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selected reviews...

"Marie Antoinette: The Last Queen of France"
by Evelyne Lever
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A sympathetic portrait of history's most reviled queen? Mais c'est impossible! But in "Marie Antoinette," historian Evelyne Lever makes the last French royal look less like a princess of excess and more like a party girl with a heart of gold. Factor in bad judgment, an even worse marriage, and some seriously angry peasants, and you get a biography that reads like the most gripping historical fiction. (Not to mention a queen with a substantially reduced hairstyle.)

"The Girl in the Picture"
by Denise Chong
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She became a symbol of her country's suffering in the blink of a camera shutter; the 1972 photograph of her tiny body aflame won a Pulitzer Prize and was even credited with helping end the Vietnam War. "The Girl in the Picture" tells the story of Kim Phuc's life after her moment of fame, rendering the struggles and triumphs of a woman whose courage and faith took her through hell and back.

"Can't You Hear Me Callin': The Life of Bill Monroe"
by Richard D. Smith
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What does it take to invent an art form from scratch? If that form is bluegrass music, the answer is heartache, and lots of it. "Can't You Hear Me Callin'" follows the legendary Bill Monroe's evolution from the lonely, cross-eyed son of a Kentucky farmer to one of the most towering figures in American music--more influential, writes Richard Smith, than Elvis himself.

"Waiting: The True Confessions of a Waitress"
by Debra Ginsberg
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Anyone who's ever smiled at a table of drunks through gritted teeth needs to pick up a copy of "Waiting." More to the point, so does everyone who's ever placed an order of their own. This warm, honest, and wickedly funny memoir could be the floor staff's version of "Kitchen Confidential" --or maybe just a cautionary guide for what not to do when you're eating out.

EDITOR'S CHOICE
It's a veritable folie de Proust! First came Edmund White's slender, artful 1999 biography; then William Carter's magisterial work; and now French critic Jean-Yves Tadie weighs in with a witty and elegant examination of the novelist's life, work, and the differentiation thereof. Can a rage for madeleines dipped in linden tea be far behind? Peruse our list of biographies (and related works) and have a Proustian moment of your own.
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NEW IN PAPERBACK
"A Rage to Live: A Biography of Richard and Isabel Burton"
by Mary S. Lovell
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"Falling: The Story of One Marriage"
by John Taylor
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"Caravaggio: A Life"
by Helen Langdon
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"I Could Tell You Stories: Sojourns in the Land of Memory"
by Patricia Hampl
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HOLLYWOOD DISH
From the "If You Don't Have Anything Nice to Say, Come Sit by Me" department: "Cybill Disobedience" gives us the dirt on Elvis, Bruce Willis, and the, ah, Cybill sandwich, in a memoir our customers are calling "good gossip in a breezy, bright package." (But "I wouldn't trust this woman with my husband," another reader is quick to add.) Hungry for more celeb bios? We've got 'em--from Liz Taylor to Judy Garland, Burt Lancaster to Ol' Blue Eyes himself.
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NEW Biographiwes for Summer 1999


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Latest Biographical Book Releases

"The Life and Writings of Abraham Lincoln"
edited by Philip Van Doren Stern
REVIEW
Abraham Lincoln's papers--including his first stump speech in 1832, personal letters, and a pass a congressman was to use to visit him the day after he was assassinated--along with historian Philip Van Doren Stern's biography of the great president, are published together for the first time since 1940 in the Modern Library's "The Life and Writings of Abraham Lincoln."

"George Eliot: The Last Victorian"
by Kathryn Hughes
REVIEW
When Mary Ann Evans was born in 1819, she seemed predestined to lead the quietly obscure life of other lower-class British women of her era. But, as "George Eliot: The Last Victorian" reveals, she famously defied her origins, maturing into a great writer and influential Victorian thinker.

"Dark Wind: A Survivor's Tale of Love and Loss"
by Gordon Chaplin
REVIEW
A shared love of adventure drew Gordon Chaplin and Susan Atkinson together, and the lovers soon set sail through the Marshall Islands in the Pacific Ocean. When a tropical storm surprised them, their decision to challenge nature came at a devastating price. In "Dark Wind," Chaplin explores the forces that united him and his wife and ultimately tore them apart.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, HEMINGWAY
He shot gazelles in Kenya, skied the Alps, tracked U-boats through the Caribbean, and traveled through marriages at a clip. The details of Ernest Hemingway's adventure-filled life are nearly as well known as his literature. A collection of books, headed up by Lillian Ross's "Portrait of Hemingway" and the final volume of Michael Reynolds's epic biography of the writer, reveals the literary giant as a man of many passions. http://www.amazon.com/hemingway
"Portrait of Hemingway"
by Lillian Ross
REVIEW
"Hemingway: The Final Years"
by Michael Reynolds
REVIEW

A WOMAN OF SUBSTANCE
Eleanor Roosevelt was a formidable force for social change, championing, most notably, the rights of women, minorities, and the poor during her White House years and long after. In an exclusive essay, ER's biographer Blanche Wiesen Cook writes about the former first lady's political legacy, pointing out that 50 years after Roosevelt began her work, there is still much progress to be made.
"Eleanor Roosevelt: Vol. 2: 1933-1938"
by Blanche Wiesen Cook
REVIEW

AUGUSTINE UNDRESSED
Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and biographer Garry Wills sketches the life of the former bishop of Hippo in "Saint Augustine," the latest addition to the lauded Penguin Lives series.
"Saint Augustine"
by Garry Wills
REVIEW

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