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The Source of All Things: A Memoir

by Tracy Ross

Tracy Ross never knew her biological father, who died after a brain aneurysm when she was still an infant. So when her mother married Donnie, a gregarious man with an all-wheel-drive jeep and a love of hiking,...


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...


1185 Park Avenue

by Anne Roiphe

In this captivating memoir, novelist Anne Roiphe shows us what it was really like to grow up rich and Jewish in New York in the 1940s and 1950s. Revisiting the world of her childhood, Roiphe brings alive a cast...


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 Man Who Created Sherlock Holmes: The Life and Times of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

by Andrew Lycett

Though Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's name is recognized the world over, for decades the man himself has been overshadowed by his better understood creation, Sherlock Holmes, who has become one of literature's most...


Leonard Woolf: A Biography

by Victoria Glendinning

Award-winning biographer Victoria Glendinning draws on her deep knowledge of the twentieth century literary scene, and on her meticulous research into previously untapped sources, to write the first full biography...


The Typewriter Is Holy: The Complete, Uncensored History of the Beat Generation

by Bill Morgan

2014 ACKER AWARD WINNER

Anyone who cares to understand the literary and cultural ferment of America in the later twentieth century must be familiar with the writings and lives of those scruffy bohemians known...


Sophia Tolstoy: A Biography

by Alexandra Popoff

As Leo Tolstoy’s wife, Sophia Tolstoy experienced both glory and condemnation during their forty-eight-year marriage. She was admired as the muse and literary assistant to one of the world’s most celebrated...


Mark Twain: A Life

by Ron Powers

Mark Twain founded the American voice. His works are a living national treasury: taught, quoted, and reprinted more than those of any writer except Shakespeare. His awestruck contemporaries saw him as the representative...


When I Was a Loser: True Stories of (Barely) Surviving High School

by John McNally

For Anyone Who's Ever Been a Teenager

Who's teenage years weren't terrible? Remember the scary older kids? The sadistic gym teacher? The smelly kid who sat next to you in science class? Your first fumbling...


Mentors, Muses & Monsters: 30 Writers on the People Who Changed Their Lives

by Elizabeth Benedict

Edited and with a contribution by Elizabeth Benedict, thirty of today's brightest literary lights turn their attention to the question of mentorship and influence.

For Denis Johnson, it was Leonard Gardner's...


Horton Foote: America's Storyteller

by Wilborn Hampton

No playwright in the history of the American theater has captured the soul of the nation more incisively than Horton Foote.

From his Pulitzer Prize-winning play, The Young Man From Atlanta, to his film adaptation...


Marmee & Louisa: The Untold Story of Louisa May Alcott and Her Mother

by Eve Laplante

Louisa May Alcott was one of the most successful and bestselling authors of her day, earning more than any of her male contemporaries. Her classic Little Women has been a mainstay of American literature since...


We Heard the Heavens Then: A Memoir of Iran

by Aria Minu-Sepehr

ARIA MINU-SEPEHR was raised in a sheltered world of extraordinary privilege as the son of a major general in the Shah’s Imperial Iranian Air Force. It seemed his father could do anything—lead the Golden...


I Wore the Ocean in the Shape of a Girl: A Memoir

by Kelle Groom

At the age of fifteen, Kelle Groom found that alcohol allowed her to connect with people and explore intimacy in ways she’d never been able to experience before. She began drinking before class, often blacked...