Latest Biographies News

Walter Minton, US publisher of ‘Lolita,‘ dies at 96

Nov. 20, 2019 5:17 PM EST

NEW YORK (AP) — Walter J. Minton, a publishing scion and risk taker with a self-described "nasty streak" who as head of G.P. Putnam's Sons released works by Norman Mailer and Terry Southern among others and signed up Vladimir Nabokov's scandalous "Lolita," has died at age 96. Minton’s wife, Marion,...

Book about Jack the Ripper’s victims wins nonfiction prize

Nov. 19, 2019 5:16 PM EST

LONDON (AP) — A book that seeks to restore the humanity of the women murdered by Jack the Ripper has won Britain’s leading nonfiction literary award. Historian Hallie Rubenhold was awarded the 50,000-pound ($65,000) Baillie Gifford Prize on Tuesday for “The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women...

Don’t overlook splashy coffee table books as holiday gifts

Nov. 19, 2019 12:56 PM EST

NEW YORK (AP) — Art, architecture, music or travel: Coffee table books can fill just the right gift niche, especially when the cost would be budget-busting if you bought one for yourself. Offerings abound at holiday time. Some suggestions: HOMES: “Architectural Digest: AD at 100, a Century of...

Review: 'Life Isn't Everything' toasts director Mike Nichols

Nov. 12, 2019 1:54 PM EST

"Life isn't everything: Mike Nichols, as remembered by 103 of his closest friends," Henry Holt and Co., by Ash Carter and Sam Kashner The subtitle of "Life isn't everything," a captivating oral history of the late director Mike Nichols, is no joke. But just how did the man behind popular movies like "The...

Reflections on writing about the lives of Beckett, Beauvoir

Nov. 11, 2019 4:16 PM EST

"Parisian Lives: Samuel Beckett, Simone de Beauvoir, and Me: A Memoir," Nan A. Talese/Doubleday, by Deirdre Bair Deirdre Bair has spent her life writing well-received biographies of some of the 20th century's most fascinating people, including Al Capone and Carl Jung. Yet the only two subjects that anyone has...

Review: Fine biography focuses on Brando's internal struggle

Nov. 6, 2019 10:58 AM EST

"The Contender: The Story of Marlon Brando," Harper, by William J. Mann Marlon Brando made no apologies for being an iconoclast and living and loving as he chose, even scorning the adulation that came with being called the most influential actor in the last seven decades. The media-fed public often saw hypocrisy...

New Stritch bio reveals vulnerability behind the moxy

Oct. 22, 2019 1:32 PM EDT

"Still Here: The Madcap, Nervy, Singular Life of Elaine Stritch," Farrar, Straus and Giroux, by Alexandra Jacobs As the curtain rises in a new biography of Elaine Stritch, the scene is the actress' New York memorial service, attended by some of the biggest names in the theater world, with eulogies by Tony-winning...

Genre-bending bio of Thomas Edison is highly illuminating

Oct. 21, 2019 2:44 PM EDT

"Edison," Random House, by Edmund Morris The late Edmund Morris, a Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer known for his willingness to brush aside the norms of his genre if it suited his narrative ends, does it again in his final book: a fresh look at Thomas Alva Edison, perhaps America's most prolific and...

Hollywood 'fixer' Scotty Bowers dies; he wrote tell-all book

Oct. 16, 2019 8:58 AM EDT

NEW YORK (AP) — Scotty Bowers, a self-described Hollywood "fixer" whose memoir offered sensational accounts of the sex lives of such celebrities as Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, has died. He was 96. Bowers' agent, David Kuhn, said he died Sunday of natural causes at his...

Deadly protests squeeze Haitians in shrinking economy

Oct. 3, 2019 11:55 PM EDT

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Marcel Cineus scanned the crowd for hints of a potential customer as people bustled past his wooden stall filled with hundreds of textbooks in the hills of Port-au-Prince. School was supposed to start in early September, and Cineus by now would have sold a couple hundred books....