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Amber’s Biographies


Amber’s Biography Book Talk
Gere Branch Library, April 14, 2008
Amber N. [Americorps]

A Beautiful Mind
by Sylvia Nasar
A Beautiful Mind is an unauthorized biography of Nobel Prize-winning economist and mathematician John Forbes Nash by Sylvia Nasar. The book won the 1998 National Book Critics Circle Award for Biography, and received a nomination for the Pulitzer Prize for biography.

Angela’s Ashes
by Frank McCourt
Angela’s Ashes is a memoir by Irish author Frank McCourt, and tells the story of his childhood in Brooklyn and Ireland. It was published in 1996 and won the Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography.

Capote: A Biography
by Gerald Clarke

Truman Capote: In Which Various Friends, Enemies, Acquaintances, and Detractors Recall his Turbulent Career
by George Plimpton
Truman Capote (September 30,1924 – August 25, 1984) was an American writer whose stories, novels, plays, and non-fiction are recognized literary classics, including the novella Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1958) and In Cold Blood (1965), which he labeled a “non-fiction novel.” At least 20 films and TV dramas have been produced from Capote novels, stories and screenplays.

C.S. Lewis: A Biography
by A.N. Wilson
Clive Staples “Jack” Lewis (29 November 1898 – 22 November 1963), commonly referred to as C. S. Lewis, was an Irish writer and scholar. Lewis is known for his work on medieval literature, Christian apologetics, literary criticism, and fiction.

by Diana Vreeland
Diana Vreeland (July 29, 1903 in Paris, France – August 22, 1989) was a noted columnist and editor in the field of fashion.

Eden’s Outcasts: The Story of Louisa May Alcott and Her Father
by John Matteson
Louisa May Alcott (November 29, 1832 – March 6, 1888) was an American novelist. She is best known for the novel Little Women, published in 1868.

Hypocrite in a Pouffy White Dress: Tales of Growing Up Groovy and Clueless
by Susan Jane Gilman
Modern day feminist Susan Jane Gilman humorously and honestly recounts her life growing up in NYC during the 1970’s.

Lover of Unreason: Assia Wevill, Sylvia Plath’s Rival and ted Hughes’ Doomed Love
by Yehuda Koren and Eilat Negev
Assia Wevill (May 15, 1927 – March 23, 1969) was born in Berlin. She is best-known for her relationship with English poet (and later Poet Laureate) Ted Hughes, and for killing herself, together with her daughter by Hughes, Shura, in 1969.

Marie Antoinette: The Journey
by Lady Antonia Fraser
Maria Antonia Josepha Johanna von Habsburg-Lothringen, (November 2, 1755 – October 16, 1793), known to history as Marie Antoinette, was born an Archduchess of Austria, and later became Queen of France and Navarre. She was married to Louis XVI of France at age 14, and was the mother of “lost Dauphin” Louis XVII. Marie Antoinette is perhaps best remembered for her legendary excesses, and for her death: she was executed by guillotine at the height of the French Revolution in 1793, for the crime of treason.

Notorious Victoria: The Life of Victoria Woodhull, Uncensored
by Mary Gabriel
Victoria Claflin Woodhull (September 23, 1838 – June 9, 1927) was an American suffragist who was publicized in Gilded Age newspapers as a leader of the American woman’s suffrage movement in the 19th century. She became a colorful and notorious symbol for women’s rights, free love, and labor reforms. She is probably most famous for her declaration to run for the United States Presidency in 1872.

Olivier: The Authorized Biography
by Terry Coleman
Laurence Kerr Olivier, Baron Olivier, (May 22, 1907 – July 11, 1989) was an Academy Award, three-time Golden Globe, BAFTA, two-time honorary Academy Award and five-time Emmy-winning English actor, director, and producer. He is one of the most famous and revered actors of the 20th century.

Pedro and Me
by Judd Winick
Pedro and Me is an autobiographical graphic novel by Judd Winick regarding his friendship with AIDS educator Pedro Zamora after the two met while on the reality television series, The Real World: San Francisco.

Savage Beauty: A Biography of Edna St. Vincent Millay
by Nancy Milford
Edna St. Vincent Millay (February 22, 1892 – October 19, 1950) was an American lyrical poet and playwright and the first woman to receive the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. She was also known for her unconventional, bohemian lifestyle and her many love affairs.

Various Positions: A Life of Leonard Cohen
by Ira Bruce Nadel
Leonard Norman Cohen, (born September 21, 1934 in Westmount, Quebec) is a Canadian singer-songwriter, poet and novelist. Cohen published his first book of poetry in Montreal in 1956 and his first novel in 1963. His work often explores the themes of religion, isolation, sexuality, and complex interpersonal relationships.

Biographies on Amber’s “To be Read” List…

Call Me Anna: The Autobiography of Patty Duke
by Patty Duke and Kenneth Turan
Patty Duke is an Academy Award-winning American actress of the stage and screen.

Carson McCullers: A Life
by Josyane Savigneau
Carson McCullers (February 19, 1917 – September 29, 1967) was an American writer. Her first novel explores the spiritual isolation of misfits and outcasts of the South. Her other writings deal with a wide scope of personal and social issues in other geographical locations.

Edie: An American Biography
by Jean Stein and George Plimpton
Edith Minturn “Edie” Sedgwick (April 20, 1943 – November 16, 1971)[1] was an American actress, socialite, and heiress who starred in several of Andy Warhol’s short films in the 1960s.

In the Frame: My Life in Words and Pictures
by Helen Mirren
Dame Helen Mirren, (born 26 July 1945) is an English stage, film and television actress.

Jackson Pollock: An American Saga
by Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith
Paul Jackson Pollock (January 28, 1912 – August 11, 1956) was an influential American painter and a major force in the abstract expressionist movement. He was married to noted abstract painter Lee Krasner.

Mary, Queen of Scots
by Antonia Fraser
Mary I (December 8, 1542 – February 8, 1587) was Queen of Scots (the monarch of the Kingdom of Scotland) from December 14, 1542, to July 24, 1567. She was also the queen consort of France (Reine de France) from July 10, 1559 to December 5, 1560. After a long imprisonment in England she was tried and executed for treason.

Once Upon a Time: Behind the Fairy Tale of Princess Grace and Prince Rainier
by J. Randy Taraborrelli
Grace Patricia Kelly (November 12, 1929 – September 14, 1982) was an Academy Award-winning American film and stage actress who, upon marriage to Rainier III, Prince of Monaco in 1956, became Her Serene Highness The Princess of Monaco.
Rainier III, Prince of Monaco (Rainier Louis Henri Maxence Bertrand Grimaldi; 31 May 1923 – 6 April 2005), styled His Serene Highness The Sovereign Prince of Monaco, ruled the Principality of Monaco for more than 50 years, making him one of the longest ruling monarchs of the 20th century.

Personal History
by Katharine Graham
Katharine Meyer Graham (June 16, 1917 – July 17, 2001) was an American publisher. She led her family’s newspaper, The Washington Post, for more than two decades, overseeing its most famous period, the Watergate coverage that eventually led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon.

by Simone Berteaut
Édith Piaf (19 December 1915-10 October 1963) was a French singer and cultural icon who is widely accepted as the country’s greatest pop singer. The author, Simone Berteaut (“Mômone”) was Edith’s lifelong friend and “partner in mischief.”

Secrets of the Flesh: A Life of Collette
by Judith Thurman
Colette was the pen name of the French novelist Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette (January 28, 1873 – August 3, 1954). She is best known, at least in the English-speaking world, for her novel Gigi, which provided the plot for a musical film and stage musical.

The Way We Lived Then: Recollections of a Well-Known Name Dropper
by Dominick Dunne
Dominick Dunne (born October 29, 1925) is an American writer and investigative journalist whose subjects frequently hinge on the ways high society interacts with the judiciary system. He was a producer in Hollywood and is also known from his frequent appearances on television.

There and Back Again: An Actor’s Tale
by Sean Astin
Sean Astin (born February 25, 1971) is an American film actor, director, and Oscar-nominated producer best known for his film roles as Mikey Walsh in The Goonies, the title character of Rudy, and Samwise Gamgee in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. He is the son of actors John Astin and Patty Duke.

The Wives of Henry VIII
by Antonia Fraser
A marvelous book about the six queens of King Henry VIII: Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleves, Catherine Howard, and Catherine Parr.