Biography & Memoir Book Reviews

WRITING ACROSS THE LANDSCAPE by Lawrence Ferlinghetti
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 7, 2015

"The artistic intensity of life suffuses this epic memoir spanning the 'interior monologues' of a gifted American artist."
Six glorious decades in the life of an iconic artist, poet, and self-described philosophical anarchist. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 8, 2015

"An eloquent testimony to the war's enduring, violent impact."
The daughter of a Lithuanian Catholic mother and Russian Jewish father, Gabis (The Wild Field, 1994) brings her sensibility as a poet and indefatigable energy as a historian to this engrossing memoir. Read full book review >

PAID FOR by Rachel Moran
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 8, 2015

"Moran's thoughtful, highly readable, and provocative treatise shines a necessary light on a dark and underdiscussed topic."
Leaving her Dublin home and dysfunctional family at 14, Moran became homeless before she turned to prostitution to survive. Her stirring memoir chronicles her seven-year journey on the streets and in the brothels and examines the costs to society and her soul. Read full book review >
THE INVENTION OF NATURE by Andrea Wulf
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 8, 2015

"Humboldt was the Einstein of the 19th century but far more widely read, and Wulf successfully combines a biography with an intoxicating history of his times."
Engrossing biography of "a visionary, a thinker far ahead of his time," who "revolutionized the way we see the natural world." Read full book review >
ROAD TRIP by Mark Rozema
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 15, 2015

"A brief but impressive debut collection."
A series of essays delicately evoking nature's power and mystery. Read full book review >

SHOWDOWN by Wil Haygood
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 16, 2015

"An intensely readable, fully explored account of what the New York Times called an 'ordeal by committee,' an important hinge in American history."
Longtime journalist and biographer Haygood (The Butler: A Witness to History, 2013, etc.), whose previous subjects have included Sammy Davis Jr., Sugar Ray Robinson, and Adam Clayton Powell Jr., examines the confirmation battle over the first African-American nominated to the Supreme Court.Read full book review >
MARY MCGRORY by John Norris
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 22, 2015

"Norris is plainly in love with his fascinating subject, which is not only McGrory, but newspaper journalism in general."
Mary McGrory's life (1918-2004) as a Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington columnist is so interesting that it's hard to understand why there hasn't been a book about her until now. Enter Norris (The Disaster Gypsies: Humanitarian Workers in the World's Deadliest Conflicts, 2007, etc.) with this balanced, page-turning biography. Read full book review >
THE POINT OF VANISHING by Howard Axelrod
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 22, 2015

"A vibrant, honest, and poetic account of how two years of solitude surrounded by nature changed a man forever."
How losing eyesight in one eye made a man see more clearly. Read full book review >
1944 by Jay Winik
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 22, 2015

"A complex history rendered with great color and sympathy."
An accomplished popular historian unpacks the last full year of World War II and the excruciatingly difficult decisions facing Franklin Roosevelt. Read full book review >
THE NIXON TAPES by Douglas Brinkley
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 22, 2015

"Essential for students of late-20th-century American history and the Nixon presidency."
Brinkley and Nichter (The Nixon Tapes: 1971-1972, 2014, etc.) conclude their project of publishing highlights from Richard Nixon's infamous tapes with this volume from the last year of recording.Read full book review >
THE COMPLETE WORKS OF PRIMO LEVI by Primo Levi
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 28, 2015

"A laudable, monumental effort to gather the work of a crucial writer of the 20th century in one voluminous package."
A publishing production years in the making rounds up all of the remarkably diverse works of a writer known up to now, in English, at least, principally as a writer of the Holocaust. Read full book review >
DEEP SOUTH by Paul Theroux
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 29, 2015

"An epically compelling travel memoir."
An acclaimed travel writer and novelist's engrossing account of his journey through the Deep South. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Vanessa Diffenbaugh
September 1, 2015

Vanessa Diffenbaugh is the New York Timesbestselling author of The Language of Flowers; her new novel, We Never Asked for Wings, is about young love, hard choices, and hope against all odds. For 14 years, Letty Espinosa has worked three jobs around San Francisco to make ends meet while her mother raised her children—Alex, now 15, and Luna, six—in their tiny apartment on a forgotten spit of wetlands near the bay. But now Letty’s parents are returning to Mexico, and Letty must step up and become a mother for the first time in her life. “Diffenbaugh’s latest confirms her gift for creating shrewd, sympathetic charmers,” our reviewer writes. View video >