Biography & Memoir Book Reviews (page 94)

THIS CRAFT OF VERSE by Jorge Luis Borges
Released: Sept. 1, 2000

"A fascinating journey that weaves together the familiar and the unfamiliar in literature to cast old questions in a new light and supplement our understanding of a complex literary mind."
An elegant and deftly woven five-part lecture series that uses philosophic, etymological, and personal inquiry to offer an erudite and coherent exposition on the power and limitations of language with regard to the crafting of poetry. Read full book review >
AS SEEN ON TV by Lucy Grealy
Released: Aug. 14, 2000

"Relaxed, honest, and illuminating, Grealy achieves her goal: if life is the answer, 'start finding the questions worthy of it.'"
A funny, imaginative, and intelligent collection of essays that incorporate memoir, cultural observation, philosophy, sex, death, disease, and drag queen fashion. Read full book review >

MARCEL PROUST by Jean-Yves Tadié
Released: Aug. 7, 2000

"Stil, the definitive biography of Proust and an illuminating companion to his novels."
An overwhelmingly comprehensive biography of the French novelist by a preeminent Proust scholar. Read full book review >
THE ENGLISH by Jeremy Paxman
Released: July 31, 2000

"Immensely popular in Britain—and England, too!—Paxman's informative, fact-studded book will enlighten and entertain everyone who seeks to learn of yesterday's England and today's 'Cool Britannia.'"
A deeply serious yet wonderfully lively, witty, and heartfelt study of the Mother Country. Read full book review >
SUSAN SONTAG by Carl Rollyson
Released: July 17, 2000

"Although light on both literary and psychological substance, this biography, like Sontag herself, has plenty of charm."
An engagingly gossipy biography of the most glamorous intellectual celebrity of our time, assessing the impact of the writer's persona more thoroughly than her literary creations. Read full book review >

LITTLE SAINT by Hannah Green
Released: July 10, 2000

"More learned than most travelogues, this fond remembrance of both a little girl who suffered for her faith and the people who work a stony land today is immensely appealing."
A rarity: a literal hagiography, but much more. Read full book review >
Released: July 1, 2000

"Spurling's treatment of Thérèse Humbert's 'fairy-tale' rise is clichéd. But her discussion of how Madame Humbert's nonexistent fortune acquired an aura of credibility rings as true in a 21st-century 'New Economy' as it did in fin-de-siècle France."
Thérèse Humbert, the latest subject of biographer Spurling (The Unknown Matisse, 1998, etc.), reads like a character out of Balzac's La Comédie Humaine—a provincial social climber who became the toast of Parisian salons, only to suffer a grievous fall. Read full book review >
Released: July 1, 2000

"A brilliant cautionary tale whose relevance to the volatile economies of today is remarkable—and alarming."
An engaging, enlightening biography of the Scottish financial genius Law (1671-1729), whose innovations created for 18th-century France a remarkable but evanescent economic boom. Read full book review >
Released: July 1, 2000

"A definitive full-length biography of an exceptional leader who helped raise the American standard of living."
Curcio (Suicide Blonde, 1989) writes about a jack-of-all-trades who was also a master of them. Read full book review >
Released: July 1, 2000

"A fresh and illuminating study. (8 pages b&w photos, not seen)"
A dynamic portrait of a flawed, masochistic woman (in the thrall of "literary-erotic curiosity") who embodied the contradictions and seductions of modern literary history. Read full book review >
Released: June 16, 2000

"A highly imaginative and effective blend of fact and fiction."
An intriguingly constructed biography of a 19th-century criminal who was also a man of culture and breeding. Read full book review >
HERMAN MELVILLE by Elizabeth Hardwick
Released: June 1, 2000

"Fine, worthy, and built strong."
In another of the Penguin Lives series, the estimable Hardwick offers a critical biography filled with tapestry-like riches from start to end. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Pierce Brown
author of GOLDEN SON
February 17, 2015

With shades of The Hunger Games, Ender’s Game, and Game of Thrones, Pierce Brown’s genre-defying Red Rising hit the ground running. The sequel, Golden Son, continues the saga of Darrow, a rebel battling to lead his oppressed people to freedom. As a Red, Darrow grew up working the mines deep beneath the surface of Mars, enduring backbreaking labor while dreaming of the better future he was building for his descendants. But the Society he faithfully served was built on lies. Darrow’s kind have been betrayed and denied by their elitist masters, the Golds—and their only path to liberation is revolution. “Stirring—and archetypal—stuff,” our reviewer writes. View video >