Biography Novelists, Poets & Playwrights Books

Americaa??s Most Famous Poets: The Lives and Careers of Poe, Whitman, Dickinson, and Frost

*Includes pictures*Includes a bibliography for further reading*Includes a table of contentsEdgar Allan Poe was one of America’s first native-born professional authors, but he nevertheless embodied the now-common archetype of the artist — dark, tortured, brilliant and tragic. Born into troubled conditions, Poe’s life hardly improved over the years, and when it did, his happiness or triumph was always brief. His work was lauded during his lifetime, but his lifestyle never came close to matching the legacy that would swell in the decades following his death. And that untimely end, so mysterious and pathetic, was an event that only Poe or Fate could have been macabre enough to script. However, in spite of (or perhaps because of) all of his suffering, Poe remains one of the great forces in American literature, particularly during its formative years. He was a pioneer of multiple literary traditions, including the gothic, horror, dark Romanticism, detective, satire, hoax and science fiction genres. Poe is best known for his tales of mystery and the macabre, and Poe was one of the earliest American practitioners of the short story.Walt Whitman, the great American poet, is also in many ways a great American enigma, for more and less are known about him than other famous men in 19th century American history. On the one hand, he was the product of something of an all-American family, the sort of salt of the earth people he would later describe so vividly in his work. On the other, he was a complete bohemian and profligate, given to vanity in the way he dressed and lived. His seminal work, Leaves of Grass, began as little more than a pamphlet but grew for decades, as each new edition added more poems. By the time of his death, it had become a large volume still studied today. While he wrote other pieces for publication, Leaves of Grass remained his magnum opus and his baby, nurturing and developing it throughout his life. And yet, through it all, the title remained the same self-deprecating play on words that he had given it when he first self-published the work in 1855.Like many writers of her day, Emily Dickinson was a virtual unknown during her lifetime. After her death, however, when people discovered the incredible amount of poetry that she had written, Dickinson became celebrated as one of America’s greatest poets. Dickinson was notoriously introverted and mostly lived as a recluse, carrying out her friendships almost entirely by written letters. Her work was just as unique; her poetry is written with short lines, occasionally lacked titles, and often used slant rhyme and unconventional capitalization and punctuation. Only a few of her poems were published in her lifetime, but American schoolchildren across the country read her work today. Of all the authors and poets American schoolchildren may be exposed to over the course of their education, Robert Frost is often one of the first, and on rare occasions that he is not, it is still a near certainty that some of his most famous poems will be discussed at some point. Many will have memorized “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” before finishing grade school or will instantly recall the end of “The Road Not Taken.” Frost may not be as remembered or influential as other American literary giants, or even poets such as Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman, but his career was historic in terms of its length and breadth of accomplishments. Over the course of several decades, Frost became the first to win four Pulitzer Prizes for Poetry, and he also earned such recognitions as a Congressional Medal of Honor before being made the poet laureate of Vermont shortly before the end of his life.

Three Things I’d Tell My Younger Self (E-Story)

A very special FREE collection of advice for our younger selves, compiled by Joanna Cannon - the author of THREE THINGS ABOUT ELSIE and THE TROUBLE WITH GOATS AND SHEEP

If you could send a message to your younger self, what three things would you want to tell them? This inspiring, moving and frequently hilarious collection includes advice from - among others - authors, journalists, clergy, nurses and doctors; and their words will offer both solace and entertainment to readers at any milestone in life, from exam results and educational choices to love, health, friendship and careers. Here you will find the wise words of:

Ignasi Agell

Sue Armstrong

Hannah Beckerman

Ann Bissell

Dr Sue Black

Fern Britton

Wendy Burn

Joanna Cannon

Tracy Chevalier

Julie Cohen

Charlotte Cray

Dr John Crichton

Miranda Dickinson

Suzie Doore

Janet Ellis

Nathan Filer

Patrick Gale

Sam Guglani

Dr Helen-Ann Hartley

Kerry Hudson

Mandy Huxley

Reverend Andrea Jones

Adam Kay

Erin Kelly

Mr Kipling

Dr Kate Lovett

Katy Mahood

Anna Mazzola

Lydia Elise Millen

Dame Helena Morrissey

Hannah O'Brien

Femi Oyebode

Lev Parikian

Nina Pottell

Jonathan and Angela Scott

Anita Sethi

Lionel Shriver

Graeme Simsion

Dr Laura Varnam

Kate Williams

Eminent Victorians

Eminent Victorians is a book by Lytton Strachey, consisting of biographies of four leading figures from the Victorian era. Its fame rests on the irreverence and wit Strachey brought to bear on three men and a woman who had until then been regarded as heroes: Cardinal Manning, Florence Nightingale, Thomas Arnold and General Gordon (although Nightingale is actually praised and her reputation was enhanced). The book shows its other subjects in a less than flattering light; for instance, the intrigues of Cardinal Manning against Cardinal Newman.

Life and Times of Charles Dickens: Autobiographical Novels, Stories, London Society Sketches, Travel Memoirs, Letters & Biographies (Illustrated): David ... My Father as I Recall Him by Mamie Dickensa

This carefully crafted ebook: "Life and Times of Charles Dickens" is formatted for your eReader with a functional and detailed table of contents:David CopperfieldSketches by BozThe Beadle. The Parish Engine. The Schoolmaster.The Curate. The Old Lady. The Half-pay CaptainThe Four SistersThe Election for BeadleThe Broker's ManThe Ladies' SocietiesOur Next-door NeighbourThe Streets – morningThe Streets – nightShops and their TenantsScotland YardSeven DialsMeditations in Monmouth-StreetHackney-coach StandsDoctors' CommonsLondon RecreationsThe RiverAstley'sGreenwich FairPrivate TheatresVauxhall Gardens by DayEarly CoachesOmnibusesThe Last Cab-driver, and the First Omnibus cadA Parliamentary SketchPublic DinnersThe First of MayBrokers' and Marine-store ShopsGin-shopsThe Pawnbroker's ShopCriminal CourtsA Visit to NewgateThoughts about PeopleA Christmas DinnerThe New YearMiss Evans and the EagleThe Parlour OratorThe Hospital PatientThe Misplaced attachment of Mr. John DounceThe Mistaken MillinerThe Dancing AcademyShabby-Genteel PeopleMaking a Night of ItThe Prisoners' VanThe Boarding-houseMr. Minns and his CousinSentimentThe Tuggses at RamsgateHoratio SparkinsThe Black VeilThe Steam ExcursionThe Great Winglebury DuelMrs. Joseph PorterA Passage in the Life of Mr. Watkins TottleThe Bloomsbury ChristeningThe Drunkard's deathSketches of Young GentlemenSketches of Young CouplesSunday Under Three HeadsReprinted PiecesThe Uncommercial TravellerAmerican NotesPictures From ItalyThe Lazy Tour of Two Idle ApprenticesThe Letters of Charles DickensMy Father as I Recall Him by Mamie DickensCharles Dickens (1812-1870) was an English writer and social critic. He created some of the world's best-known fictional characters and is regarded as the greatest novelist of the Victorian era. Among his greatest works are A Christmas Carol, Oliver Twist, Great Expectations and A Tale of Two Cities.

Autobiographical Voices: Race, Gender, Self-Portraiture (Reading Women Writing)

Adopting a boldly innovative approach to women’s autobiographical writing, Françoise Lionnet here examines the rhetoric of self-portraiture in works by authors who are bilingual or multilingual or of mixed races or cultures. Autobiographical Voices offers incisive readings of texts by Zora Neale Hurston, Maya Angelou, Marie Cardinal, Maryse Condé, Marie-Thérèse Humbert, Augustine, and Nietzsche.

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This Time Next Year We'll Be Laughing Sample

An ebook-only sneak peek of New York Times bestselling Maisie Dobbs author Jaqueline Winspear's memoir, This Time Next Year We'll Be Laughing (on sale November 10, 2020). Features an excerpt from the book and an interview with the author.   The New York Times bestselling author of the Maisie Dobbs series offers a deeply personal memoir of her family’s resilience in the face of war and privation.   After sixteen novels, Jacqueline Winspear has taken the bold step of turning to memoir, revealing the hardships and joys of her family history. Both shockingly frank and deftly restrained, her story tackles the difficult, poignant, and fascinating family accounts of her paternal grandfather’s shellshock; her mother’s evacuation from London during the Blitz; her soft-spoken animal-loving father’s torturous assignment to an explosives team during WWII; her parents’ years living with Romany Gypsies; and Winspear’s own childhood picking hops and fruit on farms in rural Kent, capturing her ties to the land and her dream of being a writer at its very inception.   An eye-opening and heartfelt portrayal of a post-War England we rarely see, This Time Next Year We’ll Be Laughing chronicles a childhood in the English countryside, of working class indomitability and family secrets, of artistic inspiration and the price of memory.

Nabokov: The Mystery of Literary Structures

Vladimir Nabokov described the literature course he taught at Cornell as "a kind of detective investigation of the mystery of literary structures." Leona Toker here pursues a similar investigation of the enigmatic structures of Nabokov's own fiction. According to Toker, most previous critics stressed either Nabokov’s concern with form or the humanistic side of his works, but rarely if ever the two together. In sensitive and revealing readings of ten novels, Toker demonstrates that the need to reconcile the human element with aesthetic or metaphysical pursuits is a constant theme of Nabokov’s and that the tension between technique and content is itself a key to his fiction. Written with verve and precision, Toker’s book begins with Pnin and follows the circular pattern that is one of her subject’s own favored devices.

Writing Self, Writing Empire: Chandar Bhan Brahman and the Cultural World of the Indo-Persian State Secretary (South Asia Across the Disciplines)

A free ebook version of this title is available through Luminos, University of California Press’s new open access publishing program for monographs. Visit to learn more.Writing Self, Writing Empire examines the life, career, and writings of the Mughal state secretary, or munshi, Chandar Bhan “Brahman” (d. c.1670), one of the great Indo-Persian poets and prose stylists of early modern South Asia.  Chandar Bhan’s life spanned the reigns of four different emperors, Akbar (1556-1605), Jahangir (1605-1627), Shah Jahan (1628-1658), and Aurangzeb ‘Alamgir (1658-1707), the last of the “Great Mughals” whose courts dominated the culture and politics of the subcontinent at the height of the empire’s power, territorial reach, and global influence.  As a high-caste Hindu who worked for a series of Muslim monarchs and other officials, forming powerful friendships along the way, Chandar Bhan’s experience bears vivid testimony to the pluralistic atmosphere of the Mughal court, particularly during the reign of Shah Jahan, the celebrated builder of the Taj Mahal.  But his widely circulated and emulated works also touch on a range of topics central to our understanding of the court’s literary, mystical, administrative, and ethical cultures, while his letters and autobiographical writings provide tantalizing examples of early modern Indo-Persian modes of self-fashioning.  Chandar Bhan’s oeuvre is a valuable window onto a crucial, though surprisingly neglected, period of Mughal cultural and political history.

Excellent Things in Women: A Memoir of Postcolonial Pakistan (Chicago Shorts)

Sometimes, only the most heartbreaking memories possess the capacity--in their elegiac immediacy--to take our breath away. With Excellent Things in Women, Sara Suleri offers the reader a delicately wrought memoir of life in postcolonial Pakistan. Suleri intertwines the violent history of Pakistan's independence with her own intimate experiences--relating the tumult of growing up female during a time of fierce change in the Middle East in the 1960s and '70s. In the two selections presented here, "Excellent Things in Women" and "Meatless Days," we watch as Suleri re-encounters the relationships that inform her voyage from adolescence to womanhood--with her Welsh mother; her Pakistani father, prominent political journalist Z. A. Suleri; and her tenacious grandmother, Dadi, along with her five siblings--as she comes to terms with the difficulties of growing up and her own complicated passage to the West.

The Incident at Naples (Chicago Shorts)

Born in Australia, novelist Shirley Hazzard first moved to Naples as a young woman in the 1950s to take up a job with the United Nations. It was the beginning of a long love affair with the city, in which the Naples of Pliny, Gibbon, and Auden constantly became reanimated by new experiences, as Hazzard was joined in her travels by her husband, the editor and critic Francis Steegmuller. In The Incident at Naples, a classic essay first published by the New Yorker, Steegmuller recollects on how he was, as a tourist to the city, robbed and injured and then treated in a series of hospitals. What can The Incident at Naples teach us? A town shadowed by both the symbol and the reality of Vesuvius can never fail to acknowledge the essential precariousness of life—nor, as Hazzard and Steegmuller discover, the human compassion, generosity, and friendship that are necessary to sustain it.

Letters From Prague: Kafka, Klimt and the Death of Love

Paul Harris’s Those Demented Children looked (with scant regard to the accepted narrative) at the events leading up to the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo; events that culminated in the end of an era, and to the end of the World as it had once been. It was an era that had promised much before the guns began to resonate. In Paris, Marie Curie had discovered radium, while Albert Einstein was busily advancing quantum theory. A short distance away, in Montmartre, Pablo Picasso was experimenting with cubism. In Germany, movements such as Die Brucke were at the vanguard of expressionism, and from Dublin to Moscow, via Paris and Berlin, modernist writers were outraging public decency. In Letters from Prague, Harris draws on some of the most prominent and gifted men of these extraordinary times and explores their relationships with their lovers, muses, models, mistresses and wives. He questions the relationship between love and genius, sexuality and art, and the destructive influence each often has over the other. His cast includes luminaries such as Gustav Klimt, Oskar Kokoschka, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Franz Kafka, James Joyce, Franz Werfel, Albert Einstein, Vladimir Lenin and the tragically eccentric Else Lasker-Schuler. Some of them were friends, acquaintances, colleagues and rivals; all of them were contemporaries, and visionaries in their own fields. And all of them were shortly to be submerged in the ugliness and destruction of human conflict. Their legacies would be inseparable from the profound events of the time in which they lived. The result is a series of autobiographical snapshots based primarily in the cities of Vienna, Berlin, Prague, Dublin, Zurich and Trieste, cities as easily accessible today as the author’s undemanding narrative style. The lives of the characters are threaded together by common themes and shared desires, and record an unprecedented wave of human creativity that would almost immediately be gobbled up by warfare and political extremity.