The Real 'American Wife': Fiction Based on Actual Famous People

More

Some authors create thinly veiled characters out of admiration; others, out of pure spite.

banner AP Joyce N Boghosian.jpg
First Lady Laura Bush inspired the main character of Curtis Sittenfeld's 2008 novel 'American Wife.' (AP / Joyce N. Boghosian)

This week will see the release of a book that's worth getting pretty excited about: Carlene Bauer's Frances and Bernard, a novel inspired by the relationship between Flannery O'Connor and Robert Lowell.

Below is a list of some other great novels with characters inspired by real-life people that have caught the cultural consciousness—excepting works that are primarily autobiographical, and focusing on books that are not just historical fiction, but true adaptations (names are changed!) of people and events.

This post also appears on Flavorpill, an Atlantic partner site.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Emily Temple is an editor at Flavorpill.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

A Fascinating Short Film About the Multiverse

If life is a series of infinite possibilities, what does it mean to be alive?


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

The Death of Film

You'll never hear the whirring sound of a projector again.

Video

How to Hunt With Poison Darts

A Borneo hunter explains one of his tribe's oldest customs: the art of the blowpipe

Video

A Delightful, Pixar-Inspired Cartoon

An action figure and his reluctant sidekick trek across a kitchen in search of treasure.

Video

I Am an Undocumented Immigrant

"I look like a typical young American."

Video

Why Did I Study Physics?

Using hand-drawn cartoons to explain an academic passion

Writers

Up
Down

More in Entertainment

Just In