Most biographers like to think that what they have written would have been acceptable to the person they are writing about. Suzanne Falkiner has no such illusions about this work. In a postscript to her 890-page biography of Randolph Stow she remarks: ‘No doubt Stow would not have approved of this book, and more especially because it contains a large amount of “chatter about Harriet”’ (721). The phrase, ‘chatter about Harriet’ (originally from a review of a Shelley biography that gave considerable attention to Harriet, the first wife), had been used by Stow in a 1976 interview, when he had been asked whether he thought that ‘knowing something of the life and personality of an artist’ could help readers to understand his work. In reply he agreed on the need ‘to know a great deal – well, a certain amount, anyway – about an author’s life and not only what…
Review of Mick: A Life of Randolph Stow, by Suzanne Falkiner
Mick: A Life of Randolph Stow, by Suzanne Falkiner. UWA Publishing, 2016.