Biography & autobiography

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The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery

Pulitzer Prize for History 2011

by Eric Foner

“A masterwork [by] the preeminent historian of the Civil War era.”—Boston Globe Selected as a Notable Book of the Year by the New York Times Book Review, this landmark work gives us a definitive account...


Now All Roads Lead to France

Costa Book Award for Biography 2011

by Matthew Hollis

Edward Thomas was perhaps the most beguiling and influential of First World War poets. Now All Roads Lead to France is an account of his final five years, centred on his extraordinary friendship with Robert...


The Memory Palace

National Book Critics Circle for Memoir/Autobiography 2011

by Mira Bartok

In the tradition of The Glass Castle, two sisters confront schizophrenia in this poignant literary memoir about family and mental illness. Through stunning prose and original art, The Memory Palace captures...


Washington: A Life

Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography 2011

by Ron Chernow

Winner of the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Biography

Celebrated biographer Ron Chernow provides a richly nuanced portrait of the father of our nation and the first president of the United States. With a breadth and...


Direct Red: A Surgeon's View of Her Life-or-Death Profession

PEN/Ackerley Prize 2010

by Gabriel Weston

In the tradition of Atul Gawande and Sherwin B. Nuland comes an eloquent and piercing account of a young woman's surgical education.

Surgeons have long been known for their allergy to doubt, an unsurprising trait...


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 • Look for special features inside. Join the Random House Reader’s Circle for author chats and more.

In boyhood, Louis Zamperini was an...


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...


William Golding: The Man Who Wrote Lord of the Flies

James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Biography 2009

by John Carey

In 1953, William Golding was a provincial schoolteacher writing books on his breaks, lunch hours and holidays. His work had been rejected by every major publisher—until an editor at Faber and Faber pulled...


The Three of Us: A Family Story

PEN/Ackerley Prize 2009

by Julia Blackburn

This is the story of three people: acclaimed writer Julia Blackburn; her father, Thomas - a poet and alcoholic with an addiction to barbiturates; and her mother, Rosalie - a flirtatious painter with no boundaries.After...


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...


A Strange Eventful History

James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Biography 2008

by Michael Holroyd

PLEASE NOTE: THIS EBOOK DOES NOT CONTAIN PHOTOS INCLUDED IN THE PRINT EDITION. Deemed “a prodigy among biographers” by The New York Times Book Review, Michael Holroyd transformed biography into an art....