Biography & Memoir Book Reviews (page 1277)

RESURRECTION by John C. Danforth
Released: Sept. 21, 1994

"Strictly for the converted. (First printing of 50,000; author tour)"
A personal, insider's view of the confirmation process for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, from the justice's chief Senate sponsor. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 19, 1994

"Eddy fans, a pan full of nuggets for aficionados of Hollywood and MGM, but an encyclopedic struggle for the less dedicated. (b&w photos, not seen)"
This lengthy biography of Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy reveals lives as melodramatic and star-crossed as one of their movies—without the happy ending. Read full book review >

THIS YEAR IN JERUSALEM by Mordecai Richler
Released: Sept. 19, 1994

"A provocative and highly readable exploration of Israel in the mind of a Jew who has chosen not to live there, of interest primarily to other Jews aware that they have made the same decision."
In parts memoir, travelogue, political treatise, and extended essay on the tangled question of what it means to be a Jew living outside of Israel. Read full book review >
RAISING LAZARUS by Robert Pensack
Released: Sept. 15, 1994

"Packs a powerful punch."
The haunting story of a man's struggle to survive with a terribly damaged heart. Read full book review >
PROZAC NATION by Elizabeth Wurtzel
Released: Sept. 14, 1994

"This most certainly is not an examination of a generation's collective psyche. (First serial to Vogue, Esquire, and Mouth2Mouth)"
A memoir of a depressed, heavily medicated young woman who identifies with Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, and other tragic figures—and fantasizes about being profiled as a tragic suicide in New York magazine. Read full book review >

AMAN by Aman
Released: Sept. 12, 1994

"Nonetheless, a unique and rich account of life in a fascinating and troubled land."
A lyrical first-hand account of a complex and charismatic modern-day African heroine. ``Aman'' (a pseudonym meaning ``trustworthy'' in Arabic) is a gifted narrator who recounted her tumultuous life first to anthropologist Barnes, who died in 1990 before the project was completed, and then to Barnes's designated successor, Boddy (Cultural Anthropology/Univ. of Toronto). Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 12, 1994

"An absorbing study of the linkages between personal and diplomatic perspectives— illuminating as historical background in this period of European integration and diminished American power."
Harper (European Studies/Johns Hopkins; America and the Reconstruction of Italy, 1986) creatively melds biography with cultural and diplomatic history in this triptych of portraits of important architects of US policy toward Europe during the ``American Century.'' America's ``historic ambivalence'' toward Europe, the author argues, is reflected in the lives of his three subjects, each of whom decisively influenced America's European policy during and after WW II. Read full book review >
SUMMING UP by Yitzhak Shamir
Released: Sept. 9, 1994

"A useful tool for opponents of the land-for-peace policies of the current Israeli government, but less useful to students of Israeli history or of Yitzhak Shamir."
With freelance writer Samuel, the former prime minister of Israel describes the context in which he developed his political views but reveals little new about himself. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 6, 1994

"Lawrence-Lightfoot presents successful people determined to remember where they—individually and as a people—came from, and she brings her formidable storytelling gifts to their lives. (Book- of-the-Month Club main selection; author tour)"
A refreshing and inspiring look into the lives of six successful African-Americans. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 2, 1994

"Jeffers inverts Teddy's most famous saying with a book that walks loudly (lots of swaggering by the protagonist and others) and carries a small stick (nary a whack of dissent)."
A fast-paced but toothless report on the crime-busting years of America's toothiest politician: scads of atmosphere and action, no critical bite. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 1, 1994

"Wolfe reduces an electrifying tale of power and disgrace into a lifeless narrative, and compelling figures into straw men. (Frist serial to Vanity Fair; Literary Guild selection)"
Both more and less than you wanted to know about the scandalous downfall of the chief judge of New York State's Court of Appeals. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 1, 1994

"Proof that not everyone who has a transformative experience should write a book."
A well-intentioned but uninspired memoir by the mother of folk singer Joan Baez. 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 >