cover image Fair Game: What Biographers Don't Tell You

Fair Game: What Biographers Don't Tell You

Denis Brian. Prometheus Books, $24.95 (373pp) ISBN 978-0-87975-899-8

Brian (Tallulah, Darling) mixes interviews musty and recent into a pastiche that questions the work methods of several prominent biographers. The outcome is diffuse, with some ax-grinding, but the author raises interesting points. Why did no reporter cover the murder case described in Truman Capote's long-out-of-print Handcarved Coffins? He suggests that much of Capote's story is ``a mix of accounts of crimes.'' To investigate biographer Kitty Kelley, Brian questioned rivals like C. David Heymann, but also found listed sources who said Kelley never interviewed them for her book on Nancy Reagan. The material on Charles Higham, Bob Woodward and Joe McGinniss has all been aired previously. However, Brian did snag a brief interview with Woodward, who confidently defended his methods. Photos not seen by PW. (Nov.)