Biography, vol. 22, no. 2 (1999)

Editor’s Note, p. iii


Getting Modern: The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, p. 177
Carolyn A. Barros

With The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, Gertrude Stein radically alters the history of autobiography. Stein effects the shift to modernist autobiography by eschewing the romantic conception of the self—a set of feelings and internal motives—to construct herself as a modernist work of art, a collage of multiple identities, a multi-perspectival “Master-piece.”

The Voice of Arii Taimai: Henry Adams and the Challenge of Empire, p. 209
Daniel L. Manheim

This article represents Henry Adams as distinctly divided on the question of imperialism. In his memoir about the last chiefess of Tahiti, he found a narrative that at once provided a just representation of his subject and silenced a narrative that implicated himself as biographer in his family’s imperialist project.

Holocaust Chronicle, Spiritual Autobiography, Portrait of an Artist, Novel in the Making: Reading the Abridged Diary of Etty Hillesum, p. 237
Anna Makkonen

Critical discussion of Etty Hillesum’s diary has mostly concentrated on the Holocaust. This essay emphasizes the literariness of An Interrupted Life—symbols, metaphors, intertexts, and the sense of coherence—and examines the diary’s relationship to spiritual autobiography, the bildungsroman, and (meta)fiction. Addressing simplified notions of the diary as a genre, the author argues that the “novelization” created by the act of publishing a (literary) diary is the product of the interplay between the scripts of the diarist, the editor, and the reader alike.


When Memory Speaks: Reflections on Autobiography, by Jill Ker Conway, p. 262
Martin Stannard

Declarations of Independency in Eighteenth-Century American Autobiography, by Susan Clair Imbarrato, p. 267
Patricia Meyer Spacks

Virgin Martyrs: Legends of Sainthood in Late Medieval England, by Karen A. Winstead, p. 269
E. Gordon Whatley

The Mortal Presidency: Illness and Anguish in the White House, by Robert E. Gilbert, p. 272
Robert S. Robins

Of Men and Monsters: Jeffrey Dahmer and the Construction of the Serial Killer, by Richard Tithecott, and Serial Killers: Death and Life in America’s Wound Culture, by Mark Seltzer, p. 273
P. David Marshall

Excerpts from recent reviews of biographies, autobiographies, and other works of interest.

Upcoming events, calls for papers, and news from the field.