If you think that writers or authors are a happy family, think again. They may be part of one big writing family, but the family can be highly dysfunctional. Authors are in fact able to be vitriolic in their abuse of other writers albeit with some style. Unlike the often incoherent mutterings of common internet trolls, their comments come with truly horrendous barbs, sharp like scalpels, and honed like harpoons.
Arthur Miller died in 2005 at the age of 89, and the reactions were not universally of grief. Lights were dimmed on Broadway and one paper cleared its front page, but several dissenters made themselves heard over the empty rituals of public praise. The most famous of America’s playwrights had always called forth divided reactions from critics and public, so reactions after his death were in keeping with that.
Pan Books published The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton. In it, she tells the stories of three women in search of their roots covering a hundred years of family history. While two of them were displaced by no choice of their own, the third is set upon her quest by her grandmother to solve a family mystery.
It is always difficult to come second and later. When writing a biography, it makes your job as a writer that much harder and your research must be more thorough than that previously done. Still, the outcome might be a book that contains nothing new over what has already been written. It ends up being a rehash of well known and acclaimed books with no merit of its own.