In "The Splendid Things We Planned," an Acclaimed Biographer Profiles His Troubled Sibling

Apr 29, 2015

On this edition of ST, we listen back to an interview that was recorded about a year ago with Blake Bailey, who grew up in Oklahoma City, now teaches creative writing in Virginia, and is the author of three highly regarded literary biographies (of Richard Yates, John Cheever, and Charles Jackson). Bailey has now, in his newest book, turned his attention to his own roots -- and specifically to his late brother, Scott, whose too-brief life was marked by incessant tragedy, addiction, recklessness, and mental instability. Bailey's memoir -- concerning his brother, their upbringing, their parents, and their often very difficult family life -- is called "The Splendid Things We Planned: A Family Portrait." This book is now out in paperback, and Bailey will be reading from it, and signing copies of it, tomorrow night (Thursday the 30th) at 7pm at a free-to-the-public Book Smart Tulsa event at Lucky's on the Green, which is located at the Guthrie Green in downtown Tulsa. (You can learn more about this event here.) Dave Itzkoff, writing in The New York Times Book Review, called Bailey's memoir "enthralling...achingly honest...a fearless, deeply felt, and often frightening book [that] arrives at a certain undeniable truth about how we are capable of feeling love for people we would never choose to be around."