ALL YOU CAN EVER KNOW, by Chung NOTE: Meeting Online

Women's Biography
Monday, May 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. Please contact bookgroups@politics-prose for information.

All You Can Ever Know: A Memoir By Nicole Chung Cover Image

All You Can Ever Know: A Memoir (Paperback)

$16.95


In Stock—Click for Locations
Politics and Prose at 5015 Connecticut Avenue NW
2 on hand, as of Dec 8 9:20pm
Politics and Prose at 70 District Square SW
1 on hand, as of Dec 8 9:33pm
Politics and Prose at Union Market
1 on hand, as of Dec 8 9:33pm
A NATIONAL BESTSELLER

This beloved memoir "is an extraordinary, honest, nuanced and compassionate look at adoption, race in America and families in general" (Jasmine Guillory, Code Switch, NPR)

What does it means to lose your roots—within your culture, within your family—and what happens when you find them?

Nicole Chung was born severely premature, placed for adoption by her Korean parents, and raised by a white family in a sheltered Oregon town. From childhood, she heard the story of her adoption as a comforting, prepackaged myth. She believed that her biological parents had made the ultimate sacrifice in the hope of giving her a better life, that forever feeling slightly out of place was her fate as a transracial adoptee. But as Nicole grew up—facing prejudice her adoptive family couldn’t see, finding her identity as an Asian American and as a writer, becoming ever more curious about where she came from—she wondered if the story she’d been told was the whole truth.

With warmth, candor, and startling insight, Nicole Chung tells of her search for the people who gave her up, which coincided with the birth of her own child. All You Can Ever Know is a profound, moving chronicle of surprising connections and the repercussions of unearthing painful family secrets—vital reading for anyone who has ever struggled to figure out where they belong.
Nicole Chung is the author of the national bestseller All You Can Ever Know. Named a Best Book of the Year by NPR, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, Time, Library Journal, and many other outlets, All You Can Ever Know was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, a semifinalist for the PEN Open Book Award, an Indies Choice Honor Book, and an official Junior Library Guild selection. Chung is a contributing writer and editor at The Atlantic, and her writing has also appeared in The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, GQ, Time, The Guardian, and Vulture, among others. In 2021, she was named to the Good Morning America AAPI Inspiration List honoring those “making Asian American history right now.”
Product Details ISBN: 9781948226370
ISBN-10: 1948226375
Publisher: Catapult
Publication Date: October 15th, 2019
Pages: 256
Language: English
Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography
Long-listed for the PEN Open Book Award
Finalist for the ABA Indies Choice Adult Nonfiction Book of the Year Award
A Finalist for the 2019 NAIBA Book of the Year in Nonfiction
Named a Best Book of the Year by The Washington Post, NPR, TimeThe Boston Globe, and more

"[A] deeply moving and profound account of [Chung's] life as a Korean American adoptee, as she grows up and strives to understand her identity . . . All You Can Ever Know honors the grand complexity of love, family, and identity, while showing us how these things can save us and break us with devastating clarity and beauty." ―Today

"Chung’s memoir is more than a thoughtful consideration of race and heritage in America. It is the story of sisters finding each other, overcoming bureaucracy, abuse, separation, and time." ―The New Yorker

"Chung’s search for her biological roots . . . has to be one of this year’s finest books, let alone memoirs . . . Chung has literary chops to spare and they’re on full display in descriptions of her need, pain and bravery." ―The Washington Post

"The book is an extraordinary, honest, nuanced and compassionate look at adoption, race in America and families in general. It's also such an engaging read. I stayed up way too late one night reading it because the story just pulled me in. I read it months ago, and I still think about it and quote some of the lines in this book at least weekly." ―Jasmine Guillory, Code Switch, NPR

" Revisits her coming of age with a deep melancholy, favoring clarity over sentimentality . . . Chung emotionally relays her journey to becoming a writer―her path of negotiating and asserting her identity―and to learning about her birth family’s rather traumatic past. Yet her empathetic, graceful prose shines brightest when she casts her gaze elsewhere: on her adoptive parents―their warmth and their secrets, their struggle to talk about race―or on her birth sister, Cindy, who opens Chung’s eyes in adulthood, while similarly trying to find herself. Through them, Chung reveals a family story of heartbreaking truth―personal in its detail, universal in its complexity." ―Entertainment Weekly

"The honesty with which Chung grapples with this kind of racial erasure is a hallmark of her stunning debut memoir, a book that confronts enormous pain with precision, clarity, and grace . . . In addition to being deeply thoughtful and moving, the book is a fiercely compelling page-turner . . . But what shines through this beautiful book is her clear-eyed compassion for all her relations, her powerful desire for connection, her bold pursuit of her own identity, and the sheer creative energy it took to build her own family tree, to 'discover and tell another kind of story.'" ―The Boston Globe

" A landmark in the literature of adoption, and will be of enduring value to people looking for advice about raising a child of a different race." ―Marion Winik, Critical Mass: The Blog of the National Book Critics Circle Board of Directors

"A tender, unsentimental memoir . . . All You Can Ever Know has the patient pacing of a mystery and the philosophical heft of a skeptic’s undertaking." ―Newsday

"What gives All You Can Ever Know its power is the emotional honesty in every line, essential to the telling of a story so personal . . . All You Can Ever Know, sometimes painfully and always beautifully, explores what it means to be adopted, to be a different race from the family you grew up in, and to later create a family of your own." ―The Seattle Times

"Chung’s dynamic prose tackles identity and the forces that shape it . . . What Chung painstakingly unearths about her birth family is thrilling and unsettling, and her articulation of her findings averts tropish feel-good stereotypes. Here, the open wound at the heart of this exquisite narrative heals slightly skewed, exactly as it should." ―Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

"Raw, open, forthright, Chung’s personal odyssey is an intimate journey toward self-understanding and acceptance." ―The Christian Science Monitor

"This touching memoir explores issues of identity, racism, motherhood, and sisterhood with eloquence and grace. Highly recommended." ―Library Journal (starred review)

"[A] stunning memoir . . . Chung’s writing is vibrant and provocative as she explores her complicated feelings about her transracial adoption (which she 'loved and hated in equal measure') and the importance of knowing where one comes from." ―Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Highly compelling for its depiction of a woman's struggle to make peace with herself and her identity, the book offers a poignant depiction of the irreducibly complex nature of human motives and family ties. A profound, searching memoir about 'finding the courage to question what I'd always been told.'" ―Kirkus Reviews

"This book moved me to my very core. As in all her writing, Nicole Chung speaks eloquently and honestly about her own personal story, then widens her aperture to illuminate all of us. All You Can Ever Know is full of insights on race, motherhood, and family of all kinds, but what sets it apart is the compassion Chung brings to every facet of her search for identity and every person portrayed in these pages. This book should be required reading for anyone who has ever had, wanted, or found a family―which is to say, everyone." ―Celeste Ng, author of Little Fires Everywhere

“Adoption is neither an incident nor a process―it is an evergreen story of lives growing and resisting simple definitions. Chung’s All You Can Ever Know takes the grammar of adoption―nouns, verbs, and direct object―and with extraordinary integrity remakes them into a narrative about what it means to be a subject. A primary document of witness, Chung writes her memoir as a transracial adoptee with honesty, wisdom, and love. Her search and what she discovers offer us life’s meaning and purpose of the very highest order.” ―Min Jin Lee, author of Free Food for Millionaires and Pachinko

OLD IN ART SCHOOL, by Painter

Women's Biography
Monday, April 13, 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.

Old In Art School: A Memoir of Starting Over By Nell Painter Cover Image

Old In Art School: A Memoir of Starting Over (Paperback)

$17.95


In Stock—Click for Locations
Politics and Prose at 70 District Square SW
1 on hand, as of Dec 8 9:33pm
A finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, this memoir of one woman's later in life career change is “a smart, funny and compelling case for going after your heart's desires, no matter your age” (Essence).

Following her retirement from Princeton University, celebrated historian Dr. Nell Irvin Painter surprised everyone in her life by returning to school––in her sixties––to earn a BFA and MFA in painting. In Old in Art School, she travels from her beloved Newark to the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design; finds meaning in the artists she loves, even as she comes to understand how they may be undervalued; and struggles with the unstable balance between the pursuit of art and the inevitable, sometimes painful demands of a life fully lived.

How are women and artists seen and judged by their age, looks, and race? What does it mean when someone says, “You will never be an artist”? Who defines what an artist is and all that goes with such an identity, and how are these ideas tied to our shared conceptions of beauty, value, and difference?

Bringing to bear incisive insights from two careers, Painter weaves a frank, funny, and often surprising tale of her move from academia to art in this "glorious achievement––bighearted and critical, insightful and entertaining. This book is a cup of courage for everyone who wants to change their lives" (Tayari Jones, author of An American Marriage).
Nell Irvin Painter is the Edwards Professor of American History, Emerita, at Princeton University. Her acclaimed works of history include Standing at Armageddon, Sojourner Truth, and the New York Times bestseller The History of White People, which have received widespread attention for their insights into how we have historically viewed and translated ideas of gender, value, hierarchy, and race. She holds an MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and a BFA from Mason Gross School of the Arts. Her visual artwork has been shown at numerous galleries and in many collections, including the San Angelo Museum of Fine Art, the Brooklyn Historical Society, and Gallery Aferro. She lives in Newark, New Jersey and the Adirondacks.
Product Details ISBN: 9781640092006
ISBN-10: 1640092005
Publisher: Counterpoint
Publication Date: August 27th, 2019
Pages: 352
Language: English
A New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice
A San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of the Year


“Candid and cheerfully irreverent . . . Bringing new energy and insight to questions that have long preoccupied the art world . . . One of the most enjoyable aspects of Old in Art School is seeing her relax her historian’s grip on social meaning and open up to new ways of seeing.” —The New York Times

“After years of writing history, Painter has become a visual artist, but she also discovers that she does not need to leave history behind. In this book, a memoir, she brings the two 'truths' together––the personal and the collective, the artistic and the historical––and the result is a heartening coming–of–age story for the retired set.” —The Washington Post

“Historian Nell Painter was 64 when she stepped down from her job at Princeton to attend the Rhode Island School of Design. She chronicles that experience in her memoir Old in Art School, bringing her fierce intelligence to questions not just of age but also race and what it means to be an artist.” —Los Angeles Times

“Twelve years ago, at the age of 64, Princeton history professor emerita and best–selling author Nell Painter decided to reinvent herself as an artist, an avocation she had always longed to pursue but never had the confidence or opportunity to commit to . . . She tells her story with wit, honesty and insight as she learns to see her art, and herself, all over again.” —The Wall Street Journal

“This feisty and delightfully irreverent memoir is a coming–of–age story for the over–60 set . . . The most impressive portrait that she achieves here is her own—an unstoppable force tethered to an iron will.” —The Boston Globe

“I was struck by the joyousness in its pages; this is an unexpected love story, written with a creative, passionate irreverence––like a painting rendered in words. Old in Art School is a vivid lesson in learning not to see ourselves through other’s eyes, and in following dreams.” —The Seattle Times

"I was full of admiration for Painter’s willingness to take herself out of a world in which her currency—scholarly accomplishment—commanded respect and put herself into a different one where that coin often went unrecognized altogether, all out of exultation in the art-making itself." —Margaret Talbot, The New Yorker 

“In this sweet, nuanced memoir, revered historian Painter recounts her late–in–life (and post–retirement) decision to earn a BFA and MFA in painting, and how getting an up–close view to all things art changed her life.” —Entertainment Weekly

“A smart, funny and compelling case for going after your heart's desires, no matter your age or what your critics say.” —Essence

“Painter, most famous for her book The History of White People, now addresses the equally ambitious question of what it takes to be an artist—and whether or not she has it . . . If this book were a novel, the artist would have been exhibited in the Museum of Modern Art by now, but Art School arrives at a messier, braver conclusion. Painter is a painter because she studied it, works hard at it and keeps doing it. Being able to paint is one kind of gift, this book suggests, but learning to paint is another, and just as precious.” —Time

Old in Art School is a glorious achievement—bighearted and critical, insightful and entertaining. This book is a cup of courage for everyone who wants to change their lives. This is not a story about starting over; it’s about continuing on the journey. Nell Painter has taken the coming of age story to a new level—this is what you get when a wise person gets even wiser, when a true artist spreads her wings.” —Tayari Jones, author of An American Marriage and Silver Sparrow

THE CHOICE, by Eger

Women's Biography
Monday, March 9, 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 Choice: Embrace the Possible By Dr. Edith Eva Eger Cover Image

The Choice: Embrace the Possible (Paperback)

$18.00


In Stock—Click for Locations
Politics and Prose at 5015 Connecticut Avenue NW
2 on hand, as of Dec 8 9:20pm
A New York Times Bestseller

“I’ll be forever changed by Dr. Eger’s story…The Choice is a reminder of what courage looks like in the worst of times and that we all have the ability to pay attention to what we’ve lost, or to pay attention to what we still have.”—Oprah

“Dr. Eger’s life reveals our capacity to transcend even the greatest of horrors and to use that suffering for the benefit of others. She has found true freedom and forgiveness and shows us how we can as well.” —Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate

“Dr. Edith Eva Eger is my kind of hero. She survived unspeakable horrors and brutality; but rather than let her painful past destroy her, she chose to transform it into a powerful gift—one she uses to help others heal.” —Jeannette Walls, New York Times bestselling author of The Glass Castle

Winner of the National Jewish Book Award and Christopher Award

At the age of sixteen, Edith Eger was sent to Auschwitz. Hours after her parents were killed, Nazi officer Dr. Josef Mengele, forced Edie to dance for his amusement and her survival. Edie was pulled from a pile of corpses when the American troops liberated the camps in 1945.

Edie spent decades struggling with flashbacks and survivor’s guilt, determined to stay silent and hide from the past. Thirty-five years after the war ended, she returned to Auschwitz and was finally able to fully heal and forgive the one person she’d been unable to forgive—herself.

Edie weaves her remarkable personal journey with the moving stories of those she has helped heal. She explores how we can be imprisoned in our own minds and shows us how to find the key to freedom. The Choice is a life-changing book that will provide hope and comfort to generations of readers.
Edith Eger is an eminent psychologist and one of the few remaining Holocaust survivors old enough to remember life in the camps. A student of Viktor Frankl, Dr. Edith Eger has worked with veterans, military personnel, and victims of physical and mental trauma. She lives in La Jolla, California, and is the author of the bestselling and award-winning books The Choice and The Gift. Edie and her daughter, Marianne Engle—a renowned psychologist and food writer who helped develop the recipes in The Gift—encourage you to try the delicious dishes in the book and share your thoughts at LoveEdieandMarianne@Gmail.com.
Product Details ISBN: 9781501130793
ISBN-10: 150113079X
Publisher: Scribner
Publication Date: September 4th, 2018
Pages: 320
Language: English
“I’ll be forever changed by Dr. Eger’s story…The Choice is a reminder of what courage looks like in the worst of times and that we all have the ability to pay attention to what we’ve lost, or to pay attention to what we still have.”
— Oprah

"Edith’s strength and courage are remarkable in this memoir as she draws on her own unthinkable experience in Nazi concentration camps to become a therapist and help others recover from all kinds of hardship. Her life and work are an incredible example of forgiveness, resilience and generosity."
— Sheryl Sandberg

“Dr. Edith Eva Eger is my kind of hero. She survived unspeakable horrors and brutality; but rather than let her painful past destroy her, she chose to transform it into a powerful gift – one she uses to help others heal.”
— Jeannette Walls, author of The Glass Castle

"The Choice is a gift to humanity.  One of those rare and eternal stories that you don't want to end and that leave you forever changed.  Dr. Eger's life reveals our capacity to transcend even the greatest of horrors and to use that suffering for the benefit of others.  She has found true freedom and forgiveness and shows us how we can as well."
— Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate

“I can’t imagine a more important message for modern times. Eger’s book is a triumph, and should be read by all who care about both their inner freedom and the future of humanity.”
— New York Times Book Review

"This book is partly a memoir and partly a guide to processing trauma. Eger was only sixteen years old when she and her family got sent to Auschwitz. After surviving unbelievable horrors, she moved to the United States and became a therapist. Her unique background gives her amazing insight, and I think many people will find comfort right now from her suggestions on how to handle difficult situations." —Bill Gates

 

"A more important book for our times is hard to imagine"
— The Bookseller

"A poignantly crafted memoir...a searing, astute study of intensive healing and self-acceptance through the absolution of suffering and atrocity.”
— Kirkus, starred review

"Life’s experiences can lead to contraction and grief and to expansion and love. The story of Edie Eger’s WWII era experiences and her subsequent growth and life path is an incredible journey and victory of the human soul over the pain of human degradation."
— Stephen Robinson, CEO, MAGIS Group LLC, Specialist in Optimal Performance under Stress™ (OPS™) training

The Choice will be an extraordinary book on heroism, healing, resiliency, compassion, survival with dignity, mental toughness, and moral courage. It will appeal to millions of people who can learn from Dr. Eger’s inspiring cases and shocking personal story as well as her profound clinical wisdom to heal their lives.”
— Philip Zimbardo, Ph.D., Stanford Professor Emeritus of Psychology, Author of the New York Times-Bestselling The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil

“Eger present a searing firsthand account of surviving the Holocaust in this heartfelt memoir of trauma, resilience, and hope…  Offering a gripping survival story and hard-won wisdom for facing the painful impact of trauma on the human psyche, this valuable work bears witness to the strength of the human spirit to overcome unfathomable evil.”
— Library Journal

The Choice uses Eger's journey to teach readers how they, too, can triumph over trauma.”
— Broadly

“The Choice…details [Eger's] time at Auschwitz, her escape, and how she became a groundbreaking clinical therapist who has paved the road for treatment of trauma survivors battling Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).”
— Kveller.com

"This book, no doubt, will be remembered as important for going beyond the realm of a  Holocaust memoir and becoming a Holocaust life lesson."
— San Diego Jewish World

The Choice pulls together stories and insights [Eger] has shared with people around the world for decades and reveals new dimensions of her remarkable life.”
— El Paso Inc.

The Choice is more than an eloquent memoir by Holocaust survivor and psychologist Edith Eva Eger. It is an exploration of the healing potential of choice. . .  Eger is not suggesting that she is unscarred by her experience, but that she lives a life filled with grace. The Choice is not a how-to book; it is, however, an invitation to choose to live life fully.”
— Book Page

“I finished the book with tears in my eyes and gratitude in my heart.”
— Carol Brooks, First for Women

"We brought Dr. Eger to work with our most troubled military personnel—people grappling with the most intense emotional scars from their experience in battle. Dr. Eger is a healer of the highest order. Personally, I have learned from this gifted human being, this indomitable survivor, this accomplished therapist more about humanity—and suffering—and resilience, than all my advanced degrees put together. Dr. Eger has informed and inspired me more than any other role model in my practice of thirty years. This effervescent, brawny, octogenarian has more than a story to tell, a therapy to offer, a journey to guide; she brings us to a new way of being."
— U.S. Navy Capt. Robert Koffman, M.D., Former Director of Deployment Health/Psychological Health

"I would take Edie Eger on an Op with me any day."
— U.S. Navy SEAL Commander (Ret) Mark Divine, Bestselling author of The Way of the SEAL and Unbeatable Mind

“Where the author takes us is unimaginable...It’s what today’s 90-year-old Dr. Edith Eva Eger does after the war that astounds.”
— Florida Times-Union

“If you are a person suffering from despair or hopelessness, this is the perfect book for you. If you’re not suffering from despair, this book will help inspire you to seek out and bring hope to those who are.”
— Roanoke Times

"A beautiful memoir, reminiscent of the great works of Anne Frank and Viktor Frankl. But it is more than a book—it is a work of art. It gave me goosebumps, the kind that grace you in transcendent moments of appreciating a Mozart sonata, an Elizabeth Barrett Browning sonnet, or the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel." —Adam Grant, New York Times bestselling author of Give and Take, Originals, and Option B with Sheryl Sandberg

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