A brother recalls the magnificent life of his sister, the greatest writer of her age
A launch party is underway for a hotly anticipated biography, the life story of Elena Franklin. As a young woman, Elena was one of the most promising literary talents of the 1920s, and over the years her legend grew. Her biographer, Martha Farrell, has combed through all the evidence of Elena’s genius and passion, from her early years in New York to her expatriate life in Paris. The result is a monumental work – but among the party’s crowd is the man who knows the book is an empty shell. Only William, Elena’s brother, knew the truth about the famed author. Martha’s flawed biography spurs his memory, and he recalls how the temperamental baby grew into a legend. He knew Elena’s hidden pain, shared their family secrets, and draws his own portrait of the troubled soul that lay behind her artistic gifts.
“A leisurely, elegant novel.” —Library Journal “[Elena] will ring true for those familiar with the exigent nature of the artistic process.” —Publishers Weekly
Thomas H. Cook (b. 1947) is the author of nearly two dozen critically lauded crime novels. Born in Fort Payne, Alabama, Cook published his first novel, Blood Innocents, in 1980 while serving as the book review editor of Atlanta magazine. Two years later, on the release of his second novel, The Orchids, he turned to writing full-time. Cook published steadily through the 1980s, penning such works as the Frank Clemons trilogy, a series of mysteries starring a jaded cop. He found breakout success with The Chatham School Affair (1996), which won an Edgar Award for best novel. His work has been praised by critics for his attention to psychology and the lyrical nature of his prose. Besides mysteries, Cook has written two true-crime books, Early Graves (1992) and the Edgar-nominated Blood Echoes (1993), as well as several literary novels, including Elena (1986). He lives and works in New York City.