Judas biography
(JOO.duhs by.aw.gruh.fee) n. An autobiography that denigrates or betrays a former friend or spouse of the writer.

Example Citation:
There's a lot of that going around, of course, the mercenary airing of private affairs, the shameless peddling of what Updike calls "the Judas biography."
—Steve Duin, "Private memo to J.D., for his eyes only," The Sunday Oregonian, May 16, 1999

Earliest Citation:
Recent years in America have given rise to what we might call the Judas biography, in which a former spouse or friend of a living writer confides to print an intimate portrait less flattering than might be expected. Claire Bloom, as the wronged ex-wife of Philip Roth, shows him to have been, as their marriage rapidly unraveled, neurasthenic to the point of hospitalization, adulterous, callously selfish, and financially vindictive. Paul Theroux, finding himself snubbed by his friend and mentor of thirty years, recounts all he can remember about V.S. Naipaul, including a host of racist, misogynistic, cruel, and vain remarks allegedly made in their—Naipaul must have thought—private conversations.

Joyce Maynard, most fascinatingly, recalls, as part of her rather arduous self-development, her affair with J.D. Salinger and thus lifts the curtain on perhaps the most cherished privacy in America; Salinger is portrayed as a food crank, a keen student of homeopathic medicine, a Reichian, a fan of old movies and present-day television, a man full of scornful opinions and rather creepily fond of very young girls.
—John Updike, "One Cheer for Literary Biography," The New York Review of Books, February 4, 1999

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