"A masterful portrait" (The Philadelphia Inquirer) from a Whitbread Award-winning biographer The novels of Thomas Hardy have a permanent place on every booklover's shelf, yet little is known about the interior life of the man who wrote them. A believer and an unbeliever, a socialist and a snob, an unhappy husband and a desolate widower, Hardy challenged the sexual and religious conventions of his time in his novels and then abandoned fiction to reestablish himself as a great twentieth-century lyric poet. In this acclaimed new biography, Claire Tomalin, one of today's preeminent literary biographers, investigates this beloved writer and reveals a figure as rich and complex as his tremendous legacy.
In the first full-length biography of Alexander Hamilton in decades, National Book Award winner Ron Chernow tells the riveting story of a man who overcame all odds to shape, inspire, and scandalize the newborn America. According to historian Joseph Ellis, Alexander Hamilton is a robust full-length portrait, in my view the best ever written, of the most brilliant, charismatic and dangerous founder of them all.
Few figures in American history have been more hotly debated or more grossly misunderstood than Alexander Hamilton. Chernows biography gives Hamilton his due and sets the record straight, deftly illustrating that the political and economic greatness of todays America is the result of Hamiltons countless sacrifices to champion ideas that were often wildly disputed during his time. To repudiate his legacy, Chernow writes, is, in many ways, to repudiate the modern world. Chernow here recounts Hamiltons turbulent life: an illegitimate, largely self-taught orphan from the Caribbean, he came out of nowhere to take America by storm, rising to become George Washingtons aide-de-camp in the Continental Army, coauthoring The Federalist Papers, founding the Bank of New York, leading the Federalist Party, and becoming the first Treasury Secretary of the United States.
Historians have long told the story of Americas birth as the triumph of Jeffersons democratic ideals over the aristocratic intentions of Hamilton. Chernow presents an entirely different man, whose legendary ambitions were motivated not merely by self-interest but by passionate patriotism and a stubborn will to build the foundations of American prosperity and power. His is a Hamilton far more human than weve encountered before--from his shame about his birth to his fiery aspirations, from his intimate relationships with childhood friends to his titanic feuds with Jefferson, Madison, Adams, Monroe, and Burr, and from his highly public affair with Maria Reynolds to his loving marriage to his loyal wife Eliza. And never before has there been a more vivid account of Hamiltons famous and mysterious death in a duel with Aaron Burr in July of 1804.
Chernows biography is not just a portrait of Hamilton, but the story of Americas birth seen through its most central figure. At a critical time to look back to our roots, Alexander Hamilton will remind readers of the purpose of our institutions and our heritage as Americans.
A journalists provocative and spellbinding account of her eighteen months spent disguised as a man Norah Vincent became an instant media sensation with the publication of Self-Made Man, her take on just how hard it is to be a man, even in a mans world. Following in the tradition of John Howard Griffin (Black Like Me), Norah spent a year and a half disguised as her male alter ego, Ned, exploring what men are like when women arent around. As Ned, she joins a bowling team, takes a high-octane sales job, goes on dates with women (and men), visits strip clubs, and even manages to infiltrate a monastery and a mens therapy group. At once thought- provoking and pure fun to read, Self-Made Man is a sympathetic and thrilling tour de force of immersion journalism.
From the #1 travel magazine in the country, a collection of travel tales from some of today's finest writers Travel writing maintains its seemingly endless popularity, and this volume offers a particularly transporting body of work, pairing exotic locales with writers of the highest caliber: Russell Banks writes on the Everglades, Francine Prose explores the secrets of Prague, Robert Hughes takes us on a tour of Italy, and more. From the most beautiful gardens to visit in Japan to the best free things to do in Provence, this book is as enlightening as it is entertaining. Whether off to the other side of the globe or to their favorite reading chair, wanderers of every sort will find this book truly indispensable.
Other featured writers and places include:
Nik Cohn on Savannah Philip Gourevitch on Tanzania Shirley Hazzard on Capri Pico Iyer on Iceland and Ethiopia Nicole Krauss on Japan Suketu Mehta on the Himalayas Edna O'Brien on Bath Patricia Storace on Provence and Athens James Truman on Iran Gregor Von Rezzori on Romania Edmund White on Jordan Simon Winchester on Mount Pinatubo William Dalrymple on his pilgrimage to Santiago John Julius Norwich on the Vatican Jan Morris on Hawaii
The acclaimed writer A. M. Homes was given up for adoption before she was born. Her biological mother was a twenty-two-year-old single woman who was having an affair with a much older married man with a family of his own. The Mistress's Daughter is the ruthlessly honest account of what happened when, thirty years later, her birth parents came looking for her. Homes relates how they initially made contact and what happened afterwards, and digs through the family history of both sets of her parents in a twenty-first-century electronic search for self. Daring, heartbreaking, and startlingly funny, Homes's memoir is a brave and profoundly moving consideration of identity and family.
With a swooping voice, an irrepressible sense of humor, and a passion for good food, Julia Child ushered in the nations culinary renaissance. In Julia Child, award-winning food writer Laura Shapiro tells the story of Childs unlikely career path, from California party girl to coolheaded chief clerk in a World War II spy station to bewildered amateur cook and finally to the Cordon Bleu in Paris, the school that inspired her calling. A food lover who was quintessentially American, right down to her little-known recipe for classic tuna fish casserole, Shapiros Julia Child personifies her own most famous lesson: that learning how to cook means learning how to live.
The allure of the Frenchwoman--sexy, sophisticated, flirtatious, and glamorous--is legendary. More than an eye for fashion or a taste for elegance, the French je ne sais quoi embodies the essential ingredients for looking and feeling beautiful.
With wit, whimsy, and wonder, British expatriate Helena Frith Powell uncovers the secrets of chic living in All You Need to Be Impossibly French, a cheeky guide to releasing your inner Frenchwoman. Delving deep into a mysterious realm of face creams, silk lingerie, and shopping-as-exercise, Powell reveals how French women stay impossibly thin and irresistibly sexy by achieving the maximum effect from the minimum amount of effort. Forget diet and inspiration books and style guides--this is all you need to embrace the wisdom of French living, and learn how to turn every day into la petite aventure.
"Betancourt's riveting account...is an unforgettable epic of moral courage and human endurance." -Los Angeles Times In the midst of her campaign for the Colombian presidency in 2002, Ingrid Betancourt traveled into a military-controlled region, where she was abducted by the FARC, a brutal terrorist guerrilla organization in conflict with the government. She would spend the next six and a half years captive in the depths of the Colombian jungle. Even Silence Has an End is her deeply moving and personal account of that time. The facts of her story are astounding, but it is Betancourt's indomitable spirit that drives this very special narrative-an intensely intelligent, thoughtful, and compassionate reflection on what it really means to be human.
"It might be thought the height of poor taste to ascribe good fortune to a healthy man with a young family struck down at the age of sixty by an incurable degenerative disorder from which he must shortly die. But there is more than one sort of luck. To fall prey to a motor neuron disease is surely to have offended the Gods at some point, and there is nothing more to be said. But if you must suffer thus, better to have a well-stocked head..." -Tony Judt In 2008, historian Tony Judt learnt that he was suffering from a disease that would eventually trap his extraordinary mind in a declining and immobile body. At night, sleepless in his motionless state, he revisited the past in an effort to keep himself sane, and his dictated essays form a memoir unlike any you have read before. Each one charts some experience or remembrance of the past through the sieve of Tony Judt's prodigious mind. His youthful love of a particular London bus route evolves into a reflection on public civility and interwar urban planning. Memories of the 1968 student riots of Paris meander through the divergent sex politics of Europe, before concluding that his generation 'was a revolutionary generation, but missed the revolution'. A series of roadtrips across America lead not just to an appreciation of American history, but to an eventual acquisition of citizenship. Foods and trains and long-lost smells all compete for Judt's attention; but for us, he has forged his reflections into an elegant arc of anaysis. All as simply and beautifully arranged as a Swiss chalet - a reassuring refuge deep in the mountains of memory.
A groundbreaking new biography of Jack Kerouac from the author of the award-winning memoir Minor Characters
Joyce Johnson brilliantly peels away layers of the Kerouac legend in this compelling new book. Tracking Kerouac's development from his boyhood in Lowell, Massachusetts, through his fateful encounters with Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs, Neal Cassady, and John Clellon Holmes to his periods of solitude and the phenomenal breakthroughs of 1951 that resulted in his composition of On the Road followed by Visions of Cody, Johnson shows how his French Canadian background drove him to forge a voice that could contain his dualities and informed his unique outsider's vision of America. This revelatory portrait deepens our understanding of a man whose life and work hold an enduring place in both popular culture and literary history.
"The first biography of the most influential writer of his generation, David Foster Wallace David Foster Wallace was the leading literary light of his era, a man who not only captivated readers with his prose but also mesmerized them with his brilliant mind. In this, the first biography of the writer, D. T. Max sets out to chart Wallace's tormented, anguished and often triumphant battle to succeed as a novelist as he fights off depression and addiction to emerge with his masterpiece, Infinite Jest. Since his untimely death by suicide at the age of forty-six in 2008, Wallace has become more than the quintessential writer for his time--he has become a symbol of sincerity and honesty in an inauthentic age. In the end, as Max shows us, what is most interesting about Wallace is not just what he wrote but how he taught us all to live. Written with the cooperation of Wallace's family and friends and with access to hundreds of his unpublished letters, manuscripts, and audio tapes, this portrait of an extraordinarily gifted writer is as fresh as news, as intimate as a love note, as painful as a goodbye. "--
A food writer travels the Silk Road, immersing herself in a moveable feast of foods and cultures and discovering some surprising truths about commitment, independence, and love.
Feasting her way through an Italian honeymoon, Jen Lin-Liu was struck by culinary echoes of the delicacies she ate and cooked back in China, where shed lived for more than a decade. Who really invented the noodle? she wondered, like many before her. But also: How had food and culture moved along the Silk Road, the ancient trade route linking Asia to Europe--and what could still be felt of those long-ago migrations? With her new husbands blessing, she set out to discover the connections, both historical and personal, eating a path through western China and on into Central Asia, Iran, Turkey, and across the Mediterranean.
The journey takes Lin-Liu into the private kitchens where the headscarves come off and women not only knead and simmer but also confess and confide. The thin rounds of dough stuffed with meat that are dumplings in Beijing evolve into manti in Turkey--their tiny size the measure of a brides worth--and end as tortellini in Italy. And as she stirs and samples, listening to the women talk about their lives and longings, Lin-Liu gains a new appreciation of her own marriage, learning to savor the sweetness of love freely chosen.
'In Good Morning, Mr. Mandela, Zelda la Grange recounts her remarkable life at the right hand of the man we both knew and loved. It's a tribute to both of them-'to Madiba's eye for talent and his capacity for trust and to Zelda's courage to take on a great challenge and her capacity for growth. This story proves the power of making politics personal and is an important reminder of the lessons Madiba taught us all.' -'President Bill Clinton 'President Nelson Mandela's choice of the young Afrikaner typist Zelda la Grange as his most trusted aide embodied his commitment to reconciliation in South Africa. She repaid his trust with loyalty and integrity. I have the highest regard for her.' -'Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu 'Zelda la Grange has a singular perspective on Nelson Mandela, having served as his longtime personal aide, confidante and close friend. She is a dear friend to both of us and a touchstone to all of us who loved Madiba. Her story of their journey together demonstrates how a man who transformed an entire nation also had the power to transform the life of one extraordinary woman.' -'Morgan Freeman and Lori McCreary, actor, producer of Invictus A white Afrikaner, Zelda la Grange grew up in segregated South Africa, supporting the regime and the rules of apartheid. Her conservative family referred to the imprisoned Nelson Mandela as 'a terrorist.' Yet just a few years after his release and the end of apartheid, she would be traveling the world by Mr. Mandela's side, having grown to respect and cherish the man she would come to call "Khulu," or 'grandfather." Good Morning, Mr. Mandela tells the extraordinary story of how a young woman's life, beliefs, prejudices-'everything she once believed-'were utterly transformed by the man she had been taught was the enemy. It is the incredible journey of an awkward, terrified young secretary in her twenties who rose from a job in a government typing pool to become one of the president's most loyal and devoted associates. During his presidency she was one of his three private secretaries, and then became an aide-de-camp and spokesperson and managed his office in his retirement. Working and traveling by his side for almost two decades, La Grange found herself negotiating with celebrities and world leaders, all in the cause of supporting and caring for Mr. Mandela in his many roles.
Here La Grange pays tribute to Nelson Mandela as she knew him-'a teacher who gave her the most valuable lessons of her life. The Mr. Mandela we meet in these pages is a man who refused to be defined by his past, who forgave and respected all, but who was also frank, teasing, and direct. As he renewed his country, he also freed La Grange from a closed world of fear and mistrust, giving her life true meaning. 'I was fearful of so much twenty years ago-'of life, of black people, of this black man and the future of South Africa-'and I now was no longer persuaded or influenced by mainstream fears. He not only liberated the black man but the white man, too.' This is a book about love and second chances that honors the lasting and inspiring gifts of one of the great men of our time. It offers a rare intimate portrait of Nelson Mandela and his remarkable life as well as moving proof of the power we all have to change.
An exhilarating look at a place that still retains the exotic mystery of a far-off, unseen land, Bruce Chatwins exquisite account of his journey through Patagonia teems with evocative descriptions, remarkable bits of history, and unforgettable anecdotes. Fueled by an unmistakable lust for life and adventure and a singular gift for storytelling, Chatwin treks through the uttermost part of the earth-- that stretch of land at the southern tip of South America, where bandits were once made welcome--in search of almost forgotten legends, the descendants of Welsh immigrants, and the log cabin built by Butch Cassidy. An instant classic upon publication in 1977, In Patagonia is a masterpiece that has cast a long shadow upon the literary world.
A legendary CIA spy and counterterrorism expert tells the spellbinding story of his high-risk, action-packed career Revelatory and groundbreaking, The Art of Intelligence will change the way people view the CIA, domestic and foreign intelligence, and international terrorism. Henry A. 'Hank' Crumpton, a twenty-four-year veteran of the CIA's Clandestine Service, offers a thrilling account that delivers profound lessons about what it means to serve as an honorable spy. From CIA recruiting missions in Africa to pioneering new programs like the UAV Predator, from running post-9/11 missions in Afghanistan to heading up all clandestine CIA operations in the United States, Crumpton chronicles his role-'in the battlefield and in the Oval Office-'in transforming the way America wages war and sheds light on issues of domestic espionage.
In A Tramp Abroad, Mark Twain's unofficial sequel to The Innocents Abroad, the author records his hilarious and diverse observations and insights while on a fifteen-month walking trip through Central Europe and the Alps. "Here you have Twain's inimitable mix," writes Dave Eggers in his Introduction, "of the folksy and the effortlessly erudite, his unshakable good sense and his legendary wit, his knack for the easy relation of a perfect anecdote, and some achingly beautiful nature writing." This Modern Library Paperback Classic reproduces the text of the first American edition and features new explanatory notes and a critical Afterword by Kerry Driscoll, professor of English at Saint Joseph College in Connecticut.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Number 1 on the Bestseller list (Australia) with over 20,000 copies sold in the UK alone and over 250,000 world-wide! Almost French has been a huge success and now with the new-look, mass market B Format it is ready to go stellar! Publication timed for major trade promotions including summer reading and airport holiday exodus. In the bestselling tradition of Frances Mayes' Under the Tuscan Sun, Chris Stewart's A Parrot in the Pepper Tree or Peter Mayle - but without the pile of stones! Funny, perceptive and poignant Almost French is an often hilarious mixture of a young woman's personal memoir and armchair travel. A spectacular example of culture clash - and a happy ending.