Blake Bailey (born July 1, 1963 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma) is an American writer. Bailey is widely known for his literary biographies of John Cheever, Richard Yates, and Charles Jackson. He is the editor of the Library of America omnibus editions of Cheever's stories and novels.
|Born||July 1, 1963|
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States
Bailey grew up in Oklahoma City and attended high school at Bishop McGuinness Catholic High School, where he was friends with another future author, Dan Fagin. He went to college at Tulane University, from which he graduated in 1985.
After college, Bailey wrote occasional freelance pieces and taught gifted eighth-graders at a magnet school in New Orleans. After publishing a long critical profile of Richard Yates, Bailey contracted to write a full-length biography of the novelist, A Tragic Honesty: The Life and Work of Richard Yates (2003).
In 2005, Bailey was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship to work on his biography, Cheever: A Life, which won the 2009 National Book Critics Circle Award among other honors. Bailey also edited a two-volume edition of Cheever's work for the Library of America.
Bailey published his biography of the novelist Charles Jackson, Farther & Wilder: The Lost Weekends and Literary Dreams of Charles Jackson (2013), as well as a memoir, The Splendid Things We Planned: A Family Portrait (2014).
In an interview with The New York Times published on November 17, 2012, Philip Roth said that Bailey was his official biographer and at work on that project. While Roth was alive, he gave Bailey exclusive access to papers, friends and family, and made himself available for extensive interviews.
Awards and honorsEdit
- 2003 National Book Critics Circle Award finalist for A Tragic Honesty: The Life and Work of Richard Yates
- 2005 Guggenheim Fellowship for Cheever: A Life
- 2009 National Book Critics Circle Award winner for Cheever: A Life
- 2009 Francis Parkman Prize winner for Cheever: A Life
- 2009 Pulitzer Prize finalist for Cheever: A Life
- 2009 James Tait Black Memorial Prize finalist for Cheever: A Life
- 2010 Academy Award in Literature given by the American Academy of Arts and Letters
- 2014 National Book Critics Circle Award (Autobiography) finalist for The Splendid Things We Planned
|“||Insofar as my books have an aim,
it’s to reconcile the paradox
- A Tragic Honesty: The Life and Work of Richard Yates (Picador, 2003)
- Cheever: A Life (Knopf, 2009)
- Farther & Wilder: The Lost Weekends and Literary Dreams of Charles Jackson (Knopf, 2013)
- The Splendid Things We Planned: A Family Portrait (Norton, 2014)
- John Cheever: Collected Stories & Other Writings (Library of America, 2009)
- John Cheever: Complete Novels (Library of America, 2009)
- The Sunnier Side and Other Stories, by Charles Jackson (Vintage/Random House, 2013)
- "Up Front - Blake Bailey". The New York Times. August 6, 2010.
- Ken, Raymond (April 20, 2014). "Oklahoma City native Dan Fagin wins Pulitzer Prize for nonfiction". The Oklahoman. Retrieved 2014-04-20.
- Janine Latus (November 2011). "Precisely, A world-class literary biographer". Distinction.
- Dwight Garner (July 27, 2007). "Stray Questions for: Blake Bailey". The New York Times.
- Blake Bailey (Sep 2, 2005). "My Year of Hurricanes". Slate Magazine.
- "Author Blake Bailey to Depart Hohenberg Darden Chair in Creative Writing". Old Dominion University. Retrieved 2019-07-13.
- Charles McGrath (November 17, 2012). "Goodbye, Frustration: Pen Put Aside, Roth Talks". The New York Times.
- Bonanos, Christopher. "Philip Roth's Biographer Has a Hair-raising Claire Bloom Story". Vulture. Retrieved 2018-07-02.
- "Blake Bailey Online – Bio". blakebaileyonline.com. Retrieved 2018-07-02.
- "National Book Critics Circle Announces Finalists for Publishing Year 2014". National Book Critics Circle. January 19, 2015. Retrieved January 29, 2015.
- Official website
- "How I Write" interview with Blake Bailey in The Daily Beast
- Geoffrey Wolff's review of "Cheever: A Life" in The New York Times Book Review
- "My Year of Hurricanes" in Slate
- Blake Bailey interviewed on The Economist blog
- Blake Bailey interviewed on The Diane Rehm Show
- Appearances on C-SPAN