With story and characters drawn from Louisa May Alcott's Little Women, Geraldine Brooks won the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for her novel March. Publishers Weekly say of it, "Brooks's affecting, beautifully written novel drives home the intimate horrors and ironies of the Civil War and the difficulty of living honestly with the knowledge of human suffering." Her nonfiction includes Foreign Correspondence: A pen pal's journey from down under to all over, a book she assembled based on her childhood pen pals from around the world and her search as an adult to find out their fates and which Kirkus Reviews calls "...An evocative, superbly written tale of a woman's journey to self-understanding."
March by Geraldine Brooks
As the North reels under a series of unexpected defeats during the dark first year of the war, one man leaves behind his family to aid the Union cause. His experiences will utterly change his marriage and challenge his most ardently held beliefs. Riveting and elegant as it is meticulously researched, Marchis an extraordinary novel woven out of the lore of American history. From Louisa May Alcott’s beloved classic Little Women, Geraldine Brooks has taken the character of the absent father, March, who has gone off to war, leaving his wife and daughters to make do in mean times. To evoke him, Brooks turned to the journals and letters of Bronson Alcott, Louisa May’s father—a friend and confidant of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau. In her telling, March emerges as an idealistic chaplain in the little known backwaters of a war that will test his faith in himself and in the Union cause as he learns that his side, too, is capable of acts of barbarism and racism. As he recovers from a near mortal illness, he must reassemble his shattered mind and body and find a way to reconnect with a wife and daughters who have no idea of the ordeals he has been through. Spanning the vibrant intellectual world of Concord and the sensuous antebellum South, Marchadds adult resonance to Alcott’s optimistic children’s tale to portray the moral complexity of war, and a marriage tested by the demands of extreme idealism—and by a dangerous and illicit attraction. A lushly written, wholly original tale steeped in the details of another time, Marchsecures Geraldine Brooks’s place as an internationally renowned author of historical fiction.
Publication Date: 2005-03-03
Foreign Correspondence by Geraldine Brooks
From adolescent pen pal in the suburbs of Australia to prize-winning foreign correspondent, Geraldine Brooks presents an intimate and captivating memoir.  Born on Bland Street in a working-class neighborhood of Sydney, Australia, Geraldine Brooks longs to discover the vivid place where history happens and culture comes from. As a means of escaping the world around her, she enlists pen pals from around the globe who offer her a window on the hazards of adolescence in the Middle East, Europe, and America. With the aid of her letters, Brooks turns her bedroom into the bridge of the Starship Enterprise, the barricades of Parisian student protests, the swampy fields of an embattled kibbutz. Brooks goes from the protected environment of a Catholic girls school to the University of Sydney, eventually renting her own flat near the bustling Sydney harbor. She hires on as an intern at The Sydney Morning Herald and then wins a scholarship to the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University in New York City, where she begins her career as a foreign correspondent. As a writer for The Wall Street Journal, Brooks reports on wars and famines in the Middle East, Bosnia, and Africa, but she never forgets her earlier foreign correspondence. Back in Australia to attend her dying father, she stumbles on her old letters in her parents' basement, and embarks on a journey that tales her around the world on the most meaningful assignment of her career. Her search leads her through Israeli moshavim, Arab souks, medieval French hill towns, Martha's Vineyard fishing shacks, and Manhattan nightclubs. One by one, she finds men and women whose lives have been shaped by war and hatred, by fame and notoriety, and by the ravages of a mysterious and tragic mental illness. It is only from the distance of foreign lands and against the background of alien lives that Brooks finally sees her homeland and her own life clearly. Candid, thoughtful, and compelling, Foreign Correspondence speaks to the unquiet heart of every girl who has ever yearned to become a woman of the world.
Publication Date: 1997-12-29
Critically acclaimed for such novels as The Prince of Tides and The Great Santini, Conroy is also known for great nonfiction. Booklist dares you to "try to resist rereading...My Reading Life!" In his newest memoir, The Death of Santini, the Washington Post says, "Conroy has fashioned a memoir that is vital, large-hearted and often raucously funny." A brilliant writer no matter the genre.
The Great Santini by Pat Conroy
Step into the powerhouse life of Bull Meecham. He's all Marine--fighter pilot, king of the clouds, and absolute ruler of his family. Lillian is his wife--beautiful, southern-bred, with a core of velvet steel. Without her cool head, her kids would be in real trouble. Ben is the oldest, a born athlete whose best never satisfies the big man. Ben's got to stand up, even fight back, against a father who doesn't give in--not to his men, not to his wife, and certainly not to his son. Bull Meecham is undoubtedly Pat Conroy's most explosive character--a man you should hate, but a man you will love. Look for special features inside. Join the Circle for author chats and more. RandomHouseReadersCircle.com
Publication Date: 2002-03-26
The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy
In his most brilliant and powerful novel, Pat Conroy tells the story of Tom Wingo, his twin sister, Savannah, and the dark and violent past of the family into which they were born. Set in New York City and the lowcountry of South Carolina, the novel opens when Tom, a high school football coach whose marriage and career are crumbling, flies from South Carolina to New York after learning of his twin sister's suicide attempt. Savannah is one of the most gifted poets of her generation, and both the cadenced beauty of her art and the jumbled cries of her illness are clues to the too-long-hidden story of her wounded family. In the paneled offices and luxurious restaurants of New York City, Tom and Susan Lowenstein, Savannah's psychiatrist, unravel a history of violence, abandonment, commitment, and love. And Tom realizes that trying to save his sister is perhaps his last chance to save himself. With passion and a rare gift of language, the author moves from present to past, tracing the amazing history of the Wingos from World War II through the final days of the war in Vietnam and into the 1980s, drawing a rich range of characters: the lovable, crazy Mr. Fruit, who for decades has wordlessly directed traffic at the same intersection in the southern town of Colleton; Reese Newbury, the ruthless, patrician land speculator who threatens the Wingos' only secure worldly possession, Melrose Island; Herbert Woodruff, Susan Lowenstein's husband, a world-famous violinist; Tolitha Wingo, Savannah's mentor and eccentric grandmother, the first real feminist in the Wingo family. Pat Conroy reveals the lives of his characters with surpassing depth and power, capturing the vanishing beauty of the South Carolina lowcountry and a lost way of life. His lyric gifts, abundant good humor, and compelling storytelling are well known to readers of The Great Santini and The Lords of Discipline. The Prince of Tides continues that tradition yet displays a new, mature voice of Pat Conroy, signaling this work as his greatest accomplishment.
Publication Date: 1986-10-21
The Death of Santini by Pat Conroy
In this powerful and intimate memoir, the beloved bestselling author of The Prince of Tides and his father, the inspiration for The Great Santini, find some common ground at long last. Pat Conroy's father, Donald Patrick Conroy, was a towering figure in his son's life. The Marine Corps fighter pilot was often brutal, cruel, and violent; as Pat says, "I hated my father long before I knew there was an English word for 'hate.'" As the oldest of seven children who were dragged from military base to military base across the South, Pat bore witness to the toll his father's behavior took on his siblings, and especially on his mother, Peg. She was Pat's lifeline to a better world--that of books and culture. But eventually, despite repeated confrontations with his father, Pat managed to claw his way toward a life he could have only imagined as a child. Pat's great success as a writer has always been intimately linked with the exploration of his family history. While the publication of The Great Santini brought Pat much acclaim, the rift it caused with his father brought even more attention. Their long-simmering conflict burst into the open, fracturing an already battered family. But as Pat tenderly chronicles here, even the oldest of wounds can heal. In the final years of Don Conroy's life, he and his son reached a rapprochement of sorts. Quite unexpectedly, the Santini who had freely doled out physical abuse to his wife and children refocused his ire on those who had turned on Pat over the years. He defended his son's honor. The Death of Santini is at once a heart-wrenching account of personal and family struggle and a poignant lesson in how the ties of blood can both strangle and offer succor. It is an act of reckoning, an exorcism of demons, but one whose ultimate conclusion is that love can soften even the meanest of men, lending significance to one of the most-often quoted lines from Pat's bestselling novel The Prince of Tides: "In families there are no crimes beyond forgiveness."
Publication Date: 2013-10-29
My Reading Life by Pat Conroy
Bestselling author Pat Conroy acknowledges the books that have shaped him and celebrates the profound effect reading has had on his life. Pat Conroy, the beloved American storyteller, is a voracious reader. Starting as a childhood passion that bloomed into a life-long companion, reading has been Conroy's portal to the world, both to the farthest corners of the globe and to the deepest chambers of the human soul. His interests range widely, from Milton to Tolkien, Philip Roth to Thucydides, encompassing poetry, history, philosophy, and any mesmerizing tale of his native South. He has for years kept notebooks in which he records words and expressions, over time creating a vast reservoir of playful turns of phrase, dazzling flashes of description, and snippets of delightful sound, all just for his love of language. But for Conroy reading is not simply a pleasure to be enjoyed in off-hours or a source of inspiration for his own writing. It would hardly be an exaggeration to claim that reading has saved his life, and if not his life then surely his sanity. nbsp; In My Reading Life, Conroy revisits a life of reading through an array of wonderful and often surprising anecdotes: sharing the pleasures of the local library's vast cache with his mother when he was a boy, recounting his decades-long relationship with the English teacher who pointed him onto the path of letters, and describing a profoundly influential period he spentnbsp; in Paris, as well as reflecting on other pivotal people, places, and experiences. His story is a moving and personal one, girded by wisdom and an undeniable honesty. Anyone who not only enjoys the pleasures of reading but also believes in the power of books to shape a life will find here the greatest defense of that credo.
Publication Date: 2010-11-02
Booklist calls Joan Didion "a master essayist, great American novelist, and astute political observer." Hugely successful for her heart-rending memoirs, Blue Nights and The Year of Magical Thinking, which won the National Book Award for nonfiction, but equally respected for such novels as Play It As It Lays, A Book of Common Prayer, and Democracy, Joan Didion has raised the bar for writers of fiction and literary journalism.
Blue Nights by Joan Didion
From one of our most powerful writers, a work of stunning frankness about losing a daughter. Richly textured with bits of her own childhood and married life with her husband, John Gregory Dunne, and daughter, Quintana Roo, this new book by Joan Didion examines her thoughts, fears, and doubts regarding having children, illness, and growing old. Blue Nights opens on July 26, 2010, as Didion thinks back to Quintana's wedding in New York seven years before. Today would be her wedding anniversary. This fact triggers vivid snapshots of Quintana's childhood--in Malibu, in Brentwood, at school in Holmby Hills. Reflecting on her daughter but also on her role as a parent, Didion asks the candid questions any parent might about how she feels she failed either because cues were not taken or perhaps displaced. "How could I have missed what was clearly there to be seen?" Finally, perhaps we all remain unknown to each other. Seamlessly woven in are incidents Didion sees as underscoring her own age, something she finds hard to acknowledge, much less accept. Blue Nights--the long, light evening hours that signal the summer solstice, "the opposite of the dying of the brightness, but also its warning"--like The Year of Magical Thinking before it, is an iconic book of incisive and electric honesty, haunting and profoundly moving.
Publication Date: 2011-11-01
The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
From one of America’s iconic writers, a stunning book of electric honesty and passion. Joan Didion explores an intensely personal yet universal experience: a portrait of a marriage–and a life, in good times and bad–that will speak to anyone who has ever loved a husband or wife or child. Several days before Christmas 2003, John Gregory Dunne and Joan Didion saw their only daughter, Quintana, fall ill with what seemed at first flu, then pneumonia, then complete septic shock. She was put into an induced coma and placed on life support. Days later–the night before New Year’s Eve–the Dunnes were just sitting down to dinner after visiting the hospital when John Gregory Dunne suffered a massive and fatal coronary. In a second, this close, symbiotic partnership of forty years was over. Four weeks later, their daughter pulled through. Two months after that, arriving at LAX, she collapsed and underwent six hours of brain surgery at UCLA Medical Center to relieve a massive hematoma. This powerful book is Didion’s attempt to make sense of the “weeks and then months that cut loose any fixed idea I ever had about death, about illness . . . about marriage and children and memory . . . about the shallowness of sanity, about life itself.”
Publication Date: 2005-10-04
Play It as It Lays by Joan Didion; David Thomson (Introduction by)
A ruthless dissection of American life in the late 1960s, Play It as It Lays captures the mood of an entire generation, the ennui of contemporary society reflected in spare prose that blisters and haunts the reader. Set in a place beyond good and evil-literally in Hollywood, Las Vegas, and the barren wastes of the Mojave Desert, but figuratively in the landscape of an arid soul-it remains more than three decades after its original publication a profoundly disturbing novel, riveting in its exploration of a woman and a society in crisis and stunning in the still-startling intensity of its prose.
Publication Date: 2005-11-15
A Book of Common Prayer by Joan Didion; Oscar Liebman (Illustrator)
Writing with the telegraphic swiftness and microscopic sensitivity that have made her one of our most distinguished journalists, Joan Didion creates a shimmering novel of innocence and evil.A Book of Common Prayer is the story of two American women in the derelict Central American nation of Boca Grande. Grace Strasser-Mendana controls much of the country's wealth and knows virtually all of its secrets; Charlotte Douglas knows far too little. "Immaculate of history, innocent of politics," she has come to Boca Grande vaguely and vainly hoping to be reunited with her fugitive daughter. As imagined by Didion, her fate is at once utterly particular and fearfully emblematic of an age of conscienceless authority and unfathomable violence.
Publication Date: 1995-04-11
Democracy by Joan Didion
Inez Victor knows that the major casualty of the political life is memory. But the people around Inez have made careers out of losing track. Her senator husband wants to forget the failure of his last bid for the presidency. Her husband's handler would like the press to forget that Inez's father is a murderer. And, in 1975, the year in which much of this bitterly funny novel is set, America is doing its best to lose track of its one-time client, the lethally hemorrhaging republic of South Vietnam.As conceived by Joan Didion, these personages and events constitute the terminal fallout of democracy, a fallout that also includes fact-finding junkets, senatorial groupies, the international arms market, and the Orwellian newspeak of the political class. Moving deftly from Honolulu to Jakarta, between romance, farce, and tragedy, Democracy is a tour de force from a writer who can dissect an entire society with a single phrase.
Publication Date: 1995-04-25
With two novels and lots of nonfiction to her credit, Annie Dillard is an American treasure. Her 1975 Pulitzer Prize winning, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, has been on numerous Top 100 lists (i.e. Random House's survey of the century's 100 best nonfiction books) and has even had a symphony composed by Sir Michael Tippett based on it. Her novel, The Living, received a starred review from Booklist : "Her first novel is a spiraling, detail-rich saga of life in the Pacific Northwest during the second half of the nineteenth century...A consuming and memorable experience." Of her second novel, The Maytrees, Publishers Weekly says, "In short, simple sentences, Dillard calls on her erudition as a naturalist and her grace as poet to create an enthralling story of marriage-particular and universal, larky and monumental."
Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard
In the book which won her a Pulitzer Prize in 1975, Dillard writes in the form of a journal, trying to understand God by chronicling the seasons along Tinker Creek in Virginias Blue Ridge Mountains, and by exploring the paradoxical coexistence of beauty and violence.
Publication Date: 1998-10-06
The Living by Annie Dillard; Ann Dillard
This New York Times bestselling novel by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Annie Dillard is a mesmerizing evocation of life in the Pacific Northwest during the last decades of the 19th century.
Publication Date: 2013-11-12
The Maytrees by Annie Dillard
Toby Maytree first sees Lou Bigelow on her bicycle in postwar Provincetown, Massachusetts. Her laughter and loveliness catch his breath. Maytree is a Provincetown native, an educated poet of thirty. As he courts Lou, just out of college, her stillness draws him. Hands-off, he hides his serious wooing, and idly shows her his poems. In spare, elegant prose, Dillard traces the Maytrees' decades of loving and longing. They live cheaply among the nonconformist artists and writers that the bare tip of Cape Cod attracts. Lou takes up painting. When their son Petie appears, their innocent Bohemian friend Deary helps care for him. But years later it is Deary who causes the town to talk. In this moving novel, Dillard intimately depicts nature's vastness and nearness. She presents willed bonds of loyalty, friendship, and abiding love. Warm and hopeful, The Maytrees is the surprising capstone of Annie Dillard's original body of work.
Publication Date: 2007-06-12
He may be a 'wild and crazy guy' but Steve Martin is also an accomplished writer in multiple genres. His novella, Shopgirl, was turned into a film in which he starred with Claire Danes. His memoir, Born Standing Up, made Time magazine's Top Ten Nonfiction Books in 2007. In 2010, his novel, An Object of Beauty, based on Martin's extensive knowledge of the art world, was published. He's even written a children's alphabet book, The Alphabet from A to Y with Bonus Letter, Z! He's got Grammys, he's got an Emmy, he's even got an Academy Honorary Award and his books are loaded with both wit and profundity.
Shopgirl by Steve Martin
One of the most acclaimed and beloved entertainers, Steve Martin is quickly becoming recognized as a gorgeous writer capable of being at once melancholy and tart, achingly innocent and astonishingly ironic (Elle). A frequent contributor to both The New Yorker and the New York Times as well as the author of the New York Times bestseller Pure Drivel, Martin is once again poised to capture the attention of readers with his debut novella, a delightful depiction of life and love. The shopgirl is Mirabelle, a beautiful aspiring artist who pays the rent by selling gloves at the Beverly Hills Neiman Marcus. She captures the attention of Ray Porter, a wealthy, lonely businessman. As Ray and Mirabelle tentatively embark on a relationship, they both struggle to decipher the language of love--with consequences that are both comic and heartbreaking. Filled with the kind of witty, discerning observations that have brought Steve Martin incredible critical success, Shopgirl is a work of disarming tenderness.
Publication Date: 2000-10-11
The Alphabet from A to Y with Bonus Letter Z! by Steve Martin; Roz Chast
The acclaimed entertainer and bestselling author Steve Martin and the wildly clever New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast team up in a weird, wonderful excursion through the alphabet. The ABCs have never had it so good. Created by two of today’s wittiest, most imaginative minds, The Alphabet from A to Y with Bonus Letter Z! is a sheer delight from A to Z. In twenty-six alliterative couplets, Steve Martin conjures up much more than mere apples and zebras. Instead we meet Horace the hare, whose hairdo hides hunchbacks, and Ollie the owl, who owed Owen an oboe. Roz Chast contributes the perfect visual settings for Martin’s zany two-liners. Her instantly recognizable drawings are packed with humorous touches both broad and subtle. Each rereading—and there will be many—delivers new delights and discoveries. There, hidden behind Bad Baby Bubbleducks, is a framed picture of a beatnik holding balloons; and the letter C finds clunky Clarissa all clingy and clueless adrift in a landscape cluttered with images ranging from a curiously comfortable clown to Chuck’s Chili stand. A smart, laugh-inducing introduction to the alphabet for young children, The Alphabet from A to Y with Bonus Letter Z! will also enchant adults with its matchless mix of the sophisticated and the silly.
Publication Date: 2007-10-23
An Object of Beauty by Steve Martin
Lacey Yeager is young, captivating, and ambitious enough to take the NYC art world by storm. Groomed at Sotheby's and hungry to keep climbing the social and career ladders put before her, Lacey charms men and women, old and young, rich and even richer with her magnetic charisma and liveliness. Her ascension to the highest tiers of the city parallel the soaring heights--and, at times, the dark lows--of the art world and the country from the late 1990s through today.
Publication Date: 2010-11-23
Born Standing Up by Steve Martin
In the midseventies, Steve Martin exploded onto the comedy scene. By 1978 he was the biggest concert draw in the history of stand-up. In 1981 he quit forever. This book is, in his own words, the story of "why I did stand-up and why I walked away."Emmy and Grammy Award winner, author of the acclaimedNew York TimesbestsellersShopgirlandThe Pleasure of My Company, and a regular contributor toThe New Yorker, Martin has always been awriter. His memoir of his years in stand-up is candid, spectacularly amusing, and beautifully written.At age ten Martin started his career at Disneyland, selling guidebooks in the newly opened theme park. In the decade that followed, he worked in the Disney magic shop and the Bird Cage Theatre at Knott's Berry Farm, performing his first magic/comedy act a dozen times a week. The story of these years, during which he practiced and honed his craft, is moving and revelatory. The dedication to excellence and innovation is formed at an astonishingly early age and never wavers or wanes.Martin illuminates the sacrifice, discipline, and originality that made him an icon and informs his work to this day. To be this good, to perform so frequently, was isolating and lonely. It took Martin decades to reconnect with his parents and sister, and he tells that story with great tenderness. Martin also paints a portrait of his times -- the era of free love and protests against the war in Vietnam, the heady irreverence ofThe Smothers Brothers Comedy Hourin the late sixties, and the transformative new voice ofSaturday Night Livein the seventies.Throughout the text, Martin has placed photographs, many never seen before.Born Standing Upis a superb testament to the sheer tenacity, focus, and daring of one of the greatest and most iconoclastic comedians of all time.
Publication Date: 2007-11-20
Toni Morrison has earned the American Book Award and Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for her novel Beloved, the Nobel Prize for Literature, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Her nonfiction includes such titles as Remember: the journey to school integration written for children and What Moves at the Margin about which Booklist says of her…"A master stylist, penetrating thinker, and committed artist wholly engaged in transforming lives, Morrison believes that a novel should be beautiful, and powerful, but it should also work. It should have something in it that enlightens. Morrison holds to the same high standards in her revelatory nonfiction." Take a look at her fiction, nonfiction, and children's books and you'll see why she is one of America's greatest living writers.
Beloved by Toni Morrison
Staring unflinchingly into the abyss of slavery, this spellbinding novel transforms history into a story as powerful as Exodus and as intimate as a lullaby. Sethe, its protagonist, was born a slave and escaped to Ohio, but eighteen years later she is still not free. She has too many memories of Sweet Home, the beautiful farm where so many hideous things happened. And Sethe’s new home is haunted by the ghost of her baby, who died nameless and whose tombstone is engraved with a single word: Beloved. Filled with bitter poetry and suspense as taut as a rope, Beloved is a towering achievement.
Publication Date: 2004-06-08
Remember by Toni Morrison
Toni Morrison has collected a treasure chest of archival photographs that depict the historical events surrounding school desegregation. These unforgettable images serve as the inspiration for Ms. Morrison's text--a fictional account of the dialogue and emotions of the children who lived during the era of "separate but equal" schooling. Remember is a unique pictorial and narrative journey that introduces children to a watershed period in American history and its relevance to us today.
Publication Date: 2004-05-03
What Moves at the Margin by Toni Morrison; Carolyn C. Denard (Editor, Introduction by)
What Moves at the Margin collects three decades of Toni Morrison's writings about her work, her life, literature, and American society. The works included in this volume range from 1971, when Morrison (b. 1931) was a new editor at Random House and a beginning novelist, to 2002 when she was a professor at Princeton University and Nobel Laureate. Even in the early days of her career, in between editing other writers, writing her own novels, and raising two children, she found time to speak out on subjects that mattered to her. From the reviews and essays written for major publications to her moving tributes to other writers to the commanding acceptance speeches for major literary awards, Morrison has consistently engaged as a writer outside the margins of her fiction. These works provide a unique glimpse into Morrison's viewpoint as an observer of the world, the arts, and the changing landscape of American culture. The first section of the book, "Family and History," includes Morrison's writings about her family, Black women, Black history, and her own works. The second section, "Writers and Writing," offers her assessments of writers she admires and books she reviewed, edited at Random House, or gave a special affirmation to with a foreword or an introduction. The final section, "Politics and Society," includes essays and speeches where Morrison addresses issues in American society and the role of language and literature in the national culture. Among other pieces, this collection includes a reflection on 9/11, reviews of such seminal books by Black writers as Albert Murray's South to a Very Old Place and Gayl Jones's Corregidora, an essay on teaching moral values in the university, a eulogy for James Baldwin, and Morrison's Nobel lecture. Taken together, What Moves at the Margin documents the response to our time by one of American literature's most thoughtful and eloquent writers. Toni Morrison is the Robert F. Goheen Professor Emerita at the Center for Creative and Performing Arts at Princeton University and is the author of Sula, Song of Solomon, Beloved, Paradise, and other novels. She has received the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Pulitzer Prize, and the 1993 Nobel Prize in Literature. Carolyn C. Denard is the author of scholarly essays on Toni Morrison and the forthcoming Cambridge Introduction to Toni Morrison. She is Associate Dean of the College at Brown University and founder of the Toni Morrison Society.
Publication Date: 2008-04-01
She's gotten awards from Yale, Columbia, and Rutgers, to name a few. She's gotten honorary degrees from Smith, Dartmouth, and Stevens Institute of Technology, to name a few more. And let's not forget her Pulitzer Prize for Commentary in 1992. Anna Quindlen is known for telling it like it is in both her fiction and nonfiction. Three of her novels have been made into films: One True Thing, Black and Blue, and Blessings. Her latest work of fiction is Still Life With Bread Crumbs about which Publishers Weekly says, 'Quindlen has always excelled at capturing telling details in a story, and she does so again in this quiet, powerful novel, showing the charged emotions that teem beneath the surface of daily life...' There's plenty of nonfiction, including her most recent, Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake and even a couple of children's books to round out Quindlen's impressive body of work.
One True Thing by Anna Quindlen
A mother.  A daughter.  A shattering choice. From Anna Quindlen, bestselling author of Black and Blue, comes a novel of life, love and everyday acts of mercy. "A triumph." --San Francisco Chronicle
Publication Date: 1994-08-30
Black and Blue by Anna Quindlen
For eighteen years Fran Benedetto kept her secret, hid her bruises. She stayed with Bobby because she wanted her son to have a father, and because, in spite of everything, she loved him. Then one night, when she saw the look on her ten-year-old son's face, Fran finally made a choice--and ran for both their lives. Now she is starting over in a city far from home, far from Bobby. In this place she uses a name that isn't hers, watches over her son, and tries to forget. For the woman who now calls herself Beth, every day is a chance to heal, to put together the pieces of her shattered self. And every day she waits for Bobby to catch up to her. Bobby always said he would never let her go, and despite the ingenuity of her escape, Fran Benedetto is certain of one thing: It is only a matter of time.
Publication Date: 2010-03-30
Blessings by Anna Quindlen
This powerful new novel by the bestselling author ofBlack and Blue,One True Thing,Object Lessons, andA Short Guide to a Happy Lifebegins when a teenage couple drives up, late at night, headlights out, to Blessings, the estate owned by Lydia Blessing. They leave a box and drive away, and in this instant, the world of Blessings is changed forever. Richly written, deeply moving, beautifully crafted, Blessings tells the story of Skip Cuddy, caretaker of the estate, who finds a baby asleep in that box and decides he wants to keep her, and of matriarch Lydia Blessing, who, for her own reasons, decides to help him. The secrets of the past, how they affect the decisions and lives of people in the present; what makes a person, a life, legitimate or illegitimate, and who decides; the unique resources people find in themselves and in a community—these are at the center of this wonderful novel of love, redemption, and personal change by the writer about whomThe Washington Post Book Worldsaid, “Quindlen knows that all the things we ever will be can be found in some forgotten fragment of family.”
Publication Date: 2002-09-17
Still Life with Bread Crumbs by Anna Quindlen
"NEW YORK TIMES "BESTSELLER A superb love story from Anna Quindlen, the #1" New York Times" bestselling author of" Rise and Shine, Blessings, "and" A Short Guide to a Happy Life" "Still Life with Bread Crumbs" begins with an imagined gunshot and ends with a new tin roof. Between the two is a wry and knowing portrait of Rebecca Winter, a photographer whose work made her an unlikely heroine for many women. Her career is now descendent, her bank balance shaky, and she has fled the city for the middle of nowhere. There she discovers, in a tree stand with a roofer named Jim Bates, that what she sees through a camera lens is not all there is to life. Brilliantly written, powerfully observed, "Still Life with Bread Crumbs" is a deeply moving and often very funny story of unexpected love, and a stunningly crafted journey into the life of a woman, her heart, her mind, her days, as she discovers that life is a story with many levels, a story that is longer and more exciting than she ever imagined. Praise for "Still Life with Bread Crumbs" "There comes a moment in every novelist's career when she . . . ventures into new territory, breaking free into a marriage of tone and style, of plot and characterization, that's utterly her own. Anna Quindlen's marvelous romantic comedy of manners is just such a book. . . . Taken as a whole, Quindlen's writings represent a generous and moving interrogation of women's experience across the lines of class and race. "Still Life with Bread Crumbs"] proves all the more moving because of its light, sophisticated humor. Quindlen's least overtly political novel, it packs perhaps the most serious punch. . . . Quindlen has delivered a novel that will have staying power all its own."--"The New York Times Book Review" " A] wise tale about second chances, starting over, and going after what is most important in life."--Minneapolis "Star Tribune" "Quindlen's astute observations . . . are the sorts of details every writer and reader lives for.""--Chicago Tribune" " Anna] Quindlen's seventh novel offers the literary equivalent of comfort food. . . . She still has her finger firmly planted on the pulse of her generation."--NPR "Enchanting . . . The protagonist's] photographs are celebrated for turning the 'minutiae of women's lives into unforgettable images, ' and Quindlen does the same here with her enveloping, sure-handed storytelling."--"People" "Charming . . . a hot cup of tea of a story, smooth and comforting about the vulnerabilities of growing older . . . a pleasure."--"USA Today" "With spare, elegant prose, Quindlen] crafts a poignant glimpse into the inner life of an aging woman who discovers that reality contains much more color than her own celebrated black-and-white images."--"Library Journal" "Quindlen has always excelled at capturing telling details in a story, and she does so again in this quiet, powerful novel, showing the charged emotions that teem beneath the surface of daily life."--"Publishers Weekly" "Quindlen presents instantly recognizable characters who may be appealingly warm and nonthreatening, but that only serves to drive home her potent message that it's never too late to embrace life's second chances."--"Booklist" "Profound . . . engaging."--"Kirkus Reviews"
Publication Date: 2014-01-28
Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake by Anna Quindlen
In this irresistible memoir, the New York Times bestselling author and winner of the Pulitzer Prize Anna Quindlen writes about looking back and ahead--and celebrating it all--as she considers marriage, girlfriends, our mothers, faith, loss, all the stuff in our closets, and more. As she did in her beloved New York Times columns, and in A Short Guide to a Happy Life, Quindlen says for us here what we may wish we could have said ourselves. Using her past, present, and future to explore what matters most to women at different ages, Quindlen talks about Marriage: "A safety net of small white lies can be the bedrock of a successful marriage. You wouldn't believe how cheaply I can do a kitchen renovation." Girlfriends: "Ask any woman how she makes it through the day, and she may mention her calendar, her to-do lists, her babysitter. But if you push her on how she really makes it through her day, she will mention her girlfriends. Sometimes I will see a photo of an actress in an unflattering dress or a blouse too young for her or with a heavy-handed makeup job, and I mutter, 'She must not have any girlfriends.' " Stuff: "Here's what it comes down to, really: there is now so much stuff in my head, so many years, so many memories, that it's taken the place of primacy away from the things in the bedrooms, on the porch. My doctor says that, contrary to conventional wisdom, she doesn't believe our memories flag because of a drop in estrogen but because of how crowded it is in the drawers of our minds. Between the stuff at work and the stuff at home, the appointments and the news and the gossip and the rest, the past and the present and the plans for the future, the filing cabinets in our heads are not only full, they're overflowing." Our bodies: "I've finally recognized my body for what it is: a personality-delivery system, designed expressly to carry my character from place to place, now and in the years to come. It's like a car, and while I like a red convertible or even a Bentley as well as the next person, what I really need are four tires and an engine." Parenting: "Being a parent is not transactional. We do not get what we give. It is the ultimate pay-it-forward endeavor: We are good parents not so they will be loving enough to stay with us but so they will be strong enough to leave us." From childhood memories to manic motherhood to middle age, Quindlen uses the events of her own life to illuminate our own. Along with the downsides of age, she says, can come wisdom, a perspective on life that makes it satisfying and even joyful. Candid, funny, moving, Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake is filled with the sharp insights and revealing observations that have long confirmed Quindlen's status as America's laureate of real life.
Publication Date: 2012-04-24
Anyone who has read the 1980 National Book Award winner, Sophie's Choice, will never forget its heartbreaking story. Anyone who hasn't read it, should. The Confessions of Nat Turner won the Pulitzer Prize in 1968 amid both praise and controversy. In 1990, Darkness Visible: a memoir of madness addressed his depression with more gut-wrenching honesty bringing the illness to light in a way few writers had done before.
Sophie's Choice by William Styron
Three stories are told: a young Southerner wants to become a writer; a turbulent love-hate affair between a brilliant Jew and a beautiful Polish woman; and of an awful wound in that woman's past--one that impels both Sophie and Nathan toward destruction.
Publication Date: 1992-03-03
The Confessions of Nat Turner by William Styron
In the late summer of 1831, in a remote section of southeastern Virginia, there took place the only effective, sustained revolt in the annals of American Negro slavery... The revolt was led by a remarkable Negro preacher named Nat Turner, an educated slave who felt himself divinely ordained to annihilate all the white people in the region. The Confessions of Nat Turner is narrated by Nat himself as he lingers in jail through the cold autumnal days before his execution. The compelling story ranges over the whole of Nat's Life, reaching its inevitable and shattering climax that bloody day in August. The Confessions of Nat Turner is not only a masterpiece of storytelling; is also reveals in unforgettable human terms the agonizing essence of Negro slavery. Through the mind of a slave, Willie Styron has re-created a catastrophic event, and dramatized the intermingled miseries, frustrations--and hopes--which caused this extraordinary black man to rise up out of the early mists of our history and strike down those who held his people in bondage.
Publication Date: 1992-11-10
Darkness Visible by William Styron
A work of great personal courage and a literary tour de force, this bestseller is Styron's true account of his descent into a crippling and almost suicidal depression. Styron is perhaps the first writer to convey the full terror of depression's psychic landscape, as well as the illuminating path to recovery.
Publication Date: 1992-01-08
Talk about prolific! Take a look at the list of books Paul Theroux has written. From his 1975 classic, The Great Railway Bazaar about which Kirkus says, 'The only regret for the reader is that images, faces, fantasies rush by as fast as the wheels of those furtive trains...Splendid', to his hugely successful novel, The Mosquito Coast, made into a film starring Harrison Ford, Theroux has made a career of thrilling us with his travel writing and enriching us with his fiction - all set in the most exotic of locations.
The Great Railway Bazaar by Paul Theroux
First published more than thirty years ago, Paul Theroux's strange, unique, and hugely entertaining railway odyssey has become a modern classic of travel literature. Here Theroux recounts his early adventures on an unusual grand continental tour. Asia's fabled trains -- the Orient Express, the Khyber Pass Local, the Frontier Mail, the Golden Arrow to Kuala Lumpur, the Mandalay Express, the Trans-Siberian Express -- are the stars of a journey that takes him on a loop eastbound from London's Victoria Station to Tokyo Central, then back from Japan on the Trans-Siberian. Brimming with Theroux's signature humor and wry observations, this engrossing chronicle is essential reading for both the ardent adventurer and the armchair traveler.
Publication Date: 2006-06-01
The Mosquito Coast by Paul Theroux
Allie Fox was going to re-create the world. Abominating the cops, crooks, scavengers and funny-bunnies of the twentieth century, he abandons civilization and takes the family to live in the Honduran jungle. There his tortured, quixotic genius keeps them alive, his hoarse tirades harrying them through a diseased and dirty Eden towards unimaginable darkness and terror. 'An epic of paranoid obsession that swirls the reader headlong to deposit him on a black mudbank of horror' - Guardian 'Paul Theroux is a major writer of his generation' -Washington Post 'As oppressive and powerful as its central character. It bursts with inventiveness' - The Times
Publication Date: 1996-04-01
Did one man really create Rabbit Angstrom, Henry Bech, and The Witches of Eastwick? Quintessentially American writer, John Updike created these and many more besides writing poetry, essays, a play, and a memoir entertaining readers over the course of six decades. He is the recipient of numerous awards including two Pulitzer Prizes for Fiction (Rabbit is Rich and Rabbit at Rest), two National Book Awards, three National Book Critics Circle awards, and both the 1989 National Medal of Arts and 2003 National Humanities Medal. Rabbit, Run was featured in Time's All-TIME 100 Greatest Novels. Kirkus Reviews calls his memoir, Self-Consciousness "a neat masterpiece of literary undressing." Here's a bit of trivia: Only three writers have received two Pulitzers for Fiction: Booth Tarkington, William Faulkner and John Updike who, come to think of it, all wrote fiction and nonfiction.
Rabbit Run by John Updike
"Brilliant and poignant...By his compassion, clarity of insight and crystal-bright prose, he makes Rabbit's sorrow his and our own." THE WASHINGTON POST Harry Angstrom was a star basketball player in high school and that was the best time of his life. Now in his mid-20s, his work is unfulfilling, his marriage is moribund, and he tries to find happiness with another woman. But happiness is more elusive than a medal, and Harry must continue to run--from his wife, his life, and from himself, until he reaches the end of the road and has to turn back....
Publication Date: 1960-11-12
Rabbit Is Rich by John Updike
The hero of John Updike's Rabbit, Run (1960), ten years after the hectic events described in Rabbit Redux (1971), has come to enjoy considerable prosperity as Chief Sales Representative of Springer Motors, a Toyota agency in Brewer, Pennsylvania. The time is 1979: Skylab is falling, gas lines are lengthening, the President collapses while running in a marathon, and double-digit inflation coincides with a deflation of national confidence. Nevertheless, Harry Angstrom feels in good shape, ready to enjoy life at last -- until his son, Nelson, returns from the West, and the image of an old love pays a visit to his lot. New characters and old populate these scenes from Rabbit's middle age, as he continues to pursue, in his erratic fashion, the rainbow of happiness.
Publication Date: 1981-09-12
Rabbit at Rest by John Updike
In John Updike's fourth and final novel about ex-basketball player Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom, the hero has acquired heart trouble, a Florida condo, and a second grandchild. His son, Nelson, is behaving erratically; his daughter-in-law, Pru, is sending out mixed signals; and his wife, Janice, decides in midlife to become a working girl. As, through the winter, spring, and summer of 1989, Reagan's debt-ridden, AIDS-plagued America yields to that of George Bush, Rabbit explores the bleak terrain of late middle age, looking for reasons to live. The geographical locale is divided between Brewer, in southestern Pennyslvania, and Deleon, in southwestern Florida.
Publication Date: 1990-09-26
Self-Consciousness by John Updike
John Updike's memoirs consist of six Emersonian essays that together trace the inner shape of the life, up to the age of fifty-five, of a relatively fortunate American male. The author has attempted, his foreword states, "to treat this life, this massive datum which happens to be mine, as a specimen life, representative in its odd uniqueness of all the oddly unique lives in this world." In the service of this metaphysical effort, he has been hair-raisingly honest, matchlessly precise, and self-effacingly humorous. He takes the reader beyond self-consciousness, and beyond self-importance, into sheer wonder at the miracle of existence.
Publication Date: 2012-03-13