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Notable: Author, author!

Two new novels and a nonfiction graphic guide make clear that authors can sometimes be real characters.

Daphne (Bloomsbury USA), by Justine Picardie, is a literary mystery that builds the layers of its story on the lives of Daphne du Maurier (author of Rebecca and other Gothic romances) and the Bronte family.

The James Boys: A Novel Account of Four Desperate Brothers (Random House), by Richard Liebmann-Smith, is a wild 19th century adventure based on the notion that four famous Jameses — novelist Henry, philosopher William, and outlaws Frank and Jesse — were all one big, not-so-happy family.

Secret Lives of Great Authors (Quirk), by Robert Schnakenberg, dishes about writers' real-life peccadillos, from the well-known, like Emily Dickinson's reclusiveness, to the less familiar, like W.B. Yeats' monkey gland implants.

Colette Bancroft, Times book editor

Notable: Author, author! 07/19/08 [Last modified: Saturday, July 19, 2008 4:30am]
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