WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE
Finalist for the Lambda Literary Award
Finalist for the PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography
Named one of the Best Books of the Year by: O Magazine, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Seattle Times
The definitive portrait of one of the American Century’s most towering intellectuals: her writing and her radical thought, her public activism and her hidden private face
No writer is as emblematic of the American twentieth century as Susan Sontag. Mythologized and misunderstood, lauded and loathed, a girl from the suburbs who became a proud symbol of cosmopolitanism, Sontag left a legacy of writing on art and politics, feminism and homosexuality, celebrity and style, medicine and drugs, radicalism and Fascism and Freudianism and Communism and Americanism, that forms an indispensable key to modern culture. She was there when the Cuban Revolution began, and when the Berlin Wall came down; in Vietnam under American bombardment, in wartime Israel, in besieged Sarajevo. She was in New York when artists tried to resist the tug of money—and when many gave in. No writer negotiated as many worlds; no serious writer had as many glamorous lovers. Sontag tells these stories and examines the work upon which her reputation was based. It explores the agonizing insecurity behind the formidable public face: the broken relationships, the struggles with her sexuality, that animated—and undermined—her writing. And it shows her attempts to respond to the cruelties and absurdities of a country that had lost its way, and her conviction that fidelity to high culture was an activism of its own.
Utilizing hundreds of interviews conducted from Maui to Stockholm and from London to Sarajevo—and featuring nearly one hundred images—Sontag is the first book based on the writer’s restricted archives, and on access to many people who have never before spoken about Sontag, including Annie Leibovitz. It is a definitive portrait—a great American novel in the form of a biography.
At age forty, with two growing children and a new consulting company she’d recently founded, Gretchen Cherington, daughter of Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Richard Eberhart, faced a dilemma: Should she protect her parents’ well-crafted family myths while continuing to silence her own voice? Or was it time to challenge those myths and speak her truth—even the unbearable truth that her generous and kind father had sexually violated her?
In this powerful memoir, aided by her father’s extensive archives at Dartmouth College and interviews with some of her father’s best friends, Cherington candidly and courageously retraces her past to make sense of her father and herself. From the women’s movement of the ’60s and the back-to-the-land movement of the ’70s to Cherington’s consulting work through three decades with powerful executives to her eventual decision to speak publicly in the formative months of #MeToo, Poetic License is one woman’s story of speaking truth in a world where, too often, men still call the shots.
Incisive essays on Patty Hearst and Reagan, the Central Park jogger and the Santa Ana winds, from the New York Times–bestselling author of South and West. In these eleven essays covering the national scene from Washington, DC; California; and New York, the acclaimed author of Slouching Towards Bethlehem and The White Album “capture[s] the mood of America” and confirms her reputation as one of our sharpest and most trustworthy cultural observers (The New York Times). Whether dissecting the 1988 presidential campaign, exploring the commercialization of a Hollywood murder, or reporting on the “sideshows” of foreign wars, Joan Didion proves that she is one of the premier essayists of the twentieth century, “an articulate witness to the most stubborn and intractable truths of our time” (Joyce Carol Oates, The New York Times Book Review). Highlights include “In the Realm of the Fisher King,” a portrait of the White House under the stewardship of Ronald and Nancy Reagan, two “actors on location;” and “Girl of the Golden West,” a meditation on the Patty Hearst case that draws an unexpected and insightful parallel between the kidnapped heiress and the emigrants who settled California. “Sentimental Journeys” is a deeply felt study of New York media coverage of the brutal rape of a white investment banker in Central Park, a notorious crime that exposed the city’s racial and class fault lines. Dedicated to Henry Robbins, Didion’s friend and editor from 1966 until his death in 1979, After Henry is an indispensable collection of “superior reporting and criticism” from a writer on whom we have relied for more than fifty years “to get the story straight” (Los Angeles Times).
Shortlisted for the PEN Ackerley Prize 2018.
This is a memoir of intense physical and personal experience, exploring how swimming with seals, gulls and orcas in the cold waters off Orkney provided Victoria Whitworth with an escape from a series of life crises and helped her to deal with intolerable loss.
It is also a treasure chest of history and myth, local folklore and archaeological clues, giving us tantalising glimpses of Pictish and Viking men and women, those people lost to history, whose long-hidden secrets are sometimes yielded up by the land and sea.
Imagine how it would feel to one day wake up and find your vision descending swiftly into darkness. Your fingertips are turning numb, and, as the world closes in around you, you realise there is nothing you can do to stop it. This is what happened to Vanessa Potter.
In the space of 72 hours, Vanessa went from juggling a high-flying career as a producer and caring for her two small children to being completely blind, unable to walk, and with her sense of touch completely gone.
Over the course of the next six months, Vanessa slowly began to recover. Opening her eyes onto a black-and-white world with mutating shapes and colours that crackled and fizzled, she encountered a visual landscape that was completely unrecognisable. As colour reappeared, Vanessa experienced a range of bizarre phenomena as her confused brain tried to make sense of the world around her, and she found herself touching and talking to inanimate objects in order to stimulate her vision – all part of her brain's mechanism for coping with the trauma of sensory loss.
Going blind led Vanessa to turn science sleuth, reinventing herself as Patient H69 to uncover the reality behind her unique condition. With the help of a team of psychologists and neuroscientists, we follow her story as she learns the science of herself, making discoveries that will positively change the course of her life.
Vanessa's account is raw and candid, but ultimately upbeat. It shows how this remarkable woman opened doors by transforming her terrifying experience into an inspirational and scientifically fascinating endeavour.
In CONFESSIONS OF A CORPORATE SLUT, Roberta conquers a bare-knuckle, male-dominated industry and achieves unparalleled success as an overachieving sales pro, entrepreneur, and corporate manager. But something is missing in her life. Marriage. Family. Purpose. When Roberta finds love, she is oblivious to the astronomical losses she will sustainincluding pride, self-esteem and moneythe tradeoff she makes to help her CEO husband push his manufacturing company to the pinnacle of its industry.
When Roberta moves out of the family home at seventeen, her only working experience is a $1.35 gig at Dairy Queen. Unqualified and underage, she cajoles her way into managing a new restaurant and bar. Eventually she realizes the sales profession offers the best way to maximize her income, so she hits the road in hose and heels and a fifty-pound sample case of glassware, stir sticks, and beverage napkins. Little did she know her success would someday propel her into the unfamiliar role of the ideal corporate wife.
Roberta is the polar opposite of a victim as she faces each challenge with her trademark mixture of spunk and grace. Her wry sense of humor intertwines with conflict, weaving a tapestry rich in humor and irony.
Inspired by a true story CONFESSIONS OF A CORPORATE SLUT, is a tale of ambition and failurea tale of emotional connection and disconnection of support and about-faces of fear and loathingof love and hate. And a story that is all too often being played out in todays corporate culture.
One afternoon my Aunts and Uncles came over to the house to await the arrival of Ralph, a family friend. Caught up in the adults' excitement, I impatiently stood by the back door and instead of warmly greeting the tall man with a round face and greased back dirty-blonde hair as he entered the kitchen, I ran under the table screaming. All of the adults shocked by what they claimed was my uncharacteristic behaviour, Aunt Flo suggested my strong reaction was probably nothing more than making strange. After all she reasoned, I hadn't seen Ralph in a while and it was only natural I might be a bit shy. If they could have felt my terror as I continued to sit under the table wedged up against the wall shaking - a terror that still haunts me to this day - they may not have been so quick to make light of it. But they, like most adults I came in contact with during my youth, didn't view children as individuals in their own right. I was merely an extension of the people who took care of me, thus making my thoughts and insights a nuisance unless it directly enhanced their misguided intentions.
So Kim Casey writes about herself, when she was around three years old. It would take many more years of periodic encounters with the family friend, before she would come to fully understand what she was running from.
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