Amitava Kumar is a novelist, poet, journalist, filmmaker, and Helen D. Lockwood Professor of English at Vassar College. He is the author of A Foreigner Carrying in the Crook of His Arm a Tiny Bomb and Nobody Does the Right Thing: A Novel. His new book, A Matter of Rats: A Short Biography of Patna, is an entertaining account of his hometown.
Kumar's ruminations on one of the world's oldest cities, the capital of India's poorest province, are also a meditation on how to write about place. His memory is partial. All he has going for him is his attentiveness. He carefully observes everything that surrounds him in Patna: rats and poets, artists and politicians, a girl's picture in a historian's study, and a sheet of paper on his mother's desk.
One hundred years after his inauguration, Woodrow Wilson still stands as one of the most influential figures of the twentieth century, and one of the most enigmatic.
And now, after more than a decade of research and writing, Pulitzer Prize-winning author A. Scott Berg has completed Wilson--the most personal and penetrating biography ever written about the 28th President.
In this magisterial biography, Adam Begley offers an illuminating portrait of John Updike, the acclaimed novelist, poet, short-story writer, and critic who saw himself as a literary spy in small-town and suburban America, who dedicated himself to the task of transcribing “middleness with all its grits, bumps and anonymities.”
Margaret Fuller was a groundbreaking author, social reformer, and Transcendentalist. In her new biography about Fuller, Pulitzer finalist, Megan Marshall, tells the story of how Fuller, tired of Boston, accepted Horace Greeley’s offer to be the New-York Tribune’s front-page columnist. The move unleashed a crusading concern for the urban poor and the plight of prostitutes, and a late-in-life hunger for passionate experience.
Norman Mailer was one of the giants of American letters and one of the most celebrated public figures of his time. He was a novelist, journalist, biographer, and filmmaker; a provocateur and passionate observer of his times; and a husband, father, and serial philanderer.
J. Michael Lennon knew Mailer for thirty-five years, and has written the new biography, Norman Mailer: A Double Life.
Showtime's dramatic series Masters of Sex, starring Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan, is based on this real-life story of sex researchers William Masters and Virginia Johnson.
Convincing hundreds of men and women to shed their clothes and copulate, the pair were the nation’s top experts on love and intimacy. Highlighting interviews with the notoriously private Masters and the ambitious Johnson, critically acclaimed biographer Thomas Maier shows how this unusual team changed the way we all thought about, talked about, and engaged in sex while they simultaneously tried to make sense of their own relationship.
Millerton resident Peter Richmond is a renowned sportswriter whose work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, Vanity Fair, and Rolling Stone among others. His journalism has been included in a dozen different anthologies, including Best American Sportswriting of the Twentieth Century.
His previous books include The Glory Game with co-author Frank Gifford, and Badasses. In his new biography is Phil Jackson: The Lord of the Rings, Richmond gives an account of the life of the legendary coach of the Los Angeles Lakers and Chicago Bulls.
Richmond will be speaking Saturday at Oblong Books at 6PM in Millerton.
A strong willed and device of figure in British and International politics- Margaret Thatcher was the longest serving Prime Minister in the 20th century, and the first woman to hold the office. She oversaw Britain’s biggest social and political revolution in its post war history.
Jonathan Aitken, Cabinet administer under Thatcher, and a close family friend of 40 years- had a unique vantage point, and brings new light to many crucial episodes of the Thatcher era. He writes about it in his new book, Margaret Thatcher: Power and Personality.
He speaks about the source of the boundless ambition, and what gave root to her astonishing force of personality.
The new book Dorothea Lange: Grab a Hunk of Lightning is a volume that celebrates one of the 20th century’s most important photographers- led off by and authoritative biographical essay by Elizabeth Partridge, Lange’s goddaughter.
In American Mirror: The Life and Art of Norman Rockwell, a biographer and art critic Deborah Solomon draws on a wealth of unpublished letters and documents to explore the relationship between Rockwell’s despairing personality and his genius for reflecting America’s brightest hopes.
Although derided by critics in his lifetime as a mere illustrator whose work could not compete with that of the Abstract Expressionists and other modern art movements, Rockwell has since attracted a passionate following in the art world.