Farrar, Straus and Giroux / Biography & autobiography

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Personal Memoirs (58)

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A Long Way Gone

by Ishmael Beah

My new friends have begun to suspect I haven’t told them the full story of my life.

“Why did you leave Sierra Leone?”

“Because there is a war.”

“You mean, you saw people running around with guns and...


Why I Read

by Wendy Lesser

“Wendy Lesser’s extraordinary alertness, intelligence, and curiosity have made her one of America’s most significant cultural critics,” writes Stephen Greenblatt. In Why I Read, Lesser draws on a lifetime...


All But My Life

by Gerda Weissmann Klein

All But My Life is the unforgettable story of Gerda Weissmann Klein's six-year ordeal as a victim of Nazi cruelty. From her comfortable home in Bielitz (present-day Bielsko) in Poland to her miraculous survival...


The Hare with Amber Eyes

Ondaatje Prize 2011

by Edmund De Waal

The Ephrussis were a grand banking family, as rich and respected as the Rothschilds, who “burned like a comet” in nineteenth-century Paris and Vienna society. Yet by the end of World War II, almost the only...


A Stranger to Myself

by Willy Peter Reese, Michael Hofmann, Stefan Schmitz & Max Hastings

A Stranger to Myself: The Inhumanity of War, Russia 1941-44 is the haunting memoir of a young German soldier on the Russian front during World War II. Willy Peter Reese was only twenty years old when he found...


Einstein

by Jürgen Neffe & Shelley Frisch

Albert Einstein is an icon of the twentieth century. Born in Ulm, Germany, in 1879, he is most famous for his theory of relativity. He also made enormous contributions to quantum mechanics and cosmology, and...


Timeless

by Lucinda Franks

"Words by the millions have been printed about you, but none have revealed your real life, your secret life—–which is that you belong to me." In this beautifully rendered literary memoir, Lucinda Franks,...


My Two Italies

by Joseph Luzzi

A poignant personal account from a child of Calabrian peasants whose lifelong study of Italy unveils the mysteries of this Bel Paese, “Beautiful Land,” where artistic genius and political corruption have...


My Poets

by Maureen N. McLane

A thrillingly original exploration of a life lived under poetry’s uniquely seductive spell

“Oh! there are spirits of the air,” wrote Percy Bysshe Shelley. In this stunningly original book Maureen N. McLane...


Passage to Ararat

by Michael J. Arlen

In Passage to Ararat, which received the National Book Award in 1976, Michael J. Arlen goes beyond the portrait of his father, the famous Anglo-Armenian novelist of the 1920s, that he created in Exiles to try...


Exiles

by Michael J. Arlen

Back in print, “a wry and moving . . . rare and minute accounting of growing up.” (Time)

Exiles is the story of two glamorous peopleone, a beautiful aristocrat; the other, a self-made man, one of the most...


Bulletproof Vest

by Maria Venegas

The haunting story of a daughter’s struggle to confront her father's turbulent—and often violent—legacy

After a fourteen-year estrangement, Maria Venegas returns to Mexico from the United States to visit...


Good Hunting

by Jack Devine & Vernon Loeb

"A sophisticated, deeply informed account of real life in the real CIA that adds immeasurably to the public understanding of the espionage culture—the good and the bad." —Bob WoodwardJack Devine ran Charlie...


My Struggle: Book 3

My Struggle #3

by Karl Ove Knausgaard & Don Bartlett

A family of four—mother, father, and two boys—move to the south coast of Norway, to a new house on a newly developed site. It is the early 1970s and the family’s trajectory is upwardly mobile: the future...


Hotel Florida: Truth, Love, and Death in the Spanish Civil War

by Amanda Vaill

A spellbinding story of love amid the devastation of the Spanish Civil War

Madrid, 1936. In a city blasted by a civil war that many fear will cross borders and engulf Europe—a conflict one writer will call...


Haussmann, or the Distinction

by Paul La Farge

A stunning, imaginative novel about the great architect of Paris

Baron Georges-Eugène Haussmann, who demolished and rebuilt Paris in the middle of the nineteenth century, was the first urbanist of the modern...


The Tastemaker

by Edward White

A revealing biography of the influential and controversial cultural titan who embodied an era

The Tastemaker explores the many lives of Carl Van Vechten, the most influential cultural impresario of the early...


Godard

by Colin MacCabe

Jean-Luc Godard's early films revolutionized the language of cinema. Hugely prolific in his first decade--Breathless, Contempt, Pierrot le Fou, Alphaville, and Made in USA are just a handful of the seminal works...


More Than Conquerors

by Megan Hustad

Megan Hustad and her family try to reconcile an evangelical upbringing in a post-Christian America

When Megan Hustad was a child, her father uprooted their family from Minneapolis to embark on a cross-cultural...


Stranger in My Own Country

by Yascha Mounk

A moving and unsettling exploration of a young man’s formative years in a country still struggling with its past

As a Jew in postwar Germany, Yascha Mounk felt like a foreigner in his own country. When he...