Biography & autobiography

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The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Wellcome Book Prize 2010

by Rebecca Skloot

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor black tobacco farmer whose cells—taken without her knowledge in 1951—became one of the most important...


Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Biography 2010

by Laura Hillenbrand

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE • Hailed as the top nonfiction book of the year by Time magazine • Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for biography and the Indies...


Agatha Christie's Secret Notebooks

Macavity Best Mystery-Related Nonfiction 2011, Agatha Award for Best Non-Fiction 2010

by John Curran

A fascinating exploration of the contents of Agatha Christie's seventy-three private notebooks, including illustrations and two unpublished Poirot stories

When Agatha Christie died in 1976, at age eighty-five,...


Half a Life: A Memoir

National Book Critics Circle for Memoir/Autobiography 2010

by Darin Strauss

In this powerful, unforgettable memoir, acclaimed novelist Darin Strauss examines the far-reaching consequences of the tragic moment that has shadowed his whole life. In his last month of high school, he was...


How to Live: Or A Life of Montaigne in One Question and Twenty Attempts at an Answer

National Book Critics Circle for Biography 2010

by Sarah Bakewell

Winner of the 2010 National Book Critics Circle Award for Biography

How to get along with people, how to deal with violence, how to adjust to losing someone you love—such questions arise in most people’s...


Just Kids

National Book Award for Non-Fiction 2010

by Patti Smith

Due to copyright restrictions, this eBook may not contain all of the images available in the print edition.

It was the summer Coltrane died, the summer of love and riots, and the summer when a chance encounter...


Keeper: One House, Three Generations, and a Journey into Alzheimer's

Wellcome Book Prize 2009

by Andrea Gillies

Five years ago, Andrea Gillies— writer, wife, and mother of three—seeing that her husband's parents were struggling to cope, invited them to move in.  She and her newly extended family relocated to a big...


Dorothea Lange: A Life Beyond Limits

Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Biography 2009

by Linda Gordon

Winner of the 2010 Bancroft Prize and finalist for the 2009 Los Angeles Times Book Prize in Biography: The definitive biography of a heroic chronicler of America's Depression and one of the twentieth century's...


The First Tycoon

Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography 2010, National Book Award for Non-Fiction 2009

by T.J. Stiles

NATIONAL BESTSELLER

WINNER OF THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD

In this groundbreaking biography, T.J. Stiles tells the dramatic story of Cornelius “Commodore” Vanderbilt, the combative man and American icon who, through...


Cheever

National Book Critics Circle for Biography 2009

by Blake Bailey

John Cheever spent much of his career impersonating a perfect suburban gentleman, the better to become one of the foremost chroniclers of postwar America. Written with unprecedented access to essential sources—including...


American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House

Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography 2009

by Jon Meacham

Andrew Jackson, his intimate circle of friends, and his tumultuous times are at the heart of this remarkable book about the man who rose from nothing to create the modern presidency. Beloved and hated, venerated...


The Age of Wonder: How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science

National Book Critics Circle for General Non-fiction 2009

by Richard Holmes

The Age of Wonder is a colorful and utterly absorbing history of the men and women whose discoveries and inventions at the end of the eighteenth century gave birth to the Romantic Age of Science. 

When young...


The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher

Samuel Johnson Prize 2008

by Kate Summerscale

In June of 1860 three-year-old Saville Kent was found at the bottom of an outdoor privy with his throat slit. The crime horrified all England and led to a national obsession with detection, ironically destroying,...


Eden's Outcasts: The Story of Louisa May Alcott and Her Father

Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography 2008

by John Matteson

"An amazing story [told] with clarity and intelligence ... colorful and insightful."—Martin Rubin, Los Angeles Times Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Biography 

Louisa May Alcott is known universally....


The Secret Scripture: A Novel

Irish Book Award for Best Novel 2009, James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction 2008

by Sebastian Barry

An epic story of family, love, and unavoidable tragedy from the two-time Man Booker Prize finalist

Sebastian Barry 's novels have been hugely admired by readers and critics, and in 2005 his novel A Long Long...


My Father's Paradise: A Son's Search for His Jewish Past in Kurdish Iraq

National Book Critics Circle for Memoir/Autobiography 2008

by Ariel Sabar

In a remote corner of the world, forgotten for nearly three thousand years, lived an enclave of Kurdish Jews so isolated that they still spoke Aramaic, the language of Jesus. Mostly illiterate, they were self-made...


The World Is What It Is

National Book Critics Circle for Biography 2008

by Patrick French

The first major biography of V.S. Naipaul, the controversial and enigmatic Nobel laureate: a stunning writer whose only stated ambition was greatness, in pursuit of which goal nothing else was sacred.

Beginning...


I've Got a Home in Glory Land

Governor General's Award for Non-Fiction 2007

by Karolyn Smardz Frost

It was the day before Independence Day, 1831. As his bride, Lucie, was about to be "sold down the river" to the slave markets of New Orleans, young Thornton Blackburn planned a daring--and successful--daylight...


Soldier's Heart

Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Current Interest 2007

by Elizabeth D. Samet

Elizabeth D. Samet and her students learned to romanticize the army "from the stories of their fathers and from the movies." For Samet, it was the old World War II movies she used to watch on TV, while her students...


Imperial Life in the Emerald City

Samuel Johnson Prize 2007

by Rajiv Chandrasekaran

The Green Zone, Baghdad, 2003: in this walled-off compound of swimming pools and luxurious amenities, Paul Bremer and his Coalition Provisional Authority set out to fashion a new, democratic Iraq. Staffed by...