Biography

Frida: A Biography of Frida Kahlo

By Hayden Herrera

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This engrossing biography of Mexican painter Frida Kahlo reveals a woman of extreme magnetism and originality, an artist whose sensual vibrancy came straight from her own experiences: her childhood near Mexico City during the Mexican Revolution; a devastating accident at age eighteen that left her crippled and unable to bear children; her tempestuous marriage to muralist Diego Rivera and intermittent love affairs with men as diverse as Isamu Noguchi and Leon Trotsky; her association with the Communist Party; her absorption in Mexican folklore and culture; and her dramatic love of spectacle.

On Film:
Salma Hayek delivers one of the best performances of her career in Frida, a vividly imaginative film based on Herrera's biography of the fascinating Frida Kahlo.

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When Katie Wakes: A Memoir

By Connie May Fowler

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"In this piercing memoir, Fowler chronicles the emotional battery and physical abuse that marked her own passage to adulthood. She draws a searing portrait of growing up with her manipulative and needy mother, a woman unable to give the love and comfort every child has a right to expect. And then, as a young woman, Fowler found herself involved with a man whose behavior disturbingly echoed her mother’s. The man she lived with alternately displayed a desperate need for her or rejected her as if she were worse than useless. With heart-wrenching candor, Fowler records the abuse she suffered at his hands, from his constant attempts to undermine her self- confidence to his acts of brutal physical violence. The unconditional love Fowler longed for finally came–in the shape of an adoring Labrador puppy named Kateland. With Katie at her side, she was able to withstand her mistreatment and the crushing weight of her childhood and, miraculously, managed to create a small refuge from the horrors that surrounded her."
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Pearl Buck in China: Journey to the Good Earth

By Hilary Spurling

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“She was the child of American missionaries, but she spoke Chinese before she learned English, and her friends were the children of Chinese farmers. She took it for granted that she was Chinese herself until she was eight years old, when the terrorist uprising known as the Boxer Rebellion forced her family to flee for their lives. It was the first of many desperate flights. Flood, famine, drought, bandits, and war formed the background of Pearl's life in China… As a phenomenally successful writer and civil-rights campaigner, Buck did more than anyone else in her lifetime to change Western perceptions of China. In a world with its eyes trained on China today, she has much to tell us about what lies behind its astonishing reawakening.”

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Obsessive Genius: The Inner World of Marie Curie

By Barbara Goldsmith

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“The myth of Marie Curie—the penniless Polish immigrant who, through genius and obsessive persistence, endured years of toil and deprivation to produce radium, a luminous panacea for all the world's ills including cancer—has obscured the remarkable truth behind her discoveries. Curie's shrewd though controversial insight was that radioactivity was an atomic property that could be used to discover new elements. While her work won her two Nobel Prizes and transformed our world, it did not liberate her from the prejudices of either the male-dominated scientific community or society. Here is an all-too-human woman trying to balance science, love, and the family values that constitute her legacy.”

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Promises to Keep: How Jackie Robinson Changed America

By Sharon Robinson

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A biography of baseball legend Jackie Robinson, the first African American to play in the major leagues, as told by his daughter.

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Wildflower: An Extraordinary Life and Untimely Death in Africa

By Mark Seal

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After twenty years of spectacular, unparalleled wildlife filmmaking together, Joan and Alan Root divorced and a fascinating woman found her own voice. Renowned journalist Mark Seal offers this breathtaking, culturally relevant portrait of a strong woman discovering herself and fighting for her beliefs before her mysterious and brutal murder. With a cast of characters as wild, wondrous, and unpredictable as Africa itself, Wildflower is a real-life adventure tale set in the world’s fast-disappearing wilderness. Rife with personal revelation, intrigue, corruption, and murder, readers will remember Joan Root’s extraordinary journey long after they turn the last page of this utterly compelling book.

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Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight: An African Childhood

By Alexandra Fuller

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Fuller's memoir of a childhood dominated by the Rhodesian civil war of 1971-1979 captures the fascinating life of a white family living in one of the most remote regions of Africa.

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Pedro and Me: Friendship, Loss, & What I Learned

By Judd Winick

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In graphic art format, describes the friendship between two roommates on the MTV show "Real World," one of whom died of AIDS at the age of twenty-two.

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I'm Staying with My Boys: The Heroic Life of Sgt. John Basilone, USMC

By Jim Proser with Jerry Cutter

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A profile of the only World War II Marine to win the Medal of Honor, the Navy Cross, and a Purple Heart parallels his career with notable World War II memoirists while tracing his significant achievements at Guadalcanal and Iwo Jima.
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An Enduring Love: My Life with the Shah

By Farah, Consort of Mohammed Reza Pahlavi

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The last empress of Iran tells the story of her decades-long marriage to the Shah. Her story is set during a time of change and, ultimately, revolution that forced the Pahlavi family to flee the country.

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