Biography & Memoir Book Reviews (page 982)

KNOWING HEPBURN by James Prideaux
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 31, 1996

"Despite Prideaux's excesses and the suffocating celebrity banalities, there's enough unvarnished truth here to save this book from being just another celebrity puff piece. (16 pages b&w photos, not seen)"
Mixing as it does the celebrated with the rank ordinary, this memoir is of the ``My meetings with famous people'' variety, a subset of biography rich with tiresome possibilities. Read full book review >
LIFE IN A DAY by Doris Grumbach
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 30, 1996

"By reducing her framework—in this case, from a year to a day—Grumbach has produced a pungent essence of a long and flavorful life."
A diary of a day that encapsulates the memories, reflections, and yearnings of a lifetime as gracefully as a FabergÇ egg captures spring sunlight in its tiny interior. Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 29, 1996

"A sad life and death in Hollywood, but the gossip isn't much and the promising title turns to leaden prose."
A muddled look at the mysterious death of George Reeves, the first Superman, by poets and Hollywood buffs Kashner and Schoenberger (coauthors of A Talent For Genius: The Life and Times of Oscar Levant, 1994). Read full book review >
EXTERIORS by Annie Ernaux
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 25, 1996

"Our age's angsts distilled to a wrenching clarity by a writer who knows how to look—and what to look for. (Author tour)"
French novelist/memoirist Ernaux (A Frozen Woman, 1995, etc.) turns conversations overheard and people and places observed into a disturbingly effective documentary record of modern life. Read full book review >
EVERYONE IS ENTITLED TO MY OPINION by David Brinkley
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 24, 1996

"Clearly, his gift is lodged in the delivery—at least when it comes to afterthoughts. (First printing of 250,000)"
These unambitious sign-offs (styled ``homilies'') from 15 years of This Week with David Brinkley never pretend to much—and they surely don't presume to anything as weighty as a raison d'àtre. Read full book review >

SHE MADE FRIENDS AND KEPT THEM by Fleur Cowles
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 23, 1996

"Trivial notes on the powerful and the famous. (16 pages b&w photos, not seen)"
Cameos from the lives of almost 200 of the rich and famous are the excuse for another shameless display of self-absorption (after Friends and Memories, 1977) by a woman astonishingly oblivious to how (or even that) the other half lives. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 22, 1996

"A story of pathos and defeat rather than heroism and triumph, it may unwittingly reinforce our view of the aggregate unwillingness or inability of Germans to resist Hitler's vision."
Sure to fuel the continuing controversy over the response of German citizens to National Socialism. Read full book review >
CHUCK REDUCKS by Chuck Jones
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 22, 1996

"Jones's elegant and hilarious prose moves him closer to one of his idols, Mark Twain. (16 pages color illustrations, b&w illustrations) (Author tour)"
A delightful follow-up to the animation master's autobiography (Chuck Amuck: The Life and Times of an Animated Cartoonist, 1989) that will please anyone who has ever enjoyed a Warner Bros. cartoon. Read full book review >
FOREVER, ERMA by Erma Bombeck
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 22, 1996

"Thanks, Erma."
A collection of more than 100 of Bombeck's most popular newspaper columns (during her long career she produced 4,500 pieces), ranging from those published in the 1960s, when Bombeck first darted out from behind the drier to explain where the other sock went, to columns written shortly before her death earlier this year. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 17, 1996

"This book merits a place alongside the work of Terry Tempest Williams (who encouraged her) and Annie Dillard. (Author tour)"
Part memoir, part nature essay, a roundabout search for a place of one's own—in this case, on the high plains of Nebraska. Read full book review >
LIVING IT UP by Karen Finley
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 14, 1996

"With her funny illustrations, Finley serves a merely clever amuse-gueule that could have been a more substantial meal. (Author tour)"
Controversial performance artist Finley, who sent up self-help groups in Enough Is Enough (not reviewed), gives her downtown edge to household goddess Martha Stewart and other icons of supermarket domesticity. Read full book review >
LEAVING A DOLL'S HOUSE by Claire Bloom
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 14, 1996

"Roth's tricky fiction."
In her exquisite 1982 mini-memoir, Limelight and After, Bloom recalled her legendary collaboration with Chaplin—and, by telling just a little, enhanced her image as the most gently elegant of stars. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Frances Stroh
author of BEER MONEY
May 6, 2016

Frances Stroh’s earliest memories are ones of great privilege: shopping trips to London and New York, lunches served by black-tied waiters at the Regency Hotel, and a house filled with precious antiques, which she was forbidden to touch. Established in Detroit in 1850, by 1984 the Stroh Brewing Company had become the largest private beer fortune in America and a brand emblematic of the American dream itself; while Stroh was coming of age, the Stroh family fortune was estimated to be worth $700 million. But behind the beautiful façade lay a crumbling foundation. As their fortune dissolved in little over a decade, the family was torn apart internally by divorce and one family member's drug bust; disagreements over the management of the business; and disputes over the remaining money they possessed. “The author’s family might have successfully burned through a massive fortune, but they squandered a lot more than that,” our reviewer writes about Stroh’s debut memoir, Beer Money. “A sorrowful, eye-opening examination of familial dysfunction.” View video >