'Anyone who marries three girls from St. Louis hasn't learned much'
- Gertrude Stein on Hemingway
'I think the real tragedy is in the inner war which is waged between people who love each other, a war out of which comes knowledge'
- D H Lawrence
Jeffrey Meyers' Married to Genius considers the emotional and artistic commitment in the marriages of nine modern writers: Tolstoy, Shaw, Conrad, Joyce, Virginia Woolf, Katherine Mansfield D.H. Lawrence, Hemingway and Scott Fitzgerald.
Each of them acknowledged the claims of ordinary life and believed that marriage provided their most profound personal relationship. They found in marriage a stronghold of affection that encouraged and tested their capacity, an antidote to the modern fear of alienation, and a strengthening bond that was deeply valuable in a struggle for psychic survival.
The lives of all nine of these writers reveal the strains of modern marriage and their creative impulses were directly inspired by their emotional and intellectual conflicts.
Married to Genius reveals the way these major writers attempted to integrate life and art, and to resolve the conflict between domestic and creative fulfilment.
'Meyers marshals his material very well; he does often prove his points with the aid of interesting and relevant quotations; and he throws a good deal of light on the marriages...[he has] self assuredness, a keen mind and sharp perceptions.'
'Meyers has an intricate grasp of modern literature....above all he reveals how how subtly writers' lives infiltrate their fiction - the hardest trick in literary biography.'
John Carey, The Sunday Times - June 2005 -
Jeffrey Meyers is an inexhaustible, eclectic writer and one of the foremost literary biographers of our time.
He is the author of 39 books, including biographies of Hemingway, Conrad, Orwell, Katherine Mansfield; D. H. Lawrence, Scott Fitzgerald; Edmund Wilson, Robert Frost, Humphrey Bogart, Gary Cooper and most recently, Somerset Maugham (Knopf).
He lives in Berkeley, California.