Biographies and Memoirs of Influential Women

  Biographies and Memoirs of Influential Women

Books in list (21)


Title: Diary of Frida Kahlo: An Intimate Self-Portrait

"Published here in its entirety, Frida Kahlo's amazing illustrated journal documents the last ten years of her turbulent life. This passionate, often surprising, intimate record, kept under lock and key for some forty years in Mexico, reveals many new dimensions in the complex persona of this remarkable Mexican artist." "Covering the years 1944-45, the 170-page journal contains Frida's thoughts, poems, and dreams, and reflects her stormy relationship with her husband, Diego Rivera, Mexico's famous artist. The seventy watercolor illustrations in the journal - some lively sketches, several elegant self-portraits, others complete paintings - offer insights into her creative process, and show her frequently using the journal to work out pictorial ideas for her canvases." "The text entries, written in Frida's round, full script in brightly colored inks, add an almost decorative quality, making the journal as captivating to look at as it is to read. Frida's childhood, her political sensibilities, and her obsession with Diego are all illuminated in witty phrases and haunting images." Although much has been written recently about this extraordinary woman, Frida Kahlo's art and life continue to fascinate the world. This personal document, published in a complete full-color facsimile edition, will add greatly to the understanding of her unique and powerful vision and her enormous courage in the face of more than thirty-five operations to correct injuries she had sustained in an accident at the age of eighteen. The facsimile is accompanied by an introduction by the world-renowned Mexican man of letters Carlos Fuentes and a complete translation of the diary's text. An essay on the place of the diary in Frida's work and in art history at large, as well as commentaries on the images, is provided by Sarah M. Lowe.

"Carlos Fuentes writes passionately and brilliantly about Frida Kahlo in the introduction of this book, which reproduces the pages and drawings of Kahlo's personal diary. Sarah M. Lowe, who wrote the commentaries and the essay, provides a more balanced view. Work is a curious gathering of thoughts and feelings, observations and annotations, and indeed makes the reader feel that he/she is entering forbidden and intimate territory. A deep realm, at times tender and dark, the book will probably make Kahlo's many fans eager to dive in"--Handbook of Latin American Studies, v. 58.

Author(s): Frida Kahlo
ISBN 13: 9780810959545
Pages: 296
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Title: Diary of Anais Nin, 1931-1934, Vol. 1

This celebrated volume begins when Nin is about to publish her first book and ends when she leaves Paris for New York. Edited and with a Preface by Gunther tuhlmann; Index.

Author(s): Anais Nin
ISBN 13: 9780156260251
Pages: 384
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Title: Madame Curie

Marie Sklodowska Curie (1867?1934) was the first woman scientist to win worldwide acclaim and was, indeed, one of the great scientists of the twentieth century. Written by Curie’s daughter, the renowned international activist Eve Curie, this biography chronicles Curie’s legendary achievements in science, including her pioneering efforts in the study of radioactivity and her two Nobel Prizes in Physics and Chemistry. It also spotlights her remarkable life, from her childhood in Poland, to her storybook Parisian marriage to fellow scientist Pierre Curie, to her tragic death from the very radium that brought her fame. Now updated with an eloquent, rousing introduction by best-selling author Natalie Angier, this timeless biography celebrates an astonishing mind and a extraordinary woman’s life.

Author(s): Eve Curie; translated by Vincent Sheean; [with a new introduction by Natalie Angier]
ISBN 13: 9780306810381
Pages: 444
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Title: Everybody Was So Young: Gerald and Sara Murphy, a Lost Generation Love Story

Gifted artist Gerald Murphy and his elegant wife, Sara, were icons of the most enchanting period of our time; handsome, talented, and wealthy expatriate Americans, they were at the very center of the literary scene in Paris in the 1920s. In Everybody Was So Young—one of the best reviewed books of 1995—Amanda Vaill brilliantly portrays both the times in which the Murphys lived and the fascinating friends who flocked around them. Whether summering with Picasso on the French Riviera or watching bullfights with Hemingway in Pamplona, Gerald and Sara inspired kindred creative spirits like Dorothy Parker, Cole Porter, and F. Scott Fitzgerald (Nicole and Dick Diver in Tender is the Night were modeled after the Murphys). Their story is both glittering and tragic, and in this sweeping and richly anecdotal portrait of a marriage and an era, Amanda Vaill "has brought them to life as never before" (Chicago Tribune).

Author(s): Amanda Vaill
ISBN 13: 9780767903707
Pages: 512
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Title: Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts

A Chinese American woman tells of the Chinese myths, family stories and events of her California childhood that have shaped her identity.

A Chinese American woman tells of the Chinese myths, family stories and events of her childhood that have shaped her identity.

Author(s): Maxine Hong Kingston
ISBN 13: 9780679721888
Pages: 224
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Title: Vera (Mrs. Vladimir Nabokov) A Biography

Winner of the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for biography and hailed by critics as both "monumental" (The Boston Globe) and "utterly romantic" (New York magazine), Stacy Schiff's Véra (Mrs. Vladimir Nabokov) brings to shimmering life one of the greatest literary love stories of our time. Vladimir Nabokov—the émigré author of Lolita; Pale Fire; and Speak, Memory—wrote his books first for himself, second for his wife, Véra, and third for no one at all.

"Without my wife," he once noted, "I wouldn't have written a single novel." Set in prewar Europe and postwar America, spanning much of the century, the story of the Nabokovs' fifty-two-year marriage reads as vividly as a novel. Véra, both beautiful and brilliant, is its outsized heroine—a woman who loves as deeply and intelligently as did the great romantic heroines of Austen and Tolstoy. Stacy Schiff's Véra is a triumph of the biographical form.

Author(s): Stacy Schiff
ISBN 13: 9780375755347
Pages: 480
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Title: Personal History

Winner of the 1998 Pulitzer Prize for Biography

An extraordinarily frank, honest, and generous book by one of America's most famous and admired women, Personal History is, as its title suggests, a book composed of both personal memoir and history.

It is the story of Graham's parents: the multimillionaire father who left private business and government service to buy and restore the down-and-out Washington Post, and the formidable, self-absorbed mother who was more interested in her political and charity work, and her passionate friendships with men like Thomas Mann and Adlai Stevenson, than in her children.

It is the story of how The Washington Post struggled to succeed — a fascinating and instructive business history as told from the inside (the paper has been run by Graham herself, her father, her husband, and now her son).

It is the story of Phil Graham — Kay's brilliant, charismatic husband (he clerked for two Supreme Court justices) — whose plunge into manic-depression, betrayal, and eventual suicide is movingly and charitably recounted.

Best of all, it is the story of Kay Graham herself. She was brought up in a family of great wealth, yet she learned and understood nothing about money. She is half-Jewish, yet — incredibly — remained unaware of it for many years.She describes herself as having been naive and awkward, yet intelligent and energetic. She married a man she worshipped, and he fascinated and educated her, and then, in his illness, turned from her and abused her. This destruction of her confidence and happiness is a drama in itself, followed by the even more intense drama of her new life as the head of a great newspaper and a great company, a famous (and even feared) woman in her own right. Hers is a life that came into its own with a vengeance — a success story on every level.

Graham's book is populated with a cast of fascinating characters, from fifty years of presidents (and their wives), to Steichen, Brancusi, Felix Frankfurter, Warren Buffett (her great advisor and protector), Robert McNamara, George Schultz (her regular tennis partner), and, of course, the great names from the Post: Woodward, Bernstein, and Graham's editorpartner, Ben Bradlee. She writes of them, and of the most dramatic moments of her stewardship of the Post (including the Pentagon Papers, Watergate, and the pressmen's strike), with acuity, humor, and good judgment. Her book is about learning by doing, about growing and growing up, about Washington, and about a woman liberated by both circumstance and her own great strengths.

Author(s): Katharine Graham
ISBN 13: 9780375701047
Pages: 688
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Title: The Diary of a Young Girl

Discovered in the attic in which she spent the last years of her life, Anne Frank's remarkable diary has since become a world classic—a powerful reminder of the horrors of war and an eloquent testament to the human spirit. In 1942, with Nazis occupying Holland, a thirteen-year-old Jewish girl and her family fled their home in Amsterdam and went into hiding. For the next two years, until their whereabouts were betrayed to the Gestapo, they and another family lived cloistered in the "Secret Annex" of an old office building. Cut off from the outside world, they faced hunger, boredom, the constant cruelties of living in confined quarters, and the ever-present threat of discovery and death. In her diary Anne Frank recorded vivid impressions of her experiences during this period. By turns thoughtful, moving, and amusing, her account offers a fascinating commentary on human courage and frailty and a compelling self-portrait of a sensitive and spirited young woman whose promise was tragically cut short.

The journal of a Jewish girl in her early teens describes both the joys and torments of daily life, as well as typical adolescent thoughts, throughout two years spent in hiding with her family during the Nazi occupation of Holland.

Author(s): Anne Frank
ISBN 13: 9780553296983
Pages: 304
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Title: Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice

“When it comes to justice, there is no easy way to get it. You can’t sugarcoat it. You have to take a stand and say, ‘This is not right.’” – Claudette Colvin

On March 2, 1955, an impassioned teenager, fed up with the daily injustices of Jim Crow segregation, refused to give her seat to a white woman on a segregated bus in Montgomery, Alabama. Instead of being celebrated as Rosa Parks would be just nine months later, fifteen-year-old Claudette Colvin found herself shunned by her classmates and dismissed by community leaders. Undaunted, a year later she dared to challenge segregation again as a key plaintiff in Browder v. Gayle, the landmark case that struck down the segregation laws of Montgomery and swept away the legal underpinnings of the Jim Crow South.

Based on extensive interviews with Claudette Colvin and many others, Phillip Hoose presents the first in-depth account of an important yet largely unknown civil rights figure, skillfully weaving her dramatic story into the fabric of the historic Montgomery bus boycott and court case that would change the course of American history. Claudette Colvin is the 2009 National Book Award Winner for Young People's Literature and a 2010 Newbery Honor Book.

Winner of the 2009 National Book Award for Young People's Literature

Author(s): Phillip Hoose
ISBN 13: 9780312661052
Pages: 160
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Title: Cleopatra: A Life

Her palace shimmered with onyx and gold but was richer still in political and sexual intrigue. Above all else, Cleopatra was a shrewd strategist and an ingenious negotiator. She was married twice, each time to a brother. She waged a brutal civil war against the first and poisoned the second; incest and assassination were family specialties. She had children by Julius Caesar and Mark Antony, two of the most prominent Romans of the day. With Antony she would attempt to forge a new empire, in an alliance that spelled both their ends. Famous long before she was notorious, Cleopatra has gone down in history for all the wrong reasons. Her supple personality and the drama of her circumstances have been lost. In a masterly return to the classical sources, Stacy Schiff boldly separates fact from fiction to rescue the magnetic queen whose death ushered in a new world order.

Winner of the 2011 PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography
One of the New York Times Book Review's Top 10 Books of 2010
One of the Best Books of the Year: Time Magazine, The New Yorker, Los Angeles Times, NPR's Alan Cheuse Best Books of Winter, Bloomberg, The Week Magazine

Author(s): Stacy Schiff
ISBN 13: 9780316001946
Pages: 432
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Title: Knock Wood

With great wit, style, and exceptional honesty, the daughter of ventriloquist Edgar Bergen and the "sister" of famed talking dummy Charlie McCarthy tells the story of her struggle to come to terms with herself.
Author(s): Candice Bergen
ISBN 13: 9781476770130
Pages: 320
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Title: West with the Night

A new edition of a great, underappreciated classic of our time

Beryl Markham’s West with the Night is a true classic, a book that deserves the same acclaim and readership as the work of her contemporaries Ernest Hemingway, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, and Isak Dinesen.

     If the first responsibility of a memoirist is to lead a life worth writing about, Markham succeeded beyond all measure. Born Beryl Clutterbuck in the middle of England, she and her father moved to Kenya when she was a girl, and she grew up with a zebra for a pet; horses for friends; baboons, lions, and gazelles for neighbors. She made money by scouting elephants from a tiny plane. And she would spend most of the rest of her life in East Africa as an adventurer, a racehorse trainer, and an aviatrix—she became the first person to fly nonstop from Europe to America, the first woman to fly solo east to west across the Atlantic. Hers was indisputably a life full of adventure and beauty.

     And then there is the writing. When Hemingway read Markham’s book, he wrote to his editor, Maxwell Perkins: “She has written so well, and marvelously well, that I was completely ashamed of myself as a writer . . . [She] can write rings around all of us who consider ourselves as writers . . . It is really a bloody wonderful book.”

     With a new introduction by Sara Wheeler—one of Markham’s few legitimate literary heirs—West with the Night should once again take its place as one of the world’s great adventure stories.

The first person to fly solo across the Atlantic from east to west describes her childhood on a farm in Kenya, her apprenticeship as a horse trainer, and her later career as a pioneer aviator.

Author(s): Beryl Markham
ISBN 13: 9780865477636
Pages: 320
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Title: Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman

“[A] tale of power, perseverance and passion . . . a great story in the hands of a master storyteller.”—The Wall Street Journal
 
The Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Peter the Great, Nicholas and Alexandra, and The Romanovs returns with another masterpiece of narrative biography, the extraordinary story of an obscure German princess who became one of the most remarkable, powerful, and captivating women in history. Born into a minor noble family, Catherine transformed herself into empress of Russia by sheer determination. For thirty-four years, the government, foreign policy, cultural development, and welfare of the Russian people were in her hands. She dealt with domestic rebellion, foreign wars, and the tidal wave of political change and violence churned up by the French Revolution. Catherine’s family, friends, ministers, generals, lovers, and enemies—all are here, vividly brought to life. History offers few stories richer than that of Catherine the Great. In this book, an eternally fascinating woman is returned to life.
 
“[A] compelling portrait not just of a Russian titan, but also of a flesh-and-blood woman.”—Newsweek
 
“An absorbing, satisfying biography.”—Los Angeles Times
 
“Juicy and suspenseful.”—The New York Times Book Review
 
“A great life, indeed, and irresistibly told.”—Salon
 
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
The New York Times • The Washington Post • USA Today • The Boston Globe • San Francisco Chronicle • Chicago Tribune • Newsweek/The Daily Beast • Salon • VogueSt. Louis Post-Dispatch • The Providence Journal • Washington Examiner • South Florida Sun-Sentinel • BookPage • Bookreporter • Publishers Weekly

Winner of the 2012 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction
Winner of the 2012 PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography

Author(s): Robert K. Massie
ISBN 13: 9780345408778
Pages: 672
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Title: The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas

Stein's most famous work; one of the richest and most irreverent biographies ever written.

Full of lucid and shapely anecdotes.

Author(s): Gertrude Stein
ISBN 13: 9780679724636
Pages: 256
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Title: The Story of My Life

Author(s): Helen A. Keller
ISBN 13: 9780486292496
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Title: Rosalind Franklin

Brenda Maddox tells a powerful story of a remarkably single-minded, forthright, and tempestuous young woman who, at the age of fifteen, decided she was going to be a scientist, but who was airbrushed out of the greatest scientific discovery ...
Author(s): Brenda Maddox
ISBN 13: 9780060985080
Pages: 416
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Title: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

<p>Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells—taken without her knowledge—became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first “immortal” human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than sixty years. If you could pile all HeLa cells ever grown onto a scale, they’d weigh more than 50 million metric tons—as much as a hundred Empire State Buildings. HeLa cells were vital for developing the polio vaccine; uncovered secrets of cancer, viruses, and the atom bomb’s effects; helped lead to important advances like in vitro fertilization, cloning, and gene mapping; and have been bought and sold by the billions.</p> <p>Yet Henrietta Lacks remains virtually unknown, buried in an unmarked grave.</p> <p>Now Rebecca Skloot takes us on an extraordinary journey, from the “colored” ward of Johns Hopkins Hospital in the 1950s to stark white laboratories with freezers full of HeLa cells; from Henrietta’s small, dying hometown of Clover, Virginia—a land of wooden slave quarters, faith healings, and voodoo—to East Baltimore today, where her children and grandchildren live and struggle with the legacy of her cells.</p> <p>Henrietta’s family did not learn of her “immortality” until more than twenty years after her death, when scientists investigating HeLa began using her husband and children in research without informed consent. And though the cells had launched a multimillion-dollar industry that sells human biological materials, her family never saw any of the profits. As Rebecca Skloot so brilliantly shows, the story of the Lacks family—past and present—is inextricably connected to the dark history of experimentation on African Americans, the birth of bioethics, and the legal battles over whether we control the stuff we are made of.</p> <p>Over the decade it took to uncover this story, Rebecca became enmeshed in the lives of the Lacks family—especially Henrietta’s daughter Deborah, who was devastated to learn about her mother’s cells. She was consumed with questions: Had scientists cloned her mother? Did it hurt her when researchers infected her cells with viruses and shot them into space? What happened to her sister, Elsie, who died in a mental institution at the age of fifteen? And if her mother was so important to medicine, why couldn’t her children afford health insurance?&nbsp;<br> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<br> Intimate in feeling, astonishing in scope, and impossible to put down, <i>The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks</i> captures the beauty and drama of scientific discovery, as well as its human consequences.</p>
Author(s): Rebecca Skloot
ISBN 13: 9781400052189
Pages: 381
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Title: In the Shadow of Man

World-renowned primatologist, conservationist, and humanitarian Dr. Jane Goodall’s account of her life among the wild chimpanzees of Gombe is one of the most enthralling stories of animal behavior ever written. Her adventure began when the famous anthropologist Dr. Louis Leakey suggested that a long-term study of chimpanzees in the wild might shed light on the behavior of our closest living relatives. Accompanied by only her mother and her African assistants, she set up camp in the remote Gombe Stream Chimpanzee Reserve in Tanzania. For months the project seemed hopeless; out in the forest from dawn until dark, she had but fleeting glimpses of frightened animals. But gradually she won their trust and was able to record previously unknown behavior, such as the use—and even the making—of tools, until then believed to be an exclusive skill of man. As she came to know the chimps as individuals, she began to understand their complicated social hierarchy and observed many extraordinary behaviors, which have forever changed our understanding of the profound connection between humans and chimpanzees. In the Shadow of Man is “one of the Western world’s great scientific achievements” (Stephen Jay Gould) and a vivid, essential journey of discovery for each new generation of readers.

A classic on primate research and one of the most enthralling portrayals of animal behavior ever written.

Author(s): Jane Goodall
ISBN 13: 9780547334165
Pages: 302
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Title: Marie Antoinette: The Journey

An utterly riveting and intensely moving book by one of the world’s finest biographers.

Never before has the life of Marie Antoinette been told so intimately and with such authority. The eighteenth-century French queen whose excesses became legend, Marie Antoinette was blamed for instigating the French Revolution. In this lavishly illustrated biography, best-selling author Antonia Fraser portrays a woman whose journey from palace to guillotine was doomed by her innocence and the manipulations of the ancien régime.

Antonia Fraser takes us behind the scenes to tell the story of the fourteen-year-old Archduchess of Austria’s arrival at the French court of Versailles, betrothed to the future King Louis XVI. Hostage to her mother Empress Maria Theresa’s foreign policy, Marie Antoinette was immediately accused of political interference by the French, yet she was not interested in state affairs, preferring to play a gracious, philanthropic role, patronizing the arts, especially music.

Fraser weaves a richly detailed account of Marie Antoinette’s journey from an innocent, unsophisticated young girl into a magnificently courageous woman who, in the last days of the ancien régime, defied her enemies at her trial with consummate intelligence, arousing the admiration of even the most hostile revolutionaries.

Brilliantly written, Marie Antoinette is a work of impeccable scholarship. Drawing on a wealth of letters and other archival materials, Antonia Fraser successfully avoids the hagiography of some of the French queen’s admirers and the misogyny of many of her critics.

Brilliantly written, Marie Antoinette is a work of impeccable scholarship. Drawing on a wealth of family letters and other archival materials, Antonia Fraser successfully avoids the hagiography of some the French queen’s admirers and the misogyny of many of her critics. The result is an utterly riveting and intensely moving book by one of our finest biographers.

Author(s): Antonia Fraser
ISBN 13: 9780385489492
Pages: 544
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Title: I Am Malala

A MEMOIR BY THE YOUNGEST RECIPIENT OF THE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE "I come from a country that was created at midnight. When I almost died it was just after midday." When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education. On Tuesday, October 9, 2012, when she was fifteen, she almost paid the ultimate price. She was shot in the head at point-blank range while riding the bus home from school, and few expected her to survive. Instead, Malala's miraculous recovery has taken her on an extraordinary journey from a remote valley in northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations in New York. At sixteen, she became a global symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest nominee ever for the Nobel Peace Prize. I AM MALALA is the remarkable tale of a family uprooted by global terrorism, of the fight for girls' education, of a father who, himself a school owner, championed and encouraged his daughter to write and attend school, and of brave parents who have a fierce love for their daughter in a society that prizes sons. I AM MALALA will make you believe in the power of one person's voice to inspire change in the world.
Author(s): Malala Yousafzai
ISBN 13: 9780316322409
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Title: Dorothy Parker: What Fresh Hell Is This?

This edition features a new afterword by Marion Meade.

Dorothy Parker was known as the wittiest woman in America during the 1920s and 1930s. In this lively, absorbing biography, Meade illuminates both the dark side of Parker and her days of wicked wittiness at the Alguonquin Round Table with the likes of William Faulkner. Photos.

Author(s): Marion Meade
ISBN 13: 9780140116168
Pages: 480
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