Biography & Memoir Book Reviews (page 960)

THE LAST OF THE DUCHESS by Caroline Blackwood
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 22, 1995

"A terrifying look at how far the mighty can fall when infirmity and poor judgment put them into nefarious hands."
The chronicle of dogged journalist/novelist Blackwood's quest to discover the fate of Wallis Simpson—for whom King Edward VIII gave up the throne and settled for the title duke of Windsor—after the death of her husband. Read full book review >
BLOWN SIDEWAYS THROUGH LIFE by Claudia Shear
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 22, 1995

"Maybe it's time to start looking for job number 67."
The curriculum vitae of an intelligent and self- indulgent misfit. Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 20, 1995

"As a short essay on poetic theory this might have been effective; as a full-length memoir it fails to move."
An ultimately lackluster testimony to the truism that art and life can't be separated. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 20, 1995

"This one is for the haters—those who hate Clinton, and those who hate journalism. (40 photos)"
This book-length supermarket tabloid version of the lives of Bill and Hillary Clinton is a vicious hatchet job of the first order. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 17, 1995

"Huxley's factual, lively account provides a good look at a rock band that narrowly escaped both burning out and fading away. (15 b&w photos, 8 pages color photos, not seen)"
A fast-paced bio that recounts how a middle-aged rock band gave the lie to the guy who said there are no second acts in American lives. Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 15, 1995

"Puffy amusement for celebrity-trauma fans that lacks any fondness for its subject. (Photos, not seen)"
A depressing and annoying account of the troubled life of actor River Phoenix. Read full book review >
THE FALL OF NAPOLEON by David Hamilton-Williams
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 15, 1995

"The illustrations, however, are outstanding."
A well-researched and original, if somewhat overwrought, history of Napoleon's fall from power, from his return from Moscow to his death in 1821 on the island of St. Read full book review >
WHAT IT'S LIKE TO LIVE NOW by Meredith Maran
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 15, 1995

"Maran is engaging, but she's not self-critical enough, as if unaware that there's nothing particularly unusual these days about Bay Area lesbian mothers who eat tofu, ride bicycles, and participate in Zen meditation groups."
The late Jerry Rubin notwithstanding, not all '60s survivors sold out to the junk-bond culture of the '80s when the first gray hair sprouted. Read full book review >
TALES MY FATHER NEVER TOLD by Walter D. Edmonds
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 13, 1995

"Simple and simply told stories, capturing the constantly shifting sands of the father-son relationship and the appeal of life before the Depression."
Reminiscences of life with father don't idealize a family tyrant's lovable eccentricities, revealing instead the pain both parent and child suffer in the struggle to be men. Read full book review >
THE X FACTOR by George Plimpton
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 13, 1995

"Win or lose, Plimpton writes with self-effacing humor and at least as much wit as wisdom; America's most famous professional dilettante doesn't demand to be taken too seriously."
The adroit author (Open Net, 1987, etc.), Paris Review editor, and amateur jock who plays with the pros suits up once again to pitch horseshoes with George Bush and, incidentally, to pursue the elusive factor that makes champions out of mortals. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 10, 1995

"Students of history and policy should pay heed."
A trenchant deconstruction of much-ballyhooed revelations (in Official and Confidential: The Secret Life of J. Edgar Hoover, by Anthony Summers, 1993) that longtime FBI director J. Edgar Hoover was gay—plus an analysis of Hoover's policies toward sex and crime. Read full book review >
ANAIS NIN by Deirdre Bair
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 8, 1995

"Bair's Nin emerges as the complex woman she was, a woman who inspired both wrath and passion in those whose paths crossed hers."
Though Bair can at times seem like a referee deciding which version of Nin's life is most accurate, this exhaustive account of the former feminist icon is impressive. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Sabaa Tahir
August 4, 2015

Sabaa Tahir’s novel An Ember in the Ashes reveals a world inspired by ancient Rome and defined by brutality. Seventeen-year-old Laia has grown up with one rule for survival: Never challenge the Empire. But when Laia’s brother Darin is arrested for treason, she leaves behind everything she knows, risking her life to try and save him. She enlists help from the rebels whose extensive underground network may lead to Darin. Their help comes with a price, though. Laia must infiltrate the Empire’s greatest military academy as a spy. Elias is the Empire’s finest soldier—and its most unwilling one. Thrown together by chance and united by their hatred of the Empire, Laia and Elias will soon discover that their fates are intertwined—and that their choices may change the destiny of the entire Empire. We talk to An Ember in the Ashes author Sabaa Tahir this week on Kirkus TV. View video >