Biography & Memoir Book Reviews (page 974)

VIGIL by Alan Shapiro
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 1, 1997

"Has its moments, both sad and profound, but as a memoir of a sister's life and death, it's far outclassed by Richard Stern's 1995 A Sistermony."
Award-wining poet Shapiro, whose first memoir, The Last Happy Occasion (not reviewed) was highly acclaimed, wrenches all he can from this chronicle of his sister's death from breast cancer. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 1, 1997

"After a session with this lyrical book, the reader will understand, too."
A capable guided tour of a landscape unlike almost any other. Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 30, 1997

"A fine, frank memoir of WW II air combat in the European theater."
Abner writes of his long, hairy journey from an Oregon farm to the controls of a P51 Mustang in the Eighth Air Force during WW II. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 29, 1997

"A fascinating glimpse of life inside Graham's charmed circle, and a moving record of one dancer's determined pursuit of a career. (32 b&w photos, not seen)"
An satisfying dancer's tale of struggle and survival. Read full book review >
RASPUTIN by Brian Moynahan
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 26, 1997

"French ambassador reported, of being run by lunatics. (b&w photos, not seen)"
A biography of the bizarre figure—monk, healer, advisor to the empress, and tireless lecher—who did so much to weaken the monarchy before the Russian Revolution. Read full book review >

CLIMBING THE MOUNTAIN by Kirk Douglas
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 23, 1997

"Readers looking for more of the candor of The Ragman's Son will find it, but this is a deeply disappointing book. (50 photos, not seen) (First printing of 50,000)"
Having had an eventful decade since his acclaimed The Ragman's Son, it's small wonder that this successful novelist-actor returns to the memoir form. Read full book review >
CRAVINGS by Jyl Lynn Felman
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 22, 1997

"Felman is so full of sympathy for herself, that readers will have no need to add their own."
Food (in all its polymorphous varieties, kosher and not), designer clothes, their mother Edith's silverware, but especially, especially, Edith's loving attention—these are the cravings of Felman and her sisters in this rather offputting memoir. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 22, 1997

"A striking memoir of a gifted black woman's lonely, difficult, and unsatisfying climb to the heights of American power and prestige."
Parker candidly addresses issues of race, gender and the true meaning of privilege for herself and for society at large. Read full book review >
RUTH, A PORTRAIT by Patricia Cornwell
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 19, 1997

A syrupy but engaging biography of the famous preacher's irrepressible wife. Read full book review >
ALLAN PINKERTON by James Mackay
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 19, 1997

"More hagiography than biography, this rather lifeless narrative hardly represents a balanced portrayal of a controversial figure."
Mackay, a Scottish historian whose previous works include a biography of fellow Scot Robert Burns (1993), turns his attention to another Glaswegian, Allan Pinkerton. Read full book review >
THE QUEEN by Ben Pimlott
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 19, 1997

"But no one has analyzed these problems with greater acuteness or more sense. (69 b&w photos, not seen)"
An intelligent, understanding, critical, if ultimately admiring study of Elizabeth II and her age, by a Whitbread Prizewinning British historian (Hugh Dalton, not reviewed). Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 18, 1997

"Though this is unsatisfying as a skim-milk latte in places, Schultz is less a braggart and more a true believer than many CEOs, and (with Business Week staffer Yang) he provides a pleasing read. ($300,000 ad/promo; author tour)"
A chatty history of Starbucks by its CEO, who announces that he considers the company to be only in its third chapter (which is nowhere near the eleventh). Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Jennifer Keishin Armstrong
author of SEINFELDIA
August 22, 2016

Jennifer Keishin Armstrong’s new bestseller Seinfeldia is the hilarious behind-the-scenes story of two guys who went out for coffee and dreamed up Seinfeld —the cultural sensation that changed television and bled into the real world. Comedians Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld never thought anyone would watch their silly little sitcom about a New York comedian sitting around talking to his friends. NBC executives didn’t think anyone would watch either, but they bought it anyway, hiding it away in the TV dead zone of summer. But against all odds, viewers began to watch, first a few and then many, until nine years later nearly 40 million Americans were tuning in weekly. In Seinfeldia, TV historian and entertainment writer Armstrong celebrates the creators and fans of this American television phenomenon, bringing readers behind-the-scenes of the show while it was on the air and into the world of devotees for whom it never stopped being relevant, a world where the Soup Nazi still spends his days saying “No soup for you!” “Armstrong’s intimate, breezy history is full of gossipy details, show trivia, and insights into how famous episodes came to be,” our reviewer writes. “Perfect for Seinfeldians and newcomers alike.” View video >