James Atlas

marlene lopez

(Atlas, James) James Atlas is the author of Bellow: A Biography; Delmore Schwartz: The Life of an American Poet, which was nominated for the National Book Award; and the memoir My Life in the Middle Ages: A Survivor’s Tale. The founder of the Lipper/Viking Penguin Lives series, Atlas was for many years an editor at the New York Times, first at the book review and later at the magazine. His work has appeared in the New Yorker, the Atlantic, the New York Review of Books, Vanity Fair, and other journals. In The Shadow in the Garden: A Biographer’s Tale (Pantheon) Atlas presents an endearing tale of how writers’ lives get documented. Begging with his own childhood in suburban Chicago, where he fell in love with literature and, early on, found in himself the impulse to study writers’ lives, Atlas presents the panoply of the great literary biographers, from the Renaissance to the masters of his own literary generation.  Publisher Weekly writes, “Part literary history and part memoir, this is a lively and elegant biography of biography itself.”