Biography & autobiography

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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 Award 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 Award 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...


Somewhere Towards the End: A Memoir

National Book Critics Circle Award for Memoir/Autobiography 2009, Costa Book Award for Biography 2008

by Diana Athill

The New York Times bestseller: a prize-winning, critically acclaimed memoir on life and aging —“An honest joy to read” (Alice Munro). Hailed as “a virtuoso exercise” (Sunday Telegraph), this book reflects...


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. Now he...


The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher: A Shocking Murder and the Undoing of a Great Victorian Detective

Samuel Johnson Prize 2008

by Kate Summerscale

The dramatic story of the real-life murder that inspired the birth of modern detective fiction.


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. Yet...


The Secret Scripture: A Novel

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


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...


Young Stalin

Costa Book Award for Biography 2007, Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Biography 2007

by Simon Sebag Montefiore

Based on ten years' astonishing new research, here is the thrilling story of how a charismatic, dangerous boy became a student priest, romantic poet, gangster mastermind, prolific lover, murderous revolutionary,...


Brother, I'm Dying

Dayton Literary Peace Prize for Nonfiction 2008, National Book Critics Circle Award for Memoir/Autobiography 2007

by Edwidge Danticat

From the age of four, award-winning writer Edwidge Danticat came to think of her uncle Joseph as her “second father,” when she was placed in his care after her parents left Haiti for America. And so she...


Stanley: The Impossible Life of Africa's Greatest Explorer

National Book Critics Circle Award for Biography 2007

by Tim Jeal

"A magnificent new life . . . [and] a superb adventure story. . . . There have been many biographies of Stanley, but Jeal's is the most felicitous, the best informed, the most complete and readable and exhaustive,...


Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase to Catch Lincoln's Killer

Edgar Allan Poe Award Best Fact Crime 2007

by James L. Swanson

The murder of Abraham Lincoln set off the greatest manhunt in American history. From April 14 to April 26, 1865, the assassin, John Wilkes Booth, led Union cavalry and detectives on a wild twelve-day chase through...