Author and Author Purpose
Depending on the genre of the book, the background and purpose of the author may be relevant to the analysis of the book. Refer to the book jacket and biographical notes on the author. Further research may be helpful; read interviews, essays, and, if available, previously written biographies.
In John Calderazzo's review of Ken Lamberton's Wilderness and Razor Wire, biographical data about Lamberton proves relevant: "Lamberton had an uncommon resume for someone doing serious jail time: no grinding poverty, no drugs or violence. He grew up in Arizona as an avid collector of wild things, a self-taught naturalist . . . He earned a bachelor's degree in biology, married Karen, a fellow lover of the wild, had kids, and decided to share his passions for science and nature in the public schools . . . He became infatuated with a student and, incredibly, ran off with her to Colorado. Soon someone from Mesa recognized them in Aspen and called the police." This background information provides the reason for Lamberton's incarceration as well as the basis for Calderazzo's discussion of the writer's "microscopically detailed prose" and "the single-mindedness of his gaze."
The following is a list of possible biographical data about an author to reference in a review:
- Race, nationality, and origins-social, cultural, religious, economic, political, environmental.
- Training and affiliations-literary, scholastic, religious, political, etc.
- Schooling, travel, or other formative influences.
- Personal experiences-general or specific.
- Career and/or professional position.
- Other literary or scholastic works.
- Stimulus or occasion for writing.
- Special writing aids-illustrations, photographs, diagrams, etc.
- General attitude-objective/subjective, formal/informal, authoritative/speculative, etc.
- Purpose-as described in a preface or other formal statement, or in some key phrase.
- Audience-who the writer hopes will read the book.