• MEMOIR

Then Again

It's common practice for well-known, much-loved screen stars to pen their memoirs. What's unique about Diane Keaton's autobiography is that, in it, the actress best known for her role in Woody Allen's Annie Hall tells us not just her own story but that of her mother as well. In a gorgeous literary collage, Keaton pieces together journals, letters, and lists to form a picture of two fascinating women -- and of the relationship between mothers and daughters everywhere.

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  • Memoir

Le Freak

Warning: This riveting memoir from the musician behind era-defining songs like "Le Freak," "Good Times," "We Are Family,"  and "I'm Coming Out" is highly addictive. From his candid portrait of childhood among drug-devoted hipsters to his rise as a performer and producer (collaborators range from Diana to Madonna) Nile Rodgers demonstrates a keen appreciation of life's ironies,  and an unwavering devotion to family.  A true story that never misses a beat.

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  • MEMOIR

The Autobiography of a Super-Tramp

Before he found acclaim as a poet, Welsh vagabond W. H. Davies spent the years between 1893 and 1899 begging his way across America, living a hardscrabble life on the road, and ultimately losing a leg in a train accident on his way to join the Klondike gold rush. In this classic memoir -- newly reissued by Melville House -- the poet recounts his adventures with what George Bernard Shaw calls "boyish charm" combined with "the savoir vivre of an experienced man of the world."

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  • MEMOIR

Shockaholic

Carrie Fisher's follow-up to her best-selling Wishful Drinking shuttles us through stories about her roller-coaster relationships with her father, Eddie Fisher, as well as with fame (brought on by her role as Princess Leia in the Star Wars films), drugs, and electroshock therapy. Fisher writes with wit, candor, and intimacy, sharing anecdotes that, even after all she has revealed on stage, page, and screen, still have the power to astound.

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  • MEMOIR

My Russian Grandmother and Her American Vacuum Cleaner

Every family has its quirks, but wait until you meet Meir Shalev's Grandma Tonia. This warm, delightful memoir by the Israeli author of the novel A Pigeon and a Boy introduces readers to an unforgettable woman whose battle with dirt mirrors the struggles she faced after emigrating from Russia to Palestine in 1923. Shalev's idiosyncratic clan is singular in its strange ways, but may yet remind you of your own meshugana mishpacha.

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  • MEMOIR

My Name Is Victoria

It wasn't until she was 27 that Victoria Donda, who became the youngest female member of the Argentine National Congress in 2007, found out she was not who she thought she was, that the parents who had raised her had, in fact, been responsible for the "disappearance" of her biological parents during Argentina's bloody 1976 coup d'etat. This is her riveting and remarkable story of identity rediscovered.

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  • MEMOIR

Sweet Judy Blue Eyes

Grammy-winning folk singer Judy Collins gives readers the chance to look at her life from both sides now, providing a candid account of the ups and downs she navigated on the road to musical success. She chronicles vital friendships and longstanding relationships (Stephen Stills, Leonard Cohen, Joan Baez), as well as the personal struggles (alcoholism among them) she has faced with amazing grace.

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  • MEMOIR

The Journals of Spalding Gray

In works such as Swimming to Cambodia, Spalding Gray turned the raw substance of his life into autobiographical monologues that poignantly balanced existential despair with mordant humor. But his journals, begun when Gray was 25, divulge even more about the man who seemingly left it all onstage, revealing an artist wildly ambivalent about his celebrity, whose protean depression would eventually lead him to commit suicide in 2004. Here, Nell Casey fills in the portrait of the man we came to love, but perhaps never really knew.

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  • MEMOIR

Some of My Lives

Rosamund Bernier's glamorous life has brought her into close contact with artists like Picasso and Matisse, musicians like Leonard Bernstein and Aaron Copland, and fashion luminaries like Coco Chanel and Karl Lagerfeld. To mark her 95th birthday this month, the former Vogue European features editor, who went on to co-found the French art magazine L'Oeil and lecture frequently at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, is releasing a lively, conversational memoir chockablock with intimate anecdotes about her famous cohorts.

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  • MEMOIR

My Dyslexia

As a boy, Philip Schultz struggled with words. He was 11 before he learned to read -- with great effort -- and his teachers dismissed him as a poor student, exiling him to "the Dummy Class." How did this kid go on to become a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet? After his son’s diagnosis finally shed light on his own learning disability, Schultz wrote this graceful memoir, offering a beguiling look inside the dyslexic mind.

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  • MEMOIR

Harold: The Boy Who Became Mark Twain

The autobiography of famed actor Hal Holbrook, best known for his portrayal of Mark Twain on stage and screen, reveals a man who overcame both material and spiritual hardships to reach a level of self-knowledge and composure rare in any individual. At age 86, Holbrook inhabits a vanished era in our nation's past when he recounts his childhood, evoking the early- and mid-twentieth century America that was closer to Twain's time than we are to it.

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  • MEMOIR

Life Itself

The first film critic to win a Pulitzer Prize, Roger Ebert has been reviewing movies since 1967, and his writings on cinema have been collected in volumes that range from The Great Movies to Your Movie Sucks. Here he chronicles his own life and career -- from an idyllic childhood in Urbana, Illinois, to his ascendancy at the Chicago Sun-Times -- tracing the evolution of journalism and film over the last four decades (and providing an unflinching account of his recent ordeal with thyroid cancer). A public life described in a profoundly -- and profound -- personal testament.

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  • MEMOIR

Yossarian Slept Here

Joseph Heller's daughter, Erica Heller, offers memories both sweet and tart of her upbringing by her famous father, her parents' tumultuous marriage, and a host of similar domestic vistas. Centering mainly around their tenure at the famed Manhattan residence, the Apthorp, the book invokes a plethora of celebrities with whom Heller amused himself while contriving to amuse his readers with novels like Catch-22 and Something Happened.

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  • MEMOIR

Beautiful Unbroken

Nurses are the frontline soldiers of the healthcare field, wtnessing atrocities in the trenches that most of us never see. But while many great doctor-authors -- Richard Selzer, Lewis Thomas -- have brought poetic insight to their calling, there are far fewer well-known memoirs from this essential profession. Mary Jane Nealon remedies that lack with her vivid and stirring account of a life spent ministering to the terminally ill, diffusing the suffering and grace she's encountered into these pages.

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  • MEMOIR

I Wore the Ocean in the Shape of a Girl

Poet Kelle Groom unflinchingly tells the story of her illegitimate child, tendered for adoption and dead before age two. As a teenaged mother in thrall to alcohol, Groom almost spiraled out of control were it not for unexpected reserves of strength, bolstered by a passion for poetry. Infant Tommy, reborn through his mother's empathy, is the pearl sprung from the bitterness of Groom's early life, elegized in a memoir reminescent of Mary Karr's Lit.


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  • MEMOIR

Witness to an Extreme Century

85 years old and still going strong, Robert Jay Lifton--the man who popularized the term "brainwashing"--charts his own life as it parallels the highs and lows of humanity over the past century.  From an unassuming childhood in Brooklyn, Lifton became a teller of truth to power and a beloved teacher and mentor to multiple generations of students, evolving the science of psychohistory along the way.  

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  • MEMOIR

Blood, Bones & Butter

Gabrielle Hamilton, chef-owner at the celebrated Manhattan restaurant Prune, has written a memoir which eloquently withstands the heat of the many kitchens she has found herself unable to get out of. It is also filled with the flavors of her intimate memories of childhood, family, and travels in France, Greece, and, especially, Italy, making it a satisfying meal for readers of literary as well as culinary interests.

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  • MEMOIR

I Was a Dancer

The autobiography of Jacques d'Amboise—who was born Joseph Ahearn in Dedham, MA, grew up on the tough streets of Washington Heights in NYC, and found his métier in the dance, under the tutelage and inspiration of George Balanchine—is, like the man himself, down-to-earth and transporting at the same time.

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  • MEMOIR

House of Prayer No. 2

Novelist Mark Richard (Fishboy) proves with this hypnotic memoir that his own life possesses the Southern Gothic allure of any tale by Faulkner or O'Connor. Crippled and ostracized as a youth, Richard embarks on a dark odyssey of Jim-Thompson magnitude.

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  • MEMOIR

Poser: My Life in Twenty-three Yoga Poses

Does yoga make us more virtuous? Does virtue make us more nimble? Can we "pose" our way to a better life? Claire Dederer's engaging memoir of motherhood, exercise, and self-discovery finds rewarding surprises, for herself and for her readers, in each of those subjects, and several more.

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  • MEMOIR

The Memory Chalet

His body failing due to the ravages of a degenerative motor neuron disease, his prodigious mind still intact, Tony Judt, in the months before his death on August 6, revisited his past to furnish a memory palace whose rooms are among the most bracing and resonant imaginative chambers I've entered this year. This posthumous volume is a remarkable legacy.

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  • MEMOIR

Reading Between the Wines

Imbibers who've learned to look for the name Terry Theise on the back of German bottles as a mark of quality and value will be delighted to find it now on the cover of a memoir of his life in the wine trade.

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  • MEMOIR

Rat Girl

The astonishingly precocious Kristin Hersh started her music career at the age of 14, and her band Throwing Muses became one of the most arresting acts of the indie-rock revolution. Her memoir is a rawly emotive look back at a single year of musical breakthrough and mental crisis for the artist.

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  • MEMOIR

The Hilliker Curse

The publisher calls this "a raw, brutally candid memoir" about an obsessive search for "atonement in women"—but what else would you expect from the author of The Black Dahlia and American Tabloid? Prepare yourself for another sinister literary seduction by James Ellroy.

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  • memoir

Unfinished Business

When Lee Kravitz lost his job as editor-in-chief of Parade magazine, he decided to spend a year connecting all the dots his busy working life had left emotionally adrift, reaching out to grasp the hands and hearts of family members, friends, and mentors he had left behind. His adventures in outreach are moving, and quietly inspiring. Read more...

  • memoir

Spilling the Beans: The Autobiography of One of Television’s Two Fat Ladies

Born to privilege, Clarissa Dickson Wright launched a prodigious legal career before turning to drink and partying away all of her advantages. She found redemption in the kitchen as one of television's Two Fat Ladies, and here, with characteristic humor, she recounts her ups and downs. Read more...

  • memoir

Happy

He was called "Happy," and had every reason to be: student, star baseball player, and life-of-the-party at Macalester College, Alex Lemon was on top of the world -- until he had his first stroke, and his existence took a tumble. A vivid, eloquent, moving memoir. Read more...

April 18: "[W]ould it be too bold to imagine that all warm-blooded animals have arisen from one living filament…?"

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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