For the first time ever, biographers will determine the best biography of the year when they bestow the Plutarch Award at BIO’s annual Compleat Biographer Conference in New York City on May 18. The 2012 nominees are: Deirdre Bair, Saul Steinberg: A Biography (Nan A. Talese); Robert Caro, The Passage of Power (Knopf); Lisa Cohen, All We Know: Three Lives (Farrar, Straus and Giroux); Timothy Egan, Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher: The Epic Life and Immortal Photographs of Edward Curtis (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt); Alice Kessler-Harris, A Difficult Woman, The Challenging Life and Times of Lillian Hellman (Bloomsbury Press); David Maraniss, Barack Obama, The Story (Simon & Schuster); John Matteson, The Lives of Margaret Fuller (W. W. Norton & Company); Tom Reiss, The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo (Crown); William Souder, On a Farther Shore: The Life and Legacy of Rachel Carson (Crown); Rachel L. Swarns, American Tapestry: The Story of the Black, White and Multiracial Ancestors of Michelle Obama (Amistad).

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