Biography and Memoir
Anatomy of Innocence: Testimonies of the Wrongfully Convicted
by Laura Caldwell and Leslie S. Klinger, editors
In this anthology, well-known mystery writers relate the experiences of 15 innocent people who were convicted of serious crimes and served time in prison before being exonerated. The short "as told to" biographies by authors such as Lee Child, Sara Paretsky, and S.J. Rozan vividly detail the perversion of justice in each case; the book's editors add contextual information. For a full-length memoir recounting a similar experience, try Damien Echols' Life after Death.
Captain Fantastic: Elton John's Stellar Trip Through the '70s
by Tom Doyle
In time for Elton John's 70th birthday, author Tom Doyle presents a thoroughly researched biography, covering the rock star's glittering successes, his difficulties with drugs, struggles with his homosexuality, and spectacular conflicts with collaborators. Captain Fantastic capitalizes on interviews with John and his long-time lyricist Bernie Taupin to create a vivid and insightful portrait of the man inside the elaborate costumes.
by Amy Liptrot
After a decade of desolate work weeks and long-lasting hangovers in London, author Amy Liptrot, a native of the Orkney Islands off Scotland's coast, completes addiction rehab and returns to the severe landscape of her childhood. In this lyrical memoir, she describes finding peace in a place where the winds are so strong that they can move tons of rock. Fans of Anne Morrow Lindbergh's Gift from the Sea will be enthralled.
Hourglass: Time, Memory, Marriage
by Dani Shapiro
Hourglass presents a thoughtful, intimate consideration of novelist Dani Shapiro's marriage. Having grown tired of making up stories, she looks for truth in the minutiae of her life: her husband's new rifle; the clutter and dilapidation of their house; the diary (which she had completely forgotten) from their honeymoon. Drawing the reader irresistibly into her world, she reveals the universality of individual experience.
Born Both: An Intersex Life
by Hida Viloria
In Born Both, author Hida Viloria provides an up-close account of he/r life as an intersex person and a chronicle of he/r activism. Although s/he was raised as a girl, s/he learned at age 20 that he/r genitalia were not typically female, eventually discovering the intersex community. This courageous memoir offers affirmation for intersex people and their friends and family, as well as information for intersex advocates.
They Left Their Homelands
The Perfect Gentleman: A Muslim Boy Meets the West
by Imran Ahmad
From an early age, Pakistani immigrant Imran Ahmad had to struggle to fit in to English culture. In The Perfect Gentleman, Ahmad chronicles his family's immigration, his coming of age, and his eventual success in international business consulting. His low-key, self-deprecating humor provides a light tone as he discusses serious matters, making this a charming as well as enlightening account of cultural accommodation.
Tesla: Inventor of the Electrical Age
by W. Bernard Carlson
Scientific genius Nikola Tesla emigrated to the U.S. from his native Serbia in 1884. Known as a leading innovator in electronics and telephony, Tesla was regarded by many as an eccentric. In this well-researched biography author Bernard Carlson balances Tesla's showmanship with his scientific brilliance. Those curious about his achievements and intrigued by science history will find this to be an engaging and informative portrait.
Young Eliot: From St. Louis to The Waste Land
by Robert Crawford
Drawing on recently available resources, author Robert Crawford paints a complex portrait of poet T.S. Eliot from his St. Louis childhood through his emigration to England and the publication of his 1922 poem, "The Waste Land." Young Eliot also depicts influences on the poet's development, his collaboration with Ezra Pound, and his disastrous marriage to Vivien Haigh-Wood. This 1st of a planned two volumes is sure to please aficionados of 20th-century poetry.
The Distance Between Us: A Memoir
by Reyna Grande
In The Distance Between Us, award-winning novelist Reyna Grande chronicles her childhood in Mexico and eventual emigration to the U.S. Becoming the first person in her family to graduate from college, Grande achieved success that's light-years away from the deprivation and abandonment that characterized her early years. Her memoir brings to life her traumas and triumphs, recapitulating themes from her novels, Across a Hundred Mountains and Dancing with Butterflies.
Love, Loss, and What We Ate
by Padma Lakshmi
Best-known for her work as a judge on television's Top Chef, Padma Lakshmi, originally from Madras, India, portrays her sense of taste as an aspect of navigating a complex world. While on camera, she's a woman of few words, but this candid memoir includes details of her marriage to (and divorce from) Salman Rushdie, her love affair with billionaire Teddy Forstmann, her health struggles, and her joy in her daughter.
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