Biography & Memoir Book Reviews

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 >
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 >

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 >
SING FOR YOUR LIFE by Daniel Bergner
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 27, 2016

"A disjointed structure occasionally hobbles this swiftly written life story of music, forgiveness, and resilience."
The biography of an emerging African-American opera singer who overcame a tough Southern childhood. 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 >

POUR ME, A LIFE by A.A. Gill
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 27, 2016

"An intensive, uneven, relentlessly blunt take on addiction and recovery."
Nonlinear reflections on a life blighted by alcoholism. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 27, 2016

"A laudable effort that meets with mixed success."
The stage and screen actress delivers a memoir focused on her wildlife conservation work. 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 >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 27, 2016

"Mazzeo chronicles a ray of hope in desperate times in this compelling biography of a brave woman who refused to give up."
The remarkable history of the "female Schindler." 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 >
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 >
Kirkus Interview
Jeff Chang
September 20, 2016

In the provocative essays in journalist Jeff Chang’s new book We Gon’ Be Alright, Chang takes an incisive and wide-ranging look at the recent tragedies and widespread protests that have shaken the country. Through deep reporting with key activists and thinkers, personal writing, and cultural criticism, We Gon’ Be Alright links #BlackLivesMatter to #OscarsSoWhite, Ferguson to Washington D.C., the Great Migration to resurgent nativism. Chang explores the rise and fall of the idea of “diversity,” the roots of student protest, changing ideas about Asian Americanness, and the impact of a century of racial separation in housing. “He implores readers to listen, act, and become involved with today’s activists, who offer ‘new ways to see our past and our present,’ ” our reviewer writes in a starred review. “A compelling and intellectually thought-provoking exploration of the quagmire of race relations.” View video >