Hermoine Lee - Willa Cather - Little, Brown Book Group

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    • ISBN:9780349008752
    • Publication date:21 Apr 2016
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Willa Cather

A Life Saved Up

By Hermoine Lee

  • Paperback
  • £14.99

A masterly biography of one of America's most important 20th-century writers, written by Hermione Lee

A masterly biography of one of America's most important 20th-century writers, written by acclaimed biographer Hermione Lee

A biography of Willa Cather (1873-1947), who spent years working as a journalist, teacher and editor of a New York magazine whose deepest feelings were directed towards women. Her friendships from Sarah Orne Jewett and Dorothy Canfield to Stephen Tennant and Yehudi Menuhin were important to her yet as she became more famous she withdrew increasingly from the modern world she disliked. Willa Cather's fiction charts new, female versions of epic pioneering heroism and the extraordinary cultural encounters of the New World history. This major reinterpretation of Cather's work explores that American context and those traditions but finds a strange and disconcerting Cather a writer of split identities, sexual conflict, dramatic energies and stoic fatalism. The author has written books on Elizabeth Bowen, Virginia Woolf and Philip Roth and The Short Stories of Willa Cather .

Biographical Notes

Hermione Lee's books include the internationally acclaimed biographies of Edith Wharton and Virginia Woolf. She is a well-known reviewer and broadcaster, and, in 2006, was Chair of the judges for the Man-Booker Prize. She was awarded a CBE in 2003 for services to literature.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9781844084920
  • Publication date: 05 Oct 1989
  • Page count: 416
  • Imprint: Virago
Willa Cather could not have hoped for a more passionately sensible and insightful interpreter . . . Hermione Lee's enthusiasm for this misunderstood writer is contagious and her book is that rare thing, a scholarly study that reads well — Maureen Freely, Observer
'The biographer's enthusiasm for her subject illuminates every page — Hilary Mantel
A sympathetic and illuminating study — Nicci Gerrard, New Statesman
An affectionate, meticulous study, at once intimate and impersonal — OBSERVER
Virago

Dust Tracks On A Road

Zora Neale Hurston
Authors:
Zora Neale Hurston

With a new introduction by JESMYN WARD'Zora Neale Hurston was a knockout in her life, a wonderful writer and a fabulous person. Devilishly funny and academically solid: delicious mixture' MAYA ANGELOU First published in 1942 at the height of her popularity, Dust Tracks on a Road is Zora Neale Hurston's candid, exuberant account of her rise from childhood poverty in the rural South to a prominent place among the leading artists and intellectuals of the Harlem Renaissance. As compelling as her acclaimed fiction, Hurston's literary self-portrait offers a revealing, often audacious glimpse into the life - public and private - of an extraordinary artist, anthropologist, chronicler and champion of the black experience in America. Full of the wit and wisdom of a proud, spirited woman who started off low and climbed high: 'I have been in Sorrow's kitchen and licked out all the pots. Then I have stood on the peaky mountain wrapped in rainbows with a harp and a sword in my hands.''One of the greatest writers of our time' TONI MORRISON

Virago

Chasm: A Weekend

Dorothea Tanning
Authors:
Dorothea Tanning

'Tanning's fictional debut unquestionably deserves to be recognised as a complete artistic success . . . Tanning has assembled all the ingredients necessary for an extraordinary drama of love and betrayal, jealousy and regret . . . told in confident, fluid prose highlighted by passages of hallucinatory beauty' GuardianIn the stark beauty of the desert, a mansion built by a madman rears its impudent architecture like an insult.The estate is called Windcote, 'its very name a masquerade', and its master, the odious Raoul Meridian, has invited a group of guests to spend a weekend, during the course of which they will find themselves driven by obsessions and confusions unlike any they've experienced before. Untouched by the fevers and failures around her is the indomitable child Destina, who will lead them into the heart of a mysterious canyon, where desire and cruelty forge an implacable truth.'It seems hardly fair that Dorothea Tanning, in a long, passionately inventive career as a painter, should have acquired as well the other harmony of prose, and that her passionate inventions as a writer should be so lovingly, so wisely resolved' Richard Howard

Virago

Corregidora

Gayl Jones
Authors:
Gayl Jones

'Corregidora is the most brutally honest and painful revelation of what has occurred, and is occurring, in the souls of Black men and women' JAMES BALDWIN'No novel about any black woman could ever be the same after this' TONI MORRISONUpon publication in 1975, Corregidora was hailed as a masterpiece, winning acclaim from writers including James Baldwin, Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison and John Updike. Exploring themes such as race, sexuality and the long repercussions of slavery, this powerful novel paved the way for Beloved and The Colour Purple. Now, this lost classic is published for a new generation of readers.Blues singer Ursa is consumed by her hatred of Corregidora, a nineteenth-century slave master who fathered both her mother and grandmother. Charged with 'making generations' to bear witness to the abuse embodied in the family name, Ursa Corregidora finds herself unable to keep alive this legacy when she is made sterile in a violent fight with her husband. Haunted by the ghosts of a Brazilian plantation, pained by a present of lovelessness and despair, Ursa slowly and firmly strikes her own terms with womanhood.AS HEARD ON THE BACKLISTED PODCASTAlso new to the VMC list: Eva's Man and The Healing by Gayl Jones.'An American writer with a powerful sense of vital inheritance, of history in the blood' JOHN UPDIKE'Gayl Jones's first novel, Corregidora (1975), was both shocking and ground-breaking in its probing of the psychological legacy of slavery and sexual ownership through the life of a Kentucky blues singer ... it predated Alice Walker's The Color Purple and Toni Morrison's Beloved, revealing an unfinished emancipation and the power of historical memory to shape lives. It also marked a shift in African-American literature that made women, and relationships between black people, central' MAYA JAGGI, Guardian'Corregidora's survey of trauma and overcoming has become even better and more relevant with the passage of time. It remains an indispensable point of entry into the tradition of African American writing that Gayl Jones reshaped and enriched' PAUL GILROY

PublicAffairs

Freak Kingdom

Timothy Denevi
Authors:
Timothy Denevi
Virago

Good Wives

Louisa May Alcott
Authors:
Louisa May Alcott

'Life and love are very precious when both are in full bloom'With four lively, attractive women in one house and a dashing young bachelor in the neighbouring one, romance can only be a matter of time. As Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy become young women, they take separate paths in life, following their dreams, finding love, becoming wives, and travelling the world. But the tie that binds the sisters brings them together when tragedy strikes, for only with each other can they find the comfort they need.Also in Virago Classic Children's Books: Little Women, Little Men, Jo's Boys

Robinson

Dogs

Mark Bryant
Authors:
Mark Bryant

A wonderful selection of writing on dogs, from Plato to Virginia Woolf, and from ancient Egypt to twentieth-century New YorkFrom beautiful lyrics to madcap waggery, from Elizabeth Barrett Browning's adored lap-dog Flush to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's terrifying Hound of the Baskervilles, and encompassing odes, fables, stories, songs, nursery rhymes and more, Mark Bryant has compiled a wonderfully evocative collection of writing on all kinds of dogs by all kinds of authors. Included are poems by Geoffrey Chaucer, William Shakespeare, Alexander Pope, Jonathan Swift, Rudyard Kipling, Lord Byron, William Wordsworth, Robert Burns and more; humorous pieces by Lewis Carroll, Edward Lear, Ambrose Bierce and Jerome K. Jerome; and other delights from writers as varied as Charles Dickens, Charlotte Brontë, Christina Rossetti, Anton Chekhov, Mark Twain, the Brothers Grimm, Edith Wharton, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Louisa M. Alcott, Gertrude Stein, Katherine Mansfield, Robert Louis Stevenson, George Eliot and Jack London, amongst others. Covering every genre, from humour and fantasy to romance and horror, and drawn from every part of the world, these stories, poems and excerpts from essays, letters, diaries and journals provide a collection to delight any dog-lover.

Fleet

Sharp

Michelle Dean
Authors:
Michelle Dean

A BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week'This is such a great idea for a book, and Michelle Dean carries it off, showing us the complexities of her fascinating, extraordinary subjects, in print and out in the world. Dean writes with vigor, depth, knowledge and absorption, and as a result Sharp is a real achievement' Meg Wolitzer, New York TimesDorothy Parker, Hannah Arendt, Mary McCarthy, Susan Sontag, Joan Didion, Nora Ephron and Janet Malcolm are just some of the women whose lives intertwined as they cut through twentieth-century cultural and intellectual life in the United States, arguing as fervently with each other as they did with the men who so often belittled their work as journalists, novelists, critics and poets. These women are united by their 'sharpness': an accuracy and precision of thought and wit, a claiming of power through their writing.Sharp is a rich and lively portrait of these women and their world, where Manhattan cocktail parties, fuelled by lethal quantities of both alcohol and gossip, could lead to high-stakes slanging matches in the Partisan Review or the New York Review of Books. It is fascinating and revealing on how these women came to be so influential in a climate in which they were routinely met with condescension and derision by their male counterparts.Michelle Dean mixes biography, criticism and cultural and social history to create an enthralling exploration of how a group of brilliant women became central figures in the world of letters, staked out territory for themselves and began to change the world.

Little, Brown US

Mrs.

Caitlin Macy
Authors:
Caitlin Macy

"Mrs. could be the next Big Little Lies."--Entertainment WeeklyIn the well-heeled milieu of New York's Upper East Side, coolly elegant Philippa Lye is the woman no one can stop talking about. Despite a shadowy past, Philippa has somehow married the scion of the last family-held investment bank in the city. And although her wealth and connections put her in the center of this world, she refuses to conform to its gossip-fueled culture. Then, into her precariously balanced life, come two women: Gwen Hogan, a childhood acquaintance who uncovers an explosive secret about Philippa's single days, and Minnie Curtis, a newcomer whose vast fortune and frank revelations about a penurious upbringing in Spanish Harlem put everyone on alert. When Gwen's husband, a heavy-drinking, obsessive prosecutor in the US Attorney's Office, stumbles over the connection between Philippa's past and the criminal investigation he is pursuing at all costs, this insulated society is forced to confront the rot at its core and the price it has paid to survive into the new millennium. Macy has written a modern-day HOUSE OF MIRTH, not for the age of railroads and steel but of hedge funds and overnight fortunes, of scorched-earth successes and abiding moral failures. A brilliant portrait of love, betrayal, fate and chance, MRS marries razor-sharp social critique and page-turning propulsion into an unforgettable tapestry of the way we live in the 21st Century.

Fleet

Prairie Fires

Caroline Fraser
Authors:
Caroline Fraser
Virago

Outsiders

Lyndall Gordon
Authors:
Lyndall Gordon

Outsiders tells the stories of five novelists - Mary Shelley, Emily Brontë, George Eliot, Olive Schreiner, Virginia Woolf - and their famous novels.We have long known their individual greatness but in linking their creativity to their lives as outsiders, this group biography throws new light on the genius they share. 'Outsider', 'outlaw', 'outcast': a woman's reputation was her security and each of these five lost it. As writers, they made these identities their own, taking advantage of their separation from the dominant order to write their novels.All five were motherless. With no female model at hand, they learnt from books; and if lucky, from an enlightened man; and crucially each had to imagine what a woman could be in order to invent a voice of their own. They understood female desire: the passion and sexual bravery in their own lives infused their fictions.What they have in common also is the way they inform one another, and us, across the generations. Even today we do more than read them; we listen and live with them.Lyndall Gordon's biographies have always shown the indelible connection between life and art: an intuitive, exciting and revealing approach that has been highly praised and much read and enjoyed. She names each of these five as prodigy, visionary, outlaw, orator and explorer and shows how they came, they saw and left us changed.

Center Street

Death Need Not Be Fatal

Malachy McCourt, Brian McDonald
Authors:
Malachy McCourt, Brian McDonald

In his book, DEATH NEED NOT BE FATAL, McCourt explores the role death has played and continues to play in his life and in the world. From the dead babies and starving children in the Limerick of his childhood, to Angela's famous ashes, to the deaths of McCourt's brothers Frank and Mike - and McCourt's own impending demise - the Grim Reaper has been a constant companion and reminder of what is important, and what's not.McCourt writes that, as he draws closer to death, his perception of death has become crystal clear. When it occurs, he does not plan to pass away, pass on, or cross over. He's not going to make the supreme sacrifice or come to an untidy end; he is not going to be laid to rest, meet his maker, or go to his eternal reward. He is not going to breath his last, bite the dust, kick the bucket, or buy the farm; he's not going to turn up his toes, join the silent majority, become a landowner, take a dirt nap, push up daisies, play a harp, take a taxi, give up his ghost, feed the worms, enter the sweet hereafter, or shuffle off the mortal coil. He plans to die.

Running Press Adult

Ava Gardner

Kendra Bean, Anthony Uzarowski
Authors:
Kendra Bean, Anthony Uzarowski

Ava: A Life in Movies is a gorgeous illustrated tribute to a legendary life. Authors Kendra Bean and Anthony Uzarowski take a closer look at the Academy Award-nominated actress's famous screen roles while shedding new light on the creation and maintenance of her glamorous image, her marriages, and her friendships with famous figures such as Ernest Hemingway, John Huston, and Tennessee Williams. From the backwoods of Grabtown, North Carolina to the bullfighting rings of Spain, from the MGM backlot to the Rome of La Dolce Vita, Ava: A Life in Movies takes readers on the stunning and exciting journey of a life lived to the fullest and through four decades of film history with one of its most iconic stars

Seal Press

A Girl Walks Into a Book

Miranda K. Pennington
Authors:
Miranda K. Pennington

How many times have you heard readers argue about which is better, Jane Eyre or Wuthering Heights? The works of Charlotte, Emily, and Anne continue to provoke passionate fandom over a century after their deaths. Brontë enthusiasts, as well as those of us who never made it further than those oft-cited classics, will devour Miranda Pennington's delightful literary memoir.Pennington, today a writer and teacher in New York, was a precocious reader. Her father gave her Jane Eyre at the age of 10, sparking what would become a lifelong devotion and multiple re-readings. She began to delve into the work and lives of the Brontës, finding that the sisters were at times her lifeline, her sounding board, even her closest friends. In this charming, offbeat memoir, Pennington traces the development of the Brontës as women, as sisters, and as writers, as she recounts her own struggles to fit in as a bookish, introverted, bisexual woman. In the Brontës and their characters, Pennington finally finds the heroines she needs, and she becomes obsessed with their wisdom, courage, and fearlessness. Her obsession makes for an entirely absorbing and unique read. A Girl Walks Into a Book is a candid and emotional love affair that braids criticism, biography and literature into a quest that helps us understand the place of literature in our lives; how it affects and inspires us.

Basic Books

Flaubert in the Ruins of Paris

Peter Brooks
Authors:
Peter Brooks
Da Capo Press

The Ambulance Drivers

James McGrath Morris
Authors:
James McGrath Morris

Rich in evocative detail--from Paris cafés to Austrian chateaus, from the streets of Pamplona to the waters of Key West--The Ambulance Drivers tells the story of two aspiring writers, Ernest Hemingway and John Dos Passos, who met in World War I and forged a twenty-year friendship that produced some of America's greatest novels, giving voice to a generation shaken by war.In war, Hemingway found adventure, women, and a cause. Dos Passos saw only oppression and futility. Their different visions eventually turned their private friendship into a nasty public fight, fueled by money, jealousy, and lust. This is not only a biography of the turbulent friendship between two of the century's greatest writers but also an illustration of how war inspires and destroys, unites and divides.

Virago

The Age Of Innocence

Edith Wharton
Authors:
Edith Wharton

Set in turn-of-the-century New York, Edith Wharton's classic novel The Age of Innocence reveals a society governed by the dictates of taste and form, manners and morals, and intricate social ceremonies. Newland Archer, soon to marry the lovely May Welland, is a man torn between his respect for tradition and family and his attraction to May's strongly independent cousin, the Countess Ellen Olenska. Plagued by the desire to live in a world where two people can love each other free from condemnation and judgment by the group, Newland views the artful delicacy of the world he lives in as a comforting security one moment, and at another, as an oppressive fiction masking true human nature. The Age of Innocence is at once a richly drawn portrait of the elegant lifestyles, luxurious brownstones, and fascinating culture of bygone New York society and a compelling look at the conflict between human passions and the social tribe that tries to control them.

Virago

Molly Keane

Sally Phipps
Authors:
Sally Phipps
Little, Brown

The Brontës: A Life in Letters

Juliet Barker
Authors:
Juliet Barker

The Brontë story has been written many times but rarely as compellingly as by the Brontës themselves. In this selection of letters and autobiographical fragments we hear the authentic voices of the three novelist sisters, Charlotte, Emily and Anne, their brother, Branwell, and their father, the Reverend Patrick Brontë. We share in their progress over the years: the exuberant childhood, absorbed in wild, imaginative games; the years of struggling to earn a living in uncongenial occupations before Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall took the literary world by storm; the terrible marring of that success as, one by one, Branwell, Emily and Anne died tragically young; the final years as Charlotte, battling against grief, loneliness and ill health, emerged from anonymity to take her place in London literary society and, finally, found an all too brief happiness in marriage to her father's curate. Juliet Barker, author of the highly acclaimed biography The Brontës has used her unrivalled knowledge of the family to select extracts from letters and manuscripts, many of which are appearing here in print for the first time. Charlotte was a letter-writer of supreme ability, ranging from facetious notes and homely gossip to carefully composed pages of literary criticism and, most movingly of all, elegiac tributes to her beloved brother and sisters. Emily and Anne remain tantalizingly evasive. Very few of their letters are extant. Emily's are mere businesslike notes, though these have been supplemented by her more revealing diary papers; Anne's letters are equally frustrating, but only because their quality makes us regret their paucity.Branwell emerges as distinctly as Charlotte from his letters. Whether trying to impress William Wordsworth with his literary abilities, showing off to his artistic friends or finally coming to terms with a life of failed ambition, his character is laid bare on every page. The Reverend Patrick Brontë's devotion to his children and passionate advocacy of liberal causes are equally well illustrated in what can only be a small selection from his voluminous correspondence.The Brontë letters are supplemented by extracts from other contemporary sources, which allow us to see the family as their friends and acquaintances saw them. A brief narrative text guides the reader through the letters and sets them in context. By allowing the Brontës to tell their own story, Juliet Barker has not only produced an innovative form of biography but also given us the unique privilege of participating intimately in the lives of one of the most famous and best-loved families of English literature.

Abacus

The Wit In The Dungeon

Anthony Holden
Authors:
Anthony Holden
Virago

A View Of The Harbour

Elizabeth Taylor
Authors:
Elizabeth Taylor