Biography & Memoir Book Reviews

SHIRLEY JACKSON by Ruth Franklin
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 27, 2016

"A consistently interesting biography that deftly captures the many selves and multiple struggles of a true American original."
An engaging, sympathetic portrait of the writer who found the witchery in huswifery. Read full book review >
A LIFE EVERLASTING by Sarah Gray
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 27, 2016

"An informative account of the various aspects of organ donation and an inspiring affirmation of the potential value of every life, however brief."
How the author gave meaning to the short life of her son, who was diagnosed with anencephaly, a fatal neural defect. Read full book review >

THE NAMES OF THE STARS by Pete Fromm
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 27, 2016

"Fromm's finely tuned reflections on this small but fully inhabited piece of the backwoods make this an adventure worth savoring."
A middle-aged novelist and creative-writing teacher spends a month in the wilderness keeping an eye on baby fish for the National Forest Service and reliving his earlier experiences in the wild. Read full book review >
ASYLUM by Moriz Scheyer
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 27, 2016

"A well-written book full of desperate hope, intense fear, and a demand for vigilance against the mentality of hate."
Scheyer (1886-1949), arts editor of Vienna's Neues Wiener Tagblatt until his expulsion in 1938, describes his desperate struggle to remain free after the Anschluss. Read full book review >
JEAN COCTEAU by Claude Arnaud
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 27, 2016

"Arnaud's biography provides a useful corrective and will inspire renewed interest in Cocteau's work."
The first substantial life of the French surrealist writer and artist to appear in English since 1970. Read full book review >

FIELDS OF BATTLE by Brian Curtis
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 27, 2016

"A fine sports book with a stirring extra dimension."
A veteran sports journalist revisits "the most unusual yet meaningful Rose Bowl Game" ever. Read full book review >
TREEHAB by Bob Smith
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 27, 2016

"A truth-telling tour conducted by an agile guide."
The first openly gay comedian to perform on the Tonight Show delivers a collection of witty essays exploring his remarkable career and life. Read full book review >
ELEANOR AND HICK by Susan Quinn
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 27, 2016

"A relentlessly captivating study of two remarkable individuals who helped extend the roles of American women in the public policy realm."
A dual biography of the 30-year relationship between Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962) and Lorena Hickok (1893-1968). Read full book review >
DARLING DAYS by iO Tillett Wright
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 27, 2016

"An earnest and heartfelt memoir cloaked under a battle-toughened exterior."
A gender nonconforming cultural impresario recalls a life marked by drugs, displacement, a mentally ill mother, and rare but cherished pockets of solace. Read full book review >
Stepmother by Marianne Lile
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 27, 2016

"A beautiful examination of a family and the sometimes-fragile ligatures that bind its members."
A debut memoir offers a poignant meditation on the joys and challenges of being a stepmother. Read full book review >
BORN TO RUN by Bruce Springsteen
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 27, 2016

"A superb memoir by any standard, but one of the best to have been written by a rock star."
The Boss speaks—and he does so as both journeyman rocker and philosopher king. Read full book review >
LOOKING FOR <i>THE STRANGER</i> by Alice Kaplan
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 22, 2016

"A compelling companion to a novel that has stayed strange."
The fascinating story behind Albert Camus' coldblooded masterpiece. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Melissa Sweet
author of SOME WRITER!
September 26, 2016

“SOME PIG,” Charlotte the spider’s praise for Wilbur, is just one fondly remembered snippet from E. B. White’s Charlotte’s Web. In Some Writer!, two-time Caldecott Honor winner and 2014 Kirkus Prize finalist Melissa Sweet mixes White’s personal letters, photos, and family ephemera with her own exquisite artwork to tell his story, from his birth in 1899 to his death in 1985. Budding young writers will be fascinated and inspired by the journalist, New Yorker contributor, and children’s book author who loved words his whole life. This authorized tribute is the first fully illustrated biography of E. B. White and includes an afterword by Martha White, E. B. White's granddaughter. “Like Charlotte, Sweet spins a terrific story,” our reviewer writes in a starred review. “A masterful biography that will enchant young readers.” View video >