The Weird, Sad, Beautiful Lives of “Wayward Authors”


Writers aren’t exactly known for taking the road more traveled by, and the authors profiled in Andrew Shaffer’s Literary Rogues are no exception.

There’s Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s proclivity for opium, Gustave Flaubert’s exhibitionism, and of course, Oscar Wilde’s love that dare not speak its name. Writes NPR’s Monkey See blog:

…what is most remarkable about Shaffer’s history is the way in which it colors that liminal space between writers’ obscurity and their eventual fame – not just with tales of weeklong benders, but also with portraits of sacrifice and stubbornness.

Lauren O'Neal is an MFA student at San Francisco State University. Her writing has appeared in publications like Slate, The New Inquiry, and The Hairpin. You can follow her on Twitter at @laureneoneal. More from this author →