From Capote to Houellebecq, BD Hyman to Margaret Salinger, these are people who wrote not just their own stories but other people’s stories, sacrificing their family lives for a writer’s pleasure in getting published. Yet it doesn’t seem, in most cases, to have made them happy. Did they get what they wanted? To borrow the saying of St Teresa from which Truman Capote took the title of his scandalous work, more tears are shed over answered prayers than unanswered ones.
On the back of Mary Trump’s tell-all memoir about her family, including Donald, John Self explores a number of other past exposes involving JD Salinger, Bette Davis, Michel Houellebecq, Truman Capote. AS Byatt and Margaret Drabble