Biography & Memoir Book Reviews

I CAN HEAR YOU WHISPER by Lydia Denworth
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 17, 2014

"All parents will recognize the moments of both terror and pride that mark the journey; parents of deaf children will garner both information and insights."
A science journalist and mother of a child born with a congenital deformity of the inner ear brings both perspectives to bear on this account of her journey into the science of hearing and the world of the deaf. Read full book review >
GANDHI BEFORE INDIA by Ramachandra Guha
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 16, 2014

"Guha offers a full, relaxed portrait of how the "Mahatma" came to be, as he gained his voice as a writer, seeker and leader."
The first in a two-volume biography of Gandhi (1869–1948) by a seasoned Indian scholar distinguishes itself from legions of others by its clarity and many facets. Read full book review >

AMERICAN SMOKE by Iain  Sinclair
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 15, 2014

"Melding reportage and memoir, this gossipy, idiosyncratic cultural history offers a fresh, unvarnished look at an eccentric, brash and dynamic cast of literary rebels."
An intrepid British writer takes to the road in search of the Beats. Read full book review >
SIGNED, SEALED, DELIVERED by Nina Sankovitch
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 15, 2014

"There are no especially astounding insights here, but it's a sweet-natured, well-written affirmation of the time-honored role of letters as a uniquely personal way to communicate."
A son's departure for college prompted Sankovitch (Tolstoy and the Purple Chair: My Year of Magical Reading, 2011, etc.) to wonder, "Why does a letter mean so much?" Read full book review >
LUCIAN FREUD by Phoebe Hoban
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 15, 2014

"A first step toward a biographical understanding of a provocative, complex artist."
A breezy biography of the celebrated British painter. Read full book review >

HOME SWEET ANYWHERE by Lynne Martin
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 15, 2014

"Though the dialogue has its wooden moments, this is, on the whole, an accessible, inspiring journey."
How Martin and her husband sold their house and became full-time international wayfarers. Read full book review >
STILWATER by Rafael de Grenade
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 15, 2014

"A vivid, sweeping chronicle of the Australian Outback, as told by a lover of the land and its native fauna."
Rhapsodic meditation on country life by an American rancher in Australia. Read full book review >
SUPREME COMMANDER by Seymour Morris Jr.
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 15, 2014

"A gung-ho, breezily entertaining study for lay readers."
An unabashedly admiring reappraisal of Douglas MacArthur (1880–1964) as supreme protector of a great fallen nation at the close of World War II. Read full book review >
CENSORING QUEEN VICTORIA by Yvonne Ward
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 15, 2014

"Rich in intrigue, Ward's book offers not only an enlightening look at the two men who defined Queen Victoria to the future, but also the ways that notions about gender influenced early-20th-century biographical portraiture."
An Australian historian's study of the two men who edited Queen Victoria's letters and how their methods and choices affected posterity's view of her. Read full book review >
RED LOVE by Maxim Leo
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 15, 2014

"In this winner of the European Book Prize, Leo not only produces a moving family memoir, but also a probing exploration of the human need to believe and belong."
A prize-winning German journalist's account of how he revisited his family's socialist past to find answers about his parents' relationship to him and to each other. Read full book review >
LOST AND FOUND IN JOHANNESBURG by Mark Gevisser
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 15, 2014

"An often moving account of the ways we navigate our emotional and geographical landscapes."
A journalist and author from Johannesburg uses maps to retrace the boundaries of his boyhood, the dimensions of apartheid and the geography of imagination. Read full book review >
SONGS ONLY YOU KNOW by Sean Madigan Hoen
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 15, 2014

"A dark, knowing look at addiction, rock 'n' roll, and the ties that bind."
Perceptive, sprawling memoir of a young man's escape from cascading family tragedies into the noise-punk underground. Read full book review >