Biography & Memoir Book Reviews

THE LOST WORLD OF THE OLD ONES by David Roberts
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 4, 2015

"For fans of all things Southwestern—not quite as robust and thoughtful as Craig Childs' House of Rain (2007) but a pleasure to read."
More travels in the Southwest of yore by outdoorsman/writer Roberts (Alone on the Ice: The Greatest Survival Story in the History of Exploration, 2013, etc.).Read full book review >
DAUGHTERS OF THE SAMURAI by Janice P. Nimura
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 4, 2015

"An extraordinary, elegantly told story of the beginning of Japan's education and emancipation of its women."
Through her fascinating tapestry of history and biography, New York scholar Nimura weaves the strange, vibrant tale of an insular nation coming to terms with currents of modernism it could no longer keep out. Read full book review >

THE WORLD BETWEEN TWO COVERS by Ann Morgan
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 4, 2015

"Morgan's intrepid literary project underscores the crucial importance of stretching the boundaries of one's aesthetic and intellectual worlds."
Exploring the world, one book at a time. Read full book review >
THE INGENIOUS MR. PYKE by Henry Hemming
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 5, 2015

"Fans of Graham Greene and Alan Furst will revel in this well-told true-life story."
An unlikely tale of true espionage by London-based journalist/historian Hemming (Abdulnasser Gharem: Art of Survival, 2012, etc.) in which a nerdy Jewish kid becomes a kind of James Bond.Read full book review >
KIDNAP IN CRETE by Rick Stroud
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 5, 2015

"A stirring adventure with an exotic setting and a thrilling cast."
In 1944, undercover British operatives kidnapped German Gen. Heinrich Kreipe on Nazi-occupied Crete. This is the tale of that exploit. Read full book review >

THE LIFE OF SAUL BELLOW by Zachary Leader
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 5, 2015

"Will now stand as the definitive Bellow biography."
The author of The Life of Kingsley Amis (2007) returns with the first installment of a two-volume biography of Saul Bellow (1915-2005), winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1976.Read full book review >
KEEP IT FAKE by Eric G. Wilson
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 5, 2015

"An elliptical, provocative meditation that reads as much like a catharsis as a manifesto."
The counterargument to the cliché of "keep it real." Read full book review >
THE ARGONAUTS by Maggie Nelson
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 5, 2015

"A book that will challenge readers as much as the author has challenged herself."
A fiercely provocative and intellectually audacious memoir that focuses on motherhood, love and gender fluidity. Read full book review >
BROADCAST HYSTERIA by A. Brad Schwartz
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 5, 2015

"An entertaining assessment of a watershed moment in American life and its lasting effect on popular culture."
A skeptical look at the panic that might have been. Read full book review >
PIECES OF MY MOTHER by Melissa Cistaro
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 5, 2015

"An honest and affecting story of the many complexities involved with family relationships."
A debut memoir about a woman's emotionally charged relationship with the mother who walked away from her marriage and family. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 5, 2015

"What the two women had in common was their writing talent, strength, and dedication to the fight for women's education and rights. While Gordon tells their stories well, moving back and forth between the Marys can be perplexing."
Gordon (English/Endicott Coll.; The Woman Who Named God: Abraham's Dilemma and the Birth of Three Faiths, 2007) delivers a drama-filled dual biography of Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797) and her daughter, Mary Shelley (1797-1851).
Read full book review >
LUTHER’S FORTRESS by James Reston Jr.
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 5, 2015

"An intensive journey inside Luther's thinking as it was forming in opposition to the church."
An engaging study of a short but explosive period in the life of the great reformer and translator of the Bible. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Mona Eltahawy
April 28, 2015

In her debut book, Headscarves and Hymens: Why the Middle East Needs a Sexual Revolution, Egyptian-American journalist and commentator Mona Eltahawy mounts an angry indictment of the treatment of women throughout the Arab world. Born in Egypt, she spent her childhood in London, moving with her family to Saudi Arabia when she was 15. Her shock was immediate and visceral: “It felt as though we’d moved to another planet whose inhabitants fervently wished women did not exist,” she recalls. Women could not travel, work or even go to a doctor’s appointment without male approval. We talk to Eltahawy this week on Kirkus TV about her arresting new book. View video >