Biography & Memoir Book Reviews (page 974)

THE ORCHID THIEF by Susan Orlean
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 1, 1999

"As for everyone else, there's little or no narrative drive to keep all the facts and mini-narratives flowing. (Author tour)"
Expanded from a New Yorker article, this long-winded if well-informed tale has less to do with John Laroche, the "thief," than it does with our author's desire to craft a comprehensive natural and social history of what the Victorians called "orchidelirium." Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 1, 1999

"But Latifah delivers her insights with a biographical frankness (dealing with her struggles with abusive relationships and questions of self-worth) and salty directness that her young female fans (for whom the book seems to be written) are likely to find engaging and convincing. (Author tour)"
The successful actress and rap singer offers a frank, down-to-earth, but somewhat unsurprising review of the hard life lessons she has learned, about self-respect, love, and independence. Read full book review >

RIGOBERTA MENCHU AND THE STORY OF ALL POOR GUATEMALANS by David Stoll
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 1, 1999

"Stoll's book is not an attempt to debunk Rigoberta's story, but to serve as a warning that elevating one version of history to cult status inevitably silences a multitude of others."
An anthropologist's (Middlebury Coll.) critical reexamination of the phenomenon of Rigoberta Mench£, the Guatemalan peasant awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1992. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 1, 1999

"In its rough, raw vitality, his diary still gives testament to the lives that remained in his heart and the inspiration he quite literally drew from them."
A harrowing journal of lust, creativity, and privation by the painter, photographer, and performance artist who died in 1992 at the age of 37. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 14, 1998

"In sum, Thurmond emerges from this portrait as that rarity, a politician beloved by his constituents. (15 photos and illustrations)"
The life (so far) of a master politician who daily sets new records as the US Senate's oldest and longest-serving member, now 96. Read full book review >

THE DEVIL, ME, AND JERRY LEE by Linda Gail Lewis
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 14, 1998

"Living in her brother's shadow for an entire lifetime, Lewis has also chronicled her own story—without enough accompanying insights. (12 b&w photos, not seen)"
The seemingly unedited, colloquial catalogue of Jerry Lee Lewis's sister Linda Gail's snapshot memories. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 10, 1998

"A spiritual quest that encompasses the roots of family and friendship - it will resonate with the women of Banner's generation and beyond. (25 photos, not seen)"
Reflections on a friendship initiated 40 years ago in high school and reestablished across an ocean and a great cultural and spiritual divide. Read full book review >
THE AMERICAN PRESIDENCY by Gore Vidal
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 1, 1998

"This is one of those times."
If Vidal (The Smithsonian Institution, 1998, etc.) isn't the last wild man remaining in the American literary left, then it's hard to say who is. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 1, 1998

"A thoughtful story, told somewhat indifferently."
The son of a Mexican-American mother and an Anglo father, Johnson ponders life as a "mixed-race" man in the racially charged atmosphere of America. Read full book review >
INVENTING WYATT EARP by Allen Barra
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 1, 1998

"A thorough documentary revision of the Western genre's customary fantasy. (16 pages color and b&w photos, not seen)"
A worthy attempt to prospect for facts amid the mists of myth and partisan hearsay long clouding the story of gambler and frontier marshal Earp, his brothers, friends, and foes, especially in the silver mining camp of Tombstone, Ariz. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 1, 1998

"Or, in this case, material for literary eavesdropping, either."
An unremarkable correspondence between two remarkable southern men of letters at the forefronts of the New Critics and the Fugitive poets, respectively. Read full book review >
THE FIRST BLACK ACTORS ON THE GREAT WHITE WAY by Susan Curtis
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 1, 1998

"Well meaning and often instructive, yet terribly labored."
The author explores unto tedium the genesis of the first Broadway production to feature an all-black cast and wonders why it never survived along the Great White Way. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Kathleen Kent
author of THE DIME
February 20, 2017

Dallas, Texas is not for the faint of heart. Good thing for Betty Rhyzyk she's from a family of take-no-prisoners Brooklyn police detectives. But in Kathleen Kent’s new novel The Dime, her Big Apple wisdom will only get her so far when she relocates to The Big D, where Mexican drug cartels and cult leaders, deadbeat skells and society wives all battle for sunbaked turf. Betty is as tough as the best of them, but she's deeply shaken when her first investigation goes sideways. Battling a group of unruly subordinates, a persistent stalker, a formidable criminal organization, and an unsupportive girlfriend, the unbreakable Detective Betty Rhyzyk may be reaching her limit. “Violent, sexy, and completely absorbing,” our critic writes in a starred review. “Kent's detective is Sam Spade reincarnated—as a brilliant, modern woman.” View video >