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A radiant collection of letters from the renowned author of Invisible Man that trace the life and mind of a… giant of American literature, with insights into the riddle of identity, the writer&’s craft, and the story of a changing nation over six decades These extensive and revealing letters span the life of Ralph Ellison and provide a remarkable window into the great writer&’s life and work, his friendships, rivalries, anxieties, and all the questions about identity, art, and the American soul that bedeviled and inspired him until his death. They include early notes to his mother, written as an impoverished college student; lively exchanges with the most distinguished American writers and thinkers of his time, from Romare Bearden to Saul Bellow; and letters to friends and family from his hometown of Oklahoma City, whose influence would always be paramount. These letters are beautifully rendered first-person accounts of Ellison&’s life and work and his observations of a changing world, showing his metamorphosis from a wide-eyed student into a towering public intellectual who confronted and articulated America&’s complexities.
By Tove Jansson. 2020
A virtual memoir in letters by the beloved creator of the Moomins Tove Jansson&’s works, even her famed Moomin books,… fairly teem with letters of one kind or another, from messages bobbing in bottles to whole epistolary novels. Fortunately for her countless readers, her life was no different, unfolding as it did in the letters to family, friends, and lovers that make up this volume, a veritable autobiography over the course of six decades—and the only one Jansson ever wrote. And just as letters carry a weight of significance in Jansson&’s writing, those she wrote throughout her life reflect the gravity of her circumstances, the depth of her thoughts and feelings, and the critical moments of humor, sadness, and grace that mark an artist&’s days.These letters, penned with characteristic insight and wit, provide an almost seamless commentary on Jansson&’s life within Helsinki&’s bohemian circles and on her island home. Shifting between hope and despair, yearning and happiness, they describe her immersion in art studies and her ascension to fame with the Moomins. They speak frankly of friendship and love, loneliness and solidarity, and also of politics, art, literature, and society. They summon a particular place and time reflected through a mind finely attuned to her culture, her world, and her own nature—all clearly put into biographical and historical context by the volume&’s editors, both longtime friends of Tove Jansson—and, in the end, draw a complex, intimate self-portrait of one of the world&’s most beloved authors.
By Jim Walsh. 2020
A veteran Twin Cities journalist and raconteur summons the life of the city after reporting and recording its stories for… more than thirty years Two or three times a week, as a columnist, hustling freelance writer, and genuinely curious reporter, Jim Walsh would hang out in a coffee shop or a bar, or wander in a club or on a side street, and invariably a story would unfold—one more chapter in the story of Minneapolis, the city that was his home and his beat for more than thirty years. Fear and Loving in South Minneapolis tells that story, collecting the encounters and adventures and lives that make a city hum—and make South Minneapolis what it is. Here is a man who drives around Minneapolis in a van that sports a neon sign and keeps a running tally of the soldiers killed in Iraq. Here is another, haunted by the woman he fell in love with, and lost, many years ago at the Minnesota Music Café on St. Paul&’s East Side. Here are strangers on a cold night on the corner of Forty-sixth and Nicollet, finding comfort in each other&’s company in the wake of the shootings in Paris. And here are Walsh&’s own memories catching up with him: the woman who joined him in representing &“junior royalty&” for the Minneapolis Aquatennial when they were both seven years old; the lost friend, Soul Asylum&’s Karl Mueller, recalled while sitting on his memorial bench at Walsh&’s go-to refuge, the Rose Gardens near Lake Harriet. These everyday interactions, ordinary people, and quiet moments in Jim Walsh&’s writing create an extraordinary picture of a city&’s life. James Joyce famously bragged that if Dublin were ever destroyed, it could be rebuilt in its entirety from his written works. The Minneapolis that Jim Walsh maps is more a matter of heart, of urban life built on human connections, than of streets intersecting and literal landmarks: it is that lived city, documented in measures large and small, that his book brings so vividly to mind, drafting a blueprint of a community&’s soul and inviting a reader into the boundless, enduring experience of Fear and Loving in South Minneapolis.
The memoir of &“the first African American female reporter to gain entry into the closed society of the White House… and congressional news correspondents&” (Hank Klibanoff, coauthor of the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Race Beat). In 1942 Alice Allison Dunnigan, a sharecropper&’s daughter from Kentucky, made her way to the nation&’s capital and a career in journalism that eventually led her to the White House. With Alone Atop the Hill, Carol McCabe Booker has condensed Dunnigan&’s 1974 self-published autobiography to appeal to a general audience and has added scholarly annotations that provide historical context. Dunnigan&’s dynamic story reveals her importance to the fields of journalism, women&’s history, and the civil rights movement and creates a compelling portrait of a groundbreaking American. Dunnigan recounts her formative years in rural Kentucky as she struggled for a living, telling bluntly and simply what life was like in a Border State in the first half of the twentieth century. Later she takes readers to Washington, D.C., where we see her rise from a typist during World War II to a reporter. Ultimately she would become the first black female reporter accredited to the White House; authorized to travel with a U.S. president; credentialed by the House and Senate Press Galleries; accredited to the Department of State and the Supreme Court; voted into the White House Newswomen&’s Association and the Women&’s National Press Club; and recognized as a Washington sports reporter. In Alone Atop the Hill, &“Dunnigan&’s indelible self-portrait affirms that while the media landscape has changed, along with some social attitudes and practices, discrimination is far from vanquished, and we still need dedicated and brave journalists to serve as clarion investigators, witnesses, and voices of conscience (Booklist, starred review).
By Anca Vlasopolos. 2000
No Return Address is a vivid memoir of a life in exile and a poignant meditation on pleasure and loss,… repression and transgression, and the complexities of love under harsh human conditions. In recounting her life's journey from Romania to Paris and Brussels, then on to the United States, Anca Vlasopolos writes movingly of the peculiar attributes of displacement in the contemporary world—the hyphenated, ambiguous identities; the purgatory in which immigrants await transfer to another country; the mysterious nostalgia for places and events dimly recalled. Throughout, she describes the constant search for a place to truly call home.Vlasopolos renders a clear and loving portrait of her mother, an Auschwitz survivor courageously raising a young girl by herself after the death of her husband, a political dissident. She details their years of limbo in Brussels and Paris and of settlement in Detroit, Michigan, as well as her ultimate decision to identify the United States as home, inspired by the strong multicultural quality that allows so many others to do the same.
By Michael Posner. 2020
The extraordinary life of one of the world&’s greatest music and literary icons, in the words of those who knew… him best.Poet, novelist, singer-songwriter, artist, prophet, icon—there has never been a figure like Leonard Cohen. He was a true giant in contemporary western culture, entertaining and inspiring people everywhere with his work. From his groundbreaking and bestselling novels, The Favourite Game and Beautiful Losers, to timeless songs such as &“Suzanne,&” &“Dance Me to the End of Love,&” and &“Hallelujah,&” Cohen is a cherished artist. His death in 2016 was felt around the world by the many fans and followers who would miss his warmth, humour, intellect, and piercing insights. Leonard Cohen, Untold Stories chronicles the full breadth of his extraordinary life. The first of three volumes—The Early Years—follows him from his boyhood in Montreal to university, and his burgeoning literary career to the world of music, culminating with his first international tour in 1970. Through the voices of those who knew him best—family and friends, colleagues and contemporaries, rivals, business partners, and his many lovers—the book probes deeply into both Cohen&’s public and private life. It also paints a portrait of an era, the social, cultural, and political revolutions that shook the 1960s. In this revealing and entertaining first volume, bestselling author and biographer Michael Posner draws on hundreds of interviews to reach beyond the Cohen of myth and reveal the unique, complex, and compelling figure of the real man.
By Ángel Gilberto Adame. 2020
Prólogo de César Arístides. A mediados del siglo xx Pablo Neruda, Octavio Paz y José Bergamín eran las voces más… influyentes de la literatura hispanoamericana. Sus ideas políticas tenían amplia repercusión, esto los llevó a crear alianzas y rupturas marcadas por el encono en sus cartas, la mordacidad en sus publicaciones, incluso puñetazos entre Paz y Neruda. Pasiones, fracturas y rebeliones: Octavio Paz, Pablo Neruda y José Bergamín, es una investigación lúdica y demoledora que parte del primer encuentro de estos tres literatos durante el II Congreso de Escritores para la Defensa de la Cultura, celebrado en España en 1937, recrea la atmósfera de España durante la Guerra civil, la suerte de los refugiados en México y las pugnas intelectuales en torno al comunismo, la trampa stalinista y las declaraciones políticas. El libro da luz a las vidas de personajes terribles como Ricardo Paseyro, Tina Modotti, la vehemente revolucionaria Margarita Nelken y el intenso José Ferrel. Nos muestra a un José Revueltas apabullado por Neruda; a Villaurrutia, Novo y Usigli atacando a Bergamín con versos encendidos y a un André Gide expulsado del anhelo comunista. Ángel Gilberto Adame apuesta por el dato inaudito y raro, la fecha extraviada en las injurias y los encarnizados debates; el libro se arma con una espléndida bibliografía, conversaciones con estudiosos de la literatura hispanoamericana, fotografías inéditas y la consulta de archivos históricos olvidados. Adame: dueño de una ironía filosa y delicada, muestra a Bergamín, Neruda y Paz como hombres tenaces en la defensa de sus ideas, marcados por sus yerros y declaraciones políticas al filo de la navaja, esto es, profundamente humanos.
By Catherine Gray. 2017
THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER 'Not remotely preachy' - The Times 'Jaunty, shrewd and convincing' - Sunday Telegraph 'Admirably honest, light,… bubbly and remarkably rarely annoying.' - Alice O'Keeffe, Guardian 'Truthful, modern and real' - Stylist 'Brave, witty and brilliantly written' - Marie Claire Ever sworn off alcohol for a month and found yourself drinking by the 7th? Think there's 'no point' in just one drink? Welcome! There are millions of us. 64% of Brits want to drink less. Catherine Gray was stuck in a hellish whirligig of Drink, Make horrible decisions, Hangover, Repeat. She had her fair share of 'drunk tank' jail cells and topless-in-a-hot-tub misadventures. But this book goes beyond the binges and blackouts to deep-dive into uncharted territory: What happens after you quit drinking? This gripping, heart-breaking and witty book takes us down the rabbit-hole of an alternative reality. A life with zero hangovers, through sober weddings, sex, Christmases and breakups. In The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober, Catherine Gray shines a light on society's drink-pushing and talks to top neuroscientists and psychologists about why we drink, delving into the science behind what it does to our brains and bodies. Much more than a tale from the netherworld of addicted drinking, this book is about the escape, and why a sober life can be more intoxicating than you ever imagined. Whether you're a hopelessly devoted drinker, merely sober-curious, or you've already ditched the drink, you will love this book. 'Haunting, admirable and enlightening' - The Pool 'A riveting, raw, yet humorous memoir with actionable advice.' - Annie Grace, author of This Naked Mind 'Like listening to your best friend teach you to be sober. Lighthearted but serious, it's packed with ideas, tools, tips and, most importantly, reasons for living a sober life.'- Eric Zimmer, host of podcast The One You Feed 'Gray's fizzy writing succeeds in making this potentially boring-as-hell subject both engaging and highly seductive' - The Bookseller 'Her exquisitely crafted thoughts on the joys of being sober are not only deeply honest and pragmatic, but she manages to infuse tons of humor. This is a delightful, informative, and compelling read for all those who are sober or seeking sobriety.' - Sasha Tozzi, Huffington Post
By Garrison Keillor. 2020
With the warmth and humor we've come to know, the creator and host of A Prairie Home Companion shares his… own remarkable story. In That Time of Year, Garrison Keillor looks back on his life and recounts how a Brethren boy with writerly ambitions grew up in a small town on the Mississippi in the 1950s and, seeing three good friends die young, turned to comedy and radio. Through a series of unreasonable lucky breaks, he founded A Prairie Home Companion and put himself in line for a good life, including mistakes, regrets, and a few medical adventures. PHC lasted forty-two years, 1,557 shows, and enjoyed the freedom to do as it pleased for three or four million listeners every Saturday at 5 p.m. Central. He got to sing with Emmylou Harris and Renée Fleming and once sang two songs to the U.S. Supreme Court. He played a private eye and a cowboy, gave the news from his hometown, Lake Wobegon, and met Somali cabdrivers who&’d learned English from listening to the show. He wrote bestselling novels, won a Grammy and a National Humanities Medal, and made a movie with Robert Altman with an alarming amount of improvisation. He says, &“I was unemployable and managed to invent work for myself that I loved all my life, and on top of that I married well. That&’s the secret, work and love. And I chose the right ancestors, impoverished Scots and Yorkshire farmers, good workers. I&’m heading for eighty, and I still get up to write before dawn every day.&”
In this inspiring biography, discover the true story of Harriet the Spy author Louise Fitzhugh -- and learn about the… woman behind one of literature's most beloved heroines.Harriet the Spy, first published in 1964, has mesmerized generations of readers and launched a million diarists. Its beloved antiheroine, Harriet, is erratic, unsentimental, and endearing-very much like the woman who created her, Louise Fitzhugh.Born in 1928, Fitzhugh was raised in segregated Memphis, but she soon escaped her cloistered world and headed for New York, where her expanded milieu stretched from the lesbian bars of Greenwich Village to the art world of postwar Europe, and her circle of friends included members of the avant-garde like Maurice Sendak and Lorraine Hansberry. Fitzhugh's novels, written in an era of political defiance, are full of resistance: to authority, to conformity, and even -- radically, for a children's author -- to make-believe.As a children's author and a lesbian, Fitzhugh was often pressured to disguise her true nature. Sometimes You Have to Lie tells the story of her hidden life and of the creation of her masterpiece, which remains long after her death as a testament to the complicated relationship between truth, secrecy, and individualism.
By Kurt Vonnegut. 2020
A never-before-seen collection of deeply personal love letters from Kurt Vonnegut to his first wife, Jane, compiled and edited by… their daughter&“If ever I do write anything of length—good or bad—it will be written with you in mind.&”Kurt Vonnegut&’s eldest daughter, Edith, was cleaning out her mother&’s attic when she stumbled upon a dusty, aged box. Inside, she discovered an unexpected treasure: more than two hundred love letters written by Kurt to Jane, spanning the early years of their relationship.The letters begin in 1941, after the former schoolmates reunited at age nineteen, sparked a passionate summer romance, and promised to keep in touch when they headed off to their respective colleges. And they did, through Jane&’s conscientious studying and Kurt&’s struggle to pass chemistry. The letters continue after Kurt dropped out and enlisted in the army in 1943, while Jane in turn graduated and worked for the Office of Strategic Services in Washington, D.C. They also detail Kurt&’s deployment to Europe in 1944, where he was taken prisoner of war and declared missing in action, and his eventual safe return home and the couple&’s marriage in 1945.Full of the humor and wit that we have come to associate with Kurt Vonnegut, the letters also reveal little-known private corners of his mind. Passionate and tender, they form an illuminating portrait of a young soldier&’s life in World War II as he attempts to come to grips with love and mortality. And they bring to light the origins of Vonnegut the writer, when Jane was the only person who believed in and supported him supported him, the young couple having no idea how celebrated he would become.A beautiful full-color collection of handwritten letters, notes, sketches, and comics, interspersed with Edith&’s insights and family memories, Love, Kurt is an intimate record of a young man growing into himself, a fascinating account of a writer finding his voice, and a moving testament to the life-altering experience of falling in love.
By Aphrodite Jones. 2004
Aphrodite Jones is one of the chief practitioners of the true crime genre. --Baltimore SunMichael Peterson was a decorated war… veteran and bestselling novelist, his wife Kathleen a high-powered executive and devoted mother. They seemed to be the perfect couple, living a dream life--until the tragic night Michael found Kathleen at the bottom of the stairs in a pool of blood. He claimed her death was an accident. The prosecution put him behind bars. Then in a stunning reversal, a judge gave him another chance to stand trial, while his children proclaimed his innocence. Aphrodite Jones draws on exclusive interviews and disturbing new evidence to update this classic real-life thriller of marriage, manipulation, and murder. "A classic true-crime page-turner." --M. William Phelps"A richly detailed and deeply researched tale of a greedy, sociopathic killer." --Caitlin Rother, New York Times bestselling author of Lost Girls"Prepare yourself for a journey into a meticulous criminal mind." --Corey Mitchell, author of Savage SonIncludes 16 Pages Of Dramatic Photos
By James L. West III. 1998
A compelling and authoritative portrait of an American literary master William Styron was one of the most highly regarded and… controversial authors of his generation. In this illuminating biography, James L. W. West III draws upon letters, papers, and manuscripts as well as interviews with Styron's friends and family to recount in rich detail the experiences that shaped each of his groundbreaking books. From Styron's Southern upbringing, which deeply influenced the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Confessions of Nat Turner and National Book Award-winning Sophie's Choice, to his feud with Norman Mailer and the clinical depression that led to his acclaimed memoir Darkness Visible, West's remarkable biography provides invaluable insight into the life and works of a giant of American literature.
By Anne Wheeler. 2020
Laced with humour and revelation, Anne Wheeler’s creative non-fiction stories tell of her serendipitous journey in the seventies, when she… broke with tradition and found her own way to becoming a filmmaker and raconteur.Join this celebrated screenwriter and director as she travels south of Mombasa after calling off her wedding; attempts to gain acceptance in a male-dominated film collective; travels to India to visit friends who are devoted to a radical Master, and ultimately discovers her sense of purpose and passion close to home, sharing stories that would otherwise be lost about ordinary people living extraordinary lives.Taken by the Muse: On the Path to Becoming a Filmmaker is a must-read for anyone open to exploring the possibilities of who they are and what they might do with their lives — and for those who love a good story told with integrity and warmth.
By Kyo Maclear. 2017
A writer's search for inspiration, beauty and solace leads her to birds in this intimate and exuberant meditation on creativity… and life—a field guide to things small and significant.For Vladimir Nabokov, it was butterflies. For John Cage, it was mushrooms. For Sylvia Plath, it was bees. Each of these artists took time away from their work to become observers of natural phenomena. In 2012, Kyo Maclear met a local Toronto musician with an equally captivating side passion—he had recently lost his heart to birds. Curious about what prompted this young urban artist to suddenly embrace nature, Kyo decides to follow him for a year and find out. A distilled, crystal-like companion to H Is for Hawk, this memoir celebrates the particular madness of loving and chasing after birds in a big city. Intimate and philosophical, moving with ease between the granular and the grand view, it celebrates the creative and liberating effects of keeping your eyes and ears wide open, and explores what happens when you apply the core lessons of birding to other aspects of life. In one sense, this is a book about disconnection—how our passions can buckle under the demands and emotions of daily life—and about reconnection: how the act of seeking passion and beauty in small ways can lead us to discover our most satisfying life. On a deeper level, it takes up the questions of how we are shaped and nurtured by our parallel passions, and how we might come to cherish not only the world's pristine natural places but also the blemished urban spaces where most of us live. Birds Art Life follows two artists on a yearlong adventure that is at once a meditation on the nature of creativity and a quest for a good and meaningful life.
By Hal Borland. 1961
During a fierce snowstorm, an abandoned and hungry animal howls at the back door of nature writer Hal Borland's farmhouse,… announcing the beginning of a transformational friendship Hal Borland and his wife Barbara have recently moved onto a hundred-acre farm in northwest Connecticut, where both hope to write and live in harmony with nature. From his New England home, Borland travels the country searching for material for his New York Times "outdoor editorials"--but soon nature comes searching for him, in the form of a miserable, half-starved, deeply trusting, black-and-white foxhound mutt that wanders onto the farm during a blizzard. The dog, Pat, becomes a member of the family and teaches Borland that, often, our most immediate connection to the natural world is through the animals we live with.
By Simba Sana. 2017
A memoir from the cofounder of the nation&’s largest black-owned chain of bookstores. &“A candid testimony of struggle and achievement.&”… —Kirkus Reviews Never Stop is the wrenching memoir of Simba Sana, the cofounder and former leader of Karibu Books, a major indie-bookselling phenomenon and perhaps the most successful black-owned company in the history of the book industry. In this memoir, Sana reveals how his experience with Karibu jumpstarted his lifelong journey to better understanding himself, human nature, faith, and American culture—which ultimately helped him develop the powerful personal philosophy that drives his life today. Born Bernard Sutton in Washington, DC, Sana grew up in the cycle of poverty and violence that dominated inner-city life in the seventies and eighties. Sana&’s academic success got him into college, where his life increasingly embodied the contradictions that plagued his youth. Committed to self-improvement and self-discipline, he grew into a successful businessman while becoming an impassioned Black Nationalist and Pan-Africanist. He lived the corporate life at Ernst & Young by day while leading radical consciousness-raising groups by night. Building Karibu became Sana&’s opportunity to bind the disparate elements of his life together. Ultimately, though, the paradoxes in his identity and his accumulated emotional wounds confounded his effort to overcome his business reversals, and everything Sana built—his marriage, family, and business—was lost in an incredibly brief period of time. Sana had to rebuild his life—and his identity—and set out to do so in a way that focused principally on the meaning and importance of love. &“Hands down one of the best explorations into the Black male psyche I&’ve ever read.&” —Essence
By Pearl S. Buck. 1950
<P>Pearl S. Buck's groundbreaking memoir, hailed by James Michener as "spiritually moving," about raising a child with a rare developmental… disorder The Child Who Never Grew is Buck's candid memoir of her relationship with her oldest daughter, who was born with a rare type of mental retardation. <P>A forerunner of its kind, the memoir was published in 1950 and helped demolish the cruel taboos surrounding learning disabilities. Buck describes life with her daughter, Carol, whose special needs led Buck to send her to one of the best schools for disabled children in the United States--which she paid for in part by writing The Good Earth, her multimillion-selling classic novel. <P>Brave and touching, The Child Who Never Grew is a heartrending memoir of parenting. As Buck writes, "I learned respect and reverence for every human mind. It was my child who taught me to understand so clearly that all people are equal in their humanity and that all have the same human rights." <P> This ebook features an illustrated biography of Pearl S. Buck including rare images from the author's estate.
By George Prochnik. 2020
A thematically rich, provocative, and lyrical study of one of Germany’s most important, world-famous, and imaginative writers Heinrich Heine (1797–1856)… was a virtuoso German poet, satirist, and visionary humanist whose dynamic life story and strikingly original writing are ripe for rediscovery. In this vividly imagined exploration of Heine’s life and work, George Prochnik contextualizes Heine’s biography within the different revolutionary political, literary, and philosophical movements of his age. He also explores the insights Heine offers contemporary readers into issues of social justice, exile, and the role of art in nurturing a more equitable society. Heine wrote that in his youth he resembled “a large newspaper of which the upper half contained the present, each day with its news and debates, while in the lower half, in a succession of dreams, the poetic past was recorded fantastically like a series of feuilletons.” This book explores the many dualities of Heine’s nature, bringing to life a fully dimensional character while also casting into sharp relief the reasons his writing and personal story matter urgently today.
By Betsy Lee. 1981