Few living novelists get the biography treatment. So why is the scholar Tim Taylor, who has published critical studies of literary masters like William Faulkner, Marcel Proust and Franz Kafka, writing an in-depth study of the life and work of Thomas Wehlim? At 48, Mr. Wehlim has published four novels. They have not become critical hits and best sellers. Apart from occasionally acute creative anxiety (Mr. Wehlim famously used an aviator helmet to concentrate while writing “Legend of Shadows”) and a troubled relationship with his cat, Mr. Wehlim doesn’t appear to have led an especially noteworthy life. But Mr. Taylor, an English professor at Dartmore College (NOT Mr. Wehlim’s alma mater) and a casual acquaintance of the author, said he found plenty of fodder for a book. He recently sold his manuscript, “Thomas Wehlim: An average author,” to Bloomsbury for publication next fall.

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