Biography & Memoir Book Reviews

SPINSTER by Kate Bolick
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 21, 2015

"A sexy, eloquent, well-written and -researched study/memoir."
An Atlantic contributing editor's refreshingly bold and incisive account of how she came to celebrate her status as a single woman.Read full book review >
ORSON WELLES'S LAST MOVIE by Josh Karp
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 21, 2015

"Luckily, there's nothing unfinished in Karp's retelling. He follows every story, dollar and last legal battle in full detail. Whether the film sees a 2015 release on the anniversary of Welles' birth, as was speculated as of late last year, we at least have Karp to thank for the next best thing."
What became of The Other Side of the Wind, that crazy movie that took up the last 15 years of the life of Orson Welles (1915-1985)?Read full book review >

MAN IN PROFILE by Thomas Kunkel
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 21, 2015

"Kunkel cannot solve the mystery, but he offers a finely delineated portrait of the man."
The strange trajectory of one writer's career. Read full book review >
MY ORGANIC LIFE by Nora Pouillon
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 21, 2015

"An inspiring account and great fun to read."
In a sparkling memoir, the founder of Restaurant Nora tells of making her own journey into the food world. Read full book review >
BEYOND THE PALE by Emily Urquhart
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 21, 2015

"A graceful, perceptive rendering of a misunderstood condition."
A child born with albinism inspires a concerned mother to uncover its genetic origins. Read full book review >

ALL THE WILD THAT REMAINS by David Gessner
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 20, 2015

"Stegner and Abbey 'are two who have lighted my way,' nature writer Wendell Berry admitted. They have lighted the way for Gessner, as well, as he conveys in this graceful, insightful homage to their work and to the region they loved."
The lives and legacies of two influential environmentalists. Read full book review >
THE EDUCATION OF A TRAITOR by Svetlana Grobman
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 15, 2015

"An intimate look at a young woman's struggle to find her own truth in a repressive society."
Grobman's debut memoir explores her childhood in the Soviet Union. Read full book review >
ANOTHER LITTLE PIECE OF MY HEART by Richard Goldstein
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 14, 2015

"Indispensable for understanding the culture of the '60s and the music that was at its heart."
A memoir by one of the founders of rock criticism, on the era that gave him his vocation and ultimately broke his heart. Read full book review >
SMASH CUT by Brad Gooch
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 14, 2015

"This candid memoir lovingly evokes a life, and a world, lost."
Filmmaker Howard Brookner (1954-1989) is the focus of this engrossing, intimate memoir by novelist and biographer Gooch (English/William Paterson Univ.; Flannery: A Life of Flannery O'Connor, 2009, etc.).Read full book review >
MINISTERS AT WAR by Jonathan Schneer
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 14, 2015

"Clear, thoroughly entertaining and full of lively detail."
During World War II, Britain was guided by a group of talented, ambitious rivals who put aside their differences to defeat their common enemy. Here's a look at how they worked together—and how it fell apart just as victory was in hand. Read full book review >
HOW I SHED MY SKIN by Jim Grimsley
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 14, 2015

"Although proud that he and his classmates made history, the culture of hatred he recounts in this revelatory memoir still, he notes sadly, persists."
After a court decision, children struggled to enact integration. Read full book review >
FINDING SAMUEL LOWE by Paula Williams Madison
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 14, 2015

"A well-structured memoir told in brief, punchy vignettes alternating between past and present."
A spirited pursuit of her mother's roots takes one African-American woman from Jamaica to Harlem to China. 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 >