When I started trying to move across from academic to commercial non-fiction writing, the agent I was initially working with liked the idea of my writing about motherhood. There followed many attempts to find a proposal that would suit me and satisfy a commercial market, although I never did find one in the end. But I had fun trying. The following were two test chapters I wrote, although the whole book never materialised.
I’ve also been writing for a couple of literary journals on the web, with a biographical or memoir slant, although I readily admit that biography I find extremely hard to do.
For Open Letters Monthly, a piece about Marguerite Duras and her important late-in-life love affair with her homosexual muse, Yann-Andrea Steiner.
And an essay about Anne Morrow Lindbergh:
For Cerise Press, a piece about writing the academic book on pornography.
An essay about the love life of Simone de Beauvoir:
An essay about Gide’s troubled marriage:
For the wonderful Numero Cinq, an interview with one of the great contemporary writers, Gabriel Josipovici, who deserves far more recognition than he currently receives:
Women’s Stories, Women’s Lives by Victoria Best
And this, unpublished, is my longest sustained piece of biography, an account of Colette’s life that focuses on a particular crisis she went through in late middle age, when she lived out the premise of her most successful novel and had an affair with her teenaged stepson.