I AM, I AM, I AM, by O'Farrell NOTE: Meeting Online

Women's Biography
Monday, February 8, 7:30 pm

The Women's Biography Book Group is led by Doris Feinsilber and meets the 2nd Monday of each month at 7:30 p.m. The book group is meeting online. Participants limited to 20 sign ups. Please contact bookgroups@politics-prose for information.

I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes with Death By Maggie O'Farrell Cover Image

I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes with Death (Paperback)

$17.00


In Stock—Click for Locations
Politics and Prose at 5015 Connecticut Avenue NW
3 on hand, as of Oct 3 9:18am

February 2018 Indie Next List


“Maggie O'Farrell's memoir left me breathless and heart-sore. There were times I literally had a fist to my own heart in sympathy. The encounters told according to each limb or organ is a genius device; it is as though each distinct part of her body had its own voice and wanted my sole attention. Even the spaces of years between each event were full of meaning and nuance. This is one of the most mesmerizing memoirs I have ever read. The breadth and scope of Maggie's 17 brushes with death left me gasping for air, and her strong voice is indelible: There is no victim here, and life is to be treasured but not treated too delicately.”
— Maeve Noonan, Northshire Bookstore Saratoga, Saratoga Springs, NY

On seventeen occasions, award-winning novelist Maggie O’Farrell has stared death in the face—and lived to tell the tale. In this astonishing memoir, the New York Times bestselling author of Hamnet shares the near-death experiences that have punctuated and defined her life.

The childhood illness that left her bedridden for a year, which she was not expected to survive. A teenage yearning to escape that nearly ended in disaster. An encounter with a disturbed man on a remote path. And, most terrifying of all, an ongoing, daily struggle to protect her daughter from a condition that leaves her unimaginably vulnerable to life’s myriad dangers.

Here, O’Farrell stiches together these discrete encounters to tell the story of her entire life. In taut prose that vibrates with electricity and restrained emotion, she captures the perils running just beneath the surface, and illuminates the preciousness, beauty, and mysteries of life itself.

Don’t miss Maggie O’Farrell’s new novel, The Marriage Portrait, coming in September!
MAGGIE O'FARRELL was born in Northern Ireland in 1972. Her novels include Hamnet (winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award), After You’d Gone, The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox, The Hand That First Held Mine (winner of the Costa Novel Award), and Instructions for a Heatwave. She has also written a memoir, I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes with Death. She lives in Edinburgh.
Product Details ISBN: 9780525436058
ISBN-10: 0525436057
Publisher: Vintage
Publication Date: March 26th, 2019
Pages: 304
Language: English
One of LitHub’s 10 Best Essay Collections of the Decade

“Transfixing. . . . A mystical howl, a thrumming, piercing reminder of how very closely we all exist alongside what could have happened, but didn’t.” —The New York Times Book Review

“Heartbreaking, life-affirming, beautiful. . . . Taken together, these vignettes make up a sharply intimate portrait of what it is to be a person in a body—and in particular, a female body.” —San Francisco Chronicle
 
“An extraordinary book, a reminder that while life has its limits and can be unpredictable, we should push against limitations and not give in to fear.” —NPR

“A uniquely complete portrait of a life fully lived. . . . Its unconventional structure probes deep ­questions about the human condition, and it establishes a narrative that finds meaning and truth in life’s chaos and randomness.” —Entertainment Weekly
 
“Clever and poignant, thought provoking and deeply affective.” —GOOP

“This intense, unsparing memoir is less about death than about chance, risk and the gift of another day.” —People Magazine
 
“A pleasure to read. And, indeed, difficult to stop reading. . . . There are echoes of Virginia Woolf not just in the rhythm of the prose but also in its dreamlike immediacy. The effect, ingeniously, is of a life told through the gaps, those near misses, on the eluding of which the rest of life hangs.” —The Wall Street Journal
 
“Where other writers may be playing with paper, O’Farrell takes up a bow and arrow and aims at the human heart.” —The Guardian
 
“[A] breathtaking memoir. . . . The book O’Farrell was born to write.” —Bustle
 
“We all have them, those experiences that are even more terrifying in retrospect than they were in the moment, but in this riveting memoir, O’Farrell has written hers down. . . . Her stories are harrowing, but the purpose of these essays is not to frighten. It is to affirm.” —Minneapolis Star Tribune
 
I Am, I Am, I Am is a gripping and glorious investigation of death that leaves the reader feeling breathless, grateful, and fully alive. Maggie O’Farrell is a miracle in every sense. I will never forget this book.” —Ann Patchett
 
“A page-turner of a memoir.” —Elle
 
“[O’Farrell] manages to relate all . . . without self-pity and in a tone that finds a balance between defiance and resilience. The revelatory journey that the author skillfully takes the reader on is also the path from youthful recklessness to a more judicious standpoint, later in life.” —Santa Fe New Mexican
 
“A mesmerising read.” —The Sunday Times (London)
 
“Intimate in all senses of the word—physically, psychologically, mentally, and emotionally. There is something truly generous about [O’Farrell’s] style. . . . This is a memoir to be cherished.” —The Rumpus
 
“Ingenious and original. . . . A rich celebration of every breath O’Farrell’s taken.” —The Independent
 
“[A] gloriously unconventional memoir. Maggie O’Farrell deconstructs our relationship to death by recounting the many times she’s neared it.” —Southern Living
 
“Striking and unexpected.” —Kirkus Reviews

PRAIRIE FIRES, by Fraser NOTE: Meeting Online

Women's Biography
Monday, January 11, 7:30 pm

The Women's Biography Book Group is led by Doris Feinsilber and meets the 2nd Monday of each month at 7:30 p.m. The book group is meeting online. Participants limited to 20 sign ups. Please contact bookgroups@politics-prose for information.

Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder By Caroline Fraser Cover Image

Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder (Paperback)

$23.00


In Stock—Click for Locations
Politics and Prose at 5015 Connecticut Avenue NW
2 on hand, as of Oct 3 9:18am

WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE
WINNER OF THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD
WINNER OF THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE HEARTLAND PRIZE FOR NON-FICTION
ONE OF THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW'S 10 BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR


One of The New York Times Book Review's 10 Best Books of the Year

The first comprehensive historical biography of Laura Ingalls Wilder, the beloved author of the Little House on the Prairie books


Millions of readers of Little House on the Prairie believe they know Laura Ingalls—the pioneer girl who survived blizzards and near-starvation on the Great Plains, and the woman who wrote the famous autobiographical books. But the true saga of her life has never been fully told. Now, drawing on unpublished manuscripts, letters, diaries, and land and financial records, Caroline Fraser—the editor of the Library of America edition of the Little House series—masterfully fills in the gaps in Wilder’s biography. Revealing the grown-up story behind the most influential childhood epic of pioneer life, she also chronicles Wilder's tumultuous relationship with her journalist daughter, Rose Wilder Lane, setting the record straight regarding charges of ghostwriting that have swirled around the books.

The Little House books, for all the hardships they describe, are paeans to the pioneer spirit, portraying it as triumphant against all odds. But Wilder’s real life was harder and grittier than that, a story of relentless struggle, rootlessness, and poverty. It was only in her sixties, after losing nearly everything in the Great Depression, that she turned to children’s books, recasting her hardscrabble childhood as a celebratory vision of homesteading—and achieving fame and fortune in the process, in one of the most astonishing rags-to-riches episodes in American letters.

Spanning nearly a century of epochal change, from the Indian Wars to the Dust Bowl, Wilder’s dramatic life provides a unique perspective on American history and our national mythology of self-reliance. With fresh insights and new discoveries, Prairie Fires reveals the complex woman whose classic stories grip us to this day.

Caroline Fraser is the editor of the Library of America edition of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House books, and the author of Rewilding the World and God’s Perfect Child. Her writing has appeared in The New York Review of Books, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, the Los Angeles Times, and the London Review of Books, among other publications. She lives in New Mexico.
Product Details ISBN: 9781250182487
ISBN-10: 1250182484
Publisher: Picador
Publication Date: August 7th, 2018
Pages: 656
Language: English

“An absorbing new biography [that] deserves recognition as an essential text.... For anyone who has drifted into thinking of Wilder’s ‘Little House’ books as relics of a distant and irrelevant past, reading Prairie Fires will provide a lasting cure.... Meanwhile, ‘Little House’ devotees will appreciate the extraordinary care and energy Fraser devotes to uncovering the details of a life that has been expertly veiled by myth.”
The New York Times Book Review (front page)

“The definitive biography... Magisterial and eloquent... A rich, provocative portrait.”
—Minneapolis Star Tribune

“Impressive... Prairie Fires could not have been published at a more propitious time in our national life.”
The New Republic

“Unforgettable... A magisterial biography, which surely must be called definitive. Richly documented (it contains 85 pages of notes), it is a compelling, beautifully written story.... One of the more interesting aspects of this wonderfully insightful book is its delineation of the fraught relationship between Wilder and her deeply disturbed, often suicidal daughter.”
—Booklist (starred review)

“A fantastic book. We’ve long understood the Little House series to be a great American story, but Caroline Fraser brings it unprecedented new context, as she masterfully chronicles the life of Laura Ingalls Wilder and her family alongside the complicated history of our nation. Prairie Fires represents a significant milestone in our understanding of Wilder’s life, work, and legacy.”
—Wendy McClure, author of The Wilder Life: My Adventures in the Lost World of Little House on the Prairie

“Meticulously researched, feelingly told, Prairie Fires is the definitive biography of a major writer who did so much to mold public perceptions of the Western frontier. Once again, Caroline Fraser has shown that she is a master of the careful art of sifting a life, finding meaning in the large and small events that shaped an iconic American figure. Prairie Fires is a magnificent contribution to the literature of the West.”
—Hampton Sides, author of Blood and Thunder: The Epic Story of Kit Carson and the Conquest of the American West

“At last, an unsentimental examination of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s real life on the frontier. Caroline Fraser rescues Wilder from frontier myth and gives us the gritty, passionate woman who endured the harshest experiences of homesteading, loved the Great Plains, and was devastated by their ultimate ruin and loss. Elegantly written and impeccably researched, Prairie Fires is a major contribution to environmental history and literary biography.”
—Linda Lear, author of Beatrix Potter: A Life in Nature and Rachel Carson: Witness for Nature

“In the twenty-first century, the tense and secret authorial partnership between Laura Ingalls Wilder and her daughter Rose Wilder Lane has emerged as the most complex and fascinating psychological saga of mother-daughter collaboration in American literary history. Caroline Fraser’s deeply researched and stimulating biography analyzes their controversial relationship and places Wilder’s influential fiction in the contexts of other myths of pioneer women and the frontier.”
—Elaine Showalter, author of A Jury of Her Peers and The Civil Wars of Julia Ward Howe

“Engrossing… Exhilarating… Lovers of the series will delight in learning about real-life counterparts to classic fictional episodes, but, as Fraser emphasizes, the true story was often much harsher. Meticulously tracing the Ingalls and Wilder families’ experiences through public records and private documents, Fraser discovers failed farm ventures and constant money problems, as well as natural disasters even more terrifying and devastating in real life than in Wilder’s writing. She also helpfully puts Wilder’s narrow world into larger historical context.”
Publishers Weekly



TOUGH LOVE, by Rice NOTE: Meeting Online

Women's Biography
Monday, December 14, 7:30 pm

The Women's Biography Book Group is led by Doris Feinsilber and meets the 2nd Monday of each month at 7:30 p.m. The book group is meeting online. Participants limited to 20 sign ups. Please contact bookgroups@politics-prose for information.

Tough Love: My Story of the Things Worth Fighting For By Susan Rice Cover Image

Tough Love: My Story of the Things Worth Fighting For (Paperback)

$20.00


Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Recalling pivotal moments from her dynamic career on the front lines of American diplomacy and foreign policy, Susan E. Rice—National Security Advisor to President Barack Obama and US Ambassador to the United Nations—reveals her surprising story with unflinching candor in this New York Times bestseller.

Mother, wife, scholar, diplomat, and fierce champion of American interests and values, Susan Rice powerfully connects the personal and the professional. Taught early, with tough love, how to compete and excel as an African American woman in settings where people of color are few, Susan now shares the wisdom she learned along the way.

Laying bare the family struggles that shaped her early life in Washington, DC, she also examines the ancestral legacies that influenced her. Rice’s elders—immigrants on one side and descendants of slaves on the other—had high expectations that each generation would rise. And rise they did, but not without paying it forward—in uniform and in the pulpit, as educators, community leaders, and public servants.

Susan too rose rapidly. She served throughout the Clinton administration, becoming one of the nation’s youngest assistant secretaries of state and, later, one of President Obama’s most trusted advisors.

Rice provides an insider’s account of some of the most complex issues confronting the United States over three decades, ranging from “Black Hawk Down” in Somalia to the genocide in Rwanda and the East Africa embassy bombings in the late 1990s, and from conflicts in Libya and Syria to the Ebola epidemic, a secret channel to Iran, and the opening to Cuba during the Obama years. With unmatched insight and characteristic bluntness, she reveals previously untold stories behind recent national security challenges, including confrontations with Russia and China, the war against ISIS, the struggle to contain the fallout from Edward Snowden’s NSA leaks, the U.S. response to Russian interference in the 2016 election, and the surreal transition to the Trump administration.

Although you might think you know Susan Rice—whose name became synonymous with Benghazi following her Sunday news show appearances after the deadly 2012 terrorist attacks in Libya—now, through these pages, you truly will know her for the first time. Often mischaracterized by both political opponents and champions, Rice emerges as neither a villain nor a victim, but a strong, resilient, compassionate leader.

Intimate, sometimes humorous, but always candid, Tough Love makes an urgent appeal to the American public to bridge our dangerous domestic divides in order to preserve our democracy and sustain our global leadership.
Ambassador Susan E. Rice is currently Distinguished Visiting Research Fellow at the School of International Service at American University, a Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times. She serves on the boards of Netflix and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and previously served on several nonprofit boards, including the U.S. Fund for UNICEF.

Rice earned her master’s degree and doctorate in international relations from Oxford University, where she was a Rhodes Scholar, and her bachelor’s degree from Stanford University. A native of Washington, DC, and a graduate of the National Cathedral School for Girls, she is married to Ian Cameron; they have two children. Rice is an avid tennis player and a long-retired basketball player.
Product Details ISBN: 9781501189982
ISBN-10: 1501189980
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: August 4th, 2020
Pages: 560
Language: English


Pages