The artistic intensity of life suffuses this epic memoir spanning the “interior monologues” of a gifted American artist.

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WRITING ACROSS THE LANDSCAPE

TRAVEL JOURNALS 1960-2010

Six glorious decades in the life of an iconic artist, poet, and self-described philosophical anarchist.

Culled from his own journals and more obscure volumes unearthed by editors Diano and Gleeson from the Bancroft Library at the University of California, Ferlinghetti (I Greet You at the Beginning of a Great Career: The Selected Correspondence of Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Allen Ginsberg, 1955-1997, 2015, etc.) shares his globe-trotting adventures spanning the revolutionary 1960s to contemporary times in Mexico and Belize in 2010. After having been abroad as a Navy captain in World War II, he earned his literary doctorate at the Sorbonne and married in San Francisco. There, he opened City Lights Bookshop, the Beat poet’s refuge through which he published many works by his friend and traveling companion Allen Ginsberg. In unrushed, conversational prose, his writings escort readers through the lengthier and much more heavily politicized years of his life in the 1960s and ’70s. In often wry and deliciously witty entries, he chronicles his ventures to post-revolutionary Cuba, getting arrested for anti-war protesting in Oakland, California, and his adventurous journey crossing Russia on the Trans-Siberian Express. Ferlinghetti ably captures his wanderlust on cross-country trains hurtling through Paris and Dresden, only to retire in disappointing three-star Verona hotels (“two of the stars must have burned out some time ago”). The author’s raw sketches and original works of lyrical poetry add depth and texture to a narrative already spiced with unfettered cultural criticism (“Paris is now a totally decadent museum of the past”), swatches of stream-of-consciousness “running thoughts,” internal observations, and “curious sexual Italian stories.” Readers curious about how Ferlinghetti’s mind works will find this whirlwind ride through Europe and beyond the ultimate vicarious escape, as his anecdotal musings hover over a richly savored life enjoyed without regret or misgivings.

The artistic intensity of life suffuses this epic memoir spanning the “interior monologues” of a gifted American artist.

Pub Date: Sept. 7, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-63149-001-9

Page Count: 480

Publisher: Liveright/Norton

Review Posted Online: May 26, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2015

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Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

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More life reflections from the bestselling author on themes of societal captivity and the catharsis of personal freedom.

In her third book, Doyle (Love Warrior, 2016, etc.) begins with a life-changing event. “Four years ago,” she writes, “married to the father of my three children, I fell in love with a woman.” That woman, Abby Wambach, would become her wife. Emblematically arranged into three sections—“Caged,” “Keys,” “Freedom”—the narrative offers, among other elements, vignettes about the soulful author’s girlhood, when she was bulimic and felt like a zoo animal, a “caged girl made for wide-open skies.” She followed the path that seemed right and appropriate based on her Catholic upbringing and adolescent conditioning. After a downward spiral into “drinking, drugging, and purging,” Doyle found sobriety and the authentic self she’d been suppressing. Still, there was trouble: Straining an already troubled marriage was her husband’s infidelity, which eventually led to life-altering choices and the discovery of a love she’d never experienced before. Throughout the book, Doyle remains open and candid, whether she’s admitting to rigging a high school homecoming court election or denouncing the doting perfectionism of “cream cheese parenting,” which is about “giving your children the best of everything.” The author’s fears and concerns are often mirrored by real-world issues: gender roles and bias, white privilege, racism, and religion-fueled homophobia and hypocrisy. Some stories merely skim the surface of larger issues, but Doyle revisits them in later sections and digs deeper, using friends and familial references to personify their impact on her life, both past and present. Shorter pieces, some only a page in length, manage to effectively translate an emotional gut punch, as when Doyle’s therapist called her blooming extramarital lesbian love a “dangerous distraction.” Ultimately, the narrative is an in-depth look at a courageous woman eager to share the wealth of her experiences by embracing vulnerability and reclaiming her inner strength and resiliency.

Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

Pub Date: March 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-0125-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Dial

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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An eye-opening glimpse into the attempted self-unmaking of one of Hollywood’s most recognizable talents.

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The debut memoir from the pop and fashion star.

Early on, Simpson describes the book she didn’t write: “a motivational manual telling you how to live your best life.” Though having committed to the lucrative deal years before, she “walked away,” fearing any sort of self-help advice she might give would be hypocritical. Outwardly, Simpson was at the peak of her success, with her fashion line generating “one billion dollars in annual sales.” However, anxiety was getting the better of her, and she admits she’d become a “feelings addict,” just needing “enough noise to distract me from the pain I’d been avoiding since childhood. The demons of traumatic abuse that refused to let me sleep at night—Tylenol PM at age twelve, red wine and Ambien as a grown, scared woman. Those same demons who perched on my shoulder, and when they saw a man as dark as them, leaned in to my ear to whisper, ‘Just give him your light. See if it saves him…’ ” On Halloween 2017, Simpson hit rock bottom, and, with the intervention of her devoted friends and husband, began to address her addictions and underlying fears. In this readable but overlong narrative, the author traces her childhood as a Baptist preacher’s daughter moving 18 times before she “hit fifth grade,” and follows her remarkable rise to fame as a singer. She reveals the psychological trauma resulting from years of sexual abuse by a family friend, experiences that drew her repeatedly into bad relationships with men, most publicly with ex-husband Nick Lachey. Admitting that she was attracted to the validating power of an audience, Simpson analyzes how her failings and triumphs have enabled her to take control of her life, even as she was hounded by the press and various music and movie executives about her weight. Simpson’s memoir contains plenty of personal and professional moments for fans to savor.

An eye-opening glimpse into the attempted self-unmaking of one of Hollywood’s most recognizable talents.

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-289996-5

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Dey Street/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Feb. 16, 2020

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