John Eakin has been a constant champion of my work, and his insightful critique of the manuscript proved to be invaluable. His friendship has helped me throughout, and I, like so many other writers on Autobiography, always benefit from his sage counsel. Richard Freadman has been a loyal and sympathetic reader, and chimed in with beneficial, astute criticism and suggestions; he ran a wonderful conference at Latrobe University in Melbourne where I first presented the ideas that led to this book, and I am grateful for his profound understanding of the issues. At another conference Peter Brooks lent a careful ear to some early words that found their way into the book, and was reassuring that the project had merit. Other organizers and chairs of conferences on Life Writing where I presented portions of the book include Rocio Davis, Alfred Hornung, Craig Howes, and Alexandra Wettlaufer, and I am grateful to them. As always Howard Wolf constantly prodded me in directions I had not initially considered, giving discerning advice and continual support, and encouraging me when I wasn’t sure my approach was on the mark. Ellie Langer, one of the most trusted writers I know, was a careful reader of portions of the text; her clarity and integrity were models to aim for. Other students of life writing who have been helpful in a multitude of ways include John Barbour, Tom Couser, Rebecca Hogan, Joe Hogan, David Parker, Gene Stelzig, and Julia Watson.
I am grateful to Reed College for a summer grant and a paid leave award which allowed me to do much of the work on the book; my colleague Peter Steinberg, former dean of the faculty at Reed, has been unstintingly supportive of my work.
Peter Potter, editor in chief at Cornell University Press, was enthusiastic about this project from the start, and I deeply appreciate his wisdom along the way to publication. I am also pleased to acknowledge his assistant, Rachel Post, and my editor, Susan Specter, for their valuable assistance in getting the book into print.
(p.x) Portions of this book, in slightly different form, were published elsewhere and are used here with permission. These publications include “‘Love is No Detective’: Germaine Greer and the Enigma Code,” Life Writing 3 (2006): 3–16; “Finding the Father: Autobiography as Bureau of Missing Persons,” a/b: Auto/Biography Studies 19 (2004): 100–117; and “Inquiry and Denial: Helen Fremont’s Anguish of Silence,” a/b: Auto/Biography Studies 23 (2008): 65–79.