For over 50 years, the South African Nobel laureate Nadine Gordimer has been contributing to the intellectual discourse on race, politics, and literature by creating characters in her stories and novels, and by focusing directly on the issues of the day in her essays and reviews. TELLING TIMES (W.W. Norton, $39.95), a collection of her nonfiction since 1954, shows her as an outspoken opponent of apartheid, while her fiction, such as the work gathered from all stages of her career in LIFE TIMES (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $30), presents the daily humiliations and dangers of trying to live within this crippling system. Gordimer’s immense insight, wisdom, and storytelling skills come through in every genre she writes. These two collections chart the growth and long career of a brilliant, world-class writer.

Telling Times: Writing and Living, 1954-2008 Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393066289
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - June 28th, 2010

Susan Cheever profiles a well-loved American author in her biography LOUISA MAY ALCOTT (Simon & Schuster, $26). Louisa was much influenced by her father­–a brilliant philosopher and progressive educator, but an ineffectual provider.  In fact, much of her writing was fueled by the family’s need for money.  She used her own life as inspiration for her most famous book, Little Women; her mother, sisters, and many friends became models for the characters.   Louisa was clearly a product of the fertile literary environment in which she dwelled; the Alcotts counted Emerson, Hawthorne, and Thoreau as friends and neighbors.  Of course, she was also inspired by the times; the Civil War, industrialization, westward expansion, immigration, and the beginnings of the Women’s Suffrage movement informed Alcott’s thinking and writing.  Cheever’s book builds to the eventual success of this beloved author, a triumph after years of hardship and rejection.

Louisa May Alcott: A Personal Biography Cover Image
ISBN: 9781416569923
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Simon & Schuster - November 8th, 2011

Early in STORYTELLER (Simon & Schuster, $30), Donald Sturrock relates Roald Dahl’s skepticism of biography: “Why on earth would anyone read an assemblage of detail, a catalog of facts, when there was so much good fiction around as an alternative?” And so begins this engaging and masterfully researched portrait of an exceptional writer. Dahl’s life was full of adventure and excitement, from his RAF days to his work in wartime intelligence in Washington, D.C. He was a humorous, opinionated, cantankerous, and amazingly caring man. Dahl was larger than life and so much like his fictional characters that reading this biography is in some ways like stepping into a great work of fiction. Sturrock writes in such an elegant and fascinating way that even Dahl would have been pleased.

Storyteller: The Authorized Biography of Roald Dahl Cover Image
ISBN: 9781416550822
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Simon & Schuster - September 14th, 2010