In 2008, after a record-breaking career as a D1 college baseball player, Emil DeAndreis' life seemed set: He was twenty-three, in great shape, and had just been offered a contract to pitch professionally in Europe. Then his body fell apart. It started with elbow stiffness, then swelling in his wrist. Soon, his fingers were too bloated to grip a baseball. He had Rheumatoid Arthritis, a disease that causes swelling and eventual deterioration of the joints, mostly targeting old people and women. Hard To Grip tells the story of a young man's body giving out when he needs it most. It chronicles an ascending sports career, the ups and downs of life in the NCAA, and the challenges of letting go of pro baseball due to a dehumanizing condition. In a series of humorous anecdotes, Emil takes the reader on his bittersweet journey of a young man's having to grapple with an "old woman's disease." From striking out future major leaguer All Stars, to sitting in support groups; from breaking university records, to barely making it up the stairs; from language barriers with Chinese healers to figuring out how to be employed as a vegetable, this book unveils the disease with humor and fearless honesty through the eyes of an unlikely victim. This memoir is an honest, rueful and at times hilarious story about learning to come to terms with a new reality, and an inspiring account of how Emil learned to run with the disease and not from it.
A haunting collection of lyrically-intense persona poems, "Black Crow Dress" is at once about the emancipation of slaves in their myriad voices as well as a meditation on the self. The collection's lush imagery takes us from church yard to church, chanting the old spirituals, as Johnson seeks to embody the spirits of the dead: Clea, Caroline and Zebedee. Original.
Author: Alex Lemon
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2009-12-29
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
His freshman year of college, Alex Lemon was supposed to be the star catcher on the Macalester College baseball team. He was the boy getting every girl, the hard-partying kid everyone called Happy. In the spring of 1997, he had his first stroke. For two years Lemon coped with his deteriorating health by sinking deeper into alcohol and drug abuse. His charming and carefree exterior masked his self-destructive and sometimes cruel behavior as he endured two more brain bleeds and a crippling depression. After undergoing brain surgery, he is nursed back to health by his free-spirited artist mother, who once again teaches him to stand on his own. Alive with unexpected humor and sensuality, Happy is a hypnotic self-portrait of a young man confronting the wreckage of his own body; it is also the deeply moving story of a mother’s redemptive and healing powers. Alex Lemon’s Technicolor sentences pop and sing as he writes about survival—of the body and of the human spirit.
Author: Leo Durocher
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Release Date: 2009-09-15
Genre: Sports & Recreation
“I believe in rules. Sure I do. If there weren't any rules, how could you break them?” The history of baseball is rife with colorful characters. But for sheer cantankerousness, fighting moxie, and will to win, very few have come close to Leo “the Lip” Durocher. Following a five-decade career as a player and manager for baseball’s most storied franchises, Durocher teamed up with veteran sportswriter Ed Linn to tell the story of his life in the game. The resulting book, Nice Guys Finish Last, is baseball at its best, brimming with personality and full of all the fights and feuds, triumphs and tricks that made Durocher such a success—and an outsized celebrity. Durocher began his career inauspiciously, riding the bench for the powerhouse 1928 Yankees and hitting so poorly that Babe Ruth nicknamed him “the All-American Out.” But soon Durocher hit his stride: traded to St. Louis, he found his headlong play and never-say-die attitude a perfect fit with the rambunctious “Gashouse Gang” Cardinals. In 1939, he was named player-manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers—and almost instantly transformed the underachieving Bums into perennial contenders. He went on to manage the New York Giants, sharing the glory of one of the most famous moments in baseball history, Bobby Thomson’s “shot heard ’round the world,” which won the Giants the 1951 pennant. Durocher would later learn how it felt to be on the other side of such an unforgettable moment, as his 1969 Cubs, after holding first place for 105 days, blew a seemingly insurmountable 8-1/2-game lead to the Miracle Mets. All the while, Durocher made as much noise off the field as on it. His perpetual feuds with players, owners, and league officials—not to mention his public associations with gamblers, riffraff, and Hollywood stars like George Raft and Larraine Day—kept his name in the headlines and spread his fame far beyond the confines of the diamond. A no-holds-barred account of a singular figure, Nice Guys Finish Last brings the personalities and play-by-play of baseball’s greatest era to vivid life, earning a place on every baseball fan’s bookshelf.
In MUSES, David Hathwell honors rich sources of inspiration in ordinary experience that call forth--compel--vivid sensuous response. Hathwell finds his muse in a dancer's joy and the satisfactions of ritual celebration; a lone workman's dull routine; a red dress and poplars; a discarded ankle boot and the back of a hand.
#1 New York Times Bestseller 2014 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST In her first memoir, New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast brings her signature wit to the topic of aging parents. Spanning the last several years of their lives and told through four-color cartoons, family photos, and documents, and a narrative as rife with laughs as it is with tears, Chast's memoir is both comfort and comic relief for anyone experiencing the life-altering loss of elderly parents. When it came to her elderly mother and father, Roz held to the practices of denial, avoidance, and distraction. But when Elizabeth Chast climbed a ladder to locate an old souvenir from the "crazy closet†?-with predictable results-the tools that had served Roz well through her parents' seventies, eighties, and into their early nineties could no longer be deployed. While the particulars are Chast-ian in their idiosyncrasies-an anxious father who had relied heavily on his wife for stability as he slipped into dementia and a former assistant principal mother whose overbearing personality had sidelined Roz for decades-the themes are universal: adult children accepting a parental role; aging and unstable parents leaving a family home for an institution; dealing with uncomfortable physical intimacies; managing logistics; and hiring strangers to provide the most personal care. An amazing portrait of two lives at their end and an only child coping as best she can, Can't We Talk about Something More Pleasant will show the full range of Roz Chast's talent as cartoonist and storyteller.
Welcome to the wonderful world of public education, as seen through the eyes of seasoned substitute teacher, Horton Hagardy. It's a time you might recall with great fondness if you were a student-a day to escape the oppressive existence of your everyday tormentors. If you're a substitute, however, these dark, funny, and often poignant stories, take you to a very real place. In Emil DeAndreis's new book, Beyond Folly, we are on the front lines of the education system, in the trenches, so to speak, of what it feels like to face the everyday challenges of being a teacher on call. These thoughtful and insightful linked-together tales give the reader a behind-the-scenes peek into the life and mind of a substitute teacher, an isolated, underpaid, and underappreciated professional.
Last Things is the true and intensely personal story of how one woman coped with the devastating effects of a catastrophic illness in her family. Using her trademark mix of words and pictures to sharp effect, Marissa Moss presents the story of how she, her husband, and her three young sons struggled to maintain their sense of selves and wholeness as a family and how they continued on with everyday life when the earth shifted beneath their feet. After returning home from a year abroad, Marissa's husband, Harvey, was diagnosed with ALS. The disease progressed quickly, and Marissa was soon consumed with caring for Harvey while trying to keep life as normal as possible for her young children. ALS stole the man who was her husband, the father of her children, and her best friend in less than 7 months. This is not a story about the redemptive power of a terminal illness. It is a story of resilience - of how a family managed to survive a terrible loss and grow in spite of it. Although it's a sad story, it's powerfully told and ultimately uplifting as a guide to strength and perseverance, to staying connected to those who matter most in the midst of a bleak upheaval. If you've ever wondered how you would cope with a dire diagnosis, this book can provide a powerful example of what it feels like and how to come through the darkness into the light. Last Things is one of the most amazingly poignant and honest memoirs - graphic or otherwise -- I've ever encountered. This book - which I read in one insatiable sitting -- tore my heart in two. Moss handles the material with such a delicate sensibility, both with her drawings and her text, I couldn't help but let her carry me along on her journey of love and loss. ---Katie Hafner, contributing writer to The New York Times and author of Mother, Daughter, Me: A Memoir
Leni Riefenstahl is best known as director of Triumph of the Will, a film of a Nazi Party Rally, and Olympia, the classic account of the 1936 Berlin Olympics. In this memoir, the author finally discusses her motivations, her history, her important friendships, and, most of all, her art. 40 pages of black-and-white photos.
Poetry. "To Surrealism's associative leaps, juxtapositions, and kitsch paradoxes, Joron's savage detective lends his background in the philosophy of science, borrowing from non-linear systems theory, linguistic anthropology and speculative narrative for his poetics, which are at once lyrical and emphatic to the point of dissonance: 'Poetry is the self-organized criticality of the cry.' He leans heavily on sound—homophones, alliterations and paronomasias resonantly determine signs and linkages—raiding the stuff of light verse for his serious project. As in a haunted house of the twentieth century ('the people could not be distinguished from deserted buildings'; 'the city, the arc of an abandoned soliloquy'), blurs of consonance, assonance, and letter shapes can seem to do things all by themselves."—David Lau
NOW AN ORIGINAL SERIES ON ABC • “Just may be the best new comedy of [the year] . . . based on restaurateur Eddie Huang’s memoir of the same name . . . [a] classic fresh-out-of-water comedy.”—People “Bawdy and frequently hilarious . . . a surprisingly sophisticated memoir about race and assimilation in America . . . as much James Baldwin and Jay-Z as Amy Tan . . . rowdy [and] vital . . . It’s a book about fitting in by not fitting in at all.”—Dwight Garner, The New York Times NATIONAL BESTSELLER • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY KIRKUS REVIEWS Assimilating ain’t easy. Eddie Huang was raised by a wild family of FOB (“fresh off the boat”) immigrants—his father a cocksure restaurateur with a dark past back in Taiwan, his mother a fierce protector and constant threat. Young Eddie tried his hand at everything mainstream America threw his way, from white Jesus to macaroni and cheese, but finally found his home as leader of a rainbow coalition of lost boys up to no good: skate punks, dealers, hip-hop junkies, and sneaker freaks. This is the story of a Chinese-American kid in a could-be-anywhere cul-de-sac blazing his way through America’s deviant subcultures, trying to find himself, ten thousand miles from his legacy and anchored only by his conflicted love for his family and his passion for food. Funny, moving, and stylistically inventive, Fresh Off the Boat is more than a radical reimagining of the immigrant memoir—it’s the exhilarating story of every American outsider who finds his destiny in the margins. Praise for Fresh Off the Boat “Brash and funny . . . outrageous, courageous, moving, ironic and true.”—New York Times Book Review “Mercilessly funny and provocative, Fresh Off the Boat is also a serious piece of work. Eddie Huang is hunting nothing less than Big Game here. He does everything with style.”—Anthony Bourdain “Uproariously funny . . . emotionally honest.”—Chicago Tribune “Huang is a fearless raconteur. [His] writing is at once hilarious and provocative; his incisive wit pulls through like a perfect plate of dan dan noodles.”—Interview “Although writing a memoir is an audacious act for a thirty-year-old, it is not nearly as audacious as some of the things Huang did and survived even earlier. . . . Whatever he ends up doing, you can be sure it won’t look or sound like anything that’s come before. A single, kinetic passage from Fresh Off the Boat . . . is all you need to get that straight.”—Bookforum From the Hardcover edition.
"With acerbic wit & a hilarious voice, Shane Burcaw's YA memoir describes the challenges he faces as a 20-year-old with muscular atrophy. From awkward handshakes to trying to finding a girlfriend and everything in between"--
Author: David Carr
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2012-12-11
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
David Carr was an addict for more than twenty years -- first dope, then coke, then finally crack -- before the prospect of losing his newborn twins made him sober up in a bid to win custody from their crack-dealer mother. Once recovered, he found that his recollection of his 'lost' years differed -- sometimes radically -- from that of his family and friends. The night, for example, his best friend pulled a gun on him. 'No,' said the friend (to David's horror, as a lifelong pacifist), 'It was you that had the gun.' Using all his skills as an investigative reporter, he set out to research his own life, interviewing everyone from his parents and his ex-partners to the policemen who arrested him, the doctors who treated him and the lawyers who fought to prove he was fit to have custody of his kids. Unflinchingly honest and beautifully written, the result is both a shocking account of the depths of addiction and a fascinating examination of how -- and why -- our memories deceive us. As David says, we remember the stories we can live with, not the ones that happened.
A wisecracking foreign correspondent recounts her experiences in Afghanistan and Pakistan while sharing cautionary observations about the region in its first post-Taliban years and the responsibilities of the U.S. and NATO.
Author: Lisa Halliday
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2018-02-06
NATIONAL BESTSELLER “Asymmetry is extraordinary...Halliday has written, somehow all at once, a transgressive roman a clef, a novel of ideas and a politically engaged work of metafiction.” —Alice Gregory, The New York Times Book Review “A brilliant and complex examination of power dynamics in love and war.” —Sam Sacks, The Wall Street Journal “A scorchingly intelligent first novel...Asymmetry will make you a better reader, a more active noticer. It hones your senses.” —Parul Seghal, The New York Times A singularly inventive and unforgettable debut novel about love, luck, and the inextricability of life and art, from 2017 Whiting Award winner Lisa Halliday. Told in three distinct and uniquely compelling sections, Asymmetry explores the imbalances that spark and sustain many of our most dramatic human relations: inequities in age, power, talent, wealth, fame, geography, and justice. The first section, “Folly,” tells the story of Alice, a young American editor, and her relationship with the famous and much older writer Ezra Blazer. A tender and exquisite account of an unexpected romance that takes place in New York during the early years of the Iraq War, “Folly” also suggests an aspiring novelist’s coming-of-age. By contrast, “Madness” is narrated by Amar, an Iraqi-American man who, on his way to visit his brother in Kurdistan, is detained by immigration officers and spends the last weekend of 2008 in a holding room in Heathrow. These two seemingly disparate stories gain resonance as their perspectives interact and overlap, with yet new implications for their relationship revealed in an unexpected coda. A stunning debut from a rising literary star, Asymmetry is an urgent, important, and truly original work that will captivate any reader while also posing arresting questions about the very nature of fiction itself.