Biography & Memoir Book Reviews

GUILTY THING by Frances Wilson
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 4, 2016

"A new, but not revisionist, portrait of a troubled artist."
The trials and passions of the romantic essayist and memoirist. Read full book review >
MARY ASTOR'S PURPLE DIARY by Edward Sorel
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 4, 2016

"What was then labeled 'the worst case of dynamite in Hollywood history' seems pretty tame today, but Sorel's command of tone and pen sustains readers' interest."
A charming slice of retro Hollywood tabloid scandal. Read full book review >

THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF WILDE by Emer O'Sullivan
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 4, 2016

"A familiar portrait of Oscar with a fresh look at his eccentric relatives."
A lively biography chronicles Oscar Wilde's unconventional Victorian family. Read full book review >
GHOST SONGS by Regina McBride
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 4, 2016

"A wrenchingly lyrical memoir of family and tragedy."
A novelist and poet tells the fragmented story of how she came to terms with the suicides of her father and then her mother. Read full book review >
NORTH OF CRAZY by Neltje
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 4, 2016

"It is difficult to discern the audience for this self-absorbed, often inartful memoir of an artist whose renown has not spread widely beyond the American West."
A memoir from publishing tycoon Nelson Doubleday's daughter, an abstract expressionist painter. Read full book review >

BANDIT by Molly Brodak
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 4, 2016

"An intelligent, disturbing, and profoundly honest memoir."
A prizewinning poet's account of her convict father and the impact he had on his family. Read full book review >
THE FRENCH CHEF IN AMERICA by Alex Prud’homme
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 4, 2016

"Like Child and her recipes, Prud'homme focuses on theme and variation, eschewing a straight chronology for an affectionate but journalistically scrupulous backstage account of Child's influential second act."
Prud'homme (Hydrofracking: What Everyone Needs to Know, 2013, etc.) explores the life of his great aunt, Julia Child (1912-2004), America's first celebrity chef and an enduring cultural icon. Read full book review >
BIRTH OF A DREAM WEAVER by Ngugi wa Thiong’o
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 4, 2016

"A writer's coming-of-age tale featuring an artistic mix of pride and humility."
The celebrated African novelist, playwright, and activist, born in Kenya in 1938, revisits the early experiences that convinced him he was a writer. Read full book review >
A REVOLUTION IN COLOR by Jane Kamensky
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 4, 2016

"There may never be a better biography of Copley than this sumptuous, exquisitely told story of a man and his time."
A majestic portrait of the American painter. Read full book review >
AMERICAN ULYSSES by Ronald C. White
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 4, 2016

"An engaging resurrection of Grant featuring excellent maps and character sketches."
This scholarly but readable biography of the Civil War general and president finds some new facets in understanding "the silent man." Read full book review >
T BONE BURNETT by Lloyd Sachs
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 4, 2016

"Intriguing, slightly impersonal catalog of a soulful mastermind's accomplishments."
An exploration of a musical polyglot. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 4, 2016

"Western history buffs will enjoy this entertaining but middling account, burrs under the saddle and all."
The story of an inspired stunt on the part of Buffalo Bill Cody, who organized a horse race from Nebraska to Chicago, the winner claiming his prize in the arena at Cody's Wild West Show right next door to the world-changing Columbian Exposition of 1893. 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 >