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>  Betty-
>  I'm reading a delightful fictional biography by William Boyd, Any Human 
> Heart.
> Boyd also wrote the infamous biography, Nat Tate: An American Artist, 
which turned out to be an elaborate practical joke on the art scene. 
It will definitely be my next read! Since I do my best reading on 
public transportation, and we here in NY are having a transit strike, 
I may have to "train" myself for armchair reading.
>  "...On the eve of April Fool's Day in 1998, the elite of New York's 
> artistic and literary circles gathered to celebrate the launching of Boyd's 
> biography of a rediscovered American artist, Nat Tate. Tate, an 
> abstract-expressionist painter, had associated with artists such as 
> Picasso and Braque, but then methodically destroyed most of his work 
> and committed suicide at age 31, throwing himself off the Staten Island 
> Ferry and into artistic obscurity. Boyd and David Bowie (a director of 21 
> Publishing, which produced the book) solemnly read excerpts from the 
> biography and were surprised and gratified as they mingled with the guests 
> to hear that a few people attending the party remembered meeting Nat Tate.
>  The only problem was that Nat Tate never existed: the biography was 
> completely fictional. Its credibility was boosted by facsimiles of the 
> artist's 
> recently discovered drawings (created, for the most part, by Boyd himself), 
> grainy pictures of the artist and his acquaintances (taken from collections 
> of anonymous photographs), and an endorsement on the dust-jacket by 
> writer Gore Vidal (who was in on the joke as well)."... 
> Christopher Grobe, Yale Review of Books 
> http://www.yalereviewofbooks.com/archive/summer03/review10.shtml.htm

A L I C E * S I M P S O N

> From: Book_Arts-L [mailto:BOOK_ARTS-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx]On Behalf Of
> Betty Bright
> Sent: Monday, December 19, 2005 12:30 PM
> To: BOOK_ARTS-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
> Subject: Artist biographies
> This is a bit off-topic, and apologies for cross-posting, but I am
> investigating the artist biography, and I would appreciate it if list
> members would pass along their favorites, along with their thoughts as to
> what ingredients contributed to its success.
> Many thanks,
> Betty Bright

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