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"If there's a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it."
-- Toni Morrison
Authors' & Artists
The Death of Santini by
Publication Date: 2013-10-29
"The Death of Santini" is at once a heart-wrenching account of personal and family struggle and a poignant lesson in how the ties of blood can both strangle and offer succor. It is an act of reckoning, an exorcism of demons, but one whose ultimate conclusion is that love can soften even the meanest of men, lending significance to one of the most-often quoted lines from Pat's bestselling novel "The Prince of Tides": "In families there are no crimes beyond forgiveness."
Survival Lessons by
Publication Date: 2013-10-01
One of America's most beloved writers shares her suggestions for finding beauty in the world even during the toughest times. "Survival Lessons" provides a road map of how to reclaim your life from this day forward, with ways to re-envision everything--from relationships with friends and family to the way you see yourself.
This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage by
Publication Date: 2013-11-05
"The tricky thing about being a writer, or about being any kind of artist, is that in addition to making art you also have to make a living." So begins "This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage", an examination of the things Ann Patchett is fully committed to--the art and craft of writing, the depths of friendship, an elderly dog, and one spectacular nun.
An American Bride in Kabul by
Publication Date: 2013-10-01
"An American Bride in Kabul" is the story of how a naïve American girl learned to see the world through eastern as well as western eyes and came to appreciate Enlightenment values. This dramatic tale re-creates a time gone by, a place that is no more, and shares the way in which Chesler turned adversity into a passion for world-wide social, educational, and political reform.
Blue Plate Special by
Publication Date: 2013-07-09
In the tradition of M. F. K. Fisher, Laurie Colwin, and Ruth Reichl, "Blue Plate Special" is a narrative in which food--eating it, cooking it, reflecting on it--becomes the vehicle for unpacking a life. Christensen explores her history of hunger--not just for food but for love and confidence and a sense of belonging--with a profound honesty, starting with her unorthodox childhood in 1960's Berkeley as the daughter of a mercurial legal activist who ruled the house with his fists. After a whirlwind adolescent awakening, Christensen strikes out to chart her own destiny within the literary world and the world of men, both equally alluring and dangerous.
I Hate to Leave This Beautiful Place by
Publication Date: 2013-07-09
As with many of us, the life of acclaimed novelist Howard Norman has had its share of incidents of "arresting strangeness." Yet few of us connect these moments, as Norman has done in this spellbinding memoir, to show how life tangles with the psyche to become art.
The Boy Detective by
Publication Date: 2013-11-05
Resisting the deadening silence of his family home in the elegant yet stiflingly safe neighborhood of Gramercy Park, nine-year-old Roger imagines himself a private eye in pursuit of criminals. With the dreamlike mystery of the city before him, he sets off alone, out into the streets of Manhattan, thrilling to a life of unsolved cases. Six decades later, Rosenblatt finds himself again patrolling the territory of his youth: The writing class he teaches has just wrapped up, releasing him into the winter night and the very neighborhood in which he grew up.
Flyover Lives by
Publication Date: 2014-01-16
Growing up in the small river town of Moline, Illinois, Diane Johnson always dreamed of floating down the Mississippi and off to see the world. Years later, at home in France, a French friend teases her: "Indifference to history--that's why you Americans seem so naive and don't really know where you're from." The "j'accuse" stayed with Johnson. Were Americans indifferent to history? Her own family seemed always to have been in the Midwest. Surely they had got there from somewhere? In digging around, she discovers letters and memoirs written by generations of stalwart pioneer ancestors that testify to more complex times than the derisive nickname "The Flyover" gives the region credit for.
Report from the Interior by
Publication Date: 2013-11-19
From his baby's-eye view of the man in the moon, to his childhood worship of the movie cowboy Buster Crabbe, to the composition of his first poem at the age of nine, to his dawning awareness of the injustices of American life, "Report from the Interior" charts Auster's moral, political, and intellectual journey as he inches his way toward adulthood through the postwar 1950's and into the turbulent 1960's.
The Splendid Things We Planned by
Publication Date: 2014-03-03
Meet the Baileys: Burck, a prosperous lawyer once voted the American Legion's "Citizen of the Year" in his tiny hometown of Vinita, Oklahoma; his wife Marlies, who longs to recapture her festive life in Greenwich Village as a pretty young German immigrant, fresh off the boat; their addled son Scott, who repeatedly crashes the family Porsche; and Blake, the younger son, trying to find a way through the storm.
Country Girl by
Publication Date: 2013-04-30
"Country Girl" brings us face-to-face with a life of high drama and contemplation. Starting with O'Brien's birth in a grand but deteriorating house in Ireland, her story moves through convent school to elopement, divorce, single-motherhood, the wild parties of the '60's in London, and encounters with Hollywood giants, pop stars, and literary titans.
The Light of the World by
Publication Date: 2015-04-21
In "The Light of the World", Elizabeth Alexander finds herself at an existential crossroads after the sudden death of her husband. Channeling her poetic sensibilities into a rich, lucid price, Alexander tells a love story that is, itself, a story of loss. As she reflects on the beauty of her married life, the trauma resulting from her husband's death, and the solace found in caring for her two teenage sons, Alexander universalizes a very personal quest for meaning and acceptance in the wake of loss.
How I Shed My Skin by
Publication Date: 2015-04-14
Critically acclaimed novelist Jim Grimsley was eleven years old in 1966 when federally mandated integration of schools went into effect in the state and the school in his small eastern North Carolina town was first integrated. Until then, blacks and whites didn''t sit next to one another in a public space or eat in the same restaurants, and they certainly didn''t go to school together. Going to one of the private schools that almost immediately sprang up was not an option for Jim: his family was too poor to pay tuition, and while they shared the community''s dismay over the mixing of the races, they had no choice but to be on the front lines of his school''s desegregation. What he did not realize until he began to meet these new students was just how deeply ingrained his own prejudices were and how those prejudices had developed in him despite the fact that prior to starting sixth grade, he had actually never known any black people. Now, more than forty years later, Grimsley looks back at that school and those times--remembering his own first real encounters with black children and their culture.
Walk Through Walls by
Publication Date: 2016-10-25
Marina's story, by turns moving, epic, and dryly funny, informs an incomparable artistic career that involves pushing her body past the limits of fear, pain, exhaustion, and danger in an uncompromising quest for emotional and spiritual transformation. A remarkable work of performance in its own right, "Walk Through Walls" is a vivid and powerful rendering of the unparalleled life of an extraordinary artist.
Authors & Artists
An Enlarged Heart by
Publication Date: 2013-02-12
An Enlarged Heart, the exquisitely written prose debut from prize-winning poet Cynthia Zarin, is a poignantly understated exploration of the author's experiences with love, work, and the surprise of time's passage.
I Love a Broad Margin to My Life by
Publication Date: 2011-01-18
Kingston's swift, effortlessly flowing verse lines feel instantly natural in this fresh approach to the art of memoir, as she circles from present to past and back, from lunch with a writer friend to the funeral of a Vietnam veteran, from her long marriage, to her arrest at a peace march in Washington, where she and her "sisters" protested the Iraq war in the George W. Bush years.
Publication Date: 2012-09-04
Throughout the course of his ordeal battling esophageal cancer, Hitchens adamantly and bravely refused the solace of religion, preferring to confront death with both eyes open. In this riveting account of his affliction, Hitchens poignantly describes the torments of illness, discusses its taboos, and explores how disease transforms experience and changes our relationship to the world around us. By turns personal and philosophical, Hitchens embraces the full panoply of human emotions as cancer invades his body and compels him to grapple with the enigma of death.
Inside a Pearl by
Publication Date: 2014-02-11
When Edmund White moved to Paris in 1983, leaving New York City in the midst of the AIDS crisis, he was forty-three years old, couldn't speak French, and only knew two people in the entire city. But in middle age, he discovered the new anxieties and pleasures of mastering a new culture. When he left fifteen years later to take a teaching position in the U.S., he was fluent enough to broadcast on French radio and TV, and in his work as a journalist, he'd made the acquaintance of everyone from Yves Saint Laurent to Catherine Deneuve to Michel Foucault. He'd also developed a close friendship with an older woman, Marie-Claude, through which he'd come to understand French life and culture in a deeper way. The book's title evokes the Parisian landscape in the eternal mists and the half-light, the serenity of the city compared to the New York White had known.
Living with a Wild God by
Publication Date: 2014-04-08
In "Living with a Wild God", Ehrenreich reconstructs her childhood mission, bringing an older woman's wry and erudite perspective to a young girl's impassioned obsession with the questions that, at one point or another, torment us all. The result is both deeply personal and cosmically sweeping-a searing memoir and a profound reflection on science, religion, and the human condition. With her signature combination of intellectual rigor and uninhibited imagination, Ehrenreich offers a true literary achievement-a work that has the power not only to entertain but amaze.
Not for Everyday Use by
Publication Date: 2014-04-01
Tracing four days - from the moment she gets the news that her mother has passed, to her burial - Nunez tells the haunting story of her lifelong struggle to cope with the consequences of the 'sterner stuff' of her parents' ambitions for their children and her mother's seemingly unbreakable conviction that displays of affection are not for everyday use.
Tibetan Peach Pie by
Publication Date: 2014-05-27
In "Tibetan Peach Pie: True Stories from an Imaginative Life", Robbins turns his unparalleled imagination on a subject he's never written about before: himself. The grandchild of Baptist preachers, Robbins would later become a poet-interruptus, drafted into the Korean War, serving as a meteorologist before becoming an art-critic-turned-psychedelic-journeyman who would find his voice as a writer in a review of a Doors concert, on the way to becoming a world-famous novelist and counter-culture hero--a series of events as unlikely, magical, and bizarre as those in the lives of the characters his quixotic novels chart with glee.
Things I Should Have Told My Daughter by
Publication Date: 2014-04-08
In this revelatory and deeply personal work, Cleage takes readers back to the 1970s and '80s, retracing her struggles to hone her craft amid personal and professional tumult. Though born and raised in Detroit, it was in Atlanta that Cleage encountered the forces that would most shape her experience. At the time, married to Michael Lomax, now head of the United Negro College Fund, she worked with Maynard Jackson, Atlanta's first African-American mayor. "Things I Should Have Told My Daughter" charts not only the political fights but also the pull she began to feel on her own passions-a pull that led her away from Lomax as she grappled with ideas of feminism and self-fulfillment.
Things I Don't Want to Know by
Publication Date: 2014-06-10
Blending personal history, gender politics, philosophy, and literary theory into a luminescent treatise on writing, love, and loss, "Things I Don't Want to Know" is Deborah Levy's witty response to George Orwell's influential essay "Why I Write." Orwell identified four reasons he was driven to hammer at his typewriter--political purpose, historical impulse, sheer egoism, and aesthetic enthusiasm--and Levy's newest work riffs on these same commitments from a female writer's perspective.
Teacher Man by
Publication Date: 2005-11-15
In bold and spirited prose featuring his irreverent wit and heartbreaking honesty, McCourt records the trials, triumphs and surprises he faces in public high schools around New York City. His methods anything but conventional, McCourt creates a lasting impact on his students through imaginative assignments, singalongs, and field trips. McCourt struggles to find his way in the classroom and spends his evenings drinking with writers and dreaming of one day putting his own story to paper.
The Story by
Publication Date: 2015-04-07
In this memoir, Judith Miller turns her journalistic skills on herself and her controversial reporting which marshaled evidence that led America to invade Iraq. She writes about the mistakes she and others made on the existence in Iraq of weapons of mass destruction. She addresses the motives of some of her sources, including the notorious Iraqi Chalabi and the CIA. She describes going to jail to protect her sources in the Scooter Libby investigation of the outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame and how the Times subsequently abandoned her after twenty-eight years.
On the Move by
Publication Date: 2015-04-28
"On the Move" is the story of a brilliantly unconventional physician and writer--and of the man who has illuminated the many ways that the brain makes us human.
Hold Still by
Publication Date: 2015-05-12
A revealing and beautifully written memoir and family history from acclaimed photographer Sally Mann. In this groundbreaking book, a unique interplay of narrative and image, Mann's preoccupation with family, race, mortality, and the storied landscape of the American South are revealed as almost genetically predetermined, written into her DNA by the family history that precedes her.
In a Dark Wood by
Publication Date: 2015-06-02
In the aftermath of a heartbreaking tragedy, a scholar and writer uses Dante's Divine Comedy to shepherd him through the dark wood of grief and mourning-a rich and emotionally resonant memoir of suffering, hope, love, and the power of literature to inspire and heal the most devastating loss.
Bukowski in a Sundress by
Publication Date: 2016-06-21
Kim Addonizio is used to being exposed. As a writer of provocative poems and stories, she has encountered success along with snark- one critic dismissed her as Charles Bukowski in a sundress. Now, in this utterly original memoir in essays, she opens up to chronicle the joys and indignities in the life of a writer wandering through middle age.
Authors & Artists
Blue-Eyed Boy by
Publication Date: 2014-07-24
Acclaimed journalist Robert Timberg's extraordinary, long-awaited memoir of his struggle to reclaim his life and find his calling after being severely burned as a young Marine lieutenant in Vietnam In January 1967, Robert Timberg was a short-timer, counting down the days until his combat tour ended. He had thirteen days to go before he got to go back home to his wife in Southern California. That homecoming would eventually happen, but not in thirteen days, and not as the person he once was. The moment his vehicle struck a Vietcong land mine divided his life into before and after. He survived, barely, with third-degree burns over his face and much of his body. It would have been easy to give up. Instead, Robert Timberg began an arduous and uncertain struggle back--not just to physical recovery, but to a life of meaning.
Foreign Correspondent by
Publication Date: 2014-08-19
Reporter David Greenway was at the White House the day Kennedy was assassinated. He was in the jungles of Vietnam in that war's most dangerous days, and left Saigon by helicopter from the American embassy as the city was falling. He was with Sean Flynn when Flynn decided to get an entire New Guinea village high on hash, and with him hours before he disappeared in Cambodia. He escorted John le Carre around South East Asia as he researched "The Honourable Schoolboy". He was wounded in Vietnam and awarded a Bronze Star for rescuing a Marine. He was with Sidney Schanberg and Dith Pran in Phnom Penh before the city descended into the killing fields of the Khmer Rouge. Greenway covered Sadat in Jerusalem, civil war and bombing in Lebanon, ethnic cleansing and genocide the Balkans, the Gulf Wars (both), and reported from Afghanistan and Iraq as they collapsed into civil war. This is a great adventure story-the life of a war correspondent on the front lines for five decades, eye-witness to come of the most violent and heroic scenes in recent history.
White Beech by
Publication Date: 2014-07-15
One bright day in December 2001, sixty-two-year-old Germaine Greer found herself confronted by an irresistible challenge in the shape of sixty hectares of dairy farm, one of many in southeast Queensland, Australia, which, after a century of logging, clearing, and downright devastation, had been abandoned to their fate. She didn't think for a minute that by restoring the land she was saving the world. She was in search of heart's ease. Beyond the acres of exotic pasture grass and soft weed and the impenetrable curtains of tangled lantana canes, there were macadamias dangling their strings of unripe nuts, black beans with red and yellow pea flowers growing on their branches . . . and the few remaining white beeches, stupendous trees up to 120 feet in height, logged out within forty years of the arrival of the first white settlers. To have turned down even a faint chance of bringing them back to their old haunts would have been to succumb to despair. Once the process of rehabilitation had begun, the chance proved to be a dead certainty.
Fire Shut up in My Bones by
Publication Date: 2014-09-23
New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow mines the compelling poetry of the out-of-time African-American Louisiana town where he grew up -- a place where slavery's legacy felt astonishingly close, reverberating in the elders' stories and in the near-constant wash of violence. A powerfully redemptive memoir that both fits the tradition of African-American storytelling from the South, and gives it an indelible new slant.
Daring: My Passages by
Publication Date: 2014-09-02
The author of "Passages", a book that changed millions of lives, now lays bare her own life passages in a captivating memoir that reveals her harrowing and ultimately triumphant path from groundbreaking 1960's journalist to fearless bestselling author who made a career of excavating cultural taboos from sex, menopause, and midlife crisis to illness, care-giving, and death.
The Folded Clock by
Publication Date: 2015-04-07
Like many young people, Heidi Julavits kept a diary. Decades later she found her old diaries in a storage bin, and hoped to discover the early evidence of the person (and writer) she'd since become. Instead, "The actual diaries revealed me to possess the mind of a paranoid tax auditor." The entries are daily chronicles of anxieties about grades, looks, boys, and popularity. After reading the confessions of her past self, writes Julavits, "I want to good-naturedly laugh at this person. I want to but I can't. What she wanted then is scarcely different from what I want today." Thus was born a desire to try again, to chronicle her daily life as a forty-something woman, wife, mother, and writer.
Hammer Head by
Publication Date: 2015-03-16
Nina MacLaughlin spent her twenties working at a Boston newspaper, sitting behind a desk and staring at a screen. Yearning for more tangible work, she applied for a job she saw on Craigslist--Carpenter's Assistant: Women strongly encouraged to apply--despite being a Classics major who couldn't tell a Phillips from a flathead screwdriver. She got the job, and in Hammer Head she tells the rich and entertaining story of becoming a carpenter. Throughout, she draws on the wisdom of Ovid, Annie Dillard, Studs Terkel, and Mary Oliver to illuminate her experience of work. And, in a deeply moving climax, MacLaughlin strikes out on her own for the first time to build bookshelves for her own father.
American Ghost by
Publication Date: 2012-10-09
A complex and compulsively readable Southern saga, continuing in the tradition established by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings and brought into the new millennium by writers like Karen Russell and Kathryn Stockett, "American Ghost" was inspired by Janis Owens's extensive research on a real lynching that occurred in 1934 in Marianna, Florida. "American Ghost" is a richly woven exploration of how the events of our past haunt our present.
What Comes Next and How to Like It by
Publication Date: 2015-03-24
In her bestselling and beloved memoir "A Three Dog Life", Abigail Thomas wrote about the tragic loss of her husband. In "What Comes Next and How to Like It", she writes about aging, family, creativity, tragedy, friendship, and the richness of life. And it is exhilarating.
The Odd Woman and the City by
Publication Date: 2015-05-19
A memoir of self-discovery and the dilemma of connection in our time, "The Odd Woman and the City" explores the rhythms, chance encounters, and ever-changing friendships of urban life that forge the sensibility of a fiercely independent woman who has lived out her conflicts, not her fantasies, in a city (New York) that has done the same.
The World's Largest Man by
Publication Date: 2015-05-12
Sly, heartfelt, and tirelessly hilarious, "The World's Largest Man" is an unforgettable memoir; the story of a boy's struggle to reconcile himself with an impossibly outsize role model, and a grown man's reckoning with the father it took him a lifetime to understand.
Publication Date: 2015-04-21
"Whom to marry, and when will it happen--these two questions define every woman's existence." So begins Spinster, a revelatory and slyly erudite look at the pleasures and possibilities of remaining single.
Avid Reader by
Publication Date: 2016-09-13
Sixty years after joining Simon and Schuster, Gottlieb is still at it--editing, anthologizing, and, to his surprise, writing. But this account of a life founded upon reading is about more than the arc of a singular career--one that also includes a lifelong involvement with the world of dance. It's about transcendent friendships and collaborations, "elective affinities" and family, psychoanalysis and Bakelite purses, the alchemical relationship between writer and editor, the glory days of publishing, and--always--the sheer exhilaration of work.
Alive, Alive Oh! by
Publication Date: 2016-01-04
A pure joy to read, "Alive, Alive Oh!" sparkles with wise and often very funny reflections on the condition of being old. Athill reminds us of the joy and richness of every stage of life--and what it means to live life fully, without regrets.