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By Antonio Michael Downing. 2021
The triumph of Saga Boy is the triumph of Blackness everywhere--the irrepressible instinct for survival in a world where Blacks…are prey."--Ian Williams, Giller Prize-winning author of ReproductionAn enthralling, deeply personal account of a young immigrant's search for belonging and Black identity amid the long-lasting effects of cultural dislocation.Antonio Michael Downing's memoir of creativity and transformation is a startling mash-up of memories and mythology, told in gripping, lyrical prose. Raised by his indomitable grandmother in the lush rainforest of southern Trinidad, Downing, at age 11, is uprooted to Canada when she dies. But to a very unusual part of Canada: he and his older brother are sent to live with his stern, evangelical Aunt Joan, in Wabigoon, a tiny northern Ontario community where they are the only Black children in the town. In this wilderness, he begins his journey as an immigrant minority, using music and performance to dramatically transform himself. At the heart of his odyssey is the longing for a home. He is re-united with his birth parents who he has known only through stories. But this proves disappointing: Al is a womanizing con man and drug addict, and Gloria, twice abandoned by Al, seems to regard her sons as cash machines. He tries to flee his messy family life by transforming into a series of extravagant musical personalities: "Mic Dainjah," a punk rock rapper, "Molasses," a soul music crooner and finally "John Orpheus," a gold chained, sequin- and leather-clad pop star. Yet, like his father and grandfather, he has become a "Saga Boy," a Trinidadian playboy, addicted to escapism, attention, and sex. When the inevitable crash happens, he finds himself in a cold, stone jail cell. He has become everything he was trying to escape and must finally face himself. Richly evocative, Saga Boy is a heart-wrenching but uplifting story of a lonely immigrant boy who overcomes adversity and abandonment to reclaim his Black identity and embrace a rich heritage.
By J. Randy Taraborrelli. 2009
By Joe Nick Patoski. 2008
From his first performance at age four, Willie Nelson was driven to make music and live life on his own…terms. But though he is a songwriter of exceptional depth - "Crazy" was one of his early classics - Willie only found success after abandoning Nashville and moving to Austin, Texas.Red Headed Stranger made country cool to a new generation of fans. Wanted: The Outlaws became the first country album to sell a million copies. And "On the Road Again" became the anthem for Americans on the move. A craggy-faced, pot-smoking philosopher, Willie Nelson is one of America's great iconoclasts and idols.Now Joe Nick Patoski draws on over 100 interviews with Willie and his family, band, and friends to tell Nelson's story, from humble Depression-era roots, to his musical education in Texas honky-tonks and his flirtations with whiskey, women, and weed; from his triumph with #1 hit "Always On My Mind" to his nearly career-ending battles with debt and the IRS; and his ultimate redemption and ascension to American hero
By Hermione Lee. 2020
One of our most brilliant biographers takes on one of our greatest living playwrights, drawing on a wealth of new…materials and on many conversations with himOne of our most brilliant biographers takes on one of our greatest living playwrights, drawing on a wealth of new materials and on many conversations with himTom Stoppard is a towering and beloved literary figure. Known for his dizzying narrative inventiveness and intense attention to language, he deftly deploys art, science, history, politics, and philosophy in works that span a remarkable spectrum of literary genres: theater, radio, film, TV, journalism, and fiction. His most acclaimed creations--Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, The Real Thing, Arcadia, The Coast of Utopia, Shakespeare in Love--remain as fresh and moving as when they entranced their first audiences.Born in Czechoslovakia, Stoppard escaped the Nazis with his mother and spent his early years in Singapore and India before arriving in England at age eight. Skipping university, he embarked on a brilliant career, becoming close friends over the years with an astonishing array of writers, actors, directors, musicians, and political figures, from Peter O'Toole, Harold Pinter, and Stephen Spielberg to Mick Jagger and Václav Havel. Having long described himself as a "bounced Czech," Stoppard only learned late in life of his mother's Jewish family and of the relatives he lost to the Holocaust.Lee's absorbing biography seamlessly weaves Stoppard's life and work together into a vivid, insightful, and always riveting portrait of a remarkable man.
"Loud, raucous, infantile, racy, and very funny...The book is full of likable eccentrics, sexual shenanigans, and--if you know where to…look for them--valuable life lessons."--Booklist Animal House, the movie, didn't tell the half of it. Writing with a freshness and joy that make Dartmouth 1960 feel like a beer-soaked rock-and-roll heaven on earth, Chris Miller tells the real story of the Alpha Delta Phi fraternity as no one else could. Seal, Doberman, Otter, the legendary Moses (he of the burning bush) - these titans and dozens of others come alive again, terrorizing the administration, taunting cops, surviving their own lunacy, and challenging the squareness of a stifling time. The Real Animal House is the perfect antidote for a conventional age much like today. "A breezy, chuckle-worthy read, and a must for the Animal House fan." -Courier-Post "Action-packed. . . . A boozy holler of a book, with a great soundtrack." -Kirkus Reviews "A seriously funny read. . . . The joy and exuberance that Pinto and his pals demonstrate holds a lesson for every generation that needs to learn not to blindly follow the expectations of parents and guidance counselors, but to seek out those blissful bands of merry misfits that appear from time to time." -Review
By Lisa Rogak. 2020
After a contestant wrote “We love you, Alex!” as his Final Jeopardy! answer, fans around the world quickly chimed in…to proclaim their own love and support for beloved Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek. In the wake of his devastating cancer diagnosis, the moment provided the perfect opportunity to reflect on what the show — and the man – meant to them.It was no surprise, since millions of devoted viewers have long considered Alex Trebek to be a part of their daily lives ever since he began hosting the show in 1984. Now, bestselling biographer Lisa Rogak gives readers a look at Trebek's early life, his career, and his personal life throughout the years, drawing on many sources to tell his full story for the first time.There are many surprises, like the fact that Trebek was almost 50 when he discovered that he had a half brother, as well as the revelation that for a short time he actually dreamed of becoming a priest. The native Canadian also struggled with depression after the failure of his first marriage, and for years afterward he despaired of ever having a family of his own until he met the woman who would become his soulmate.Who Is Alex Trebek? is the first biography of the much-loved game show host, and as such, celebrates the man who has created a remarkable legacy that will live on in popular culture for generations to come.
By Sam Wasson. 2020
From the New York Times bestselling author of Fifth Avenue, Five A.M. and Fosse comes the revelatory account of the…making of a modern American masterpiece Chinatown is the Holy Grail of 1970s cinema. Its twist ending is the most notorious in American film and its closing line of dialogue the most haunting. Here for the first time is the incredible true story of its making. In Sam Wasson's telling, it becomes the defining story of the most colorful characters in the most colorful period of Hollywood history. Here is Jack Nicholson at the height of his powers, as compelling a movie star as there has ever been, embarking on his great, doomed love affair with Anjelica Huston. Here is director Roman Polanski, both predator and prey, haunted by the savage death of his wife, returning to Los Angeles, the scene of the crime, where the seeds of his own self-destruction are quickly planted. Here is the fevered dealmaking of "The Kid" Robert Evans, the most consummate of producers. Here too is Robert Towne's fabled script, widely considered the greatest original screenplay ever written. Wasson for the first time peels off layers of myth to provide the true account of its creation. Looming over the story of this classic movie is the imminent eclipse of the '70s filmmaker-friendly studios as they gave way to the corporate Hollywood we know today. In telling that larger story, The Big Goodbye will take its place alongside classics like Easy Riders, Raging Bulls and The Devil's Candy as one of the great movie-world books ever written.Praise for Sam Wasson:"Wasson is a canny chronicler of old Hollywood and its outsize personalities...More than that, he understands that style matters, and, like his subjects, he has a flair for it." - The New Yorker"Sam Wasson is a fabulous social historian because he finds meaning in situations and stories that would otherwise be forgotten if he didn't sleuth them out, lovingly." - Hilton Als
By Lisa Rogak. 2020
The first biography of the most popular anchor in cable news.Rachel Maddow has beaten the odds in a way that’s…novel in today’s America: she uses her brain. In a world of banal and opinionated soundbites, she regularly crushes Sean Hannity’s ratings thanks to her deeply researched reports. And in our highly polarized world, Maddow amiably engages the staunchest conservatives, while never hesitating to expose their light-on-facts defenses. As a result, she's become the top anchor for MSNBC and a beloved representative for all that progressive America holds dear. The news that Maddow was the first publicly-out lesbian to anchor a prime-time TV news show seemed almost anticlimactic to her millions of viewers, who will be surprised and intrigued by little-known details of her life, as written by New York Times bestselling biographer Lisa Rogak. Growing up in a conservative California town – and viewing herself as a perennial outsider – helped spark an early interest in activism. After attending Stanford and Oxford, she opted for a minimum-wage job as a radio DJ in a tiny Massachusetts market while finishing her Ph.D. She planned to pursue a career as an activist, but 9/11 changed all that, so she returned to local radio where she could help listeners by "explaining stuff." A stint at Air America raised her national profile, which led to her groundbreaking MSNBC show where she dissects the news of the day with an approach found nowhere else on TV.
By Barbara Leaming. 2009
Rita Hayworth was the epitome of 1940s Hollywood glamour. A huge box-office star, her sultry figure was pasted by GIs…on to the first atom bomb ever detonated. Yet behind the smoldering image lay a tragic secret that wrecked her private life. A pathologically shy child, Rita was thrust at an early age into the sordid limelight as her vaudevillian father's dancing partner, suffering sexual and physical abuse at his hands. A desperate need for protection led her into five disastrous marriages, including those to Orson Welles and Prince Aly Khan. At the age of forty-two, Alzheimer's disease began to ravage her mind, cutting short her career at its peak. This is a haunting and sympathetic tribute to a talented but insecure beauty who was created, and ultimately destroyed, by the movies
By Joyce Carol Oates. 2000
«Oates sabe que ya has visto a Marilyn Monroe. La reconocerías en cualquier parte. Tantas imágenes, tantas historias que ya…han echado raíces en tu mente. Pero su fuerza y su talento consiste en limitarse a señalar los detalles y traerla de vuelta a la vida, a ella y a todo el siglo: la muchacha desnuda, el terciopelo rojo, las plantas de sus pies.»Bethany Schneider, Newsday «Socorro, siento que la Vida se acerca.» Marilyn Monroe era puro fuego, sexualidad a flor de piel, romances turbulentos; pero también era frágil, una mujer asustada y repleta de inseguridades que buscaba en otros -el Ex Deportista, el Dramaturgo o el Presidente- ese amor que ella misma se negaba. Una artista emblemática cargada de conflictos y temores, de pasiones desatadas; una niña que no dejó de huir hacia delante, y llegó a burlar a la propia muerte para convertirse en leyenda. Tras una exhaustiva documentación, Joyce Carol Oates redibuja la vida interior de Norma Jeane Baker -la pequeña sin padre, la mujer dependiente de tranquilizantes y estimulantes, la malograda actriz y amante- y a su «Amiga Mágica del Espejo», la idolatrada rubia que el mundo llegó a conocer como Marilyn Monroe. ** Premio Ja! Bilbao por el «modernísimo humor negro» de su obra. La crítica ha dicho...«Dramática, provocativa e inquietantemente sugerente, Blonde es tan explosiva como su protagonista, la legendaria Marilyn Monroe. En una prosa impresionista de elevada potencia, Oates crea un retrato sorprendente y conmovedor de la estrella mítica y de la sociedad que la creó y le falló.»Publishers Weekly «Oates nos hace vivir la vida de Marilyn Monroe. Y es un verdadero infierno. Y es brillante. Porque nos querremos arrancar los ojos para dejar de mirar, y es imposible.»Ann Patchett, The Times «Oates rebosa testosterona, y su último libro es agresivo y atrevido. Quiere que miremos a un personaje mítico con nuevos ojos, pero no con los de la cámara, sino con nuestros ojos más humanos.»Philip Weiss, New York Observer «En lo referente a Marilyn Monroe, el público siempre se quedaba en el exterior y miraba hacia el interior, pero he aquí que en esta nueva y apasionante novela, Blonde, Joyce Carol Oates revierte ese proceso al plantarse en el interior de la torturada psique de la actriz para rematar un retrato perturbadoramente íntimo.»John Thomas, Playboy «Oates se libera de los corsés de una renarración periodística de hechos archiconocidos y crea con verdadera maestría una potente tragedia norteamericana profundamente inquietante.»Susan Tekulve, Book Magazine «Una novela que nos va ganando y absorbiendo a medida que vamos pasando las páginas hasta seducirnos por completo.»Jason S. Polley, Revista Arcadia «Un libro potente e hipnótico.»Elaine Showalter, Literary Review «La obra más importante de la prolífica carrera de Oates.»Dan Cryer, Newsday «Una magnífica obra, escrita con parte de esa frenética inspiración con la que Marilyn Monroe vivió su vida. Si no ha leído aún a Joyce Carol Oates, no lo deje por más tiempo. Empiece aquí y ahora.»Susan Jeffreys, The Independent
By Laurieann Gibson. 2021
Your road map to never giving up on your dream.World-renowned choreographer and creative visionary Laurieann Gibson speaks to the dreamer…in you: the artist, the writer, the thinker, the athlete, the mogul, the scientist, the entrepreneur, the mover and shaker. The part of you that knows your passion, that puts a kick-snare boom-kack rhythm in your heart. That part of you that makes you feel alive. Your dream, your dance, is unique to you. No matter your calling, Laurieann wants you to seize your passion and use it to propel you to your best life. For the first time, she shares the principles that not only shaped her career but also guided her work with the world&’s biggest pop stars—so that you, too, canAct on the creative spark that brings you joyMove beyond the Dreamkillers of your pastPersevere through the toughest momentsBuild a team to support you on your journeyEmpower others to realize their own dreamsDrawing on her fascinating artistic experiences and the faith that sustained her through her biggest challenges, Laurieann offers a step-by-step guide to living out your vision. Because when it comes to being who God created you to be, it&’s always your time to shine.
By Liz Heinecke. 2021
Part hidden history, part love letter to creative innovation, this is the true story of an unlikely friendship between a…dancer, Loie Fuller, and a scientist, Marie Curie, brought together by an illuminating discovery. At the turn of the century, Paris was a hotbed of creativity. Technology boomed, delivering to the world electric light, the automobile, and new ways to treat disease, while imagination blossomed, creating Art Nouveau, motion pictures, and modernist literature. A pivotal figure during this time, yet largely forgotten today, Loie Fuller was an American performance artist who became a living symbol of the Art Nouveau movement with her hypnotic dances and stunning theatrical effects. Credited today as the pioneer of modern dance, she was perennially broke, never took no for an answer, spent most of her life with a female partner, and never questioned her drive. She was a visionary, a renegade, and a loyal friend. In the early 1900s, she heard about Marie Curie's discovery of a glowing blue element and dreamed of using it to dazzle audiences on stage. While Loie's dream wouldn't be realized, her connection with Marie and their shared fascination with radium endured. Radiant is the true story of Marie Curie and Loie Fuller, two revolutionary women drawn together at the dawn of a new era by a singular discovery, and the lifelong friendship that grew out of their shared passion for enlightenment.
By Priyanka Chopra Jonas. 2021
In this thoughtful and revealing memoir, readers will accompany one of the world&’s most recognizable women on her journey of…self-discovery.&“I have always felt that life is a solitary journey, that we are each on a train, riding through our hours, our days, our years. We get on alone, we leave alone, and the decisions we make as we travel on the train are our responsibility alone. . . .&”A remarkable life story rooted in two different worlds, Unfinished offers insights into Priyanka Chopra Jonas&’s childhood in India; her formative teenage years in the United States; and her return to India, where against all odds as a newcomer to the pageant world, she won the national and international beauty competitions that launched her global acting career. Whether reflecting on her nomadic early years or the challenges she has faced as she has doggedly pursued her calling, Priyanka shares her challenges and triumphs with warmth and honesty. The result is a book that is philosophical, sassy, inspiring, bold, and rebellious. Just like the author herself. From her dual-continent twenty-year-long career as an actor and producer to her work as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, from losing her beloved father to cancer to marrying Nick Jonas, Priyanka Chopra Jonas&’s story will inspire a generation around the world to gather their courage, embrace their ambition, and commit to the hard work of following their dreams.
By Fred Rogers. 2021
Fred Rogers's gentle spirit and passion for children's television takes center stage in this collection of interviews spanning his nearly…forty-year careerNearly twenty years after his death, Fred Rogers remains a source of comfort and fond memories for generations who grew up watching Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. Over the course of his career, Rogers revolutionized children's television and changed the way experts thought about the educational power of media. But perhaps his most lasting legacy was demonstrating the power of simply being nice to other people. In this collection of interviews including his fiery (for him) 1969 senate testimony that saved PBS and his final interview with Diane Rehm, Rogers's gentle spirit and compassionate approach to life continues to be an inspiration.
By Jessica Simpson. 2020
Jessica reveals for the first time her inner monologue and most intimate struggles. Guided by the journals she's kept since…age fifteen, and brimming with her unique humor and down-to-earth humanity, Open Book is as inspiring as it is entertaining. <p><p> This was supposed to be a very different book. Five years ago, Jessica Simpson was approached to write a motivational guide to living your best life. She walked away from the offer, and nobody understood why. The truth is that she didn’t want to lie. <p> Jessica couldn’t be authentic with her readers if she wasn’t fully honest with herself first. <p> Now America’s Sweetheart, preacher’s daughter, pop phenomenon, reality tv pioneer, and the billion-dollar fashion mogul invites readers on a remarkable journey, examining a life that blessed her with the compassion to help others, but also burdened her with an almost crippling need to please. Open Book is Jessica Simpson using her voice, heart, soul, and humor to share things she’s never shared before. <p> First celebrated for her voice, she became one of the most talked-about women in the world, whether for music and fashion, her relationship struggles, or as a walking blonde joke. But now, instead of being talked about, Jessica is doing the talking. Her book shares the wisdom and inspirations she’s learned and shows the real woman behind all the pop-culture cliché’s — “chicken or fish,” “Daisy Duke,” "football jinx," “mom jeans,” “sexual napalm…” and more. Open Book is an opportunity to laugh and cry with a close friend, one that will inspire you to live your best, most authentic life, now that she is finally living hers. <p><b>A New York Times Bestseller</b>
By Héctor Olivera. 2021
Vida y obra de uno de los productores y directores más importantes y prolíficos del cine argentino, contada por él…mismo con lucidez, gracia, convicción y sensibilidad en un relato que entrevera su pasión por el cine, el devenir político de la Argentina a lo largo de casi noventa años y un irresistible conjunto de anécdotas personales que incluyen grandes revelaciones sobre su vida íntima y amorosa. Es imposible pensar el cine argentino sin Héctor Olivera. Protagonista de una vida que vale por varias, a sus casi noventa años se detiene un momento para recordar el largo camino transitado. Pródigo en anécdotas su relato comprende, entre otras historias, la de las más de cien películas que hizo como director o como productor bajo el sello Aries, empresa fundamental del cine argentino, que creó con su socio y amigo Fernando Ayala. En sus films -que capturaron el espíritu de su época, en ocasiones desafiando una violenta censura-, Olivera adaptó obras de Borges, Soriano, Bayer, Cossa y Viñas, entre otros; enriquecidas por actores como Federico Luppi, Pepe Soriano, Héctor Alterio, Luis Brandoni, Oscar Martínez, Norman Briski; actrices como Mirtha Legrand, Norma Aleandro, Thelma Biral, Cecilia Roth, Susana Giménez, y cómicos de la talla de Sandrini, Olmedo y Porcel. Al mismo tiempo, recorre el siglo XX argentino, haciendo eje en el peronismo con una honesta y personal combinación de rechazo y fascinación por la figura de su líder. En el encuentro de estos recorridos toma forma una biografía que Olivera despliega con gracia, sensibilidad y el espíritu vibrante que marcó cada uno de sus proyectos.
By Kathie Lee Gifford. 2020
Former Today show host Kathie Lee Gifford draws on stories from her remarkable life to weave together a beautiful reminder that whatever…circumstances we face, God is still dreaming big for our years ahead. When Kathie Lee Gifford stepped down as cohost of the fourth hour of the Today show with Hoda Kotb, you might have thought her best days were behind her. It turns out, she was just getting started. As Kathie Lee says, &“I&’m not retiring; I&’m refiring!&” Taking us from her Chesapeake Bay childhood when she first heard God&’s calling, to her skyrocketing fame with Regis, to her decision to leave television for Nashville, Kathie Lee inspires us to pursue what really matters. Because it&’s never too late to forgive, to dance the cha-cha, or to make a difference in the world. God placed His dreams in your heart for a reason. And like Kathie Lee, you might just discover that the best is yet to come. Whether you&’re an empty nester, newly single, navigating a career change, or just eager for any change, Kathie Lee helps you hear God&’s loving calling because It&’s Never Too Late to . . .Begin AgainMake Sparks FlyLeave a Good ThingHave a PartyChange the Ending, Then Change It AgainIs it time for you to rewrite your story, unearth your hidden passions, and live with a renewed purpose? It&’s never too late.
By Sanam Maher. 2020
The murder of a Pakistani social media star exposes a culture divided between accelerating modernity and imposed traditional values—and the…tragedy of those caught in the middle. In 2016, Pakistan's first social media celebrity, Qandeel Baloch, was murdered in a suspected honor killing. Her death quickly became a media sensation. It was both devastatingly routine and breathtakingly brutal, and in a new media landscape, it couldn't be ignored. Qandeel had courted attention and outrage with a talent for self-promotion that earned her comparisons to Kim Kardashian—and made her the constant victim of harassment and death threats. Social media and reality television exist uneasily alongside honor killings and forced marriages in a rapidly, if unevenly, modernizing Pakistan, and Qandeel Baloch's story became emblematic of the cultural divide. In this deftly reported and artfully told account, Sanam Maher reconstructs the story of Qandeel's life and explores the depth and range of her legacy from her impoverished hometown rankled by her infamy, to the aspiring fashion models who follow her footsteps, to the Internet activists resisting the same vicious online misogyny she faced. Maher depicts a society at a crossroads, where women serve as an easy scapegoat for its anxieties and dislocations, and teases apart the intrigue and myth-making of the Qandeel Baloch story to restore the humanity of the woman at its center
For fans of Book of Ages and American Eve, this illuminating and enthralling biography of 19th-century queer actress Charlotte Cushman…portrays her radical lifestyle that riveted New York City and made headlines across America. From the very beginning, she was a radical. At age nineteen, Charlotte Cushman, America&’s beloved actress and the country&’s first true celebrity, left her life—and countless suitors—behind to make it as a Shakespearean actress. After revolutionizing the role of Lady Macbeth in front of many adoring fans, she went on the road, performing in cities across a dividing America and building her fame. She was everywhere. And yet, her name has faded in the shadows of history. Now, for the first time in decades, Cushman&’s story comes to full and brilliant life in this definitive, exhilarating, and enlightening biography of the 19th-century icon. With rarely seen letters, Wojczuk reconstructs the formative years of Cushman&’s life, set against the excitement and drama of New York City in the 1800s, featuring a cast of luminaries and revolutionaries that changed the cultural landscape of America forever. A vivid portrait of an astonishing and uniquely American life, Lady Romeo reveals one of the most remarkable women in United States history, and restores her to the center stage where she belongs.
By A'Lelia Bundles. 2013
As they watched construction of the block-long flatiron building brick by brick throughout 1927, African American residents of Indianapolis could…scarcely contain their pride. This new headquarters of the Madam C.J. Walker Manufacturing Company, with its terra-cotta trimmed facade, was to be more than corporate offices and a factory for what then was one of America's most successful black businesses. In fact, it was designed as "a city within a city," with an African Art Deco theater, ballroom, restaurant, drugstore, beauty salon, beauty school, and medical offices. Generations of African American families met for Sunday dinner at the Coffee Pot, enjoyed first-run movies and live performances in the Walker Theatre, and hosted dances in the Casino. Today, this National Historic Landmark is an arts center anchoring the Indiana Avenue Cultural District.