This biography of Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849), a giant of American literature who invented both the horror and detective genres, is a portrait of extremes: a disinherited heir, a brilliant but exploited author and editor, a man who veered radically from temperance to rampant debauchery, and an agnostic who sought a return to religion at the end of his life. Acclaimed biographer Jeffrey Meyers explores the writer's turbulent life and career, including his marriage and multiple, simultaneous romances, his literary feuds, and his death at an early age under bizarre and troubling circumstances.
Poe haunts the upper mind as an exalted and radiant justification of logic; and the unconscious as an obsession. Jeffrey Meyers shows us how, why, and where these things go, and are going. God help us. But for Poe, we never would have known. -- James Dickey, Poet and Author of Deliverance Vivid and haunting: a great success. * Kirkus * Admirably executed. Meyers, untempted by psychoanalytic theories, conveys Poe's acrimonious, often absurd literary travails and canvasses his reputation and influence. Meyers' book pitches Poe as the 'prototypical self-destructive American writer.' Meyers insists on reading Poe as more than the sum of his bereavements. * Times Literary Supplement *