Biography & Memoir Book Reviews (page 982)

PERTINENT PLAYERS by Joseph Epstein
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 9, 1993

"632), who otherwise shares the same commitment to common sense and readability."
Epstein's third book of literary essays strikes a less polemical note than either Partial Payments (1989) or Plausible Prejudices (1985). Read full book review >
LOVE LOVE AND LOVE by Sandra Bernhard
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 4, 1993

"The book is dedicated to Bernhard's grandmother. (First printing of 35,000)"
Actress and stand-up comic Bernhard (Confessions of a Pretty Lady, 1988) acts up again with an occasionally recumbent but always ardent performance. Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 2, 1993

"Tough-talking and full of intrigue—a far more involving ride than, say, top-narc Robert M. Stutman's comparable Dead on Delivery (1992). (Eight pages of b&w photos—not seen)"
A former top cop's rough-and-tumble memoir of mob-busting in the NYPD. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 1, 1993

"Brainless bio followed by riveting murder investigation. (Sixteen pages of photographs—not seen) (Film rights sold to Adona Productions)"
Criminologist Speriglio's third book on the Marilyn Monroe question (Marilyn Monroe: Murder Cover-up, 1982; The Marilyn Conspiracy, 1986—neither reviewed), rounding up what's new since 1986. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 1, 1993

"Objective and cleareyed, but unwilling to press some of the harder conclusions about Crockett warranted by the historical record. (Maps, eight pages of b&w photos—not seen)"
A well-researched if not particularly incisive life of the legendary Tennessee backwoodsman, politician, and Alamo martyr that examines his achievements and changing public image through the years. Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 1, 1993

"Sutematsu and her brave companions deserve more, but this is at least a long overdue beginning. (Twenty-six b&w photographs—not seen)"
The tale of a young Japanese woman's encounter with the West during the Meiji era—as told with unfortunately little resonance by great-granddaughter Kuno. Read full book review >
THE COURAGE FOR TRUTH by Thomas Merton
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 1, 1993

"Less jocular than The Road to Joy, less profound than The School of Charity—but, for all that, a well-rounded monument to a well-rounded man."
The fourth volume of Merton's correspondence, complementing The Hidden Ground of Love, 1985 (letters on religion and society), The Road to Joy, 1989 (letters to friends), and The School of Charity, 1990 (letters on monastic spirituality). Read full book review >
THE ROAD TO MY FARM by Nora Janssen Seton
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 1, 1993

"A beguiling love letter to farms and farmers—from a woman of refreshingly independent thought who shares her unusual love in prose as rich in information as in style."
Like an adult playing make-believe, Seton (an agricultural scientist) lovingly describes the farm she yearns to own—one of ``those longings in life [that] are dull tugs from somewhere inside you.'' Daughter of a psychoanalyst and a novelist, Seton grew up in Northampton, Massachusetts, but from childhood on—when her mother became ill with the cancer that would kill her a decade later—she found solace in handling livestock. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 1, 1993

"Like an old newspaper, Dana seems faded here—distant, out of focus, with his claimed significance difficult to account for; ironically, it's Pulitzer who comes across vividly and with bite. (Eighteen illustrations—not seen)"
In the first biography of 19th-century newspaperman Charles A. Dana since Candace Stone's Dana and the Sun (1938), Steele (Rhetoric and Communications/Univ. of Virginia) cautiously depicts her subject's life from his obscure New Hampshire origins to his 30-year stint as editor of the New York Sun, then one of the most influential papers in America. Read full book review >
VIRGINS AND OTHER ENDANGERED SPECIES by Dorothea Straus
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 1, 1993

"Better only to nibble at the early recollections—and then feast on the literary reminiscences: They really make the book."
Wispy memoirs of growing up in the cultivated German-Jewish milieu of N.Y.C., which take on more heft as Straus—widow of the late publisher Robert Straus—recalls with verve writers like Lillian Hellman and Jerzy Kosinski. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 1, 1993

"Though perhaps unlucky in life, Dodson is lucky in his biographer—who values clarity, context, the revealing anecdote, and, above all, his subject's art. (Twenty-five photographs)"
An artful biography from Hatch (English/CCNY; Roots of African-American Drama, 1858-1940, etc.—not reviewed) that conveys the charm, complexity, pain, vision, and humanity of the amazing black gay actor, teacher, and writer Owen Dodson. Read full book review >
SEAN CONNERY by John Parker
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 1, 1993

"Strong pages here and there, but many in Sunday supplement style. (Photographs)"
Many interviews (though none with Connery) give a lift to this otherwise placid celebio of the popular actor, which follows on the heels of Andrew Yule's 1992 Connery bio of the same title—a much stronger work. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Luis Alberto Urrea
April 21, 2015

Examining the borders between one nation and another, between one person and another, Luis Alberto Urrea’s latest story collection, The Water Museum, reveals his mastery of the short form. This collection includes the Edgar-award winning "Amapola" and his now-classic "Bid Farewell to Her Many Horses," which had the honor of being chosen for NPR's "Selected Shorts" not once but twice. Urrea has also recently published a poetry collection, Tijuana Book of the Dead, mixing lyricism and colloquial voices, mysticism and the daily grind. We talk to Urrea about both of his new books this week on Kirkus TV. View video >