This paper argues that the study of authorial image management should give more attention to the way literary fiction participates in shaping the author’s public image. This point has not been sufficiently taken into account in studies of author celebrity or persona making. These studies, to a great extent, focus on extraliterary activity. From another direction, some critics in narrative studies have given place to ways in which fiction shapes judgements of the author. However, these approaches, by and large, subordinate the author’s image to a more general approach to the interpretation of texts. Such approaches do not give enough room to the way some people read in order to learn about the author. The paper, therefore, suggests a method of reading fiction (alongside paratexts) for authorial image with a focus on the importance of the conflation and interconnection between characters and authors. The special value of characters who are authors is explained. As an example of this emphasis, the paper analyses how authors present themselves as old. The paper briefly analyses how Philip Roth highlights his age circa the publication of Exit Ghost (2007), to then present a reading of Nicole Krauss circa the publication of The History of Love (2005), who is associating herself with old age despite in fact being in her early thirties. Both authors depict elderly author-characters in order to shape their images. As a whole, the paper offers an emphasis on reading novels and especially character in the context of literary celebrity and authorial image.


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pp. 282-301
Launched on MUSE
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