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"Superbly reported and written with clarity, insight, and great skill." --Washington Post Book World After two decades, Washington Post journalist Blaine Harden returned to his small-town birthplace in the Pacific Northwest to follow the rise and fall of the West's most thoroughly conquered river. To explore the Columbia River and befriend those who collaborated in its destruction, he traveled on a monstrous freight barge sailing west from Idaho to the Grand Coulee Dam, the site of the river's harnessing for the sake of jobs, electricity, and irrigation. A River Lost is a searing personal narrative of rediscovery joined with a narrative of exploitation: of Native Americans, of endangered salmon, of nuclear waste, and of a once-wild river. Updated throughout, this edition features a new foreword and afterword.
"Irresistibly seductive. ... Murder mystery, historical novel, portal to another time; The Blackest Bird is a masterpiece."--Anthony Bourdain In the sweltering summer of 1841, Mary Rogers, a popular tobacco shop counter girl, is found brutally murdered in the shallows of the Hudson River. John Colt, scion of the firearm fortune, beats his publisher to death with a hatchet. And young Irish gang leader Tommy Coleman is accused of killing his daughter, wife, and her former lover. Charged with solving it all is High Constable Jacob Hays, whose investigation will span a decade, involving gang wars, grave robbers, and clues hidden in poems by the hopeless romantic and minstrel of the night, Edgar Allan Poe.
A glittering adventure set in India at the height of the British Raj. The New York Times compared this book to Kipling's Kim and called it "a gorgeous entertainment." Of this early work, published when he was in his early twenties, Patrick O'Brian writes in a foreword: "In the writing of the book I learnt the rudiments of my calling: but more than that, it opened a well of joy that has not yet run dry." The story is about a young mahout--or elephant handler--his childhood and life in India, and his relationship and adventures with elephants. As a boy, Hussein falls in love with a beautiful and elusive girl, Sashiya, and arranges for another of her suitors to be murdered with a fakir's curse. The dead man's relatives vow vengeance. Hussein escapes and his adventures begin: snake-charming, sword-fighting, spying, stealing a fortune, and returning triumphantly to claim his bride. All of this is set against an evocatively exotic India, full of bazaars, temples, and beautiful women--despite the fact that O'Brian had never been to the East when he wrote the story.
"O'Brian was only 15 when [Caesar] was published, but he already possessed an instinct for deft plotting and uncomplicated narrative."--The New York Times A stark tale encompassing the cruelty and beauty of the natural world, and a clear demonstration of the storytelling gift that would later flower in the Aubrey/Maturin series. When he was fourteen years old and beset by chronic ill health, Patrick O'Brian began creating his first fictional character. "I did it in my bedroom, and a little when I should have been doing my homework," he confessed in a note on the original dust-jacket. Caesar tells the picaresque, enchanting, and quite bloodthirsty story of a creature whose father is a giant panda and whose mother is a snow leopard. Through the eyes and voice of this fabulous creature, we learn of his life as a cub, his first hunting exploits, his first encounters with man, his capture and taming. Caesar was published in 1930, three months after O'Brian's fifteenth birthday, but the dry wit and unsentimental precision O'Brian readers savor in the Aubrey/Maturin series is already in evidence. The book combines Stephen Maturin's fascination and encyclopedic knowledge of natural history with the narrative charm of Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book. It was published in England and the United States, and in translation in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Japan. Reviews hailed the author as the "boy-Thoreau." "We can see here a true storyteller in the making....a gripping narrative, which holds the reader's attention and never flags."--The Spectator
"The best biography of Picasso."--Kenneth Clark Patrick O'Brian's outstanding biography of Picasso is here available in paperback for the first time. It is the most comprehensive yet written, and the only biography fully to appreciate the distinctly Mediterranean origins of Picasso's character and art. Everything about Picasso, except his physical stature, was on an enormous scale. No painter of the first rank has been so awe-inspiringly productive. No painter of any rank has made so much money. A few painters have rivaled his life span of ninety years, but none has attracted so avid, so insatiable, a public interest. Patrick O'Brian knew Picasso sufficiently well to have a strong sense of his personality. The man that emerges from this scholarly, passionate, and brilliantly written biography is one of many contradictions: hard and tender, mean and generous, affectionate and cold, private despite the relish of his fame. In his later years he professed communism, yet in O'Brian's view retained to the end of his life a residual Catholic outlook. Not that such matters were allowed to interfere with his vigorous sensuality. Sex and money, eating and drinking, friends and quarrels, comedies and tragedies, suicides and wars tumble one another in the vast chaos of his experience. he was "a man almost as lonely as the sun, but one who glowed with much the same fierce, burning life." It is with that impression of its subject that this book leaves its readers.
"A welcome reissue of O'Brian's moving and very fine first novel."--Kirkus Reviews Delmore Schwartz, the most influential critic in postwar America, wrote of Patrick O'Brian's first novel Testimonies: "A triumph...drawn forward by lyric eloquence and the story's fascination, [the reader] discovers in the end that he has encountered in a new way the sphinx and the riddle of existence itself." Schwartz' imagination was fired by this sinister tale of love and death set in Wales, a timeless story with echoes of Thomas Hardy and Mary Webb. Joseph Pugh, sick of Oxford and of teaching, decides to take some time off to live in a wild and beautiful Welsh farm valley. There he falls physically ill and is nursed back to health by Bronwen Vaughn, the wife of a neighboring farmer. Slowly, unwillingly, Bronwen and Pugh fall in love;' and while that word is never spoken between them, their story is as passionate and as tragic as that of Vronsky and Anna Karenina.
An immediate precursor to Patrick O'Brian's acclaimed Aubrey/Maturin series, displaying all the splendid prose and attention to detail that O'Brian's readers expect. Patrick O'Brian's first novel about the sea, The Golden Ocean, took inspiration from Commodore George Anson's fateful circumnavigation of the globe in 1740. In The Unknown Shore, O'Brian returns to this rich source and mines it brilliantly for another, quite different tale of exploration and adventure. The Wager was parted from Anson's squadron in the fierce storms off Cape Horn and struggled alone up the coast of Chile until she was driven against the rocks and sank. The survivors were soon involved in trouble of every kind. A surplus of rum, a disappearing stock of food, and a hard, detested captain soon drove them into drunkenness, mutiny, and bloodshed. After many months of privation, a handful of men made their way northward under the guidance of a band of Indians, at last finding safety in Valparaiso. This saga of survival is the background to the adventures of two young men aboard the Wager: midshipman Jack Byron and his friend Tobias Barrow, an alarmingly naive surgeon's mate. Patrick O'Brian's many devoted readers will take particular interest in this story, as Jack and Toby form a kind of blueprint for Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin, the famed heroes of the great Aubrey/Maturin series to come.
The first novel Patrick O'Brian ever wrote about the sea, a precursor to the acclaimed Aubrey/Maturin series. In the year 1740, Commodore (later Admiral) George Anson embarked on a voyage that would become one of the most famous exploits in British naval history. Sailing through poorly charted waters, Anson and his men encountered disaster, disease, and astonishing success. They circumnavigated the globe and seized a nearly incalcuable sum of Spanish gold and silver, but only one of the five ships survived. This is the background to the first novel Patrick O'Brian ever wrote about the sea, a precursor to the acclaimed Aubrey/Maturin series that shares the excitement and rich humor of those books. The protagonist is Peter Palafox, son of a poor Irish parson, who signs on as a midshipman, never before having seen a ship. Together with his lifelong friend Sean, Peter sets out to seek his fortune, embarking upon a journey of danger, disappointment, foreign lands, and excitement. Here is a tale certain to please not only admirers of O'Brian's work but also any reader with an adventurous soul.
"Unputdownable... a masterpiece of chilling, mesmerizing control.'"--Michael Dirda, Washington Post The Horned Man opens with a man losing his place in a book, then deepens into a dark and terrifying tale of a man losing his place in the world. As Lawrence Miller--an English expatriate and professor of gender studies--tells the story of what appears to be an elaborate conspiracy to frame him for a series of brutal killings, we descend into a world of subtly deceptive appearances where persecutor and victim continually shift roles, where paranoia assumes an air of calm rationality, and where enlightenment itself casts a darkness in which the most nightmarish acts occur. As the novel races to its shocking conclusion, we follow Miller as he traverses the streets of Manhattan and the decaying suburbs beyond, in terrified pursuit of his pursuers. Written with sinuous grace and intellectual acuity, The Horned Man is an extraordinary, unforgettable first novel by an acclaimed writer and poet of unusual power. Reading group guide included.
"Peterson writes of nature with an intimacy that tugs at the reader's deep memory."--Orion This is the story of a life and spirit guided by animals. Brenda Peterson was raised in the High Sierras on a national forest lookout station, and wildlife had a daily, defining influence on her life. Peterson explores her deep connection with animals, from watching grizzlies in Montana's Rockies, to keeping Siberian huskies as pets in New York City, to her work for the restoration of wild wolves. Her lively storytelling bridges the worlds of human and animal, as she fascinates us with intimate stories of her studies of wild dolphins, whales, and orcas. Peterson reveals how animal bonds have enriched her life and led her toward a wider epiphany: As a species we cannot live without other animals. "[A] wealth of fascinating anecdotes and insights...[an] engaging memoir."--Publishers Weekly
"A striking portrait of a woman artist's struggle for life." --Arthur Miller Margarett Sargent was an icon of avant-garde art in the 1920s. In an evocative weave of biography and memoir, her granddaughter unearths for the first time the life of a spirited and gifted woman committed at all costs to self-expression.
"An absorbing, affecting and beautifully written novel."--New York Times Book Review In Lisa Michaels's enthralling debut novel, she weaves the tale of two young newlyweds, Glen and Bessie Hyde, who set out in 1928 to run the rapids of the Grand Canyon. The pair hoped to set a record: Bessie would be the first woman to negotiate that treacherous stretch of the Colorado River. When they failed to appear at their destination on time, Glen's father mounted a desperate search to find them. Based on the few known facts of a true story, Grand Ambition contemplates our need for risk and danger, and treats with great complexity the power of youthful passion. Reading Group Guide included.
To "fight for your rights," or anyone else's, is not just to debate principles but to haggle over budgets. The simple insight that all legally enforceable rights cost money reminds us that freedom is not violated by a government that taxes and spends, but requires it--and requires a citizenry vigilant about how money is allocated. Drawing from these practical, commonsense notions, The Cost of Rights provides a useful corrective to the all-or-nothing feel of much political debate nowadays (The Economist).
In thirty-five years and dozens of return trips to Ireland, Thomas Lynch has found a template for the larger world inside the small one, the planet in the local parish. Part memoir, part cultural study, Booking Passage is a brilliant, often comedic guidebook for those "fellow travelers, fellow pilgrims" making their way through the complexities of their own lives and times.
A love story, a detective story, a book of secrets, a beautifully written journey into a forest of family trees. After writing the definitive biographies of Lytton Strachey and George Bernard Shaw, Michael Holroyd turned his hand to a more personal subject: his own family. The result was Basil Street Blues, published in 1999. But rather than the story being over, it was in fact only beginning. As letters from readers started to pour in, the author discovered extraordinary narratives that his own memoir had only touched on. Mosaic is Holroyd's piecing together of these remarkable stories: the murder of the fearsome headmaster of his school; the discovery that his Swedish grandmother was the mistress of the French anarchist Jacques Prévert; and a letter about the beauty of his mother that provides a clue to a decade-long affair. Funny, touching, and wry, Mosaic shows how other people's lives, however eccentric or extreme, echo our own dreams and experiences.
Masterful essays that illuminate not only how we die but also how we live. Thomas Lynch, poet, funeral director, and author of the highly praised The Undertaking, winner of an American Book Award and finalist for the National Book Award, continues to examine the relations between the "literary and mortuary arts." "Lynch engages the reader with a mixture of poetic and funerary elements....his voice is rich and generous."--Richard Bernstein, New York Times "[W]hat makes him such a fine essayist is that it's just the business of everyday life and death to him."--Los Angeles Times Book Review "Few readers will walk away from this volume less than stunned and grateful."--Jay Parini, author of Benjamin's Crossing "A luminous work of words."--Nicholas Delbanco, author of What Remains
"An absorbing and enjoyable book."--New York Times Book Review Drawing on new primary sources, this biography is the first to detail the influence of British history, literature, and culture--in particular, the ideas of Winston Churchill--on America's thirty-fifth president. For the first time we trace the friendships and forces that led to the White House and shaped Kennedy's actions there. In this intimate portrait of a leader torn between politics and principle, we finally come to know the man Kennedy wanted to be and to understand his long, private struggle to become that man.
"The best book ever produced about Louis Armstrong by anyone other than the man himself."--Terry Teachout, Commentary In the early twentieth century, New Orleans was a place of colliding identities and histories, and Louis Armstrong was a gifted young man of psychological nimbleness. A dark-skinned, impoverished child, he grew up under low expectations, Jim Crow legislation, and vigilante terrorism. Yet he also grew up at the center of African American vernacular traditions from the Deep South, learning the ecstatic music of the Sanctified Church, blues played by street musicians, and the plantation tradition of ragging a tune. Louis Armstrong's New Orleans interweaves a searching account of early twentieth-century New Orleans with a narrative of the first twenty-one years of Armstrong's life. Drawing on a stunning body of first-person accounts, this book tells the rags-to-riches tale of Armstrong's early life and the social and musical forces that shaped him. The city and the musician are both extraordinary, their relationship unique, and their impact on American culture incalculable. Some images in this ebook are not displayed owing to permissions issues.
"An eloquent argument for speaking even the most difficult truths." --New York Times Book Review Paul Moore's vocation as an Episcopal priest took him-- with his wife, Jenny, and their family of nine children--from robber-baron wealth to work among the urban poor, leadership in the civil rights and peace movements, and two decades as the bishop of New York. The Bishop's Daughter is his daughter's story of that complex, visionary man: a chronicle of her turbulent relationship with a father who struggled privately with his sexuality while she openly explored hers and a searching account of the consequences of sexual secrets.
To the delight of millions of Patrick O'Brian fans, here is the final, partial installment of the Aubrey/Maturin series, for the first time in paperback. Blue at the Mizzen (novel #20) ended with Jack Aubrey getting the news, in Chile, of his elevation to flag rank: Rear Admiral of the Blue Squadron, with orders to sail to the South Africa station. The next novel, unfinished and untitled at the time of the author's death, would have been the chronicle of that mission, and much else besides. The three chapters left on O'Brian's desk are presented here both in printed version-including his corrections to the typescript-and a facsimile of his manuscript, which goes several pages beyond the end of the typescript to include a duel between Stephen Maturin and an impertinent officer who is courting his fiancée. Of course we would rather have had the whole story; instead we have this proof that O'Brian's powers of observation, his humor, and his understanding of his characters were undiminished to the end.
A renowned social psychologist's clear-cut, thoughtful, and practical strategy for parents who want to promote self-confidence in their child. Raising confident, motivated, and caring children is a parent's greatest challenge. Drawing on her own extensive research on children and parents, Terri Apter has created a guide based on "emotional coaching"--learning to respond appropriately to a child's feelings--that helps parents raise children to solve problems, to be socially active and understand others, and to manage emotions, all of which are crucial to developing confidence and functioning successfully in society. Hugely insightful, reassuring, and accessible, The Confident Child is a truly necessary parenting guide. Winner of The Delta Kappa Gamma Society International Educator's Award.
"The author of Altered Loves . . . now turns her analytical eye toward middle-aged women. The result is both lively and revealing." --New York Times Book Review In this groundbreaking and insightful study Terri Apter traces womens midlife course, drawing on detailed interviews with women in their forties and fifties. Apter finds that women experience a renewed sense of themselves and see the second half of life as an opportunity for psychological growth and fulfillment instead of a time of despair over lost youth and beauty. She divides midlife women into four categories--traditional, innovative, expansive, protesting--and shows the cause for the midlife crisis and the path toward resolution for each type.
The story of one man's evolution from naive and ambitious young intern to world-class neurosurgeon. With poignant insight and humor, Frank Vertosick Jr., MD, describes some of the greatest challenges of his career, including a six-week-old infant with a tumor in her brain, a young man struck down in his prime by paraplegia, and a minister with a .22-caliber bullet lodged in his skull. Told through intimate portraits of Vertosick's patients and unsparing yet fascinatingly detailed descriptions of surgical procedures, When the Air Hits Your Brain--the culmination of decades spent struggling to learn an unforgiving craft--illuminates both the mysteries of the mind and the realities of the operating room.
"It is difficult to imagine a juicier subject, or a more thoughtful, fluent, trustworthy guide for its exploration."--San Francisco Chronicle A chronicle of the two decades that noted sociologist Kristin Luker spent following parents in four America communities engaged in a passionate war of ideas and values, When Sex Goes to School explores a conflict with stakes that are deceptively simple and painfully personal. For these parents, the question of how their children should be taught about sex cuts far deeper than politics, religion, or even friendship. "The drama of this book comes from watching the exceptionally thoughtful Luker try to figure [sex education] out" (Judith Shulevitz, New York Times Book Review). In doing so, Luker also traces the origins of sex education from the turn-of-the-century hygienist movement to the marriage-obsessed 1950s and the sexual and gender upheavals of the 1960s. Her unexpected conclusions make it impossible to look at the intersections of the private and the political in the same way.
Here is a remarkable true story of forgiveness--a tremendous testament to the courage that propels one toward remembrance, and finally, peace with the past. A classic war autobiography, The Railway Man is a powerful tale of survival and of the human capacity to understand even those who have done us unthinkable harm. From The Railway Man: The passion for trains and railroads is, I have been told, incurable. I have also learned that there is no cure for torture. These two afflictions have been intimately linked in the course of my life, and yet through some chance combination of luck and grace I have survived them both. I was born in Edinburgh, in the lowlands of Scotland, in 1919. My father was an official in the General Post Office there, a career which he had started as a boy of 16 and which he intended me to imitate to the letter. He was fascinated by telephony and telegraphy, and I grew up in a world in which tinkering and inventing and making were honoured past-times. I vividly remember the first time that my father placed a giant set of headphones around my ears and I heard, through the hiss and buzz of far-off-energies, a disembodied human voice. In the worst times, much later, when I thought I was about to die in pain and shock at the hands of men who could not imagine anything of my life, who had no respect for who I was or my history, I might have wished that my father had had a different passion. But in the 1920s, technology was still powerful and beautiful without being menacing. Who would have thought that a radio, for example, could cause terrible harm? It seemed to be a wonderful instrument by which people could speak to each other; and yet I heard Hitler ranting over airwaves, and saw two men beaten to death for their part in making such an instrument, and suffered for my own part in it for a half a century.
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