Authors on authors, books on books

Novels about novelists! There are few things more satisfying than coming across a character in an unrelated book who bears a striking similarity to one’s own favorite writer, whoever that might be. I’m extremely eager to get my paws on a novel by Lynne Truss, Tennyson’s Gift, which, along with the titular poetaster, contains a fictionalized version of my own very favorite author, Lewis Carroll (aka Charles L. Dodgson). Though this book appears to be out of print in the United States, fans of Truss, the “pedant’s pedant,” shouldn’t be surprised to hear she and I share a fav Victorian–grammarians, punsters (what a terrible word), and hyper-critical language mavens alike (often rolled up into one somewhat obsessive personage) tend to be fans of the foremost creep of children’s literature.

There are more fictional depictions of L.C./C.L.D., and I’ve read a couple: Katie Roiphe’s Still She Haunts Me is the hot-house Flowers in the Attic take on things; and Anne Thackeray Ritchie’s slightly forgotten short novel From An Island might contain, in the person of a Mr. Hexham, a more disguised version of the pioneering photographer/writer/mathematician/control freak.

Until someone produces “Finding Wonderland” (starring Johnny Depp, naturally), I remain on the lookout for more literary interpretations…



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