When I wrote this column, in 2009, about T.C. Boyle’s appropriation of the life of Frank Lloyd Wright for his novel The Women, it seemed like nobody much cared about the ghoulish liberties Boyle was taking with the hearts and minds of dead people.
That’s not surprising; it’s complicated. While there’s something really ugly about fiction like Boyle’s, which comes dressed in the trappings of biography (with real names, facts, and photos) and then plays fast and loose with the truth—who’s going to quibble about Shakespeare?
And the injured parties aren’t in any position to object.