Paths of Resistance: The Art and Craft of the Political Novel

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Houghton Mifflin, 1989 - Literary Criticism - 167 pages
Five novelists examine the correlation between their writing and their sense of social responsibility, emphasizing how good political fiction deepens the reader's awareness of the urgency of modern society

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Contents

Active in Time and History
14
CHARLES MCCARRY
65
GORE VIDAL
125
Copyright

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About the author (1989)

Isabel Allende was born in 1942 in Lima, Peru, the daughter of a Chilean diplomat. When her parents separated, young Isabel moved with her mother to Chile, where she spent the rest of her childhood. She married at the age of 19 and had two children, Paula and Nicolas. Her uncle was Salvador Allende, the president of Chile. When he was overthrown in the coup of 1973, she fled Chile, moving to Caracas, Venezuela. While living in Venezuela, Allende began writing her novels, many of them exploring the close family bonds between women. Her first novel, The House of the Spirits, has been translated into 27 languages, and was later made into a film. She then wrote Of Love and Shadows, Eva Luna, and The Stories of Eva Luna, all set in Latin America. The Infinite Plan was her first novel to take place in the United States. She explores the issues of human rights and the plight of immigrants and refugees in her novel, In The Midst of Winter. In Paula, Allende wrote her memoirs in connection with her daughter's illness and death. She delved into the erotic connections between food and love in Aphrodite: A Memoir of the Senses. In addition to writing books, Allende has worked as a TV interviewer, magazine writer, school administrator, and a secretary at a U.N. office in Chile. She received the 1996 Harold Washington Literacy Award. She lives in California. Her title Maya's Notebook made The New York Times Best Seller List in 2013.

William Knowlton Zinsser (October 7, 1922 - May 12, 2015) was an American writer, editor, literary critic, and teacher. He began his career as a journalist for the New York Herald Tribune, where he worked as a feature writer, drama editor, film critic and editorial writer. Throughout the 1970s, Zinsser taught writing at Yale University. He wrote 18 books, including On Writing Well, which is in its 17th edition. Zinsser died at the age of 92 in Manhattan on May 12, 2015.

Robert Stone was born in Brooklyn, New York on August 21, 1937. His parents never married and his father was not part of his life. His mother had schizophrenia and was frequently hospitalized. From the ages of 6 to 10, he lived in an orphanage run by the Marist brothers. In 1954, he dropped out of high school and joined the Navy, where he earned his high school equivalency diploma. In the 1960's, he briefly attended New York University, worked as a copy boy for the New York Daily News, and attended the Wallace Stegner writing workshop at Standford University. His first novel, A Hall of Mirrors, won a William Faulkner Foundation award for best first novel of 1967 and was adapted into a movie entitled WUSA starring Paul Newman. His other books include Children of Light, Outerbridge Reach, Damascus Gate, Bear and His Daughter, Fun with Problems, Bay of Souls, and Death of the Black-Haired Girl. He also wrote a memoir entitled Prime Green: Remembering the Sixties. He won numerous awards including the National Book Award in 1975 for Dog Soldier, which was adapted into a movie entitled Who'll Stop the Rain starring Nick Nolte and Tuesday Weld, and a PEN/Faulkner Award for A Flag for Sunrise. He died of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease on January 10, 2015 at the age of 77.

Albert Charles McCarry Jr. was born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts on June 14, 1930. He enlisted in the Army, where he wrote for Stars and Stripes and edited a weekly Army newspaper in Bremerhaven, Germany. He was a dishwasher and newspaper reporter before becoming an assistant and speechwriter to Secretary of Labor James P. Mitchell. After two years, McCarry was recruited by the C.I.A. He worked for nine years as a deep cover operative in Europe, Asia and Africa. He became an author of both fiction and nonfiction. His fiction works included Ark and The Paul Christopher series. His nonfiction works included Citizen Nader and three memoirs - two written with Alexander Haig Jr. and one written with Donald T. Regan. McCarry died from complications of a cerebral hemorrhage caused by a fall on February 26, 2019 at the age of 88.

Poet and novelist Marge Piercy was born in Detroit, Michigan on March 31, 1936. She received a B. A. from the University of Michigan and an M. A. from Northwestern. She is involved in the Jewish renewal and political work and was part of the civil rights movement. She won the Arthur C. Clarke award. Besides writing her own novels and collections of poetry, she has collaborated with her husband Ira Wood on a play, The Last White Class, and a novel, Storm Tide. In 1997, they founded a small literary publishing company called the Leapfrog Press. She currently lives in Cape Cod.

Gore Vidal was born Eugene Luther Gore Vidal Jr. on October 3, 1925 at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York. He did not go to college but attended St. Albans School in Washington and graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire in 1943. He enlisted in the Army, where he became first mate on a freight supply ship in the Aleutian Islands. His first novel, Williwaw, was published in 1946 when he was twenty-one years old and working as an associate editor at the publishing company E. P. Dutton. The City and the Pillar was about a handsome, athletic young Virginia man who gradually discovers that he is homosexual, which caused controversy in the publishing world. The New York Times refused to advertise the novel and gave a negative review of it and future novels. He had such trouble getting subsequent novels reviewed that he turned to writing mysteries under the pseudonym Edgar Box and then gave up novel-writing altogether for a time. Once he moved to Hollywood, he wrote television dramas, screenplays, and plays. His films included I Accuse, Suddenly Last Summer with Tennessee Williams, Is Paris Burning? with Francis Ford Coppola, and Ben-Hur. His most successful play was The Best Man, which he also adapted into a film. He started writing novels again in the 1960's including Julian, Washington, D.C., Myra Breckenridge, Burr, Myron, 1876, Lincoln, Hollywood, Live From Golgotha: The Gospel According to Gore Vidal, and The Golden Age. He also published two collections of essays entitled The Second American Revolution, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award for criticism in 1982 and United States: Essays 1952-1992. In 2009, he received the National Book Awards lifetime achievement award. He died from complications of pneumonia on July 31, 2012 at the age of 86.

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