Friday, August 12, 2011

5 Best Real People in Fiction

The 5 Best Books meme is hosted by Cassandra at Indie Reader Houston.

  This week's topic:  The 5 Best Real People in Fiction

  1.   John Singer Sargent  and Virginie Gautreau in I am Madame X by Gioia Diliberto.  This is an interesting novel about the creation of a painting that, in its day, created quite a scandal at the Paris Salon.  I had the opportunity of seeing the real work on a visit to London several years ago and I think I appreciated it more because I read about its (fictionalized) creation.
  2. Leo and Sofya Tolstoy in The Last Station by Jay Parini.  I admit, I have a girl crush on Helen Mirren, so I may have enjoyed the movie more than the book, but the novel is definitely worth reading.
  3. Ernest and Hadley Hemingway in The Paris Wife.  I frankly had no interest in reading Hemingway until I read this novel.  The Sun Also Rises ended up not being my cup of tea, but I loved A Moveable Feast, his memoir of his time in Paris.  And I would love to learn more about Hadley.
  4. Captain Alfred Dreyfus in A Man in Uniform by Kate Taylor.  He's not a true character in this novel, per se, but his imprisonment under questionable circumstances is the crux of the plot.
  5. Pablo Picasso in Guernica by Dave Boling.  Again he is not a true character, but the novel does describe the creation of his masterpiece based on the destruction of the Basque city during the Spanish Civil War.
Hmmm -- and I thought I couldn't come up with a list for this topic!


  1. I think it's a great list! I'm going to have to read The Paris Wife now. I had no idea that Hemingway was in it. I have a love/hate relationship with Hemingway, and my opinion changes every time I read him.

  2. And of course there is Julius Caesar and company in Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar", LOL

    Great post :)

  3. My favorite artist is John Singer Sargent. My guest bedroom/bathroom are decorated with his prints as well as ones throughout the walls of our home. Madame X is my second favorite painting by him. I loved that novel... especially the part about the arsenic... fascinating!
    PS... my favorite painting is Mr & Mrs Isaac Newton Phelps Stokes!

  4. I read Guernica such a long time ago, but still haven't forgotten it. It was such a moving and interesting book. I am glad that you featured it here today!

  5. The Paris Wife ... I've come across it quite a lot now. Time to read it, if it's on your list.

    BTW I was surprised to see your list as I thought you couldn't think of enough books! ;-)

  6. Cassandra -- I can't say that I'm a fan of Hemingway, but A Moveable Feast was just wonderful.

    Zohar -- I've not read Julius Caesar (shame!) but I guess I could have included Macbeth -- wasn't he a real person?

    Kathy -- Madame X is the only Sargent painting I'm familiar with but I'll have to check out your favorite.

    Zibilee -- I read Guernica a while ago as well, but it was fascinating.

    Judith -- I didn't think I could come up with a list either, but I saw your list and it got me thinking ....


What do you think? Good or bad, I'd love to hear from you (but be nice - I'm sensitive!)