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Biography

Max Perkins: Editor of Genius

Max Perkins: Editor of Genius

A. Scott Berg

$24.99
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The talents Maxwell Perkins nurtured were known worldwide: F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Thomas Wolfe among numerous others. But the man himself remained a mystery, a backstage presence who served these authors not only as editor but as critic, career manager, moneylender, psychoanalyst, confessor and friend. This outstanding biography, a winner of the National Book Award, is the first to explore the fascinating life of this editor extraordinaire in both professional and personal domains. It tells not only of Perkins' stormy marriage and secret twenty-five-year romance with Elizabeth Lemmon, but also of his intensely intimate relationships with the leading literary lights of the twentieth century.
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Diaries and Selected Letters

Diaries and Selected Letters

Mikhail Afanasevich Bulgakov ,  Roger Cockrell

$16.99
The career of Mikhail Bulgakov, the author of Master and Margarita - now regarded as one of the masterpieces of twentieth-century literature - was characterized by a constant and largely unsuccessful struggle against state censorship. This suppression did not only apply to his art: in 1926 his personal diary was seized by the authorities. From then on he confined his thoughts to letters to his friends and family, as well as to public figures such as Stalin and his fellow Soviet writer Gorky, while also encouraging his wife Yelena to keep a diary, with many entries influenced or even dictated by him.This selection from the diaries and letters of the Bulgakovs, mostly translated for the first time into English, provides an insightful glimpse into a fascinating period of Russian history and literature, telling the tragic tale of the fate of an artist under a totalitarian regime.
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Take Courage: Anne Bronte and the Art of Life

Take Courage: Anne Bronte and the Art of Life

Samantha Ellis

$45.00
Anne Brontë is the forgotten Brontë sister, overshadowed by her older siblings virtuous, successful Charlotte, free-spirited Emily and dissolute Branwell. Tragic, virginal, sweet, stoic, selfless, Anne. The less talented Brontë, the other Brontë.

Or that's what Samantha Ellis, a life-long Emily and Wuthering Heights devotee, had always thought. Until, that is, she started questioning that devotion and, in looking more closely at Emily and Charlotte, found herself confronted by Anne instead.

Take Courage is Samantha's personal, poignant and surprising journey into the life and work of a woman sidelined by history. A brave, strongly feminist writer well ahead of her time and her more celebrated siblings and who has much to teach us today about how to find our way in the world.
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A Hope More Powerful Than the Sea

A Hope More Powerful Than the Sea

Melissa Fleming

$32.99
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This is the story of Doaa, an ordinary girl from a village in Syria, who in 2015 became one of five hundred people crammed on to a fishing boat setting sail for Europe. The boat was deliberately capsized, and of those five hundred people, eleven survived; they were rescued four days after the boat sank. Doaa was one of them - her fianc Bassem, with whom she had fled, was not; he drowned in front of her.

Melissa Fleming, the Chief Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, heard about Doaa and the death of 489 of her fellow refugees on the day she was pulled out of the water. She decided to fly to Crete to meet this extraordinary girl, who had rescued a toddler when she was nearly dead herself. They struck an instant bond, and Melissa saw in Doaa the story of the war in Syria embodied by one young woman. She has decided to tell Doaa's story - the dangers she fled, and the journey she risked to escape the conflagration in her homeland. Doaa is the face of the millions of mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, daughters and sons who risk everything as they try to escape war, violence and death.

Doaa's story will revolutionize how we see the thousands of people who die every year in search of a home. It will squarely face one of the greatest moral questions of our age: will we let more people die in boats and trucks, or will we find a way to help them?
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When Breath Becomes Air

When Breath Becomes Air

Paul Kalanithi

$19.99
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At the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade's training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer. One day he was a doctor treating the dying, the next he was a patient struggling to live. When Breath Becomes Air chronicles Kalanithi's transformation from a medical student asking what makes a virtuous and meaningful life into a neurosurgeon working in the core of human identity - the brain - and finally into a patient and a new father. What makes life worth living in the face of death? What do you do when when life is catastrophically interrupted? What does it mean to have a child as your own life fades away? Paul Kalanithi died while working on this profoundly moving book, yet his words live on as a guide to us all. When Breath Becomes Air is a life-affirming reflection on facing our mortality and on the relationship between doctor and patient, from a gifted writer who became both.
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My Life on the Road

My Life on the Road

Gloria Steinem

$22.99
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My Life on the Road is the moving, funny, and profound story of Gloria Steinem’s growth and the growth of a revolutionary movement for equality and of how surprising encounters on the road shaped both.

From her first experience of social activism among women in India to her work as a journalist in the 1960s; from the whirlwind of political campaigns to the founding of Ms. magazine; from the historic 1977 National Women’s Conference to her travels through Indian Country a lifetime spent on the road led Steinem to connect deeply with people, to understand that context is everything, and to become part of a movement that would change the world.

In this rich and revealing story of leadership, travel, and activism, Steinem reminds us that living in an open, observant, and “on the road” state of mind can make a difference in how we learn, what we do, how we understand, and how we live.
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Einstein: A Biography

Einstein: A Biography

Jurgen Neffe ,  Shelly Frish

$28.95
Albert Einstein is an icon of the twentieth century. Born in Ulm, Germany, in 1879, he is most famous for his theory of relativity, which is considered the founding principle of modern physics. He also made enormous contributions to quantum mechanics and cosmology, and for his work he was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1921. A self-pronounced pacifist, humanist, and, late in his life, democratic socialist, Einstein was also deeply concerned with the social impact of his discoveries.

Much of Einstein's life is shrouded in legend. From popular images and advertisements to various works of theater and fiction, he has come to signify so many things: the quintessential absent-minded professor; the gentle eccentric; the pacifist; the super-human genius.

In Einstein: A Biography, Jurgen Neffe presents a clear and probing portrait of the man behind the myth. He recounts Einstein's life with detail and accuracy, presenting a comprehensive account of the educational, religious, psychological and historical conditions that enabled Einstein to become the ber-physicist of all time. Unearthing new documents, including a series of previously unknown letters from Einstein to his sons, which shed a new light on his role as a father, Neffe also paints a rich portrait of the tumultuous years in which Einstein lived and worked.

With a background in the sciences, Neffe describes and contextualizes Einstein's enormous contributions to our scientific legacy. He leads his readers through today's institutes and laboratories worldwide, where Einstein's work continues to thrill researchers and scholars.

A bestseller in Germany, Einstein is sure to be a classic biography of the man and proverbial genius who has been called the brain of the [twentieth] century.
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A Florence Diary

A Florence Diary

Diana Athill

$24.99
In August 1947, Diana Athill travelled to Florence by the Golden Arrow train for a two-week holiday with her good friend Pen. In this playful diary of that trip, Athill recorded her observations and adventures - eating with (and paid for by) the hopeful men they meet on their travels, admiring architectural sights, sampling delicious pastries, eking out their budget and getting into scrapes. Written with an arresting immediacy and infused with an exhilarating joie de vivre, A Florence Diary is a bright, colourful evocation of a time long lost, and a vibrant portrait of a city that will be deliciously familiar to any contemporary traveller.
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Montaigne: A Life

Montaigne: A Life

Philippe Desan

$65.95
One of the most important writers and thinkers of the Renaissance, Michel de Montaigne (1533-92) helped invent a literary genre that seemed more modern than anything that had come before. But did he do it, as he suggests in his Essays, by retreating to his chateau, turning his back on the world, and stoically detaching himself from his violent times?

In this definitive biography, Philippe Desan, one of the world's leading authorities on Montaigne, overturns this longstanding myth by showing that Montaigne was constantly concerned with realizing his political ambitions - and that the literary and philosophical character of the Essays largely depends on them. The most comprehensive and authoritative biography of Montaigne yet written, this sweeping narrative offers a fascinating new picture of his life and work.
 
As Desan shows, Montaigne always considered himself a political figure and he conceived of each edition of the Essays as an indispensable prerequisite to the next stage of his public career. He lived through eight civil wars, successfully lobbied to be raised to the nobility, and served as mayor of Bordeaux, special ambassador, and negotiator between Henry III and Henry of Navarre. It was only toward the very end of Montaigne's life, after his political failure, that he took refuge in literature. But, even then, it was his political experience that enabled him to find the right tone for his genre.
 
In this indispensable biography, we discover a new Montaigne - caught up in the events of his time, making no separation between private and public life, and guided by strategy first in his words and silences. Neither candid nor transparent, but also not yielding to the cynicism of his age, this Montaigne lends a new depth to the Montaigne of literary legend.
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Young Orson: The Years of Luck and Genius on the Path to Citizen Kane

Young Orson: The Years of Luck and Genius on the Path to Citizen Kane

Patrick McGilligan

$29.99
No American artist or entertainer has enjoyed a more dramatic rise than Orson Welles. At the age of sixteen, he charmed his way into a precocious acting debut in Dublin’s Gate Theatre. By nineteen, he had published a book on Shakespeare. After founding the Mercury Theatre, he mounted a radio production of The War of the Worlds that made headlines internationally. Then, at twenty-four, Welles signed a Hollywood contract granting him unprecedented freedom as a writer, director, producer, and star paving the way for the creation of Citizen Kane, considered by many to be the greatest film in history.

Drawing on years of exhaustive research, acclaimed biographer Patrick McGilligan conjures the young man’s Midwestern background and delves into his relationships with mentors Thornton Wilder, Dr. Maurice Bernstein, and Roger Hill; reveals the truth of his marriage to actress Virginia Nicolson and rumored affairs with actresses Dolores Del Rio and Geraldine Fitzgerald (including a suspect paternity claim); and traces the story of his troubled brother, Dick Welles, whose mysterious decline ran counter to Orson’s swift ascent.

Filled with insight and revelation including the surprising true origin and meaning of “Rosebud” - Young Orson is an eye-opening look at the arrival of a talent both monumental and misunderstood.
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Habermas: A Biography

Habermas: A Biography

Stefan Muller-Doohm

$55.95
'Jurgen Habermas', wrote the American philosopher Ronald Dworkin on the occasion of the great European thinker's eightieth birthday, 'is not only the world's most famous living philosopher. Even his fame is famous.' Now, after many years of intensive research and in-depth conversations with contemporaries, colleagues and Habermas himself, Stefan Muller-Doohm presents the first comprehensive biography of one of the most important public intellectuals of our time.

From his political and philosophical awakening in West Germany to the formative relationships with Adorno and Horkheimer, Muller-Doohm masterfully traces the major forces that shaped Habermas's intellectual development. He shows how Habermas's life and work were conditioned by the possibilities offered to his generation in the unique circumstances of regained freedom that characterized postwar Germany.

And yet Habermas's career is fascinating precisely because it amounts to more than a corpus of scholarly work, however original and influential that may be. For here is someone who continually left the protective space of the university in order to assume the role of a participant in controversial public debates from the significance of the Holocaust to the future of Europe and in this way sought to influence the development of social and political life in an arena much broader than the academy. The significance and virtuosity of Habermas's many writings over the years are also fully and expertly documented, ranging from his early work on the public sphere to his more recent writings on communicative action, cosmopolitanism and the postnational condition.

What emerges from this biography is a vivid portrait of one of the great public intellectuals of our time a unique thinker who has made an immense and lasting philosophical contribution but who, when he perceives that society is not living up to its potential for creating free and just conditions for all, becomes one of its most rigorous and persistent critics.
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Neil Simon: Memoirs

Neil Simon: Memoirs

Neil Simon

$49.99
The complete memoirs of playwright Neil Simon-the author of such iconic works as Lost in Yonkers, The Odd Couple, Biloxi Blues, and The Goodbye Girl-now with a new introduction.

This omnibus edition combines Neil Simon's two memoirs, Rewrites and The Play Goes On, into one volume that spans his extraordinary five-decade career in theater, television, and film. Rewrites takes Simon through his first love, his first play, and his first brush with failure. There is the humor of growing up in Washington Heights (the inspiration for his play Brighton Beach Memoirs) where, despite his parents' rocky marriage and many separations, he learned to see the funny side of family drama, as when his mother screamed thinking she saw a body on the floor in their apartment-it turned out to be the clothes his father discarded in the hallway after a night of carousing.

He describes his marriage to his beloved wife Joan, and writes lucidly about the pain of losing her to cancer. The Play Goes On adds to his life's story, as he wins the Pulitzer Prize and reflects with humor and insight on his tumultuous life and meteoric career.

Now, with the whole story in one place, Neil Simon's collected memoirs trace the history of modern entertainment over the last fifty years through the eyes of a man who started life the son of a garment salesman and became the greatest-and most successful-American playwright of all time.
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Eye Marty: The Newly Discovered Autobiography of a Comic Genius

Eye Marty: The Newly Discovered Autobiography of a Comic Genius

Marty Feldman

$19.99
Completed before he died, thirty years ago, this is the newly discovered autobiography of one of the most influential comedians of recent times, Marty Feldman. Marty Feldman was one of the most essential creative forces in British comedy embodied also by his close friends and creative partners from Beyond the Fringe (especially Peter Cook and Dudley Moore) and Monty Python (especially John Cleese, Graham Chapman and Eric Idle). Marty played the fool, often very happily and with tremendous talent and volcanic, anarchic energy, for his entire life. Marty finished, and set aside eYE Marty soon before travelling to Mexico to shoot his final film. He did not know that he would die there, although he certainly felt he might die soon, and was haunted by the notion. The book is exactly as Feldman wrote it, with even the photos inserted where Feldman had noted they should go. Hilarious, deeply charming, aphoristic, ironic, charged throughout with lust for life and filled with scenes of great vanished eras and and portraits of other performers and friends, eYE Marty is the amazing discovery of the story of a man who was at the heart of the British comedy revolution.
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