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 Breathtaking Tour Above the Moab Desert

Filmmaker Ian Cresswell rigs an HD camera atop a remote-controlled "octocopter" for some spectacular aerial views.


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

Where Time Comes From

The clocks that coordinate your cellphone, GPS, and more

Video

Computer Vision Syndrome and You

Save your eyes. Take breaks.

Video

What Happens in 60 Seconds

Quantifying human activity around the world

Writers

Up
Down

More in Entertainment

Just In