List books in category Biographies & Memoirs / Literary

  • Ghost Image

    Ghost Image
    Hervé Guibert

    Ghost Image is made up of sixty-three short essays—meditations, memories, fantasies, and stories bordering on prose poems—and not a single image. Hervé Guibert’s brief, literary rumination on photography was written in response to Roland Barthes’s Camera Lucida, but its deeply personal contents go far beyond that canonical text. Some essays talk of Guibert’s parents and friends, some describe old family photographs and films, and spinning through them all are reflections on remembrance, narcissism, seduction, deception, death, and the phantom images that have been missed. Both a memoir and an exploration of the artistic process, Ghost Image not only reveals Guibert’s particular experience as a gay artist captivated by the transience and physicality of his media and his life, but also his thoughts on the more technical aspects of his vocation. In one essay, Guibert searches through a cardboard box of family portraits for clues—answers, or even questions—about the lives of his parents and more distant relatives. Rifling through vacation snapshots and the autographed images of long-forgotten film stars, Guibert muses, “I don’t even recognize the faces, except occasionally that of an aunt or great-aunt, or the thin, fair face of my mother as a young girl.” In other essays, he explains how he composes his photographs, and how—in writing—he seeks to escape and correct the inherent limits of his technique, to preserve those images lost to his technical failings as a photographer. With strains of Jean Genet and recurring themes that speak to the work of contemporary artists across a range of media, Guibert’s Ghost Image is a beautifully written, melancholic ode to existence and art forms both fleeting and powerful—a unique memoir at the nexus of family, memory, desire, and photography.

  • Hack: Stories from a Chicago Cab

    Hack: Stories from a Chicago Cab
    Dmitry Samarov

    Cabdrivers and their yellow taxis are as much a part of the cityscape as the high-rise buildings and the subway. We hail them without thought after a wearying day at the office or an exuberant night on the town. And, undoubtedly, taxi drivers have stories to tell—of farcical local politics, of colorful passengers, of changing neighborhoods and clandestine shortcuts. No one knows a city’s streets—and thus its heart—better than its cabdrivers. And from behind the wheel of his taxi, Dmitry Samarov has seen more of Chicago than most Chicagoans will hope to experience in a lifetime. An artist and painter trained at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Samarov began driving a cab in 1993 to make ends meet, and he’s been working as a taxi driver ever since. In Hack: Stories from a Chicago Cab, he recounts tales that will delight, surprise, and sometimes shock the most seasoned urbanite. We follow Samarov through the rhythms of a typical week, as he waits hours at the garage to pick up a shift, ferries comically drunken passengers between bars, delivers prostitutes to their johns, and inadvertently observes drug deals. There are long waits with other cabbies at O’Hare, vivid portraits of street corners and their regular denizens, amorous Cubs fans celebrating after a game at Wrigley Field, and customers who are pleasantly surprised that Samarov is white—and tell him so. Throughout, Samarov’s own drawings—of his fares, of the taxi garage, and of a variety of Chicago street scenes—accompany his stories. In the grand tradition of Nelson Algren, Saul Bellow, Mike Royko, and Studs Terkel, Dmitry Samarov has rendered an entertaining, poignant, and unforgettable vision of Chicago and its people.

  • Margaret Fuller, Wandering Pilgrim

    Margaret Fuller, Wandering Pilgrim
    Meg McGavran Murray

    “How is it that I seem to be this Margaret Fuller,” the pioneering feminist, journalist, and political revolutionary asked herself as a child. “What does it mean?” Filled with new insights into the causes and consequences of Fuller’s lifelong psychic conflict, this biography chronicles the journey of an American Romantic pilgrim as she wanders from New England into the larger world–and then back home under circumstances that Fuller herself likened to those of both the prodigal child of the Bible and Oedipus of Greek mythology. Meg McGavran Murray discusses Fuller’s Puritan ancestry, her life as the precocious child of a preoccupied, grieving mother and of a tyrannical father who took over her upbringing, her escape from her loveless home into books, and the unorthodox–and influential–male and female role models to which her reading exposed her. Murray also covers Fuller’s authorship of Woman in the Nineteenth Century, her career as a New-York Tribune journalist first in New York and later in Rome, her pregnancy out of wedlock, her witness of the fall of Rome in 1849 during the Roman Revolution, and her return to the land of her birth, where she knew she would be received as an outcast. Other biographies call Fuller a Romantic. Margaret Fuller, Wandering Pilgrim illustrates how Fuller internalized the lives of the heroes and heroines in the ancient and modern Romantic literature that she had read as a child and adolescent, as well as how she used her Romantic imagination to broaden women’s roles in Woman in the Nineteenth Century, even as she wandered the earth in search of a home.

  • Breaking Into the Backcountry

    Breaking Into the Backcountry
    Steve Edwards

    Well aware of what could go wrong living two hours from town with no electricity and no neighbors, Edwards was surprised by what could go right. In prose that is by turns lyrical, introspective, and funny, Breaking into the Backcountry is the story of what he discovered: that alone, in a wild place, each day is a challenge and a gift. Whether chronicling the pleasures of a day-long fishing trip, his first encounter with a black bear, a lightning storm and the threat of fire, the beauty of a steelhead, the attacks of 9/11, or a silence so profound that a black-tailed deer chewing grass outside his window could wake him from sleep, Edwards's careful evocation of the river canyon and its effect on him testifies to the enduring power of wilderness to transform a life.

  • Little Women Abroad: The Alcott Sisters Letters from Europe, 1870-1871

    Little Women Abroad: The Alcott Sisters’ Letters from Europe, 1870-1871
    Louisa May Alcott

    In 1870, Louisa May Alcott and her younger sister Abby May Alcott began a fourteen-month tour of Europe. Louisa had already made her mark as a writer; May was on the verge of a respected art career. Little Women Abroad gathers a generous selection of May’s drawings along with all of the known letters written by the two Alcott sisters during their trip. More than thirty drawings are included, nearly all of them previously unpublished. Of the seventy-one letters collected here, more than three-quarters appear in their entirety for the first time. Daniel Shealy’s supporting materials add detail and context to the people, places, and events referenced in the letters and illustrations. By the time of the Alcott sisters’ sojourn, Louisa’s Little Women was already an international success, and her most recent work, An Old-Fashioned Girl, was selling briskly. Louisa was now a grand literary lioness on tour. She would compose Little Men while in Europe, and her European letters would form the basis of her travel book Shawl Straps. If Louisa’s letters reveal a writer’s eye, then May’s demonstrate an eye for color, detail, and composition. Although May had prior art training in Boston, she came into her own only during her studies with European masters. When at a loss for words, she took her drawing pen in hand. These letters of two important American artists, one literary, the other visual, tell a vibrant story at the crossroads of European and American history and culture.

  • Jack London s Racial Lives: A Critical Biography

    Jack London’s Racial Lives: A Critical Biography
    Jeanne Campbell Reesman

    Jack London (1876-1916), known for his naturalistic and mythic tales, remains among the most popular and influential American writers in the world. Jack London's Racial Lives offers the first full study of the enormously important issue of race in London's life and diverse works, whether set in the Klondike, Hawaii, or the South Seas or during the Russo-Japanese War, the Jack Johnson world heavyweight bouts, or the Mexican Revolution. Jeanne Campbell Reesman explores his choices of genre by analyzing racial content and purpose and judges his literary artistry against a standard of racial tolerance. Although he promoted white superiority in novels and nonfiction, London sharply satirized racism and meaningfully portrayed racial others–most often as protagonists–in his short fiction. Why the disparity? For London, racial and class identity were intertwined: his formation as an artist began with the mixed "heritage" of his family. His mother taught him racism, but he learned something different from his African American foster mother, Virginia Prentiss. Childhood poverty, shifting racial allegiances, and a "psychology of want" helped construct the many "houses" of race and identity he imagined. Reesman also examines London's socialism, his study of Darwin and Jung, and the illnesses he suffered in the South Seas. With new readings of The Call of the Wild, Martin Eden, and many other works, such as the explosive Pacific stories, Reesman reveals that London employed many of the same literary tropes of race used by African American writers of his period: the slave narrative, double-consciousness, the tragic mulatto, and ethnic diaspora. Hawaii seemed to inspire his most memorable visions of a common humanity.

  • The Novel Life of PG Wodehouse

    The Novel Life of PG Wodehouse
    Roderick Easdale

    Was PG Wodehouse really a traitor, a naive simpleton dominated by his wife and out of touch with the world around him? This book challenges many of the accepted wisdoms about PG Wodehouse and his work and skilfully entwines details of Wodehouse's life with an analysis of his work to show that, contrary to popular belief, many of the scenarios, characters and issues he wrote about came from his own, sometimes bitter, personal experience. It shows, for instance, how Bertie Wooster is a much misunderstood figure in literature and shared many of the characteristics and life story of PG Wodehouse himself. Easdale also gives fresh insight into PG Wodehouse's alleged ‘treachery’ during World War II and his motives for making five radio broadcasts from Germany which were to cast a shadow over the rest of his life. ‘Easdale often finds an original angle with which to shatter stale, accepted perception… this book is compelling.’ (Country Life). ‘This fascinating examination offers a refreshing and accessible study of Wodehouse’s work.’ (Press Association).

  • If I Knew Then

    If I Knew Then
    Debbie Reynolds

    In If I Knew Then, which was first published in 1962, Debbie Reynolds makes her debut as an author, having already excelled in numerous other fields of expression—including appearing in motion pictures, on the stage, in vaudeville and on television, and selling more than a million copies of her record “Tammy,” from the movie Tammy and the Bachelor (1957).“I’m Debbie Reynolds.“Well, I’m not really Debbie; I’m Mary Frances. But if you like Debbie you can call me that. Or you can call me Sis, like my father, or Frannie, like my brother, or Mrs. Karl or—Whatever you want to call me, I’m pleased to meet you.“Now let’s get down to cases. Like the Case of Why Debbie Reynolds Is Writing a Book. That’s one that even Perry Mason would have trouble solving.“Me write a book?“I can imagine the hubbub this will arouse in certain quarters“People who know me well know I will not be swayed by flattery. I am going to write this book, anyway. First I’d better list what this book is not.“1. It is not an autobiography of Little Me. The life and times of this belle will have to be written a few decades hence.“2. It will not teach you how to play the piano in forty-five (45) days.“3. It will not cure nervous tension, negative thinking or excess acidity.“Then what is it?“It is a book about the things I have learned, often the hard way. It was prompted by the people who have written me for advice on a variety of subjects, mainly personal. Why me, I don’t know. But they write….”—Debbie Reynolds

  • This Business of Living

    This Business of Living
    Cesare Pavese

    On June 23rd, 1950, Pavese, Italy's greatest modern writer received the coveted Strega Award for his novel Among Women Only. On August th, in a small hotel in his home town of Turin, he took his own life. Shortly before his death, he methodically destroyed all his private papers. His diary is all that remains and for this the contemporary reader can be grateful. Contemporary speculation attributed this tragedy to either an unhappy love aff air with the American film star Constance Dawling or his growing disillusionment with the Italian Communist Party. His Diaries, however, reveal a man whose art was his only means of repressing the specter of suicide which had haunted him since childhood: an obsession that fi nally overwhelmed him. As John Taylor notes, he possessed something much more precious than a political theory: a natural sensitivity to the plight and dignity of common people, be they bums, priests, grape-pickers, gas station attendants, offi ce workers, or anonymous girls picked up on the street (though to women, the author could–as he admitted–be as misogynous as he was aff ectionate). Bitter and incisive, This Business of Living, is both moving and painful to read and stands with James Joyce's Letters and Andre Gide's Journals as one of the great literary testaments of the twentieth century. Cesare Pavese (1908-1950), was educated in Turin. In 1930 he began to contribute essays on American literature to La Cultura, of which he later became editor. In 1935 he was imprisoned for anti-fascist activities. This experience formed the basis of The Political Prisoner. Between 1936 and 1940 nine of his books were published in Italy, these included novels, short stories, poetry and essays. His books have been fi lmed and dramatized, and translated into many languages. John Taylor, a frequent contributor to the Times Literary Supplement, Context, the Yale Review, the Antioch Review, the Michigan Quarterly Review, and Chelsea, has introduced numerous European writers and poets to English readers, often for the first time. Some of his works include The Apocalypse Tapestries, Paths to Contemporary French Literature (Volumes 1 and 2) and Into the Heart of European Poetry.

  • William W. Warren: The Life, Letters, and Times of an Ojibwe Leader

    William W. Warren: The Life, Letters, and Times of an Ojibwe Leader
    Theresa M. Schenck

    This is the first full-length biography of William W. Warren (1825-53), an Ojibwe interpreter, historian, and legislator in the Minnesota Territory. Devoted to the interests of the Ojibwe at a time of government attempts at removal, Warren lives on in his influential book History of the Ojibway , still the most widely read and cited source on the Ojibwe people. The son of a Yankee fur trader and an Ojibwe-French mother, Warren grew up in a frontier community of mixed cultures. Warren's loyalty to government Indian policies was challenged, but never his loyalty to the Ojibwe people. In his short life the issues with which he was concerned included land rights, treaties, Indian removal, mixed-blood politics, and state and federal Indian policy. Theresa M. Schenck has assembled a remarkable collection of newly discovered documents. Dozens of letters and other writings illuminate not only Warren's heart and mind but also a time of radical change in American Indian history. These documents, combined with Schenck's commentary, provide historical and contextual perspective on Warren's life, on the breadth of his activities, and on the complexity of the man himself; as such they offer a useful and long-awaited companion to Warren's History of the Ojibway .

  • Sam Shepard: A Life

    Sam Shepard: A Life
    John J. Winters

    "John Winters offers a master class in literary sleuthing, untangling the many lives and unearthing the origin story of America’s foremost Renaissance man of letters." —Kelly Horan, coauthor of Devotion and Defiance With more than fifty-five plays to his credit—including the 1979 Pulitzer Prize–winning Buried Child, an Oscar nod for his portrayal of Chuck Yeager in The Right Stuff, and an onscreen persona that’s been aptly summed up as “Gary Cooper in denim”—Sam Shepard’s impact on American theater and film ranks with the greatest playwrights and actors of the past half-century. Sam Shepard: A Life gets to the heart of Sam Shepard, presenting a compelling and comprehensive account of his life and work. In a new epilogue, added by the author after Shepard’s untimely death in July of 2017, John J. Winters offers a glimpse into the enigmatic author’s last days, when very few knew he was suffering from ALS. "An excellent biography . . . Mr. Winters is especially good on the backstage of one of Mr. Shepard’s most frequently revived works, True West . . . Mr. Winters has an interesting story to tell, and he recounts it ably, bringing us close to a figure who, he admits, avoids intimacy." —The Wall Street Journal "A new, thoroughly researched biography . . . Winters does indeed capture a personality more anxious and self-doubting than previous biographers have grasped." —The Washington Post "Meticulously presents the facts of Shepard’s complex life along with incisive descriptions and analyses of diverse productions of Shepard’s demanding and innovative plays . . . Winters portrays Shepard as a magnetic, enigmatic, and multitalented artist drawing on a deep well of loneliness and self-questioning, keen attunement to the zeitgeist, and penetrating insight into human nature." —Booklist (starred review)

  • Laura Ingalls Wilder: A Writer s Life

    Laura Ingalls Wilder: A Writer’s Life
    Pamela Smith Hill

    "[E]xamines Wilder's tumultuous, but ultimately successful, professional and personal relationship with her daughter-the hidden editor-Rose Wilder Lane.

  • Looking for The Stranger: Albert Camus and the Life of a Literary Classic

    Looking for The Stranger: Albert Camus and the Life of a Literary Classic
    Alice Kaplan

    The Stranger is a rite of passage for readers around the world. Since its publication in France in 1942, Camus’s novel has been translated into sixty languages and sold more than six million copies. It’s the rare novel that’s as at likely to be found in a teen’s backpack as in a graduate philosophy seminar. If the twentieth century produced a novel that could be called ubiquitous, The Stranger is it. How did a young man in his twenties who had never written a novel turn out a masterpiece that still grips readers more than seventy years later? With Looking for “The Stranger”, Alice Kaplan tells that story. In the process, she reveals Camus’s achievement to have been even more impressive—and more unlikely—than even his most devoted readers knew. Born in poverty in colonial Algeria, Camus started out as a journalist covering the criminal courts. The murder trials he attended, Kaplan shows, would be a major influence on the development and themes of The Stranger. She follows Camus to France, and, making deft use of his diaries and letters, re-creates his lonely struggle with the novel in Montmartre, where he finally hit upon the unforgettable first-person voice that enabled him to break through and complete The Stranger. Even then, the book’s publication was far from certain. France was straining under German occupation, Camus’s closest mentor was unsure of the book’s merit, and Camus himself was suffering from near-fatal tuberculosis. Yet the book did appear, thanks in part to a resourceful publisher, Gaston Gallimard, who was undeterred by paper shortages and Nazi censorship. The initial critical reception of The Stranger was mixed, and it wasn’t until after liberation that The Stranger began its meteoric rise. As France and the rest of the world began to move out of the shadow of war, Kaplan shows, Camus’s book— with the help of an aggressive marketing campaign by Knopf for their 1946 publication of the first English translation—became a critical and commercial success, and Camus found himself one of the most famous writers in the world. Suddenly, his seemingly modest tale of alienation was being seen for what it really was: a powerful parable of the absurd, an existentialist masterpiece. Few books inspire devotion and excitement the way The Stranger does. And it couldn’t have a better biographer than Alice Kaplan, whose books about twentieth-century French culture and history have won her legions of fans. No reader of Camus will want to miss this brilliant exploration.

  • My Amish Childhood: A True Story of Faith, Family, and the Simple Life

    My Amish Childhood: A True Story of Faith, Family, and the Simple Life
    Jerry S. Eicher

    Bestselling fiction author Jerry S. Eicher (nearly half a million books sold) turns his pen to a moving memoir of his life growing up Amish.Jerry's mother was nineteen years old and nine months married when he was born. She had received Grandfather Stoll's permission for the wedding because she agreed to help out on the farm the following year. However, with Jerry on the way, those plans failed.Jerry recounts his first two years of school in the Amish community of Aylmer, Ontario and his parents' decision to move to Honduras. Life in that beautiful Central American country is seen through an Amish boy's eyes-and then the dark days when the community failed and the family returned to America, much to young Jerry's regret. Jerry also tells of his struggle as a stutterer and his eventual conversion to Christ and the reasons for his departure from the childhood faith he knew.Here is a must-read for not just Jerry's fiction fans, but also for readers curious about Amish life.

  • Monster theory [electronic resource]: reading culture

    Monster theory [electronic resource]: reading culture
    Jeffrey Jerome Cohen

    The contributors to Monster Theory consider beasts, demons, freaks and fiends as symbolic expressions of cultural unease that pervade a society and shape its collective behavior. Through a historical sampling of monsters, these essays argue that our fascination for the monstrous testifies to our continued desire to explore difference and prohibition.

  • The Dead Ladies Project: Exiles, Expats, and Ex-Countries

    The Dead Ladies Project: Exiles, Expats, and Ex-Countries
    Jessa Crispin

    When Jessa Crispin was thirty, she burned her settled Chicago life to the ground and took off for Berlin with a pair of suitcases and no plan beyond leaving. Half a decade later, she’s still on the road, in search not so much of a home as of understanding, a way of being in the world that demands neither constant struggle nor complete surrender. The Dead Ladies Project is an account of that journey—but it’s also much, much more. Fascinated by exile, Crispin travels an itinerary of key locations in its literary map, of places that have drawn writers who needed to break free from their origins and start afresh. As she reflects on William James struggling through despair in Berlin, Nora Barnacle dependant on and dependable for James Joyce in Trieste, Maud Gonne fomenting revolution and fostering myth in Dublin, or Igor Stravinsky starting over from nothing in Switzerland, Crispin interweaves biography, incisive literary analysis, and personal experience into a rich meditation on the complicated interactions of place, personality, and society that can make escape and reinvention such an attractive, even intoxicating proposition. Personal and profane, funny and fervent, The Dead Ladies Project ranges from the nineteenth century to the present, from historical figures to brand-new hangovers, in search, ultimately, of an answer to a bedrock question: How does a person decide how to live their life?

  • The Life and Times of Edgar Allan Poe

    The Life and Times of Edgar Allan Poe
    Golgotha Press

    Edgar Allan Poe was a author, poet, critic; since his death, he has influenced thousands of writers and artist–but who influenced Poe? Read about the life and times of Poe in this eBook.

  • The Norman Maclean Reader

    The Norman Maclean Reader
    Norman Maclean

    In his eighty-seven years, Norman Maclean played many parts: fisherman, logger, firefighter, scholar, teacher. But it was a role he took up late in life, that of writer, that won him enduring fame and critical acclaim—as well as the devotion of readers worldwide. Though the 1976 collection A River Runs Through It and Other Stories was the only book Maclean published in his lifetime, it was an unexpected success, and the moving family tragedy of the title novella—based largely on Maclean’s memories of his childhood home in Montana—has proved to be one of the most enduring American stories ever written. The Norman Maclean Reader is a wonderful addition to Maclean’s celebrated oeuvre. Bringing together previously unpublished materials with incidental writings and selections from his more famous works, the Reader will serve as the perfect introduction for readers new to Maclean, while offering longtime fans new insight into his life and career. In this evocative collection, Maclean as both a writer and a man becomes evident. Perceptive, intimate essays deal with his career as a teacher and a literary scholar, as well as the wealth of family stories for which Maclean is famous. Complete with a generous selection of letters, as well as excerpts from a 1986 interview, The Norman Maclean Reader provides a fully fleshed-out portrait of this much admired author, showing us a writer fully aware of the nuances of his craft, and a man as at home in the academic environment of the University of Chicago as in the quiet mountains of his beloved Montana. Various and moving, the works collected in The Norman Maclean Reader serve as both a summation and a celebration, giving readers a chance once again to hear one of American literature’s most distinctive voices.

  • The Last Romantic: A Life of Max Eastman

    The Last Romantic: A Life of Max Eastman
    William L. O’Neill

    Poet and Journalist, Max Eastman is perhaps the most famous example of an American intellectual who during his life moved across the entire political spectrum. This reexamination of his career and his place in history reveals the dynamics behind his several careers and political transformations, offering new insight into one of the most influential writers of this century. It is a model biography of a key intellectual of the twentieth century. It is also both a perspective social history of his times and a study in the history of ideas. The book will find a welcome place in history, literature, and political science courses, as well as in personal libraries.

  • Closer to the Truth Than Any Fact: Memoir, Memory, and Jim Crow

    Closer to the Truth Than Any Fact: Memoir, Memory, and Jim Crow
    Jennifer Jensen Wallach

    Although historians frequently use memoirs as source material, too often they confine such usage to the anecdotal, and there is little methodological literature regarding the genre’s possibilities and limitations. This study articulates an approach to using memoirs as instruments of historical understanding. Jennifer Jensen Wallach applies these principles to a body of memoirs about life in the American South during Jim Crow segregation, including works by Zora Neale Hurston, Willie Morris, Lillian Smith, Henry Louis Gates Jr., William Alexander Percy, and Richard Wright. Wallach argues that the field of autobiography studies, which is currently dominated by literary critics, needs a new theoretical framework that allows historians, too, to benefit from the interpretation of life writing. Her most provocative claim is that, due to the aesthetic power of literary language, skilled creative writers are uniquely positioned to capture the complexities of another time and another place. Through techniques such as metaphor and irony, memoirists collectively give their readers an empathetic understanding of life during the era of segregation. Although these reminiscences bear certain similarities, it becomes clear that the South as it was remembered by each is hardly the same place.

  • I Love Her, That’s Why!: An Autobiography

    I Love Her, That’s Why!: An Autobiography
    George Burns

    She puts salt in the pepper shaker and pepper in the salt shaker because then if she gets mixed up, she’s right. She shortens the electric cords in the house to save electricity. That’s the character Gracie Allen has played for years. And for all that time people have asked George Burns, “How do you stand it? Why do you put up with it?” And for twenty-eight years George has been answering, “I love her, that’s why!”This story of the life George Burns has led, both B.G. and A.G. (before and after Gracie), is genuinely funny and genuinely moving. Nobody knows more jokes than he—he’s used only his best here; nobody knows so well how far down down can be, while very few have been at the top so long. He tells it all, and he tells it well (he admits unblushingly that he has the best collaborator in the business). And he has succeeded in making this love letter to Gracie a letter that will delight anyone lucky enough to read it.

  • William Wells Brown: A Reader

    William Wells Brown: A Reader
    William Wells Brown

    Born into slavery in Kentucky, William Wells Brown (1814-1884) was kept functionally illiterate until after his escape at the age of nineteen. Remarkably, he became the most widely published and versatile African American writer of the nineteenth century as well as an important leader in the abolitionist and temperance movements. Brown wrote extensively as a journalist but was also a pioneer in other literary genres. His many groundbreaking works include Clotel, the first African American novel; The Escape: or, A Leap for Freedom, the first published African American play; Three Years in Europe, the first African American European travelogue; and The Negro in the American Rebellion, the first history of African American military service in the Civil War. Brown also wrote one of the most important fugitive slave narratives and a striking array of subsequent self-narratives so inventively shifting in content, form, and textual presentation as to place him second only to Frederick Douglass among nineteenth-century African American autobiographers. Ezra Greenspan has selected the best of Brown's work in a range of fields including fiction, drama, history, politics, autobiography, and travel. The volume opens with an introductory essay that places Brown and his work in a cultural and political context. Each chapter begins with a detailed introductory headnote, and the contents are closely annotated; there is also a selected bibliography. This reader offers an introduction to the work of a major African American writer who was engaged in many of the important debates of his time.

  • WWII: A Chronicle of Soldiering

    WWII: A Chronicle of Soldiering
    James Jones

    In 1975, James Jones—the American author whose novels From Here to Eternity and The Thin Red Line had made him the preeminent voice of the enlisted man in World War II—was chosen to write the text for an oversized coffee table book edited by former Yank magazine art director Art Weithas and featuring visual art from World War II. The book was a best seller, praised for both its images and for Jones’s text, but in subsequent decades the artwork made it impossible for the book to be reproduced in its original form, and it fell out of print and was forgotten. This edition of WWII makes available for the first time in more than twenty years Jones’s stunning text, his only extended nonfiction writing on the war that defined his generation. Moving chronologically and thematically through the complex history of the conflict, Jones interweaves his own vivid memories of soldiering in the Pacific—from the look on a Japanese fighter pilot’s face as he bombed Pearl Harbor, so close that Jones could see him smile and wave, to hitting the beach under fire in Guadalcanal—while always returning to resounding larger themes. Much of WWII can be read as a tribute to the commitment of American soldiers, but Jones also pulls no punches, bluntly chronicling resentment at the privilege of the officers, questionable strategic choices, wartime suffering, disorganization, the needless loss of life, and the brutal realization that a single soldier is ultimately nothing but a replaceable cog in a heartless machine. As the generation that fought and won World War II leaves the stage, James Jones’s book reminds us of what they accomplished—and what they sacrificed to do so.

  • Upton Sinclair: California Socialist, Celebrity Intellectual

    Upton Sinclair: California Socialist, Celebrity Intellectual
    Lauren Coodley

    Had Upton Sinclair not written a single book after The Jungle, he would still be famous. But Sinclair was a mere twenty-five years old when he wrote The Jungle, and over the next sixty-five years he wrote nearly eighty more books and won a Pulitzer Prize for fiction. He was also a filmmaker, labor activist, women?s rights advocate, and health pioneer on a grand scale. This new biography of Sinclair underscores his place in the American story as a social, political, and cultural force, a man who more than any other disrupted and documented his era in the name of social justice.Upton Sinclair: California Socialist, Celebrity Intellectual shows us Sinclair engaged in one cause after another, some surprisingly relevant today?the Sacco-Vanzetti trial, the depredations of the oil industry, the wrongful imprisonment of the Wobblies, and the perils of unchecked capitalism and concentrated media. Throughout, Lauren Coodley provides a new perspective for looking at Sinclair?s prodigiously productive life. Coodley?s book reveals a consistent streak of feminism, both in Sinclair?s relationships with women?wives, friends, and activists?and in his interest in issues of housework and childcare, temperance and diet. This biography will forever alter our picture of this complicated, unconventional, often controversial man whose whole life was dedicated to helping people understand how society was run, by whom, and for whom.

  • The Complete Novels of Lewis Carroll With All the Original Illustrations + The Life and Letters of Lewis Carroll: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland + Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There + Sylvie and Bruno + Sylvie and Bruno Concluded

    The Complete Novels of Lewis Carroll With All the Original Illustrations + The Life and Letters of Lewis Carroll: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland + Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There + Sylvie and Bruno + Sylvie and Bruno Concluded
    Lewis Carroll

    This carefully crafted ebook: “The Complete Novels of Lewis Carroll With All the Original Illustrations + The Life and Letters of Lewis Carroll” is formatted for your eReader with a functional and detailed table of contents. Lewis Carroll is best known for his books describing Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass, but he was a prolific author of fantasy and nonsense verse, which are represented here in the complete Sylvie and Bruno. This collection includes the book The Life And Letters Of Lewis Carroll by Stuart Dodgson Collingwood. Table of Contents: Alice's Adventures Under Ground Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland Through The Looking-Glass Sylvie And Bruno Sylvie And Bruno Concluded The Life and Letters of Lewis Carroll The Life and Letters of Lewis Carroll is a biography written by Carroll's nephew, Stuart Dodgson Collingwood, and published in 1898. It accidentally started the entire image of Lewis Carroll as a pedophile by deliberately suppressing all the evidence for his sometimes unconventional relationships with women, explaining that some of those women had been little girls… Charles Lutwidge Dodgson better known by the pseudonym Lewis Carroll (1832 – 1898), was an English author, mathematician, logician, Anglican deacon and photographer. Stuart Dodgson Collingwood (1870–1937) was an English clergyman and headmaster. He wrote two books about his uncle, Lewis Carroll.

  • Dangerous Years

    Dangerous Years
    David W. Orr

    A leading environmental thinker takes a hard look at the obstacles and possibilities on the long road to sustainability This gripping, deeply thoughtful book considers future of civilization in the light of what we know about climate change and related threats. David Orr, an award-winning, internationally recognized leader in the field of sustainability and environmental education, pulls no punches: even with the Paris Agreement of 2015, Earth systems will not reach a new equilibrium for centuries. Earth is becoming a different planet—more threadbare and less biologically diverse, with more acidic oceans and a hotter, more capricious climate. Furthermore, technology will not solve complex problems of sustainability. Yet we are not fated to destroy the Earth, Orr insists. He imagines sustainability as a quest and a transition built upon robust and durable democratic and economic institutions, as well as changes in heart and mindset. The transition, he writes, is beginning from the bottom up in communities and neighborhoods. He lays out specific principles and priorities to guide us toward enduring harmony between human and natural systems.

  • No Ordinary Man: The Life and Times of Miguel de Cervantes

    No Ordinary Man: The Life and Times of Miguel de Cervantes
    Oscar Wilde

    Including The Philosophy Of Dress by Oscar Wilde. The recent print version was the first this work had been for the first time it had been published in 128 Years, and in book form for the first time ever. Now this is the first ebook.The work now forms the centerpiece of this unique collection of Wilde's writings on dress. As a compendium this book also includes several rarely published period articles and letters by Wilde on dress and fashion, along with a related exchange of correspondence that forms an instructional discourse. In addition there are generously annotated and illustrated chapters that analyze the importance of dress in the historical context of the writing career of Oscar Wilde, and a comprehensive review of the influences, trends, characters and source material that informed the development of his dress philosophy.The whole constitutes a thorough examination of a previously overlooked aspect in the Wilde canon, which should prove to be of interest not only to Wildean scholars, but also to anyone who enjoys his style of writing. Oscar Wilde continues to be favorably reappraised as a one of the most culturally avant garde tastemakers of the late nineteenth century. In an ever fashion-conscious world it is fitting that the themes explored, like the author himself, are still relevant. In this respect the book will also be of historical value to fashion students, historians, and practitioners.

  • Am I Alone Here?: Notes on Living to Read and Reading to Live

    Am I Alone Here?: Notes on Living to Read and Reading to Live
    Peter Orner

    A National Book Critics Circle Award finalist in Criticism • A November 2016 American Booksellers Association Indie Next List Selection • A Buzzfeed Best Nonfiction Book of 2016 • A San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of 2016 “An entrancing attempt to catch what falls between [literary criticism and autobiography]: the irreducibly personal, messy, even embarrassing ways reading and living bleed into each other, which neither literary criticism nor autobiography ever quite acknowledges.” —The New York Times “Stories, both my own and those I’ve taken to heart, make up whoever it is that I’ve become,” Peter Orner writes in this collection of essays about reading, writing, and living. Orner reads—and writes—everywhere he finds himself: a hospital cafeteria, a coffee shop in Albania, or a crowded bus in Haiti. The result is “a book of unlearned meditations that stumbles into memoir.” Among the many writers Orner addresses are Isaac Babel and Zora Neale Hurston, both of whom told their truths and were silenced; Franz Kafka, who professed loneliness but craved connection; Robert Walser, who spent the last twenty-three years of his life in a Swiss insane asylum, “working” at being crazy; and Juan Rulfo, who practiced the difficult art of silence. Virginia Woolf, Eudora Welty, Yasunari Kawabata, Saul Bellow, Mavis Gallant, John Edgar Wideman, William Trevor, and Václav Havel make appearances, as well as the poet Herbert Morris—about whom almost nothing is known.An elegy for an eccentric late father, and the end of a marriage, Am I Alone Here? is also a celebration of the possibility of renewal. At once personal and panoramic, this book will inspire readers to return to the essential stories of their own lives.

  • Spinoza: A Life, Edition 2

    Spinoza: A Life, Edition 2
    Steven Nadler

    Baruch Spinoza (1632–1677) was one of the most important philosophers of all time; he was also one of the most radical and controversial. The story of Spinoza's life takes the reader into the heart of Jewish Amsterdam in the seventeenth century and, with Spinoza's exile from Judaism, into the midst of the tumultuous political, social, intellectual, and religious world of the young Dutch Republic. This new edition of Steven Nadler's biography, winner of the Koret Jewish Book Award for biography and translated into a dozen languages, is enhanced by exciting new archival discoveries about his family background, his youth, and the various philosophical, political, and religious contexts of his life and works. There is more detail about his family's business and communal activities, about his relationships with friends and correspondents, and about the development of his writings, which were so scandalous to his contemporaries.

  • Great Fool: Zen Master Ryōkan : Poems, Letters, and Other Writings

    Great Fool: Zen Master Ryōkan : Poems, Letters, and Other Writings
    Ryokan

    Taigu Ryokan (1758-1831) remains one of the most popular figures in Japanese Buddhist history. Despite his religious and artistic sophistication (he excelled in scriptural studies, in calligraphy, and in poetry), Ryokan referred to himself as "Great Fool," refusing to place himself within any established religious institution. In contrast to Zen masters of his time who presided over large monasteries, trained students, or produced recondite treatises, Ryokan followed a life of mendicancy in the countryside. Instead of delivering sermons, he expressed himself through kanshi (poems composed in classical Chinese) and waka (poems in Japanese syllabary) and could typically be found playing with the village children in the course of his daily rounds of begging.Great Fool is the first study in a Western language to offer a comprehensive picture of the legendary poet-monk and his oeuvre. It includes not only an extensive collection of the master's kanshi, topically arranged to facilitate an appreciation of Ryokan's colorful world, but selections of his waka, essays, and letters. The volume also presents for the first time in English the Ryokan zenji kiwa (Curious Accounts of the Zen Master Ryokan), a firsthand source composed by a former student less than sixteen years after Ryokan's death. Consisting of anecdotes and episodes, sketches from Ryokan's everyday life, the Curious Accounts is invaluable for showing how Ryokan was understood and remembered by his contemporaries.To further assist the reader, three introductory essays approach Ryokan from the diverse perspectives of his personal history and literary work.

  • Listening for the Crack of Dawn

    Listening for the Crack of Dawn
    Donald Davis

    Describes the experiences of a young boy growing up in western North Carolina during the fifties and sixties.

  • My Brother, Ernest Hemingway

    My Brother, Ernest Hemingway
    Leicester Hemingway

    My Brother, Ernest Hemingway was the only biography Ernest knew about, and he was pleased with it―although he asked his brother to postpone publication while he was still alive. First published in 1962, Leicester’s biography provides a revealing and intimate portrait of one of the great writers of our century. Ernest Hemingway was a legend in his own time, whose life was as dramatic as any of the characters in his novels and short stories. He won both the Nobel and the Pulitzer prizes for literature, and the literary style he created has been imitated but never matched.Leicester was the archetypal kid brother, 16 years younger than the great man, whom he adored and in whose footsteps he followed, becoming a respected writer, sharing his brother’s love for high risk and adventure, and, when his health failed, choosing to end his own life as Ernest had done. In this poignant biography, Leicester has given us insight into his world-renowned brother’s life and career as no one else could. His reminiscences allow us to better understand what prompted so many of the familiar Hemingway responses, and the experiences from which he derived material for his novels and stories.

  • The Real Life Mary Poppins: The Life and Times of P. L. Travers

    The Real Life Mary Poppins: The Life and Times of P. L. Travers
    Paul Brody

    Among twentieth century authors, P. L. Travers was by far the most productive and famous to hail from the British colony of Australia. After a brief and modestly successful acting career, she moved to London and pursued her own brand of journalism. She was a well-regarded drama critic and travel author, and she became friends with many influential writers and thinkers on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. Eventually, she found her greatest voice in the form of Mary Poppins, the mysterious and powerful Edwardian nanny. Thirty years after the first Poppins adventure is published, Walt Disney produced a live-action movie version, which has ingrained itself forever in the popular imagination. This biography traces Travers from her youth, her early career in acting and writing, the making of Mary Poppins, and more. LifeCaps is an imprint of BookCaps™ Study Guides. With each book, a lesser known or sometimes forgotten life is recapped.

  • The Great Ruwaha

    The Great Ruwaha
    Ian Cormack

    The Great Ruwaha, a memoire, is unique in that it uses the life and death of a beautiful river to symbolize the influence our formative years have on our subsequent journey and character. A literary treasure, enhanced by wonderfully graphic illustrations by the author, the book uses vivacious realism to share with the reader some of the unique adventures and experiences to which the author was exposed when growing up in Africa. Encompassing the historical effects of European colonialism, it goes on to describe the consequences of Britain’s withdrawal from its African colonies.

  • Ernest Hemingway: A Biography: Learn about the life and adventures of Ernest Hemingway

    Ernest Hemingway: A Biography: Learn about the life and adventures of Ernest Hemingway
    Payton Guion

    Description ABOUT THE BOOK In arguably his most famous work, Ernest Hemingway wrote, “A man can be destroyed, but not defeated.” It is perhaps this single line from The Old Man and the Sea that gives the most insight into the mind of one of the greatest writers in American history. Hemingway was a man who rejected defeat at every opportunity. He was a man whose desire to be the best won him respect, but also lost him friends. He lived his life the way he wanted, rarely stopping to apologize. Even in death, Hemingway proved his determination, trying to take his own life at least twice before he ultimately succeeded with the final blast of a shotgun. Hemingway served as an ambulance driver for the Red Cross in WWI. While in Italy on duty, he decided that he was not near enough to the action and went closer to the front. Just as he got to the front, an enemy mortar shell exploded in close proximity to Hemingway. Despite being injured in the blast, Ernest found a young Italian soldier who was severely hurt and carried him to safety, taking several rounds of machine gun fire to his leg. For his bravery, Hemingway was awarded the Italian silver medal of valor. While in the hospital still recovering from his injuries, Hemingway fell in love with a nurse named Agnes von Kurowsky. Ernest had to return to America, but he vowed that one day he would marry von Kurowsky. It was not to be, however, as Hemingway received a letter only months after returning home saying that his love had fallen for an Italian officer. He was devastated, and his initial broken heart may explain why he made a habit out of leaving women before they could leave him. Hemingway was married four times and had affairs in each of his marriages.

  • Pedigree: A Memoir

    Pedigree: A Memoir
    Patrick Modiano

    In this rare glimpse into the life of Nobel laureate Patrick Modiano, the author takes up his pen to tell his personal story. He addresses his early years—shadowy times in postwar Paris that haunt his memory and have inspired his world-cherished body of fiction. In the spare, absorbing, and sometimes dreamlike prose that translator Mark Polizzotti captures unerringly, Modiano offers a memoir of his first twenty-one years. Termed one of his “finest books” by the Guardian, Pedigree is both a personal exploration and a luminous portrait of a world gone by. Pedigree sheds light on the childhood and adolescence that Modiano explores in Suspended Sentences, Dora Bruder, and other novels. In this work he re-creates the louche, unstable, colorful world of his parents under the German Occupation; his childhood in a household of circus performers and gangsters; and his formative friendship with the writer Raymond Queneau. While acknowledging that memory is never assured, Modiano recalls with painful clarity the most haunting moments of his early life, such as the death of his ten-year-old brother. Pedigree, Modiano’s only memoir, is a gift to his readers and a master key to the themes that have inspired his writing life.

  • Visible Man: The Life of Henry Dumas

    Visible Man: The Life of Henry Dumas
    Jeffrey B. Leak

    Henry Dumas (1934–1968) was a writer who did not live to see most of his fiction and poetry in print. A son of Sweet Home, Arkansas, and Harlem, he devoted himself to the creation of a black literary cosmos, one in which black literature and culture were windows into the human condition. While he certainly should be understood in the context of the cultural and political movements of the 1960s—Black Arts, Black Power, and Civil Rights—his writing, and ultimately his life, were filled with ambiguities and contradictions.Dumas was shot and killed in 1968 in Harlem months before his thirty-fourth birthday by a white transit policeman under circumstances never fully explained. After his death he became a kind of literary legend, but one whose full story was unknown. A devoted cadre of friends and later admirers from the 1970s to the present pushed for the publication of his work. Toni Morrison championed him as “an absolute genius.” Amiri Baraka, a writer not quick to praise others, claimed that Dumas produced “actual art, real, man, and stunning.” Eugene Redmond and Quincy Troupe heralded Dumas's poetry, short stories, and work as an editor of “little” magazines.With Visible Man, Jeffrey B. Leak offers a full examination of both Dumas's life and his creative development. Given unprecedented access to the Dumas archival materials and numerous interviews with family, friends, and writers who knew him in various contexts, Leak opens the door to Dumas's rich and at times frustrating life, giving us a layered portrait of an African American writer and his coming of age during one of the most volatile and transformative decades in American history.

  • Little Lodges on the Prairie: Freemasonry & Laura Ingalls Wilder

    Little Lodges on the Prairie: Freemasonry & Laura Ingalls Wilder
    Teresa Lynn

    The Little House on the Prairie books and TV show have inspired generations, but few people know the history of the Ingalls family in Freemasonry. Discover new stories about Laura Ingalls Wilder in Little Lodges on the Prairie: Freemasonry & Laura Ingalls Wilder, the first book to comprehensively document the role Masonry and the Eastern Star played in the lives of this iconic American family. A lively and informative look at this lesser-known aspect of Laura’s life, including documents which have rarely been seen and never before been published, Little Lodges on the Prairie gives readers an intriguing new and unique perspective on Laura Ingalls Wilder and her family.

  • Sylvia Plath: Method and Madness, Edition 2

    Sylvia Plath: Method and Madness, Edition 2
    Edward Butscher

    This is the first full-length biography of Sylvia Plath, whose suicide in made her a misinterpreted cause celebre and catapulted her into the ranks of the major confessional voices of her generation.

  • Packing My Library: An Elegy and Ten Digressions

    Packing My Library: An Elegy and Ten Digressions
    Alberto Manguel

    A best-selling author and world-renowned bibliophile meditates on his vast personal library and champions the vital role of all libraries In June 2015 Alberto Manguel prepared to leave his centuries-old village home in France’s Loire Valley and reestablish himself in a one-bedroom apartment on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Packing up his enormous, 35,000†‘volume personal library, choosing which books to keep, store, or cast out, Manguel found himself in deep reverie on the nature of relationships between books and readers, books and collectors, order and disorder, memory and reading. In this poignant and personal reevaluation of his life as a reader, the author illuminates the highly personal art of reading and affirms the vital role of public libraries. Manguel’s musings range widely, from delightful reflections on the idiosyncrasies of book lovers to deeper analyses of historic and catastrophic book events, including the burning of ancient Alexandria’s library and contemporary library lootings at the hands of ISIS. With insight and passion, the author underscores the universal centrality of books and their unique importance to a democratic, civilized, and engaged society.

  • Childhood

    Childhood
    Nathalie Sarraute

    As one of the leading proponents of the nouveau roman, Nathalie Sarraute is often remembered for her novels, including The Golden Fruits, which earned her the Prix international de litterature in 1964. But her carefully crafted and evocative memoir Childhood may in fact be Sarraute’s most accessible and emotionally open work. Written when the author was eighty-three years old, but dealing with only the first twelve years of her life, Childhood is constructed as a dialogue between Sarraute and her memory. Sarraute gently interrogates her interlocutor in search of her own intentions, more precise accuracy, and indeed, the truth. Her relationships with her mother in Russia and her stepmother in Paris are especially heartbreaking: long-gone actions are prodded and poked at by Sarraute until they yield some semblance of fact, imbuing these maternalistic interactions with new, deeper meaning. Each vignette is bristling with detail and shows the power of memory through prose by turns funny, sad, and poetic. Capturing the ambience of Paris and Russia in the earliest part of the twentieth century, while never giving up the lyrical style of Sarraute’s novels, this book has much to offer both memoir enthusiasts and fiction lovers.

  • Céline: The Crippled Giant

    Céline: The Crippled Giant
    Alice Kaplan

    A year in Paris . . . since World War II, countless American students have been lured by that vision—and been transformed by their sojourn in the City of Light. Dreaming in French tells three stories of that experience, and how it changed the lives of three extraordinary American women. All three women would go on to become icons, key figures in American cultural, intellectual, and political life, but when they embarked for France, they were young, little-known, uncertain about their future, and drawn to the culture, sophistication, and drama that only Paris could offer. Yet their backgrounds and their dreams couldn’t have been more different. Jacqueline Bouvier was a twenty-year-old debutante, a Catholic girl from a wealthy East Coast family. Susan Sontag was twenty-four, a precocious Jewish intellectual from a North Hollywood family of modest means, and Paris was a refuge from motherhood, a failing marriage, and graduate work in philosophy at Oxford. Angela Davis, a French major at Brandeis from a prominent African American family in Birmingham, Alabama, found herself the only black student in her year abroad program—in a summer when all the news from Birmingham was of unprecedented racial violence. Kaplan takes readers into the lives, hopes, and ambitions of these young women, tracing their paths to Paris and tracking the discoveries, intellectual adventures, friendships, and loves that they found there. For all three women, France was far from a passing fancy; rather, Kaplan shows, the year abroad continued to influence them, a significant part of their intellectual and cultural makeup, for the rest of their lives. Jackie Kennedy carried her love of France to the White House and to her later career as a book editor, bringing her cultural and linguistic fluency to everything from art and diplomacy to fashion and historic restoration—to the extent that many, including Jackie herself, worried that she might seem “too French.” Sontag found in France a model for the life of the mind that she was determined to lead; the intellectual world she observed from afar during that first year in Paris inspired her most important work and remained a key influence—to be grappled with, explored, and transcended—the rest of her life. Davis, meanwhile, found that her Parisian vantage strengthened her sense of political exile from racism at home and brought a sense of solidarity with Algerian independence. For her, Paris was a city of political commitment, activism, and militancy, qualities that would deeply inform her own revolutionary agenda and soon make her a hero to the French writers she had once studied. Kaplan, whose own junior year abroad played a prominent role in her classic memoir, French Lessons, spins these three quite different stories into one evocative biography, brimming with the ferment and yearnings of youth and shot through with the knowledge of how a single year—and a magical city—can change a whole life. No one who has ever dreamed of Paris should miss it.

  • Stories and Minds: Cognitive Approaches to Literary Narrative

    Stories and Minds: Cognitive Approaches to Literary Narrative
    Lars Bernaerts

    How do narratives draw on our memory capacity? How is our attention guided when we are reading a literary narrative? What kind of empathy is triggered by intercultural novels? A cast of international scholars explores these and other questions from an interdisciplinary perspective in Stories and Minds, a collection of essays that discusses cutting-edge research in the field of cognitive narrative studies. Recent findings in the philosophy of mind and cognitive psychology, among other disciplines, are integrated in fresh theoretical perspectives and illustrated with accompanying analyses of literary fiction. Pursuing such topics as narrative gaps, mental simulation in reading, theory of mind, and folk psychology, these essays address fundamental questions about the role of cognitive processes in literary narratives and in narrative comprehension. Stories and Minds reveals the rich possibilities for research along the nexus of narrative and mind.

  • Crazy Loco Love

    Crazy Loco Love
    Victor Villaseñor

    From America's most beloved Mexican-American writer comes this compelling memoir of his adolescent search for meaning and identity. When Victor Villasenor turned sixteen, his father's gift of a brand-new, turquoise pick-up truck was accompanied by another gift: words of wisdom that would guide him on his path to manhood. "You are a man now," he said, "and to be an hombre, a man must not only know right from wrong, he must also know who he is and who he isn't." In the weeks to come, however, Victor disregards his father's advice. Swayed by his friends' ridicule, he has his new truck painted white to cover the vibrant turquoise, once his favorite color. Soon, he realizes his mistake. "I'd done exactly what my dad had told me not to. I'd listened to other people's opinions instead of listening to what I'd felt inside." So begins this poignant and moving account of Villasenor's coming of age. Growing up on his parents' ranch in North San Diego County, Victor Villasenor's teenage years were marked by a painful quest to find a place for himself in a world he didn't fit into. During his search, Victor wrangles with the usual questions of adolescence: Is it normal to think about sex all the time? Do good girls like sex? Is sex before marriage a sin? But Victor struggles with more than just his burgeoning sexual awareness. The son of a self-made, successful man, he is different from his peers because of his Mexican heritage, and the experiences both subtle and outright discrimination because of this. Raised in a tight-knit, Catholic family, he questions the tenets of his Catholic faith and the restrictions it places on his own developing spirituality. After high school, Victor's quest for "whohe is and who he isn't" takes him to Mexico, where he is shocked to learn that Mexicans–aside from his father–are successful. They are architects, professors, and artists. This incredible revelation allows him to appreciate his own potential and realize his dreams of making a difference in the world through writing. A powerful portrait of a young boy on the path to manhood in the shadow of his influential father, Crazy Loco Love adds a new chapter to the grand tradition of coming-of-age books. Destined to become a classic, this new installment in Villasenor's body of work confirms his place as a leading American writer. Crazy Loco Love will enthrall his many fans and surely win him new ones.

  • Shakespeare by Another Name: The Biography of Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford, the Man Who Was Shakespeare

    Shakespeare by Another Name: The Biography of Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford, the Man Who Was Shakespeare
    Mark Anderson

    The debate over the true author of the Shakespeare canon has raged for centuries. Astonishingly little evidence supports the traditional belief that Will Shakespeare, the actor and businessman from Stratford-upon-Avon, was the author. Legendary figures such as Mark Twain, Walt Whitman and Sigmund Freud have all expressed grave doubts that an uneducated man who apparently owned no books and never left England wrote plays and poems that consistently reflect a learned and well-traveled insider's perspective on royal courts and the ancient feudal nobility. Recent scholarship has turned to Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford-an Elizabethan court playwright known to have written in secret and who had ample means, motive and opportunity to in fact have assumed the "Shakespeare" disguise. "Shakespeare" by Another Name is the literary biography of Edward de Vere as "Shakespeare." This groundbreaking book tells the story of de Vere's action-packed life-as Renaissance man, spendthrift, courtier, wit, student, scoundrel, patron, military adventurer, and, above all, prolific ghostwriter-finding in it the background material for all of The Bard's works. Biographer Mark Anderson incorporates a wealth of new evidence, including de Vere's personal copy of the Bible (in which de Vere underlines scores of passages that are also prominent Shakespearean biblical references).

  • Margaret Mitchell & John Marsh: The Love Story Behind Gone With the Wind

    Margaret Mitchell & John Marsh: The Love Story Behind Gone With the Wind
    Marianne Walker

    In lively extracts from their letters to family and friends, John and Margaret, who also went by Peggy, describe the stormy years of their courtship, their bohemian lifestyle as a young married couple, the arduous but fulfilling years when Peggy was writing her famous novel, the thrill of its acceptance for publication and its literary success, and the excitement of the making of the movie. In telling the private side of this twenty-four-year marriage, author Marianne Walker reveals a long-suspected truth: Gone With the Wind might have never been written were it not for John Marsh. He was Peggy's best friend and constant champion, and he became her editor, proofreader, researcher, business manager, and the inspiration and motivation behind her writing. At every point, including the turbulent years of Mitchell's first marriage to Red Upshaw, it was John who provided the intellectual stimulation, emotional support, and editorial insights that allowed Peggy to channel her talents into the creation of her astounding Civil War epic. From years of meticulous research, Marianne Walker details the intimate and moving love story between a husband and wife, and between a writer and her editor.

  • The Face: Cartography of the Void

    The Face: Cartography of the Void
    Chris Abani

    In The Face: Cartography of the Void, acclaimed poet, novelist, and screenwriter Chris Abani has given us a brief memoir that is, in the best tradition of the genre, also an exploration of the very nature of identity. Abani meditates on his own face, beginning with his early childhood that was immersed in the Igbo culture of West Africa. The Face is a lush work of art that teems with original and profound insights into the role of race, culture, and language in fashioning our sense of self. Abani’s writing is poetic, filled with stories, jokes, and reflections that draw readers into his fold; he invites them to explore their own “faces” and the experiences that have shaped them.As Abani so lovingly puts it, this extended essay contemplates “all the people who have touched my face, slapped it, punched it, kissed it, washed it, shaved it. All of that human contact must leave some trace, some of the need and anger that motivated that touch. This face is softened by it all. Made supple by all the wonder it has beheld, all the kindness, all the generosity of life.” The Face is a gift to be read, re-read, shared, and treasured, from an author at the height of his artistic powers. Abani directs his gaze both inward and out toward the world around him, creating a self-portrait in which readers will also see their own faces reflected.Abani’s essay is part of a groundbreaking new series from Restless Books called The Face, in which a diverse group of writers takes readers on a guided tour of that most intimate terrain: their own faces. Visit www.restlessbooks.com/the-face-series for more information.Chris Abani is a novelist, poet, essayist, screenwriter, and playwright. Born in Nigeria to an Igbo father and English mother, he grew up in Afikpo, Nigeria, and has resided in the United States since 2001. His fiction includes The Secret History of Las Vegas, Song For Night, The Virgin of Flames, Becoming Abigail, GraceLand, and Masters of the Board. His poetry collections are Sanctificum, There Are No Names for Red, Feed Me The Sun – Collected Long Poems, Hands Washing Water, Dog Woman, Daphne’s Lot, and Kalakuta Republic.

  • My Wonderful World Of Slapstick

    My Wonderful World Of Slapstick
    Buster Keaton

    Over half century ago the society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children complained to Mayor Van Wyck, of New York, that Joe Keaton, a vaudeville actor, was brutally mistreating his five-year old son. At each afternoon and evening performance the child, billed as “The Human Mop”, was slammed on the floor, hurled into the wings, and sometimes banged into bass drums. Unable to find a bruise or scratch on the lad, Mayor Van Wyck refused to ban the act. The “Human Mop” bounced on to worldwide fame as Buster Keaton, one of this century’s greatest comedians.In this intimate autobiography Buster Keaton tells his whole personal and professional story, beginning with his colourful and exciting childhood as the undentable tot in the “Three Keatons” whose proudest boast was having the rowdiest, roughest act in vaudeville. Buster has played with all the great ones, from George M. Cohen and Bojangles Robinson and Al Jolson to Jack Paar and Ed Sullivan and Red Skelton, during his sixty years as a star in vaudeville, silent and talking pictures, night clubs and television.Roscoe (Fatty) Arbuckle got him into the movies and taught him how to throw a custard pie. Buster could not even keep slapstick out of his eleven months as a draftee in our World War I army. He came out to help create the Golden Age of Comedy with his friends Charlie Chaplin, Harold Lloyd, Arbuckle, Mack Sennett and the Keystone Cops. Marital troubles and alcoholism once got Buster down, but could not keep him down.MY WONDERFUL WORLD OF SLAPSTICK was written with the collaboration of Charles Samuels, co-author of His Eye Is On the Sparrow, Ethel Waters’ best-selling autobiography. Buster Keaton’s Life Story will enchant and thrill all those who enjoy looking past the glitter and the grease paint into a magnificent performer’s mind and heart.

  • Jackson Pollock

    Jackson Pollock
    Frank O’Hara

    This slim, but richly illustrated, biography of Jackson Pollock has stood the test of time since its first publication in 1959. Still a sound, but laudatory, study of all of Pollock’s periods; which are weighed and appreciated in chronological order. Frank O’Hara was a well-known and universally respected poet who was an integral part of the New York artistic scene until his death in 1966.

  • John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism

    John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism
    Keith Gilyard

    John Oliver Killens's politically charged novels And Then We Heard the Thunder and The Cotillion; or One Good Bull Is Half the Herd, were nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. His works of fiction and nonfiction, the most famous of which is his novel Youngblood, have been translated into more than a dozen languages. An influential novelist, essayist, screenwriter, and teacher, he was the founding chair of the Harlem Writers Guild and mentored a generation of black writers at Fisk, Howard, Columbia, and elsewhere. Killens is recognized as the spiritual father of the Black Arts Movement. In this first major biography of Killens, Keith Gilyard examines the life and career of the man who was perhaps the premier African American writer-activist from the 1950s to the 1980s. Gilyard extends his focus to the broad boundaries of Killens's times and literary achievement–from the Old Left to the Black Arts Movement and beyond. Figuring prominently in these pages are the many important African American artists and political figures connected to the author from the 1930s to the 1980s–W. E. B. Du Bois, Paul Robeson, Alphaeus Hunton, Langston Hughes, James Baldwin, Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Harry Belafonte, and Maya Angelou, among others.

  • Malcolm X: A Biography: The life and times of Malcolm X, in one convenient little book.

    Malcolm X: A Biography: The life and times of Malcolm X, in one convenient little book.
    Steven Takamura

    Description ABOUT THE BOOK Malcolm X was a famous African-American human rights activist and spokesperson for Black Nationalism in the United States. As a polarizing figure within the media of mid-20th century America, he attracted massive plaudits from his followers and huge criticisms from his opponents. Departing from the passive practices of his contemporaries, Malcolm advocated a much more aggressive approach in the fight for the civil rights of African-Americans. His speeches electrified his audiences and terrified his enemies. As if in narrative, it was during one of his speeches, doing what he did best, that Malcolm was assassinated by three gunmen set on silencing him. With his family moving several times due to racist incidents as a boy, Malcolm's negative views towards white people and institutionalized racism developed early. Never settling for long and watching his family fall apart, he fell into a young life of crime and was sent to a juvenile detention center at the age of 13. It was that same year that his mother was placed in a mental institution. Leaving school at 15, he became involved with gambling, drug dealing, and racketeering, before eventually being sent to prison for breaking and entering at the age of 20. It was there, through a friend, that he discovered the power of words for the first time. Encouraged by his brothers from the outside, he found religion, became a Muslim and joined the Nation of Islam. Upon his release he became a minister for the Nation of Islam and quickly rose through their ranks.

  • Chuck Close: Life

    Chuck Close: Life
    Christopher Finch

    This is the first book to tell the inspiring story of near tragedy and ultimate triumph behind the dazzling work of one of today's most respected and best-loved artists. Chuck Close is one of the most acclaimed American artists to emerge since Andy Warhol. His larger-than-life portraits look out from the walls of museums and galleries around the globe. His virtuosity and variety of technique, combined with the ambition and accessibility of his chosen subject matter the portrait re-invented on a heroic scale has made him a great favorite with the public and has won him the respect of his peers. Chuck Close has achieved fame, yet his full story has never been told until now. Author Christopher Finch has known Close since the late 1960s when the artist was creating his first masterpieces in an unheated SoHo loft. Finch chronicles Close's childhood battles with illness and dyslexia and his rise to the pinnacle of the art world. At the age of 48 he was struck down by an occluded spinal artery that left him a partial quadriplegic. With extraordinary determination, Close overcame this potentially career-ending disability, not only learning to paint again but producing work of extraordinary richness that equals or surpasses his previous achievements. With style and authority, Finch reveals the human reality behind Close's visually eloquent but eternally silent portraits.

  • My Brother Was An Only Child

    My Brother Was An Only Child
    Jack Douglas

    “My Brother Was an Only Child” was Jack Douglas’ very first humour book, having written for famous radio and television celebrities such as Jack Paar, Bob Hope, Bing Crosby and Jimmy Durante, as well as TV shows such as “Adventures of Harriet and Ozzie”, “The George Gobel Show”, and “Laugh-In”. It perfectly captures the sense of humour prevalent in this era and is as refreshing and side-splittingly funny now as it was then.

  • Mayakovsky: A Biography

    Mayakovsky: A Biography
    Bengt Jangfeldt

    Few poets have led lives as tempestuous as that of Vladimir Mayakovsky. Born in 1893 and dead by his own hand in 1930, Mayakovsky packed his thirty-six years with drama, politics, passion, and—most important—poetry. An enthusiastic supporter of the Russian Revolution and the emerging Soviet State, Mayakovsky was championed by Stalin after his death and enshrined as a quasi-official Soviet poet, a position that led to undeserved neglect among Western literary scholars even as his influence on other poets has remained powerful. With Mayakovsky, Bengt Jangfeldt offers the first comprehensive biography of Mayakovsky, revealing a troubled man who was more dreamer than revolutionary, more political romantic than hardened Communist. Jangfeldt sets Mayakovsky’s life and works against the dramatic turbulence of his times, from the aesthetic innovations of the pre-revolutionary avant-garde to the rigidity of Socialist Realism and the destruction of World War I to the violence—and hope—of the Russian Revolution, through the tightening grip of Stalinist terror and the growing disillusion with Russian communism that eventually led the poet to take his life. Through it all is threaded Mayakovsky’s celebrated love affair with Lili Brik and the moving relationship with Lili’s husband, Osip, along with a brilliant depiction of the larger circle of writers and artists around Mayakovsky, including Maxim Gorky, Viktor Shklovsky, Alexander Rodchenko, and Roman Jakobson. The result is a literary life viewed in the round, enabling us to understand the personal and historical furies that drove Mayakovsky and generated his still-startling poetry. Illustrated throughout with rare images of key characters and locations, Mayakovsky is a major step in the revitalization of a crucial figure of the twentieth-century avant-garde.