Biography & Memoir Book Reviews (page 982)

MICHAEL COLLINS by James Mackay
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 15, 1997

"Despite minor shortcomings, this is the best life of Collins now available, published just in time to coincide with Neil Jordan's film Michael Collins, with Liam Neeson in the lead role."
A stirring, comprehensive life of the great Irish patriot. ``If you think you understand what's going on, you're just confused,'' says a graffito current in Belfast. Read full book review >
BODY, REMEMBER by Kenny Fries
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 13, 1997

"His journey from the safety of the shallows to a rich, loving, and productive life is a memorable story. (Author tour)"
A beautifully written, moving memoir by a disabled poet and playwright who explores both the scars on his body and those on his psyche. Read full book review >

LIFE IS NOT A REHEARSAL by David Brudnoy
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 11, 1997

"While Brudnoy's fighting spirit in the face of AIDS is admirable, he fails to offer us a handle on what his various struggles have meant to him."
The curiously disjointed memoirs of a conservative talk-radio host who created a national ruckus when he came out in late 1994 as a gay man with AIDS. Read full book review >
HAVE NO FEAR by Charles Evers
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 10, 1997

"His depiction of the racism he faced as he was coming of age in Mississippi is as melodramatic as it is authentic and significant. (8 pages photos) (Author tour)"
A spirited recounting of the life and times of one of America's most contradictory and controversial African-American politicians. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 10, 1997

"Four stories that remind us of the human dimension of history. (10 illustrations, not seen)"
Four touching and tragic stories revealing the paradoxical nature of Italian fascism. Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 8, 1997

"A vivid, excellently crafted journey through recent history, as well as through one man's life. (32 pages b&w photos, not seen) (Author tour)"
An American success story, shot through with praise for—and some well-placed criticism of—the author's adoptive country. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 8, 1997

"Strong, well-documented charges that are certain to stir rebuttals."
A thorough demolition of the reputation of Bruno Bettelheim, who is depicted here as tyrannical, arrogant, cruel, and above all a consummate liar. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 6, 1997

"Ultimately, Behar's writings here are more personal essay than anthropological study, failing to clarify the application of her notion of anthropology that breaks your heart."
These readable, insightful essays are linked by the tension between the traditional academic view of anthropology as objective science and accomplished anthropologist Behar's (Univ. of Michigan) desire to admit the subjectivity, or ``vulnerability,'' that often plays a role in the work. Read full book review >
DIARIES by Christopher Isherwood
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 6, 1997

"Maundering, prolix, altogether daunting."
Mixing mournful self-interrogation about sex, art, and politics; less than lucid delvings into spiritual matters; and wry chatter about acquaintances both obscure and celebrated, Isherwood's voluminous diaries provide rather too wide a window onto the eminent novelist and memoirist's foibles. Read full book review >
LEAVING PIPE SHOP by Deborah E. McDowell
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 6, 1997

"Somewhat satisfying as social history, this narrative is less successful as personal memoir. (photos)"
The background is rich but the core is hollow in this memoir depicting a young African-American woman's coming of age in the precivil rights South. Read full book review >
CASTLES BURNING by Magda Denes
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 1, 1997

"Wry and tragic, her story brings the horrifying realities of wartime to vivid life."
The wise, heartbreaking, and very human account of a childhood interrupted. Read full book review >
A PLACE IN NORMANDY by Nicholas Kilmer
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 1, 1997

"Kilmer's gentrified-hippy sensibility, at first rather engaging, grows thin long before the narrative winds down. (b&w photos, not seen)"
Quaint, quirky, leisurely, and often confiningly parochial, this is a paean to the rambling farmhouse in Normandy that's been in his family since 1920 and that Kilmer can't resist trying to restore to habitability. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Emma Straub
author of MODERN LOVERS
May 30, 2016

In Emma Straub’s new novel Modern Lovers, friends and former college bandmates Elizabeth and Andrew and Zoe have watched one another marry, buy real estate, and start businesses and families, all while trying to hold on to the identities of their youth. But nothing ages them like having to suddenly pass the torch (of sexuality, independence, and the ineffable alchemy of cool) to their own offspring. Back in the band’s heyday, Elizabeth put on a snarl over her Midwestern smile, Andrew let his unwashed hair grow past his chin, and Zoe was the lesbian all the straight women wanted to sleep with. Now nearing fifty, they all live within shouting distance in the same neighborhood deep in gentrified Brooklyn, and the trappings of the adult world seem to have arrived with ease. But the summer that their children reach maturity (and start sleeping together), the fabric of the adult lives suddenly begins to unravel, and the secrets and revelations that are finally let loose—about themselves, and about the famous fourth band member who soared and fell without them—can never be reclaimed. “Straub’s characters are a quirky and interesting bunch, well aware of their own good fortune, and it’s a pleasure spending time with them in leafy Ditmas Park,” our reviewer writes in a starred review. View video >