About Oline Eaton

NBN Episodes hosted by Oline:

Jessa Crispin, "The Dead Ladies Project: Exiles, Expats, and Ex-Countries" (U Chicago Press, 2015)

July 1, 2016

The Dead Ladies Project

Jessa Crispin
Hosted by Oline Eaton

Biography is a genre of largely unexamined power: a literary field that preserves stories of lived lives and, through them, perpetuates notions that t…

Steve Kemper, "A Splendid Savage: The Restless Life of Frederick Russell Burnham" (Norton, 2016)

June 13, 2016

A Splendid Savage

Steve Kemper
Hosted by Oline Eaton

In A Splendid Savage: The Restless Life of Frederick Russell Burnham (W. W. Norton, 2016), freelance journalist Steve Kemper details the adventurous, …

Brooke Hauser, "Enter Helen: The Invention of Helen Gurley Brown and the Rise of the Modern Single Woman" (Harper, 2016)

May 20, 2016

Enter Helen

Brooke Hauser
Hosted by Oline Eaton

"Women's history, if they had any, consisted in their being beautiful enough to become events in male lives," the feminist academic Carolyn R. Heilbru…

Ingrid Carlberg, "Raoul Wallenberg: The Biography" (MacLehose Press, 2016)

May 4, 2016

Raoul Wallenberg

Ingrid Carlberg
Hosted by Oline Eaton

What makes a person? What makes an act heroic? And what determines a person's fate? These are the questions driving the narrative in Ingrid Carlberg's…

Kate Bolick, "Spinster: Making a Life of One's Own" (Crown, 2015)

April 19, 2016


Kate Bolick
Hosted by Oline Eaton

"There still exists little organized sense of what a woman's biography or autobiography should look like," Carolyn G. Heilbrun wrote in her 1988 class…

Sarah Maza, "Violette Noziere: A Story of Murder in 1930s Paris" (U California Press, 2012)

December 18, 2015

Violette Noziere

Sarah Maza
Hosted by Oline Eaton

On August 21, 1933, the teenaged Violette Noziere attempted to kill both her parents. At first, seemingly so clearcut, the case ultimately came to …

Daisy Hay, "Mr. and Mrs. Disraeli: A Strange Romance" (FSG, 2015)

July 25, 2015

Mr. and Mrs. Disraeli

Daisy Hay
Hosted by Oline Eaton

As I imagine most any biographer will tell you, one of the great joys and privileges of biographical research is using archives. This is where one enc…

Meryle Secrest, "Elsa Schiaparelli: A Biography" (Knopf, 2014)

June 2, 2015

Elsa Schiaparelli

Meryle Secrest
Hosted by Oline Eaton

As Meryle Secrest notes in the introduction to her new book, Elsa Schiaparelli: A Biography (Knopf, 2014),"The most extraordinary fashion designer of …

Justin Martin, "Rebel Souls: Walt Whitman and America's First Bohemians" (Da Capo Press, 2014)

March 10, 2015

Rebel Souls

Justin Martin
Hosted by Oline Eaton

Biography is, both etymologically and in its conventional forms, the writing of a life. But what is the role of place within that? And how do the stor…

Alina Garcia-Lapuerta, "La Belle Creole" (Chicago Review Press, 2014)

February 18, 2015

La Belle Creole

Alina Garcia-Lapuerta
Hosted by Oline Eaton

One of the fundamental functions of biography is the preservation of stories. But it also acts to resurrect the stories that may have fallen from view…

Janet Sims-Wood, "Dorothy Porter Wesley at Howard University" (The History Press, 2014)

October 15, 2014

Dorothy Porter Wesley at Howard University

Janet Sims-Wood
Hosted by Oline Eaton

There was once a notion that black people had no meaningful history. It's a notion Dorothy Porter Wesley spent her entire career debunking. Through he…

Rebecca Rogers, "A Frenchwoman's Imperial Story" (Stanford UP, 2013)

October 2, 2014

A Frenchwoman's Imperial Story

Rebecca Rogers
Hosted by Oline Eaton

In the early 1830s, the French school teacher Eugénie Luce migrated to Algeria. A decade later, she was a major force in the debates around education…

Karen Abbott, "Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy: Four Women Undercover in the Civil War" (Harper, 2014)

September 8, 2014

Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy

Karen Abbott
Hosted by Oline Eaton

If group biography is one of the exciting new trends in life-writing (and some say it is), Karen Abbott- the historian, not to be confused with the no…

Melanie C. Hawthorne, "Finding the Woman Who Didn't Exist: The Curious Life of Gisele d'Estoc" (U Nebraska Press, 2014)

August 10, 2014

Finding the Woman Who Didn't Exist

Melanie C. Hawthorne
Hosted by Oline Eaton

"Why write the biography of a nobody?" That is the question with which Melanie C. Hawthorne begins Finding the Woman Who Didn't Exist: The Curious Lif…

Tina Santi Flaherty, "What Jackie Taught Us" (Perigree Paperback, 2014)

May 20, 2014

What Jackie Taught Us

Tina Santi Flaherty
Hosted by Oline Eaton

Originally, particularly in American writings, one of the explicit purpose of biography was to teach readers how to live. As Scott E. Caspar writes in…

Lucy Hughes-Hallett, "Gabriele d'Annunzio: Poet, Seducer, and Preacher of War" (Knopf, 2013)

April 27, 2014

Gabriele d'Annunzio

Lucy Hughes-Hallett
Hosted by Oline Eaton

Winner of the 2013 Samuel Johnson Prize, Lucy Hughes-Hallett's biography of Gabriele d'Annunzio is a book with a big mission: to write inventively abo…

Will Swift, "Pat and Dick: The Nixons, an Intimate Portrait of a Marriage" (Threshold Editions, 2014)

March 5, 2014

Pat and Dick

Will Swift
Hosted by Oline Eaton

In America, biographies of Presidents and First Ladies are a staple of the genre, but the relationship that exists between the two receives surprising…

Robert Neer, "Napalm: An American Biography" (Harvard UP, 2013)

February 13, 2014


Robert Neer
Hosted by Oline Eaton

Just as there is no one way to write a biography, nor should there be, so there is no rule dictating that biography must be about the life of a person…

Clare Mulley, "The Spy Who Loved: The Secrets and Lives of Christine Granville" (St. Martin's, 2013)

January 31, 2014

The Spy Who Loved

Clare Mulley
Hosted by Oline Eaton

It's almost a cliché by now to say that we need stories of strong women, but that doesn't lessen the fact that we do. And biography is a field unique…

Neil McKenna, "Fanny and Stella: The Young Men Who Shocked Victorian England" (Faber & Faber, 2013)

January 10, 2014

Fanny and Stella

Neil McKenna
Hosted by Oline Eaton

There is no one way to write a biography, nor should there be. It's a statement that seems obvious enough and yet one which is still, to some degre…

Brian Jay Jones, "Jim Henson: The Biography" (Ballantine Books, 2013)

December 6, 2013

Jim Henson

Brian Jay Jones
Hosted by Oline Eaton

In the field of children's programming, few people- with the possible exception of Fred Rogers- are as beloved as Jim Henson, a contributor to Sesame …

Thurston Clarke, "JFK's Last Hundred Days: The Transformation of a Man and the Emergence of a Great President" (Penguin, 2013)

November 22, 2013

JFK's Last Hundred Days

Thurston Clarke
Hosted by Oline Eaton

John F. Kennedy remains one of the most remembered and most enigmatic presidents in American history, perhaps precisely because, as Thurston Clarke wr…

Elizabeth Winder, "Pain, Parties, Work: Sylvia Plath in New York, Summer 1953" (Harper, 2013)

October 18, 2013

Pain, Parties, Work

Elizabeth Winder
Hosted by Oline Eaton

It is a struggle sometimes in biography to find new ways to write about subjects about whom many biographies have been written. This is particularly p…

Sarah Churchwell, "Careless People: Murder, Mayhem and the Invention of the Great Gatsby" (Virago, 2013)

September 19, 2013

Careless People

Sarah Churchwell
Hosted by Oline Eaton

One phenomenon of movies made of classic novels is that the movie often says a lot more about the time of its making than about the time of the novel.…