Biography & Memoir Book Reviews (page 1271)

THE RIGHT STUFF by Tom Wolfe
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 24, 1979

"But most readers outside the slick urban Wolfe orbit will find credibility fatally undermined by the self-indulgent digressions, the stylistic excesses, and the broadly satiric, anti-All-American stance; and, though The Right Stuff has enough energy, sass, and dirt to attract an audience, it mostly suggests that until Wolfe can put his subject first and his preening writing-persona second, he probably won't be a convincing chronicler of anything much weightier than radical chic."
Yes: it's high time for a de-romanticized, de-mythified, close-up retelling of the U.S. Space Program's launchingâ€"the inside story of those first seven astronauts. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 1, 1979

"Reruns—and wearisome."

CHILDREN OF THE HOLOCAUST by Helen Epstein
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 23, 1979

"Epstein now sees the need for a community of these survivors' children: her book may help bring it about."
For years it lay in an iron box. Read full book review >
THE HABIT OF BEING by Flannery O'Connor
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 16, 1979

"Remarkable and inspiring."
Flannery O'Connor's best fiction seemed almost pre-grooved, as though she merely poured ink—and vividness—into grooves of mysterious life that were already whitely there. Read full book review >
A JEW TODAY by Elie Wiesel
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 12, 1978

"No cumulative effect but, with the Holocaust, a strong, inescapable impact."
Recent essays. Read full book review >

TWO ROTHSCHILDS AND THE LAND OF ISRAEL by Simon Schama
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 1, 1978

"Meanwhile the Baron evolves from a 'benevolent onlooker' to an 'active accomplice'; and, with Schama's thoroughly documented, incisively written account, he and his family take theft significant places in Israeli history."
In an attempt to rectify Zionist history, Simon Schama has re-examined the role of Baron Edmond de Rothschild and his son James in the Jewish settlement of Palestine—and, inseparably, the record of the two agencies they set up to channel their philanthropic contributions into specific projects. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 9, 1978

"At half the length and with half the schmaltz, this 200th Asimov title would have been distinctly more memorable."
What happens when an overachiever with almost perfect recall is let loose on autobiography? Read full book review >
COMING INTO THE COUNTRY by John McPhee
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 18, 1977

"Flecked with irony, written with rhythm and style—and more than the sum of its parts."
Alaska: the last frontier, a land of insulated stalwarts, climatic exigencies, and nineteen streams named Salmon. Read full book review >
AIRBORNE by William F. Buckley Jr.
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 1, 1976

"Such light-catching gives a soft undramatic glow to an otherwise wistful burble."
"Ocean racing is like standing under an ice cold shower, tearing up thousand dollar bills," WFB muses. Read full book review >
TO JERUSALEM AND BACK by Saul Bellow
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 25, 1976

"The outing to Jerusalem and back earns him no peace of mind, and responsible readers have tough work ahead if they want to share the expedition's dry rewards."
Bellow goes to Israel in 1975—not to see the sights, but to talk, listen, and learn—and returns drenched in issues ("the facts are coming out of my ears") and keen on sharing his radar-oven exposure to the crossed wires (Israeli, Arab, Russian, American) that keep the Middle East just this side of all-out conflagration. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 17, 1976

"The several strands, inseparable here, create a spirit-presence you won't soon forget."
How closely they guarded their lives, those Chinese-Americans pressing the clothes, so that we were never able to focus on them or comprehend their outlook. Read full book review >
SADE, FOURIER, LOYOLA by Roland Barthes
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 15, 1976

"Not everyone will be willing to trip after him, but this perversely poetic critic does generate a great deal of electricity."
Since the publication of Writing Degree Zero in 1953, Roland Barthes has been creating a body of criticism that alters in an absolute sense our traditional notion of what literature—and indeed what writing itself—is. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Katey Sagal
author of GRACE NOTES
April 10, 2017

In her memoir Grace Notes, actress and singer/songwriter Katey Sagal takes you through the highs and lows of her life, from the tragic deaths of her parents to her long years in the Los Angeles rock scene, from being diagnosed with cancer at the age of twenty-eight to getting her big break on the fledgling FOX network as the wise-cracking Peggy Bundy on the beloved sitcom Married…with Children. Sparse and poetic, Grace Notes is an emotionally riveting tale of struggle and success, both professional and personal: Sagal’s path to sobriety; the stillbirth of her first daughter, Ruby; motherhood; the experience of having her third daughter at age 52 with the help of a surrogate; and her lifelong passion for music. “While this book is sure to please the author’s many fans, its thoughtful, no-regrets honesty will no doubt also appeal to readers of Hollywood memoirs seeking substance that goes beyond gossip and name-dropping,” our critic writes. “A candid, reflective memoir.” View video >