Author Biographies

Begin Again

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James Baldwin grew disillusioned by the failure of the civil rights movement to force America to confront its lies about race. In our own moment, when that confrontation feels more urgently needed than ever, what can we learn from his struggle?

"In the midst of an ugly Trump regime and a beautiful Baldwin revival, Eddie Glaude has plunged to the profound depths and sublime heights of Baldwin's prophetic challenge to our present-day crisis."--Cornel West

We live, according to Eddie S. Glaude Jr., in a moment when the struggles of Black Lives Matter and the attempt to achieve a new America have been challenged by the election of Donald Trump, a president whose victory represents yet another failure of America to face the lies it tells itself about race. From Charlottesville to the policies of child separation at the border, his administration turned its back on the promise of Obama's presidency and refused to embrace a vision of the country shorn of the insidious belief that white people matter more than others.

We have been here before: For James Baldwin, these after times came in the wake of the civil rights movement, when a similar attempt to compel a national confrontation with the truth was answered with the murders of Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King, Jr. In these years, spanning from the publication of The Fire Next Time in 1963 to that of No Name in the Street in 1972, Baldwin transformed into a more overtly political writer, a change that came at great professional and personal cost. But from that journey, Baldwin emerged with a sense of renewed purpose about the necessity of pushing forward in the face of disillusionment and despair.

In the story of Baldwin's crucible, Glaude suggests, we can find hope and guidance through our own after times, this Trumpian era of shattered promises and white retrenchment. Mixing biography--drawn partially from newly uncovered interviews--with history, memoir, and trenchant analysis of our current moment, Begin Again is Glaude's endeavor, following Baldwin, to bear witness to the difficult truth of race in America today. It is at once a searing exploration that lays bare the tangled web of race, trauma, and memory, and a powerful interrogation of what we all must ask of ourselves in order to call forth a new America.

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Black Boy

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Richard Wright's powerful account of his journey from innocence to experience in the Jim Crow South. It is at once an unashamed confession and a profound indictment--a poignant and disturbing record of social injustice and human suffering.

When Black Boy exploded onto the literary scene in 1945, it caused a sensation. Orville Prescott of the New York Times wrote that "if enough such books are written, if enough millions of people read them maybe, someday, in the fullness of time, there will be a greater understanding and a more true democracy." Opposing forces felt compelled to comment: addressing Congress, Senator Theodore Bilbo of Mississippi argued that the purpose of this book "was to plant seeds of hate and devilment in the minds of every American." From 1975 to 1978, Black Boy was banned in schools throughout the United States for "obscenity" and "instigating hatred between the races."

The once controversial, now classic American autobiography measures the brutality and rawness of the Jim Crow South against the sheer desperate will it took to survive. Richard Wright grew up in the woods of Mississippi, with poverty, hunger, fear, and hatred. He lied, stole, and raged at those about him; at six he was a "drunkard," hanging about in taverns. Surly, brutal, cold, suspicious, and self-pitying, he was surrounded on one side by whites who were either indifferent to him, pitying, or cruel, and on the other by blacks who resented anyone trying to rise above the common lot. At the end of Black Boy, Wright sits poised with pencil in hand, determined to "hurl words into this darkness and wait for an echo."

Burning the Days : Recollection (Signed 1st edition)

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In this brilliant book of recollection, one of America's finest writers re-creates people, places, and events spanning some fifty years, bringing to life an entire era through one man's sensibility. Scenes of love and desire, friendship, ambition, life in foreign cities and New York, are unforgettably rendered here in the unique style for which James Salter is widely admired.

Burning the Days captures a singular life, beginning with a Manhattan boyhood and then, satisfying his father's wishes, graduation from West Point, followed by service in the Air Force as a pilot. In some of the most evocative pages ever written about flying, Salter describes the exhilaration and terror of combat as a fighter pilot in the Korean War, scenes that are balanced by haunting pages of love and a young man's passion for women.

After resigning from the Air Force, Salter begins a second life, becoming a writer in the New York of the 1960s. Soon films beckon. There are vivid portraits of actors, directors, and producers—Polanski, Robert Redford, and others. Here also, more important, are writers who were influential, some by their character, like Irwin Shaw, others because of their taste and knowledge.

Ultimately Burning the Days is an illumination of what it is to be a man, and what it means to become a writer.

Signed first edition in near fine condition.

Child of the Century

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Ben Hecht’s critically acclaimed autobiographical memoir offers incomparably pungent evocations of Chicago in the 1910s and 1920s, Hollywood in the 1930s, and New York during the Second World War and after.

1st printing; dust jacket in protective cover; spine creased and rubbed; head of spine chipped with small tears; corners chipped; edges creased and worn; black cloth over green paper; bottom edge worn; endpapers tanned; PON in ink to ffep, also later gift inscription dated 1975; pencil notes from beginning to page 50; binding good. G/G-

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Dinner With Tennessee Williams : Recipes and Stories Inspired by America's Southern Playwright

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Like Hemingway to Cuba or Mark Twain to the Mississippi, certain writers are inextricably tied to their environments-the culture, the history, the people, the cuisine. The plays of Tennessee Williams evoke the ambiance and flavor of the South. Part food memoir and part cookbook, this fresh look at the world of this great American playwright-both in real life and in his plays-is the perfect book for literary lovers and food lovers alike.

Each chapter is based on one of Williams' plays and includes a short essay on food references within that play; highlighted food related quotes from the dialogue; a menu divined from the play; and archived photographs from Williams' life. With more than 80 recipes, fans will love the 50 full-color and black and white photos that showcase the recipes, locale, and history of this beloved American writer.

Enjoy recipes such as: Chop Suey Soup Pecan-crusted Sweet Potato Pone Baton Aubergines Pork Loin Franchese Smoked Corn and Grilled Pepper Bisque Grilled Ahi Tuna, Pinapple Relish Maw Maw Lola's Fig Preserves

Inspired by Tennessee William's Plays like: A Streetcar Named Desire Cat on a Hot Tin Roof The Glass Menagerie The Rose Tattoo Camino Real Night of the Iguana Battle of Angels

Troy Gilbert is a native of New Orleans and the author of New Orleans Kitchens.

Greg Picolo is a native of New Orleans and the chef of Bistro Maison de Ville, which offers sophisticated cuisine in the Louisiana Creole style.

Dylan Thomas: No Man More Magical

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Furious Hours : Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee

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ONE OF PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA'S FAVORITE BOOKS OF 2019

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF 2019 BY Time, LitHub, Vulture, Glamour, O Magazine, Town and Country, Suspense Magazine, Inside Hook

New York Times

Best Seller


"Compelling . . . at once a true-crime thriller, courtroom drama, and miniature biography of Harper Lee. If To Kill a Mockingbird was one of your favorite books growing up, you should add Furious Hours to your reading list today." --Southern Living

Reverend Willie Maxwell was a rural preacher accused of murdering five of his family members for insurance money in the 1970s. With the help of a savvy lawyer, he escaped justice for years until a relative shot him dead at the funeral of his last victim. Despite hundreds of witnesses, Maxwell's murderer was acquitted--thanks to the same attorney who had previously defended the Reverend.

Sitting in the audience during the vigilante's trial was Harper Lee, who had traveled from New York City to her native Alabama with the idea of writing her own In Cold Blood, the true-crime classic she had helped her friend Truman Capote research seventeen years earlier. Lee spent a year in town reporting, and many more years working on her own version of the case.

Now Casey Cep brings this story to life, from the shocking murders to the courtroom drama to the racial politics of the Deep South. At the same time, she offers a deeply moving portrait of one of the country's most beloved writers and her struggle with fame, success, and the mystery of artistic creativity.

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I Love Myself When I Am Laughing... And Then Again When I Am Looking Mean and Impressive

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The foundational, classic anthology that revived interest in the author of Their Eyes Were Watching God--"one of the greatest writers of our time"--and made her work widely available for a new generation of readers (Toni Morrison).

During her lifetime, Zora Neale Hurston was praised for her writing but condemned for her independence and audacity. Her work fell into obscurity until the 1970s, when Alice Walker rediscovered Hurston's unmarked grave and anthologized her writing in this groundbreaking collection for the Feminist Press.

I Love Myself When I Am Laughing... And Then Again When I Am Looking Mean and Impressive established Hurston as an intellectual leader for future generations of black writers. A testament to the power and breadth of Hurston's oeuvre, this edition--newly reissued for the Feminist Press's fiftieth anniversary--features a new preface by Walker.

"Through Hurston, the soul of the black South gained one of its most articulate interpreters." --The New York Times

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LETTERS FROM TOVE

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A virtual memoir in letters by the beloved creator of the Moomins

Tove Jansson's works, even her famed Moomin books, fairly teem with letters of one kind or another, from messages bobbing in bottles to whole epistolary novels. Fortunately for her countless readers, her life was no different, unfolding as it did in the letters to family, friends, and lovers that make up this volume, a veritable autobiography over the course of six decades--and the only one Jansson ever wrote. And just as letters carry a weight of significance in Jansson's writing, those she wrote throughout her life reflect the gravity of her circumstances, the depth of her thoughts and feelings, and the critical moments of humor, sadness, and grace that mark an artist's days.

These letters, penned with characteristic insight and wit, provide an almost seamless commentary on Jansson's life within Helsinki's bohemian circles and on her island home. Shifting between hope and despair, yearning and happiness, they describe her immersion in art studies and her ascension to fame with the Moomins. They speak frankly of friendship and love, loneliness and solidarity, and also of politics, art, literature, and society. They summon a particular place and time reflected through a mind finely attuned to her culture, her world, and her own nature--all clearly put into biographical and historical context by the volume's editors, both longtime friends of Tove Jansson--and, in the end, draw a complex, intimate self-portrait of one of the world's most beloved authors.

Life & Times of Chaucer (USED)

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Place for Us: Eleni's Family in America (USED)

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The successor to the international bestseller Eleni, this is the story of a Greek immigrant family with a tragic past, of their trials, joys, and achievements growing up in America. Includes 20 black-and-white photographs.
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Presenting Cynthia Voigt (Used, XL)

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Centring on the meaning of Voigt's imagery of music, wood and sailing in the Tillerman series, Suzanne Reid shows why these books were immediately recognized as classics and why they speak so eloquently to young and old alike. Using Voigt's life story as the context for discussions of her essential ideas, Reid offers an introduction to her work.
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Tis : A Memoir

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A #1 New York Times bestseller and the eagerly anticipated sequel to the Pulitzer Prize-winning Angela's Ashes, this masterpiece from Frank McCourt tells of his American journey from impoverished immigrant to brilliant teacher and raconteur.

Frank McCourt's glorious childhood memoir, Angela's Ashes, has been loved and celebrated by readers everywhere for its spirit, its wit and its profound humanity. A tale of redemption, in which storytelling itself is the source of salvation, it won the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. Rarely has a book so swiftly found its place on the literary landscape.

And now we have 'Tis, the story of Frank's American journey from impoverished immigrant to brilliant teacher and raconteur. Frank lands in New York at age nineteen, in the company of a priest he meets on the boat. He gets a job at the Biltmore Hotel, where he immediately encounters the vivid hierarchies of this "classless country," and then is drafted into the army and is sent to Germany to train dogs and type reports. It is Frank's incomparable voice--his uncanny humor and his astonishing ear for dialogue--that renders these experiences spellbinding.

When Frank returns to America in 1953, he works on the docks, always resisting what everyone tells him, that men and women who have dreamed and toiled for years to get to America should "stick to their own kind" once they arrive. Somehow, Frank knows that he should be getting an education, and though he left school at fourteen, he talks his way into New York University. There, he falls in love with the quintessential Yankee, long-legged and blonde, and tries to live his dream. But it is not until he starts to teach--and to write--that Frank finds his place in the world. The same vulnerable but invincible spirit that captured the hearts of readers in Angela's Ashes comes of age.

As Malcolm Jones said in his Newsweek review of Angela's Ashes, "It is only the best storyteller who can so beguile his readers that he leaves them wanting more when he is done...and McCourt proves himself one of the very best." Frank McCourt's 'Tis is one of the most eagerly awaited books of our time, and it is a masterpiece.

Two or Three Things I Know for Sure

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Bastard Out of Carolina, nominated for the 1992 National Book Award for fiction, introduced Dorothy Allison as one of the most passionate and gifted writers of her generation. Now, in Two or Three Things I Know for Sure, she takes a probing look at her family's history to give us a lyrical, complex memoir that explores how the gossip of one generation can become legends for the next.

Illustrated with photographs from the author's personal collection, Two or Three Things I Know for Sure tells the story of the Gibson women -- sisters, cousins, daughters, and aunts -- and the men who loved them, often abused them, and, nonetheless, shared their destinies. With luminous clarity, Allison explores how desire surprises and what power feels like to a young girl as she confronts abuse.

As always, Dorothy Allison is provocative, confrontational, and brutally honest. Two or Three Things I Know for Sure, steeped in the hard-won wisdom of experience, expresses the strength of her unique vision with beauty and eloquence.

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Virginia Woolf (USED)

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Hermione Lee has created a portrait - rich in detail, epic in scope - that lets us know Virginia Woolf as we never have before: how she looked, how she sounded, how she dressed and behaved, how she wrote. This book gives us a vivid sense of the texture of Woolf's daily life - her houses and habits, money and servants, parties and talk. And through her own words and newly published letters between family members and friends, we gain a fresh and penetrating understanding of Woolf's formative personal relationships: with her parents and siblings; with her husband, Leonard; with writers she edgily admired, such as T.S. Eliot and Katherine Mansfield; and with the women who changed her life, including Vita Sackville-West and Ethel Smyth. Lee casts aside the misleading received images of Woolf as an ethereal and emotionally dependent creature, and takes us deep inside her inner being. We see a brave, powerfully intelligent woman who suffered from a terrifying chronic illness and wrestled with the contradictions of her own character. And we see a tougher Woolf than we have previously known: a woman acutely alert to the realities of her times, a committed feminist, an opponent of every sort of political and intellectual fascism. At the same time, Lee offers an unequalled insight into the connections between Woolf's life and work.