Biography & Memoir Book Reviews (page 974)

Released: Feb. 1, 1999

"Synthesizing current scholarship, Honan is as likely to quote from official documents, from church records and business papers, or from law court testimonies, as from Shakespeare's works for his portrait. (b&w photos, not seen)"
A meticulously researched, lucidly presented, but oddly undramatic life of English literature's elusive icon. Read full book review >
JOAN OF ARC by Régine Pernoud
Released: Feb. 1, 1999

"Intriguing not only for Joan's timeless enigma, but for an unusual methodology, which illuminates the detective work by which historians synthesize usable narratives."
A useful and innovative documentary history of the15th-century French insurrectionist. Read full book review >

Released: Jan. 30, 1999

"Readers of Harry Caudill's Night Comes to the Cumberlands will find much of value in Warren's life story."
An affecting and well-written, if uneven, memoir of life in the holler. Read full book review >
Released: Jan. 27, 1999

"Better as 'further reading' than as an accessible general introduction, Ball's biography nevertheless stands as an extension of Marshall's own dissents—a clarion call for conscience in future Supreme Court deliberations. (16 pages b&w photos)"
The second major Marshall biography in recent months (after Juan Williams's Thurgood Marshall: American Revolutionary, p. 1105) stresses the late civil rights giant and Supreme Court justice's legal career more than his larger-than-life personality. Read full book review >
ELEGY FOR IRIS by John Bayley
Released: Jan. 25, 1999

"Nonetheless, this seems an appropriate error for a loving husband to make, and the book's intimate tone will surely please both his fans and hers. (6 b&w photos, not seen) (First serial to the New Yorker)"
A sweet if somewhat old-fashioned memoir about a literary marriage. Read full book review >

A SONG FOR MARY by Dennis Smith
Released: Jan. 25, 1999

"Like Pete Hamil in A Drinking Life, Smith has written an absorbing memoir that vividly re-creates the pains and joys of an impoverished Irish-American boyhood. (Book-of-the-Month Club alternate selection; author tour)"
A richly detailed, lovingly told memoir of the author's tempestuous 1950s boyhood in an Irish-Italian neighborhood of New York City. Read full book review >
HITLER by Ian Kershaw
Released: Jan. 25, 1999

"Thus, what emerges is a fascinating dialectic between the socioeconomic causes of Hitler's rise and the responsibility of the German people for his reign of terror. (32 pages b&w illustrations, not seen)"
A monumental biography that seeks to be the final word (at least for this century) on the subject. Read full book review >
Released: Jan. 18, 1999

"At times a frightening read, but an honest and thoughtful one. (Author tour)"
Poet and author Kamenetz (The Jew in the Lotus, 1994) turns his gaze more powerfully inward than ever before in this slender, emotionally searing recollection of his mother's life and death. Read full book review >
TO SEE AND SEE AGAIN by Tara Bahrampour
Released: Jan. 16, 1999

"A rare honesty reveals emotional complexity. (Author tour)"
A beautifully written memoir that delivers much more than the story of a young woman's life. Read full book review >
RALPH BUNCHE by Charles P. Henry
Released: Jan. 15, 1999

"These digressions cloud our view of the man. (25 b&w photos)"
A quirky biographical sketch of the sometimes forgotten Nobel laureate. Read full book review >
ABRAM by Henry Orenstein
Released: Jan. 15, 1999

"The brief tale of an interesting life couched in long stretches of irrelevancies."
Abram Silberstein led a remarkable life in the turbulent 1940s, but his biographer and friend uses this book as an excuse to glibly recap the history of WWII and the rise of Israel. Read full book review >
PRIMO LEVI by Myriam Anissimov
Released: Jan. 14, 1999

"Anissimov does not solve the puzzle, but she has admirably set out the pieces for her readers to ponder."
A French novelist's fine-grained, illuminating exploration of a life lived under the shadow of Auschwitz. 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 >