Mary Williams was born to Black Panther parents during the heart of the Black Power movement in Oakland, Calif., in the 1970s. She was just a toddler when her father went to San Quentin prison.
Her mother, struggled to support the family on her own, turning to alcohol, as her oldest sister turned to crack and prostitution. But when Williams was sent to spend the summer at a camp run by Jane Fonda, her life began to change.
Over the course of several summers, Fonda and Williams grew close, and eventually, the Hollywood star invited Williams, at age 16, to come live with her in Santa Monica. This was the beginning of a journey, which she chronicles in her new memoir, The Lost Daughter.
As a SEAL and combat medic, Mark Donald served his country with valorous distinction for almost twenty-five years and survived some of the most dangerous combat actions imaginable.
His new book, Battle Ready: Memoir of a SEAL Warrior Medic, immerses the reader in the unique life of the elite warrior-medic and describes his triumph over Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that threatened to destroy him and his family.
For years, people have been asking Ezekiel “Zeke” Emanuel, the brash, outspoken, and fiercely loyal eldest brother in the Emanuel clan, the same question: What did your mom put in the cereal? Middle brother Rahm is the mayor of Chicago, erstwhile White House chief of staff, and one of the most colorful figures in American politics. Youngest brother Ari is a Hollywood super-agent. And Zeke himself is one of the world’s leading bioethicists and oncologists, and a former special advisor for health policy in the Obama administration.
After the loss of his wife in a tragic accident, artist Danny Gregory chronicled his grief in the medium he knows best—the pages of his illustrated journals. His new book, A Kiss Before You Go: An Illustrated Memoir of Love and Loss, reproduces these journal pages in a visual memoir of Gregory's journey towards recovery.
Gregory's process reminds us that creative expression offers its own therapy, and that living each day to its fullest may be as simple as putting pen to paper. Anyone who has experienced loss will take solace in this candid look at grieving.
Domenica Ruta grew up in a working-class, Italian town north of Boston. Her mother, Kathi, a notorious figure in this place, was a drug addict and sometime dealer whose life swung between welfare and riches, whose highbrow taste was at odds with her base appetites.
With or Without You: A Memoir is the story of Domenica Ruta’s unconventional coming of age—a darkly hilarious chronicle of a misfit ’90s childhood and the necessary and painful act of breaking away, and of overcoming her own addictions and demons in the process.
Anyone who saw an episode of Saturday Night Live between 1999 and 2006 knows Rachel Dratch. She was hilarious! So what happened to her? After a misbegotten part as Jenna on the pilot of 30 Rock, Dratch was only getting offered, she says, roles as “Lesbians or Secretaries. Sometimes secretaries who are lesbians.”
In 1985, Shelby Smoak was diagnosed HIV positive, a fact that he did not learn (by choice) until a few years later. Smoak’s diagnosis is compounded with the fact that he is also hemophiliac.
Set in the 1990s along the North Carolina coast, Bleeder traces Smoak’s quest for love in a world that feels increasingly dangerous, and despite a future that feels increasingly uncertain. From the bedroom to the operating room, and from one hospital to the next, Smoak seeks out hope and better health.
Smoak, a poet and novelist, who now teaches at Northern Virginian Community College in Arlington, has written a memoir of his experiences with both diseases, Bleeder.