Biography & Memoir Book Reviews (page 973)

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 22, 1999

"Read it and weep, and laugh aloud too."
Sharp and funny memoirs of a bright, tough woman fighting cancer and winning. Read full book review >
'TIS by Frank McCourt
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 21, 1999

While not as tightly structured as his Pulitzer Prize-winning Angela's Ashes (1996), the irrepressible McCourt's follow-up memoir has the same driving rhythm, charm, and infectious humor that so captivated readers of the earlier installment. Read full book review >

TAKING RETIREMENT by Carl H. Klaus
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 20, 1999

"With academic and heartland sensibility, it's an elegy perhaps not as universal as the author envisioned, but quite suitable for more than the Modern Maturity and Elderhostel crowd."
Klaus (Weathering Winter, not reviewed, etc.) retired not long ago from the University of Iowa, where for many years he taught the art and craft of the personal essay and journal writing. Read full book review >
ZIGZAG by James Houston
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 20, 1999

"Houston's remembrances, drained of context and maundering, hold as much fascination as seeing your neighbor's vacation photos for the third time. (48 b&w illustrations)"
A discursive memoir from Canadian filmmaker and writer Houston (Confessions of an Igloo Dweller, 1996) of his post-Inuit years, mostly a thin gruel of name-dropping and social climbing. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 17, 1999

"An appropriately treasured friendship recalled in labored prose. (b&w photos, not seen)"
A stiff but loving remembrance of the First Lady from an Episcopal clergyman who became a close friend in the last decade of her life. Read full book review >

MANDELA by Anthony Sampson
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 16, 1999

A comprehensive treatment of the life of the South African political prisoner, martyr, and president by journalist Sampson (Company Man: The Rise and Fall of Corporate Life, 1995, etc.), a long-time acquaintance and admirer. Read full book review >
THE PRESIDENCY OF RICHARD NIXON by Melvin Small
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 16, 1999

"A valuably fair assessment, which avoids the extremes of rehabilitating Nixon and vilifying him."
Small (History/Wayne State Univ.) renders a carefully balanced assessment of a complex but accomplished and important president. Read full book review >
``JEWISH LIFE, JEWISH HUMOR'' by Sidney Brichto
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 15, 1999

"Kudos to Brichto for answering many sensitive questions. (illustrations)"
Former executive vice president of England's Union of Liberal and Progressive Synagogues, American-born Rabbi Brichto has written a lighthearted but substantial book. Read full book review >
OF TIME AND MEMORY by Don J. Snyder
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 15, 1999

"A bittersweet story."
A son's loving and determined quest to discover the mother he never knew—the young woman who died, at 19, shortly after giving birth to her twin sons. Read full book review >
THE LADY CORNARO by Jane Howard Guernsey
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 15, 1999

"Limited introduction to a woman who is a heroine of Vassar graduates and other women scholars. (55 b&w illustrations)"
A praiseworthy if perfunctory biography of Elena Lucrezia Cornaro Piscopia, the "first woman in the world" to receive a university doctorate. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 15, 1999

"Best of luck to them from all whose insatiable appetites for picayune scandal and vicarious socializing will be at least momentarily appeased by this book. (photos, not seen)"
—A paean to hedonism" would be a better subtitle for this terminally trivial autobiography. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 14, 1999

"A book not only for people interested in Rilke or Gass, but for anyone who takes poetry seriously."
The American novelist probes the Austrian's metaphysical poetry with exceptional clarity of mind, verbal grace, and shrewd skepticism. 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 >