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A Common Life

Four Generations of American Literary Friendships and Influence

About The Book

David Laskin shares the stories of four friendships that have defined the course of American Literature: Nathaniel Hawthorne and Herman Melville, Henry James and Edith Wharton, Katherine Anne Porter and Eudora Welty, and Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell.

An illuminating study of the nature of friendship itself, A Common Life is a fascinating narrative of the entanglements of art and life.

In each of the friendships that Laskin portrays, he demonstrates how the two writers met at a critical turning point in their lives and careers and how they profoundly affected the course of both.

“A delightful, unusual and often illuminating study of a kind of influences wrought on eight famous American writers by their intimate friendships with each other.” — Louis Auchincloss​

About The Author

David Laskin was born in New York and studied at Harvard College and New College, Oxford. He is the author of The Children’s Blizzard, which won the Washington State Book Award and the Midwest Booksellers’ Choice Award for Nonfiction.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (September 6, 2007)
  • Length: 464 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781416576068

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