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I am writing a non-fiction, somewhat historic, book and I want to dedicate it to a person who did pioneer work on Education in Science in Brazil. She has passed away recently and was professionally related to one of the main characters in my book; a famous scientist. Many years ago, she worked in the high school where I studied and even invited that scientist to give a informal talk to us students.

Since she is not well known, I wanted to write a short biography of her and include it in the backmatter (bibliography/index/appendix) of the book. Is this appropriate?

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That is probably up to an editor or publisher. If by "short" you mean a few paragraphs that won't cost them printing any extra pages, it is possible they will not object. But they are profit driven and this biography does not serve the story or earn them anything, so if it is also going to cost them money, they may refuse to include it.

  • Thanks for your comments, but have in mind that I hope my book will be non-profit, university published. My question has more to do with format. Yes, it will be like a page long. – Claudio Gorodski Jul 14 '18 at 14:34
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    Your question was, "Is this appropriate?", not to do with format. I don't think there is an issue with "format", I have seen dedications a page long. The only real question is whether it gets past the publisher. Profit or non-profit, the same "extra cost" rationale holds, as well as policy of the university; whether it is appropriate for you to include the biography, whether it violates any of their principles of writing about a real person without the permission of her estate, or if you are copying elements from other published works that are copyrighted. – Amadeus-Reinstate-Monica Jul 14 '18 at 18:51
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It sounds like you want to introduce your readers to one of your inspirations (since you said this person is connected to one of the characters in your book). This is sometimes done in a preface, as opposed to in the backmatter, and can help "set the stage" for the work that follows. An author's preface of a page or two is fairly common, though of course your publisher has the final say.

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