. He learns how to be terrified and do it anyway.

It's a lot more touching when you learn that Gaiman, for all that he travels the world giving public readings and speeches, still has so much performance anxiety he sometimes vomits before he goes onstage. That whole subplot was about himself


Great example. You just reminded me of another similar example. Slaughterhouse V means so much more Knowing that Vonnegut was actually in the Dresden bombings of WWII.
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