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Demon Camp

Pulitzer Prize winner Jennifer Percy probes the outer limits of PTSD within true-life veteran Caleb Daniels. Haunted by spectral visages of his comrades in Afghanistan, Daniels sought relief among exorcists and evangelicals, with Percy as our guide into the search for one soldier's soul.  A Discover Great New Writers selection.

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Call Me Burroughs

Beat Generation historian Barry Miles issues his definitive biography of William Burroughs: fabulist, banned author, profane poet, painter, gay icon, musician, violent soul, loyal ally, and groundbreaking writer.

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M.K. Gandhi, Attorney at Law

Charles R. DiSalvo, as he recounts the spiritual and marketplace odyssey of young Mohandas Gandhi, newly minted idealistic lawyer.

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Fosse

A mammoth portrait of a pop culture icon, Fosse warmly profiles the legendary Oscar, Emmy and Tony-Award winner.

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Empress of Fashion: A Life of Diana Vreeland

Do today's fashion figures fail to loom as mythically as those of yore?   Amanda Mackenzie Stuart celebrates the life and career of an iconic giants of yesteryear with empathy and panache.

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Bird

A fresh look at the tragic life of one of America’s jazz treasures that gives special focus to the complicated man behind the music.

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Alone on the Ice

A marvelous, chilling account of Douglas Mawson’s death-defying 1913 expedition of Antarctica, illustrated by Frank Hurley's never-before-published photographs of the journey.

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Every Love Story Is a Ghost Story

When the virtuosic writer David Foster Wallace took his own life in 2008, readers lost a voice that captured their era with an inspiring exuberance and relentless intelligence.  Drawing on a wealth of archival material, D.T. Max gives us a revelatory look at an author whose personal struggles underlay his groundbreaking books.

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Dearie

Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking revolutionized American kitchens. This loving portrait follows Child from her surprising role in WWII, through post-war Paris where she honed her craft, and on to culinary stardom. 

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Dreaming in French

For three extraordinary young women -- Jacqueline Bouvier, Susan Sontag, and Angela Davis -- living abroad in Paris in the years after World War II was a transformative experience. Alice Kaplan offers readers a unique perspective on the hopes and ambitions of these influential figures as their world views were shaped by their time in the City of Light.

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Alice James

"The moral and philosophical questions that Henry wrote up as fiction and William as science," Jean Strouse writes of her subject's more famous brothers, "Alice simply lived." It took a biographer of sensitivity and brilliance to give that "simply" the profundity it deserves, and the resulting book, now reissued in the peerless NYRB Classics series, is one of the richest life stories you'll ever read.

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And So It Goes: Kurt Vonnegut: A Life

Before he died in 2007, Kurt Vonnegut granted biographer Charles J. Shields (Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Lee) access to his life and letters. The result is an absorbing, authoritative work on the literary iconoclast whose darkly comic, poignantly profound novels (Slaughterhouse-Five, Cat's Cradle, among others) became touchstones for an era and redefined the way we think about our future and ourselves.

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Leon Trotsky: A Revolutionary's Life

If, as Churchill famously said, Russia was "a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma," then at the dark core of the whole package resided the ever-unknowable Leon Trotsky. But Joshua Rubenstein's new biography goes a long way toward explicating the other Soviet founding father, delving deep into Trotsky's childhood to locate the formative experiences that rendered him a flawed, charismatic leader who had the misfortune to run afoul of Stalin.

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The Tigress of Forlì

In this thrill-a-minute, jaw-dropping biography of Caterina Sforza (1463–1509), female ruler of the province of Forlì, Elizabeth Lev puts us in the shoes of a Renaissance woman wielding unprecedented power. Following Sforza from her youth in the Milanese court through assassination-plagued marriages and a deadly rivalry with the Borgias, Lev charts a bloody, survivalist career for her heroine that will both appall and inspire.

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Spencer Tracy

Iconic screen presence Spencer Tracy is the worthy subject of this in-depth, masterful account of his life. A bastion of solidity, simplicity, and competence in his films, Tracy proves to have been rather different away from the lens, a conflicted mix of faithfulness, passion, self-doubt, and bad behavior that James Curtis documents unflinchingly yet with immense empathy.

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Eisenhower: The White House Years

Was Eisenhower the Leave It to Beaver president of myth? Or did the ex-General and war hero possess surprising depths and prowess? Jim Newton stands firmly in the latter camp, focusing on Eisenhower's years in office and revealing the majestic catalogue of his official accomplishments, from overseeing the creation of a national highway system to shepherding the USA's atomic arsenal to beating down the rancid politics of McCarthyism. 

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Steve Jobs

"And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on," Steve Jobs once said about his coming of age. The news of his death has touched many of us who benefited from that curiosity and intuition for so long. As we remember his astonishing life of innovation, we look forward to Walter Isaacson's new biography of the man whose vision transformed the way we connect to the world, to each other, and to our selves.

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An Emergency in Slow Motion

You know Diane Arbus's work: Her arresting, often disturbing, black-and-white photographs examine people on the periphery of the "ordinary" world, hinting at dark inner lives and finding the freakish in the normal and the normal in the freakish. This illuminating "psychobiography" by William Todd Schultz puts the focus on Arbus's own life, exploring the idea that her photographs said as much about the enigmatic woman behind the lens (a suicide at age 48) as the subjects in front of it.

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Jane Fonda: The Private Life of a Public Woman

She's been a celluloid sex symbol and a serial trophy wife, a protester and a pariah, a feminist and a fitness guru, a daughter and a mother: Jane Fonda has arguably slipped into more roles off-screen than on. Patricia Bosworth examines Fonda's many incarnations in this colorful, clear-eyed biographical page-turner, and brings us closer to the core of this shape-shifting actress than we've ever gotten before.

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The Long Night

William Shirer's reporting from Nazi Berlin and his monumentally influential volume of history, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, acquainted the world with the true extent of Nazi evil. Steve Wick's new biography places the man and his work in context and reveals how Shirer managed to get the kind of intimate access to the German high command that made his writing so reputable.

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Genius of Place: The Life of Frederick Law Olmsted

Few men have written their signature across our public spaces as vividly, personally, and influentially as Olmsted, designer of New York's Central and Prospect Parks--among many other monumental urban refuges. Justin Martin's first-ever full-scale biography reveals other fascinating sides of the famed landscape designer as well, including reformer and journalist. 

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The Forgotten Founding Father

 When most of us hear the name Noah Webster, we think: "dictionary." But did you know that Noah Webster also published New York City's first daily newspaper, played an important role in founding Amherst College, and enjoyed close acquaintance with George Washington and other Founders? Joshua Kendall's biography makes a persuasive case that one of the most important words Webster helped define was "American."

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Mrs. Adams in Winter

Now in paperback: Michael O'Brien's fascinating chronicle of a first lady's journey across Europe as an escaped Napoleon makes a renewed bid for power. Our reviewer, Max Byrd, called it "an irresistible adventure story and a brilliant portrait of Louisa Adams [wife of John Quincy Adams, our 6th president] that ought to rescue her for good from half exotic obscurity."

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Joseph Brodsky: A Literary Life

The career of the great Russian poet Joseph Brodsky (1940-1996) was marked by personal courage and literary achievement in the shadow of ominous authority and  sociopolitical turmoil. Biographer Loseff, an intimate of the Nobel Laureate, illuminates his extroardinary life and times.

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The English Opium Eater

Writing in the Washington Post, BNR columnist Michael Dirda hails this groundbreaking volume as "a lucid, deeply researched biography," and recommends sampling De Quincey's own writings first for best appreciation of his life's tale. In Robert Morrison's portrait, De Quincey emerges, in one aspect, as the forerunner of today's flood of tell-all memoirists.

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Radioactive

An interpretive biography of the life of Marie Curie in unconventional graphic novel form, Redniss's tale benefits from her on-the-spot research into the various venues frequented by Curie. Blocks of robustly informative text are bolstered by drawings reminiscent of Egon Schiele's work, in an aptly European style.

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Heaven's Bride

Ida Craddock (1857-1902) earned notoriety as an advocate of women's rights, a student of human sexuality, and a proponent of mystical exploration in an era that felt all three territories (to say nothing of belly-dancing, of which she was something of a devotee) were better left unexamined. Her remarkable and bracingly eccentric life, recounted here by Leigh Eric Schmidt, represents the intersection of free speech, psychiatry, sex, spiritualism, and politics, a yeasty nexus still pulsating today.

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Alan Lomax

Few individuals have contributed more to popular culture than the musicologist Alan Lomax, who discovered and popularized such performers as Leadbelly and Woody Guthrie. Without his efforts, chronicled in John Szwed's welcome biography, the musical landscape of the twenty-first century might well be unrecognizable.

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The Pantomime Life of Joseph Grimaldi

Andrew McConnell Stott's biography of the late-Georgian era's most celebrated clown examines Joseph Grimaldi's revolutionary approach to the jester's role, and his unlikely friendship with such literary celebrities as Lord Byron and Charles Dickens.

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The Deeds of My Fathers

Paul David Pope tells the story of his grandfather Generoso, an  immigrant who rose from laborer to New York construction titan and who also wielded political influence as  publisher of the Italian-language newspaper Il Progresso, and his father Gene, who created a tabloid empire with the National Enquirer. Briskly told, it's filled with larger-than-iife characters from Franklin Delano Roosevelt to Frank Costello—think Horatio Alger meets The Godfather meets Gawker.

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April 19: "What you see first, after the starting gun's crack, is a column of bobbing runners, thousands of them, surging downhill..."

Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch is the winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. James Parker calls this Dickensian coming-of-age novel "an enveloping…

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