Erdman, Andrew L. 1965-

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Erdman, Andrew L. 1965-

PERSONAL:

Born December 27, 1965, in Brooklyn, NY; son of Joseph (an attorney) and Audrey (a psychotherapist) Erdman. Education: New York University, B.A., 1988; Graduate Center of the City University of New York, Ph.D., 2001. Hobbies and other interests: Hiking, canoeing, camping.

ADDRESSES:

Home and office—Bronx, NY. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Writer and theater historian.

MEMBER:

American Society for Theatre Research.

WRITINGS:

Blue Vaudeville: Sex, Morals, and the Mass Marketing of Amusement, 1895-1915, McFarland (Jefferson, NC), 2003.

SIDELIGHTS:

Andrew L. Erdman told CA: "I am inspired by nonfiction writing with a firm narrative. It's what I strive for in my own work. Looking over research materials for a project, I ask myself, ‘How can this all fit together to tell a compelling story?’ Barbara Tuchman's A Distant Mirror is a fine example. Her work is always rooted in robust documentation. A Distant Mirror (and her other works) places facts and data into an arcing tale, one that satisfies the reader's need for a bigger picture and also provides philosophical nuances to ponder.

"I am also a fan of nonfiction writers who find the untold tales, the important or fascinating ones lying in history's attic, and bring them to light. Simon Winchester's The Professor and the Madam, which tells the story behind the story of the Oxford English Dictionary, is a good example. I feel energized when I come across something in an old newspaper, or maybe an advertisement, that causes me to question what I thought I understood in a particular way until now. Were there historical and cultural figures whose names and stories have been forgotten? Did things play out differently than the conventional version has it? These are the questions that fuel my creative motor and drive me to do my best work. To that end, I am currently writing the first-ever biography of onetime megastar Eva Tanguay (1878-1947), the so-called ‘queen of vaudeville.’"