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The Source of All Things

by Tracy Ross Free Press (March 08, 2011)

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


The Memory Palace

National Book Critics Circle Award for Memoir/Autobiography 2011

by Mira Bartok Free Press (January 11, 2011)

In the tradition of The Glass Castle, two sisters confront schizophrenia in this poignant literary memoir about family and mental illness. Through stunning prose and original art, The Memory Palace captures...


William Golding: The Man Who Wrote Lord of the Flies

James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Biography 2009

by John Carey Free Press (June 01, 2010)

In 1953, William Golding was a provincial schoolteacher writing books on his breaks, lunch hours and holidays. His work had been rejected by every major publisher—until an editor at Faber and Faber pulled...


Mentors, Muses & Monsters

by Elizabeth Benedict Free Press (October 27, 2009)

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

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


Horton Foote

by Wilborn Hampton Free Press (September 08, 2009)

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

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


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

by Eve Laplante Free Press (November 06, 2012)

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


Leonard Woolf

by Victoria Glendinning Free Press (November 14, 2006)

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


Sophia Tolstoy

by Alexandra Popoff Free Press (May 11, 2010)

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


When I Was a Loser

by John McNally Free Press (March 06, 2007)

For Anyone Who's Ever Been a Teenager

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


Mark Twain

by Ron Powers Free Press (September 13, 2005)

Ron Powers’s tour de force has been widely acclaimed as the best life and times, filled with Mark Twain’s voice, and as a great American story.

Samuel Clemens, the man known as Mark Twain, invented the American...


We Heard the Heavens Then

by Aria Minu-Sepehr Free Press (April 10, 2012)

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


The Man Who Created Sherlock Holmes

by Andrew Lycett Free Press (December 18, 2007)

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


I Wore the Ocean in the Shape of a Girl

by Kelle Groom Free Press (June 07, 2011)

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


1185 Park Avenue

by Anne Roiphe Free Press (August 13, 1999)

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


The Typewriter Is Holy

by Bill Morgan Free Press (May 11, 2010)

2014 ACKER AWARD WINNER

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