On the eve of the publication of Harper Lee's Go Set A Watchman, we speak with Marja Mills about her book, The Mockingbird Next Door.

To Kill a Mockingbird is one of the best loved novels of the twentieth century. But for the last fifty years, the novel’s celebrated author, Harper Lee, known to her friends as Nelle, has said almost nothing on the record. Journalists have trekked to her hometown of Monroeville, Alabama, where she has lived part of the year with her sister Alice for decades, trying and failing to get an interview with the author. But in 2001, the Lee sisters opened their door to Chicago Tribune journalist Marja Mills.

  Born Lyova Haskell Rosenthal in New York City, actress Lee Grant spent her youth accumulating more experiences than most people have in a lifetime: from student at the famed Neighborhood Playhouse to member of the legendary Actors Studio; from celebrated Broadway star to Vogue “It Girl” and Oscar-Winner for Shampoo.

At age twenty-four, she was nominated for an Academy Award for Detective Story, and a year later found herself married and a mother for the first time, her career on the rise. And then she lost it all. Her name landed on the Hollywood black­list, her offers for film and television roles ground to a halt, and her marriage fell apart.

Her memoir is, I Said Yes to Everything.

  In November of 2007, Bard College Professor Joseph Luzzi’s wife, Katherine, who was 8 1/2 months pregnant, was in a fatal car accident. Their daughter, Isabel, was born by C-section, just 45 minutes before her mother died on the operating table.

Suddenly a widower and a single father to an infant, Luzzi saw life turned upside down by this new unexpected reality, one of intense grief and loneliness.

    Actress Kate Mulgrew is almost unrecognizable in her role as Red, the formidable former prison kitchen manager in the hit series Orange Is the New Black. She's also well known for her seven seasons as Captain Janeway on Star Trek: Voyager.

But the story behind the actress is more dramatic than anything she's played on screen. In her new memoir Born With Teeth, Mulgrew she tells her story as a struggling actress and about a monumental decision she made when she was just 22 years old, when her acting career was on the rise.

  The Emmy-award winning Orange is the New Black, based on Piper Kerman’s memoir of the same name, depicts her arrest, conviction and incarceration for drug-trafficking. The show’s third season premieres tomorrow.

But the book and Netflix series are from only Kerman’s perspective. Now, Cleary Wolters, the real life Alex Vause and Piper's former drug-smuggling lover, tells her side of the story in a new book, Out of Orange.

  Forty years ago, when a young Ginny Gilder stood on the edge of Boston’s Charles River and first saw a rowing shell in motion, it was love at first sight. Yearning to escape her family history, which included her mother’s emotional unraveling and her father’s singular focus on investment acumen as the ultimate trophy, Gilder discovered rowing at a pivotal moment in her life.

Having grown up in an era when girls were only beginning to abandon the sidelines as observers and cheerleaders to become competitors and national champions, Gilder harbored no dreams of athletic stardom. Once at Yale, however, her operating assumptions changed nearly overnight when, as a freshman in 1975, she found her way to the university’s rowing tanks in the gymnasium’s cavernous basement.

Course Correction: A Story of Rowing and Resilience in the Wake of Title IX recounts the physical and psychological barriers Gilder overcame as she transformed into an elite athlete who reached the highest echelon of her sport and recounts lessons learned from her journey.

  It’s a classic story of the American Dream. George Mitchell grew up in a working class family in Maine, experiencing firsthand the demoralizing effects of unemployment when his father was laid off from a lifelong job. But education was always a household priority, and Mitchell embraced every opportunity that came his way, eventually becoming the ranking Democrat in the Senate during the administrations of George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton.

Mitchell looks back at his adventures in law and politics in his memoir, The Negotiator.

  To be a writer, Amitava Kumar says, is to be an observer. The twenty-six essays in Lunch with a Bigot are Kumar's observations of the world put into words. A mix of memoir, reportage, and criticism, the essays include encounters with writers Salman Rushdie and Arundhati Roy, discussions on the craft of writing, and a portrait of the struggles of a Bollywood actor.

  On May 6, 2013, Amanda Berry made world-wide headlines when she kicked and clawed her way out of a Cleveland home and called 911, saying: “Help me, I’m Amanda Berry. . . I’ve been kidnapped, and I’ve been missing for ten years. And I’m here. I’m free now.” So began one of the most remarkable criminal stories of recent times. With an offer of a ride, Ariel Castro, a local school bus driver with a history of domestic violence, separately lured Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight to his run-down West Cleveland house, where he kept them locked and chained in the basement.

In the decade that followed, the three were repeatedly raped, psychologically abused, threatened with death, and often fed one meal a day.

In the new book: Hope: A Memoir of Survival in Cleveland by Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus, Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post reporters Mary Jordan and Kevin Sullivan interweave the events within Castro’s house with original reporting on efforts to find the missing girls.

  Professor Elizabeth Alexander is a poet, essayist, playwright and teacher. She was recently named a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, as well as the inaugural Frederick Iseman Professor of Poetry at Yale University. In 2009, she composed and delivered “Praise Song for the Day” for the inauguration of President Barack Obama.

In her memoir, The Light of the World, she finds herself at an existential crossroads after the sudden death of her husband. She tells a love story that is, itself, a story of loss. She reflects on the beauty of her married life, the trauma resulting from her husband’s death, and the solace found in caring for her two sons.