Audiobook Review – Lives of the Writers by Kathleen Kull

lives of the writersHere in the Story Dam community we are aware that anyone can be a writer. We embrace the fact that if you have passion for the written word and a desire to express yourself, then you belong in this community. What is interesting is that sometimes, when I reflect upon “the greats,” I tend to forget this fact. Instead, I imagine that the authors of the classics were diligent writers who remained faithful to their typewriters or quills while pounding out the magical words and sentences that would live far beyond they did. I tend to forget that even these men and women lived and that writing was only one aspect of their lives. In Lives of the Writers: Comedies, Tragedies (and What the Neighbors Thought) Kathleen Kull provides a behind-the-scenes look at twenty different well known authors to show us how uniquely individual they each were. While each bio is not an extended exploration of each author’s life, I found the book entertaining and informative enough that it will allow me to offer up some fun facts at the next dinner party I attend.

The Writers Discussed

Krull explores the following twenty lives over the course of nineteen chapters:

  • Murasaki Shikibu
  • Miguel de Cervantes
  • William Shakespeare
  • Jane Austen
  • Hans Christian Andersen
  • Edgar Allan Poe
  • Charles Dickens
  • Charlotte & Emily Bronte
  • Emily Dickinson
  • Louisa May Alcott
  • Mark Twain
  • Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Jack London
  • Carl Sandburg
  • E. B. White
  • Zora Neale Hurston
  • Langston Hughes
  • Isaac Bashevis Singer

The chapters are arranged according to the birth order of the writers and after each life is explored, there is a section that recaps some of the author’s most well-known works and claims to fame.

My Review, In Short

As I “read” the audiobook version of this book, I am curious about the print edition. In reading some of the reviews online, there have been a lot of positive comments about the pictures included in the book that I missed out on. With that said, the audiobook, which is under three hours of listening time total, provided enough information for me to make it a worthwhile listen. I have already recommended that my husband (a high school English teacher) get his hands on this book for use with his students. If you are curious about some of the lesser know facts about the authors listed above, then I highly recommend this book with one reservation: be warned that, with an exploration of twenty different lives in one book, not one of them will be fully explored. This book serves as an excellent introduction to the eccentric lives of many of the writers we love which could then, in turn prompt readers to continue their own exploration of the lives that most intrigue them.

In looking at the list of authors that Kull explored in this book, whose life would you be most interested in reading about?

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About Nicole Rivera 66 Articles
Nicole Rivera is a writer and blogger from Staten Island, NY. She loves stories in all their forms - books, movies, TV, theater - and hopes, one day to help contribute to the vast world of published stories. In the meantime, she writes away on her blog Rivera Runs Through It while hanging out with her husband, her dog, and the random neighborhood rooster that she calls "Chicken." Tweet Nicole anytime about what you're reading, writing or watching @Riverand. (Bonus points for chocolate and Doctor Who related chats!)

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