Biography, vol. 21, no. 4 (1998)

Editor’s Note, p. iii


Raising Adam: Ethnicity, Disability, and the Ethics of Life Writing in Michael Dorris’s The Broken Cord, pp. 421-444
G. Thomas Couser

Michael Dorris’s The Broken Cord (1989) combines elements of several life writing genres–for example, Native American autobiography, autoethnography, parental memoir, and disability memoir. Its mixture of genres raises questions about the ethics of parental life writing and the representation of people with disabilities. Ultimately, despite its reformist intentions, the book echoes rather than revises traditional inscriptions of race and disability.

Biography and Autobiography in Eliza Butler’s Sheridan, A Ghost Story, pp. 445-462
Sandra J. Peacock

Eliza Butler’s 1931 biography of Richard Brinsley Sheridan anticipates current debates in the art of lifewriting. Her experiments with narrative and thematic structures prefigure recent biographical strategies, and her musings on the relationship between past and present parallel current concerns. When read with her own autobiography, Butler’s Sheridan reveals a lively interplay between biographer and subject.

Finding Fate’s Father: Some Life History Influences on Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, pp. 463-481
William Todd Schultz

This article describes various ways in which Roald Dahl’s life-history–the early loss of his father and sister, a tragic accident involving his only son Theo, additional unexpected trauma, and the tendency to seek what Henry Murray called “claustral” spaces–sheds light on certain themes contained in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and in several other of Dahl’s works as well. As many writers do, Dahl made use of fiction in Charlie to rescript difficult memories, and to replace an accident-perfused reality with a sort of just universe in which chance stood no chance at all.

Annual Bibliography of Works about Lifewriting, 1997-1998,
pp. 482-535
Phyllis E. Wachter

This year’s annotated list of books, collections, special issues and annuals, articles and essays, and dissertations about lifewriting covers the period from 1997 to August 1998

REVIEWS, pp. 536-544


LIFELINES, pp. 573-577

INDEX TO VOLUME 21, pp. 578-580