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View Diary: Bookflurries-Bookchat: Weaving a World for Readers (191 comments)

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  •  this problem with a Marie Tharp biography (1+ / 0-)
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    Marie Tharp was the woman who discovered the mid-Atlantic ridge and mapped the world's undersea mountain ranges. This led to the acceptance of Wegener's theory of drifting continents and modern plate tectonics. Unfortunately, Soundings: The Story of the Remarkable Woman Who Mapped the Ocean's Flaw was full of interpolated recreations to the point that they detracted from the biography.

    No, you don't know that she took a puff on her cigarette or checked the sleeve of her sweater before responding to some comment. Sorry. It might have been possible, but you don't know that. I can tell that the author was working from photographs and various accounts and diaries, but it would have been better to have given real details and let us imagine the interaction rather than extrapolating for us. As a non-fiction author, your job is to tell us what we can know and what you suspect, not to present the latter as the former.

    In fiction it really doesn't bother me. I've always wanted to see Lise Meitner as an action hero leading raids on Nazi heavy water facilities under the guidance of the commando team's desk bound leader, Albert Einstein.

    •  I agree (0+ / 0-)

      that it detracts.  I have read some good biographies and some horrible ones.  The one about Molly Ivins was so bad that I gave it away.

      I keep hoping someone will do a different one.  I understand mentioning faults in a bio, but this was just super nuts and some guessing at what she thought about a man she loved that drove me crazy.

      Join us at Bookflurries-Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

      by cfk on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 12:02:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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