Writing the Nonhuman Biography
By Brenda B. Covert
1 The average biography tells the true story of a person's life. It may not tell all the boring details, but it will share plenty of tragic, comedic, or otherwise amazing events from the person's life. The average biography also reveals the subject's thoughts and feelings about events and situations. However, a nonhuman biography is not your average biography.
2 A nonhuman biography is also a true story, but the subject's thoughts and feelings will be absent. That is because we can't know what an animal's thoughts and feelings are! (What? Did you really think this was going to be about alien biographies?) The author of the biography would be unable to interview the subject, of course, but could interview the owner and others who had contact with the animal. The author would not only tell the story of an animal, but also tell why the story is important.
3 An excellent example of the nonhuman biography is the true story of an American race horse named Seabiscuit, who lived from May 23, 1933, to May 17, 1947. The biography about Seabiscuit's life tells the story of an underachiever who became a champion. The book, Seabiscuit: An American Legend, was published in 2001. In 2003, Universal Studios released a film based on the book; it was titled simply Seabiscuit.