Biography & Memoir Book Reviews (page 94)

THE BEST LAWYER IN A ONE-LAWYER TOWN by Dale Bumpers
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 25, 2003

"Wry perspective on the eternal seriousness of casting one's vote."
This saga of bootstrapping from an impoverished boyhood to the Arkansas governor's mansion and a distinguished senatorial career could easily serve as a manual for the legislatively inclined. Read full book review >
ALMOST THERE by Nuala O’Faolain
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 24, 2003

"O'Faolain may be 'almost there'—free of turbulence and waste, out of the wild hills and onto calm water—but she may also be constitutionally incapable of such a condition: there's too much grit in her keen eye to let it rest easy upon the world."
With the same emotional spadework as in her bestselling Are You Somebody? (1998), O'Faolain turns over the past half decade to try understanding how and why they happened. Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 1, 2003

"Stirring, frequently astonishing popular history: a tale of selfless heroics to ease a nation's uncertain spirit."
Journalist and nonfiction author Hagedorn (Ransom, 1998, etc.) retrieves the largely unsung efforts of abolitionists in a small Ohio town who helped several hundred slaves escape to freedom. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 1, 2003

"'Wait. One more memory . . . ' They come in beautiful profusion, coalescing into a young life in a lyric memoir of the utterly vanished."
Between mercurial and leisurely, lush and thorny, jumbled and crystalline, Yale historian Eire's recollection of his Cuban boyhood is to be savored. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 1, 2003

"Gripping drama, captured with a reporter's nose for a good story and a novelist's flair for telling it. (6 b&w photos, 1 map, not seen)"
A vivid account of the tragedies and triumphs of the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago and the concurrent depravities of America's first serial killer. Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 1, 2003

"One of the nation's darkest chapters, brilliantly exhumed and analyzed with due attention to its obvious contemporary relevance."
Respected biographer Morris (Ambrose Bierce, 1996, etc.) reconstructs in amazing detail a presidential election that profaned the rule of law and nearly rekindled the Civil War. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 21, 2003

"A rich, provocative work that merits attention during the commemorative season to come. (See Brian Hall's I Should Be Extremely Happy in Your Company, p. 1494, for an expertly drawn fictional recreation of the Lewis and Clark expedition.)"
In chapters that stand alone as essays and follow themes not found in more sober works of history ("Dreams," "Writing First," "Why Snakes?," etc.), Slaughter (History/Notre Dame) examines questions that some celebrants of the Lewis and Clark bicentenary may not want to see raised. Read full book review >
SAMURAI WILLIAM by Giles Milton
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 18, 2003

"A remarkable tale that might have fallen from the inventive lips of Scheherazade. (3 maps, 47 illustrations)"
Popular historian Milton (The Riddle and the Knight, 2001, etc.) returns with another page-turner: a chronicle of the actual events underlying James Clavell's novel Shogun (1975). Read full book review >
LOST IN AMERICA by Sherwin B. Nuland
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 17, 2003

"Charring and eloquent."
A dark, distressful, and deeply felt memoir of life with father—and its aftershocks—by National Book Award-winner Nuland (How We Die, 1994, etc.). Read full book review >
IN THE LAND OF PAIN by Alphonse Daudet
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 16, 2003

"Harrowing and altogether memorable."
For devoted readers of Elaine Scarry's The Body in Pain and Baudelaire's fevered journals, a 19th-century account of slow death by syphilis. Read full book review >
WRAPPED IN RAINBOWS by Valerie Boyd
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 7, 2003

"Brings one of the most pivotal figures in 20th-century literature brilliantly to life. (25 b&w photos, not seen. Published in conjunction with the annual Zora Neale Hurston Festival of the Arts and Humanities in Eatonville, Florida.)"
From Atlanta Journal-Constitution editor and critic Boyd, a definitive biography of the groundbreaking novelist, playwright, and anthropologist. Read full book review >
ABRAHAM LINCOLN by Thomas Keneally
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 30, 2002

"Exemplary and illuminating, even for readers well versed in Lincolniana."
A fine, brief life of the Great Emancipator by the Australian novelist (Woman of the Inner Sea, 1993, etc.) and biographer (American Scoundrel, p. 31, etc.). Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Emma Straub
author of MODERN LOVERS
May 30, 2016

In Emma Straub’s new novel Modern Lovers, friends and former college bandmates Elizabeth and Andrew and Zoe have watched one another marry, buy real estate, and start businesses and families, all while trying to hold on to the identities of their youth. But nothing ages them like having to suddenly pass the torch (of sexuality, independence, and the ineffable alchemy of cool) to their own offspring. Back in the band’s heyday, Elizabeth put on a snarl over her Midwestern smile, Andrew let his unwashed hair grow past his chin, and Zoe was the lesbian all the straight women wanted to sleep with. Now nearing fifty, they all live within shouting distance in the same neighborhood deep in gentrified Brooklyn, and the trappings of the adult world seem to have arrived with ease. But the summer that their children reach maturity (and start sleeping together), the fabric of the adult lives suddenly begins to unravel, and the secrets and revelations that are finally let loose—about themselves, and about the famous fourth band member who soared and fell without them—can never be reclaimed. “Straub’s characters are a quirky and interesting bunch, well aware of their own good fortune, and it’s a pleasure spending time with them in leafy Ditmas Park,” our reviewer writes in a starred review. View video >