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 >

BLACK MAN IN A WHITE COAT by Damon Tweedy
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 8, 2015

"In this unsparingly honest chronicle, Tweedy cohesively illuminates the experiences of black doctors and black patients and reiterates the need for improved understanding of racial differences within global medical communities."
An arresting memoir that personalizes the enduring racial divide in contemporary American medicine. Read full book review >
QUIXOTE by Ilan Stavans
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 8, 2015

"Stavans brings infectious enthusiasm and penetrating scholarship to this lively investigation of a grand novel and its readers."
The 400-year history of the deeply influential Spanish novel. 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 >

SOUTH TOWARD HOME by Margaret Eby
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 8, 2015

"Eby brings fine sensibility to her readings of all her subjects' works and, in polished prose, offers a fresh look at their lives and literary legacies."
Seeking the heart of Southern writing. Read full book review >
THE WIND IN THE REEDS by Wendell Pierce
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 8, 2015

"An affecting account of a driven man, a sturdy family, and a resilient community."
A star of The Wire and Treme debuts with the twin stories of his rising career and the slow return of his native New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.Read full book review >
A IS FOR ARSENIC by Kathryn Harkup
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 8, 2015

"The addition of real-life cases and comparisons to Christie's works make this a nice little murder mystery of its own. Fear not, she's careful not to spoil the endings of the classic novels."
Chemist Harkup's first book is the product of her passion for the work of Agatha Christie and her broad knowledge and research in the matter of poisons. Read full book review >
NEGROLAND by Margo Jefferson
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 8, 2015

"Jefferson swings the narrative back and forth through her life, exploring the tides of racism, opportunity, and dignity while also provocatively exploring the inherent contradictions for Jefferson and her family members in working so tirelessly to differentiate themselves."
From a Pulitzer Prize-winning theater and book critic, a memoir about being raised in upper-class black Chicago, where families worked tirelessly to distance themselves as much from lower-class black people as from white people. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 8, 2015

"A coolly told story of a harrowing time and a young woman's struggle to survive."
Simon's son gave her a tape recorder, and the result is a crisp, detailed memoir of her years as a U-Boat ("those who had gone underground in the Nazi period") in World War II-era Berlin. Read full book review >
CAN I GO NOW? by Brian Kellow
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 8, 2015

"Kellow, an admirer of Mengers' spunk and achievements, serves her well in this deft, entertaining biography."
The life of the influential Hollywood agent. 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 >
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 >