A SUNDAY TIMES AND TELEGRAPH BOOK OF THE YEAR SHORTLISTED FOR THE PENDERYN MUSIC BOOK PRIZE Peggy Seeger is one of folk music's most influential artists and songwriters. Born in New York City in 1935, she enjoyed a childhood steeped in music and left-wing politics - they remain her lifeblood. After college, she travelled to Russia and China - against US advice - before arriving in London, where she met the man with whom she would raise three children and share the next thirty-three years: Ewan MacColl. Together, they helped lay the foundations of the British folk revival, through the influential Critics Group and the landmark BBC Radio Ballads series. And as Ewan's muse, she inspired one of the twentieth century's most popular love songs, 'The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face'. With a clear eye and generous spirit, Peggy writes of a rollercoaster life - of birth and abortion, sex and infidelity, devotion and betrayal - in a luminous, beautifully realised account.
Born in New York City in 1935, Peggy Seeger enjoyed a childhood steeped in music and politics. Her father was the noted musicologist Charles Seeger; her mother, the modernist composer Ruth Crawford; and her brother Pete, the celebrated writer of protest songs. After studying at Radcliffe College, in 1955 Peggy left to travel the world. It was in England that she met the man, some two decades older and with a wife and family, with whom she would share the next thirty-three years: the actor, playwright and songwriter Ewan MacColl. Together, Peggy and Ewan helped lay the foundations of the British folk revival, through the formative - and controversial - Critics Group and the landmark BBC Radio Ballads series. And as Ewan's muse, Peggy inspired one of the twentieth century's greatest love songs, 'The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face'. Peggy's life comprises art and passion, family and separation, tragedy, celebration and the unexpected - and irresistible - force of love. It would by any standards be an extraordinary story, but what elevates her account is the beauty of the writing: it is clear-eyed and playful, luminous and melodic, fearless, funny and always truthful, from the first word to the last.
This "New York Times" bestselling memoir begins in 1965, when Hall becomes pregnant at 16 and is shunned by both her family and her community. What sets this work apart is the way in which loss and betrayal evolve into compassion, and compassion into wisdom.
On February 14, 1986, Valentine’s Day, Salman Rushdie was telephoned by a BBC journalist and told that he had been “sentenced to death” by the Ayatollah Khomeini, a voice reaching across the world from Iran to kill him in his own country. For the first time he heard the word fatwa. His crime? To have written a novel called The Satanic Verses, which was accused of being “against Islam, the Prophet, and the Quran.” So begins the extraordinary, often harrowing story—filled too with surreal and funny moments—of how a writer was forced underground, moved from house to house, an armed police protection team living with him at all times for more than nine years. He was asked to choose an alias that the police could call him by. He thought of writers he loved and combinations of their names; then it came to him: Conrad and Chekhov—Joseph Anton. He became “Joe.” How do a writer and his young family live day by day with the threat of murder for so long? How do you go on working? How do you keep love and joy alive? How does despair shape your thoughts and actions, how and why do you stumble, how do you learn to fight for survival? In this remarkable memoir, Rushdie tells that story for the first time. He talks about the sometimes grim, sometimes comic realities of living with armed policemen, and of the close bonds he formed with his protectors; of his struggle for support and understanding from governments, intelligence chiefs, publishers, journalists, and fellow writers; of friendships (literary and otherwise) and love; and of how he regained his freedom. This is a book of exceptional frankness and honesty, compelling, moving, provocative, not only captivating as a revelatory memoir but of vital importance in its political insight and wisdom. Because it is also a story of today’s battle for intellectual liberty; of why literature matters; and of a man’s refusal to be silenced in the face of state-sponsored terrorism. And because we now know that what happened to Salman Rushdie was the first act of a drama that would rock the whole world on September 11th and is still unfolding somewhere every day.
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • An unforgettable memoir about a young girl who, kept out of school, leaves her survivalist family and goes on to earn a PhD from Cambridge University NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY PUBLISHERS WEEKLY “A coming-of-age memoir reminiscent of The Glass Castle.”—O: The Oprah Magazine “Beautiful and propulsive . . . Despite the singularity of [Westover’s] childhood, the questions her book poses are universal: How much of ourselves should we give to those we love? And how much must we betray them to grow up?”—Vogue Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Her family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education, and no one to intervene when one of Tara’s older brothers became violent. When another brother got himself into college, Tara decided to try a new kind of life. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge University. Only then would she wonder if she’d traveled too far, if there was still a way home. Book Club Pick for Now Read This, from PBS NewsHour and The New York Times • Longlisted for the Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction “Heart-wrenching . . . a beautiful testament to the power of education to open eyes and change lives.”—Amy Chua, The New York Times Book Review “A heartbreaking, heartwarming, best-in-years memoir.”—USA Today “Tara Westover’s one-of-a-kind memoir is about the shaping of a mind. . . . She evokes a childhood that completely defined her. Yet it was also, she gradually sensed, deforming her.”—The Atlantic “Riveting . . . Westover brings readers deep into this world, a milieu usually hidden from outsiders.”—The Economist “Incredibly thought-provoking . . . so much more than a memoir about a woman who graduated college without a formal education. It is about a woman who must learn how to learn.”—The Harvard Crimson “A subtle, nuanced study of how dysfunction of any kind can be normalized even within the most conventional family structure, and of the damage such containment can do.”—Financial Times “Westover’s extraordinary memoir is haunting in the best way, delivering a powerful coming-of-age saga.”—Paste
The San Francisco Chronicle's Best of the Year List Indie Next Pick "For Reading Groups" From New York Times bestselling author Joyce Maynard, a memoir about discovering strength in the midst of great loss--"heart wrenching, inspiring, full of joy and tears and life." (Anne Lamott) In 2011, when she was in her late fifties, beloved author and journalist Joyce Maynard met the first true partner she had ever known. Jim wore a rakish hat over a good head of hair; he asked real questions and gave real answers; he loved to see Joyce shine, both in and out of the spotlight; and he didn't mind the mess she made in the kitchen. He was not the husband Joyce imagined, but he quickly became the partner she had always dreamed of. Before they met, both had believed they were done with marriage, and even after they married, Joyce resolved that no one could alter her course of determined independence. Then, just after their one-year wedding anniversary, her new husband was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. During the nineteen months that followed, as they battled his illness together, she discovered for the first time what it really meant to be a couple--to be a true partner and to have one. This is their story. Charting the course through their whirlwind romance, a marriage cut short by tragedy, and Joyce's return to singleness on new terms, The Best of Us is a heart-wrenching, ultimately life-affirming reflection on coming to understand true love through the experience of great loss.
A revelatory and redemptive memoir from Beverly Johnson, the first black supermodel to grace the cover of Vogue, and who, over five hundred magazine covers later, remains one of the most successful glamour girls ever. In The Face That Changed It All, Beverly Johnson brings her own passionate and deeply honest voice to the page to chronicle her childhood growing up as a studious, and sometimes bullied, bookworm during the socially conscious, racially charged ’60s. Initially drawn to a career in law due to the huge impact the Civil Rights movement had on her life, Beverly eventually made her mark as the first black cover model of American Vogue in 1974. A successful three-decade career in modeling followed. Offering glamorous tales about the hard partying of the 1970s and Hollywood during the ’80s and early ’90s, Johnson details her many encounters and fascinating friendships with the likes of Jackie Kennedy, Halston, Calvin Klein, and Andy Warhol, as well as stars such as Elizabeth Taylor, Michael Jackson, Eddie Murphy, Jack Nicholson, Keith Richards, and Warren Beatty. But not everything that glitters is gold, and Johnson’s memoir reveals the countless demons she wrestled with over the course of her storied career. She brings us into the heart of her struggles with racism, drug addiction, divorce, and a prolonged child custody battle over her daughter that tested her fortitude and sanity. She shares for the first time intimate details surrounding her love affair with the late tennis icon Arthur Ashe, giving little known insight into the heart, mind, and spirit of the revered tennis legend. She also pays homage to her mentor, the late Naomi Sims, while lifting the veil off the complicated, catty, and often times tense relationships between black models during her fashion heyday. Familiar names from the catwalk, such as Pat Cleveland and Iman, appear regularly in her story, illustrating how each had to fight various battles to survive not just the system at large, but each other. Featuring gorgeous, never-before-seen photos from Johnson’s childhood and modeling days, The Face That Changed It All gives a no-holds-barred look at the lives of the rich, fabulous, and famous. It is also a story of failure and success in the upper echelons of the fashion world, and how Beverly Johnson emerged from her struggles smarter, happier, and stronger than ever.
Carly Simon's New York Times bestselling memoir, Boys in the Trees, reveals her remarkable life, beginning with her storied childhood as the third daughter of Richard L. Simon, the co-founder of publishing giant Simon & Schuster, her musical debut as half of The Simon Sisters performing folk songs with her sister Lucy in Greenwich Village, to a meteoric solo career that would result in 13 top 40 hits, including the #1 song "You're So Vain." She was the first artist in history to win a Grammy Award, an Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award, for her song "Let the River Run" from the movie Working Girl. The memoir recalls a childhood enriched by music and culture, but also one shrouded in secrets that would eventually tear her family apart. Simon brilliantly captures moments of creative inspiration, the sparks of songs, and the stories behind writing "Anticipation" and "We Have No Secrets" among many others. Romantic entanglements with some of the most famous men of the day fueled her confessional lyrics, as well as the unraveling of her storybook marriage to James Taylor.
Born Declan Patrick MacManus, Elvis Costello was raised in London and Liverpool, grandson of a trumpet player on the White Star Line and son of a jazz musician who became a successful radio dance-band vocalist. Costello went into the family business and before he was twenty-four took the popular music world by storm. Costello continues to add to one of the most intriguing and extensive songbooks of our day. His performances have taken him from strumming a cardboard guitar in his parents’ front room to fronting a rock and roll band on our television screens and performing in the world’s greatest concert halls in a wild variety of company. Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink describes how Costello’s career has endured for almost four decades through a combination of dumb luck and animal cunning, even managing the occasional absurd episode of pop stardom. This memoir, written entirely by Costello, offers his unique view of his unlikely and sometimes comical rise to international success, with diversions through the previously undocumented emotional foundations of some of his best-known songs and the hits of tomorrow. It features many stories and observations about his renowned cowriters and co-conspirators, though Costello also pauses along the way for considerations of the less appealing side of fame. Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink provides readers with a master’s catalogue of a lifetime of great music. Costello reveals the process behind writing and recording legendary albums like My Aim Is True, This Year’s Model, Armed Forces, Almost Blue, Imperial Bedroom, and King of America. He tells the detailed stories, experiences, and emotions behind such beloved songs as “Alison,” “Accidents Will Happen,” “Watching the Detectives,” “Oliver’s Army,” “Welcome to the Working Week,” “Radio Radio,” “Shipbuilding,” and “Veronica,” the last of which is one of a number of songs revealed to connect to the lives of the previous generations of his family. Costello recounts his collaborations with George Jones, Chet Baker, and T Bone Burnett, and writes about Allen Toussaint's inspiring return to work after the disasters following Hurricane Katrina. He describes writing songs with Paul McCartney, the Brodsky Quartet, Burt Bacharach, and The Roots during moments of intense personal crisis and profound sorrow. He shares curious experiences in the company of The Clash, Tony Bennett, The Specials, Van Morrison, and Aretha Franklin; writing songs for Solomon Burke and Johnny Cash; and touring with Bob Dylan; along with his appreciation of the records of Frank Sinatra, David Bowie, David Ackles, and almost everything on the Tamla Motown label. Costello chronicles his musical apprenticeship, a child's view of his father Ross MacManus' career on radio and in the dancehall; his own initial almost comical steps in folk clubs and cellar dive before his first sessions for Stiff Record, the formation of the Attractions, and his frenetic and ultimately notorious third U.S. tour. He takes readers behind the scenes of Top of the Pops and Saturday Night Live, and his own show, Spectacle, on which he hosted artists such as Lou Reed, Elton John, Levon Helm, Jesse Winchester, Bruce Springsteen, and President Bill Clinton. The idiosyncratic memoir of a singular man, Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink is destined to be a classic. From the Hardcover edition.
When she was five years old, M. Elaine Mar and her mother emigrated from Hong Kong to Denver, Colorado, to join her father. There she worked with her family in the kitchen of a Chinese restaurant, while living in the basement of her aunt's house. Quickly mastering the english, she soon began to excel at school, but before long she found herself caught between two increasingly disparate worlds, the Chinese tradition and the independence of the America in which she lived. She fell in love with a red-haired boy who leads her away from the family, blocking out her family's vision of an arranged marriage in Hong Kong; eventually, alone she arrived in Harvard and a new future.
In June of 1957, Governor James Coleman stepped before the cameras of "Meet the Press" and was asked whether the public schools would ever be integrated. "Well, ever is a long time," he replied, "[but] I would say that a baby born in Mississippi today will never live long enough to see an integrated school." In this extraordinary pilgrimage, Library of Congress Publishing Director W. Ralph Eubanks recaptures the feel of growing up during this tumultuous era, deep in rural Mississippi. Vividly re-creating a time and place where even small steps across the Jim Crow line became a matter of life and death, he offers eloquent testimony to a family's grace against all odds. Inspired by the 1998 declassification of files kept by the State Sovereignty Commission-an agency specifically created to maintain white supremacy-the result is a journey of discovery that leads Eubanks not only to surprising conclusions about his own family, but also to harrowing encounters with those involved in some of the era's darkest activities.
The untold story of a New York City legend's education in creativity and style For Bill Cunningham, New York City was the land of freedom, glamour, and, above all, style. Growing up in a lace-curtain Irish suburb of Boston, secretly trying on his sister's dresses and spending his evenings after school in the city's chicest boutiques, Bill dreamed of a life dedicated to fashion. But his desires were a source of shame for his family, and after dropping out of Harvard, he had to fight them tooth-and-nail to pursue his love. When he arrived in New York, he reveled in people-watching. He spent his nights at opera openings and gate-crashing extravagant balls, where he would take note of the styles, new and old, watching how the gowns moved, how the jewels hung, how the hair laid on each head. This was his education, and the birth of the democratic and exuberant taste that he came to be famous for as a photographer for The New York Times. After two style mavens took Bill under their wing, his creativity thrived and he made a name for himself as a designer. Taking on the alias William J.--because designing under his family's name would have been a disgrace to his parents--Bill became one of the era's most outlandish and celebrated hat designers, catering to movie stars, heiresses, and artists alike. Bill's mission was to bring happiness to the world by making women an inspiration to themselves and everyone who saw them. These were halcyon days when fashion was all he ate and drank. When he was broke and hungry he'd stroll past the store windows on Fifth Avenue and feed himself on beautiful things. Fashion Climbing is the story of a young man striving to be the person he was born to be: a true original. But although he was one of the city's most recognized and treasured figures, Bill was also one of its most guarded. Written with his infectious joy and one-of-a-kind voice, this memoir was polished, neatly typewritten, and safely stored away in his lifetime. He held off on sharing it--and himself--until his passing. Between these covers, is an education in style, an effervescent tale of a bohemian world as it once was, and a final gift to the readers of one of New York's great characters.
Barbara Bush endures as one of America's most popular First Ladies. She has won worldwide acclaim for her wit, compassion, and candor as both a presidential wife and mother. In this #1 New York Times bestselling memoir, Mrs. Bush offers a heartfelt portrait of her life in and out of the White House, from her small-town schoolgirl days in Rye, New York, to her fateful union with George H.W. Bush, to her role as First Lady of the United States. Here, she writes candidly about: • her early years with George Bush in West Texas • the tragic death of her young daughter • the world of Washington politics and the famous figures she's met • her role as the nation's leading literacy champion • her feelings about the Iran-Contra scandal, the Persian Gulf conflict, and the Cold War • the disappointment of the 1992 presidential campaign -- and the mixed blessing of regaining her private life ...and much more. Filled with entertaining anecdotes, dozens of personal photographs, and a healthy dose of humor, this memoir is as compelling and honest as the former First Lady herself.
"A mesmeric combination of vivid, keen, obsessive precision and raw, urgent energy.Â?? --Zoe Williams, Guardian "Thrilling and harrowing . . . Unsurpassed and unsurpassable.Â?? --Sunday Times James Rhodes's passion for music has been his lifeline--the thread that has held through a life encompassing abuse and turmoil. But whether listening to Rachmaninov on a loop as a traumatized teenager or discovering a Bach adagio while in a hospital ward, he survived his demons by encounters with musical miracles. These--along with a chance encounter with a stranger--inspired him to become the renowned concert pianist he is today. Instrumental is a memoir like no other: unapologetically candid, boldly outspoken, and surprisingly funny--shot through with a mordant wit, even in its darkest moments. A feature film adaptation of Rhodes's incredible story is now in development from Monumental Pictures and BBC Films, following a competitive bidding war involving major U.S. and U.K. companies. An impassioned tribute to the therapeutic powers of music, Instrumental also weaves in fascinating facts about how classical music actually works and about the extraordinary lives of some of the great composers. It explains why and how music has the potential to transform all of our lives.