Related to: 'Reading Allowed'


The Shadow in the Garden

James Atlas
James Atlas

The biographer - so often in the shadows, kibbitzing, casting doubt, proving facts - here comes to the stage.James Atlas takes us back to his childhood in suburban Chicago, where he fell in love with literature and, early on, found in himself the impulse to study writers' lives. We meet Richard Ellmann, the great biographer of James Joyce and Atlas's professor during a transformative year at Oxford. We get to know the author's first subject, the "self-doomed" poet Delmore Schwartz; a bygone cast of intellectuals such as Edmund Wilson and Dwight Macdonald (the "tall trees," as Mary McCarthy described them, cut down now, Atlas writes, by the "merciless pruning of mortality"); and, of course, the elusive Bellow, "a metaphysician of the ordinary." Atlas revisits the lives and work of the classical biographers: the Renaissance writers of what were then called "lives," Samuel Johnson and the "meshugenah" Boswell, among them. In what amounts to a pocket history of his own literary generation, Atlas celebrates the luminaries of contemporary literature and the labor of those who hope to catch a glimpse of one of them - "as fleeting as a familiar face swallowed up in a crowd."


If This Is A Man/The Truce

Primo Levi
Primo Levi

With the moral stamina and intellectual pose of a twentieth-century Titan, this slightly built, duitful, unassuming chemist set out systematically to remember the German hell on earth, steadfastly to think it through, and then to render it comprehensible in lucid, unpretentious prose. He was profoundly in touch with the minutest workings of the most endearing human events and with the most contempible. What has survived in Levi's writing isn't just his memory of the unbearable, but also, in THE PERIODIC TABLE and THE WRENCH, his delight in what made the world exquisite to him. He was himself a "magically endearing man, the most delicately forceful enchanter I've ever known" - PHILIP ROTH

Angela Huth

Angela Huth has written three short story collections and several novels. She also writes plays for radio, television and stage, and is a well-known freelance journalist, critic and broadcaster. She is married to a don, lives in Oxford and has two daughters.

Chip Carter

Chip Carter began his trek into the written world with numerous STAR TREK trading cards. After selling a story pitch to STAR TREK: VOYAGER, he wrote the Obsessed With Star Trek trivia book, gift books highlighting Star Trek technology, and continues to work on other licensed products including thousands of questions for licensed Trivial Pursuit sets for THE WALKING DEAD, HARRY POTTER and of course, STAR TREK.

Connie Johnson

Connie Johnson is a wife and mother of two beautiful young boys. She has worked in the disability sector for ten years and since her most recent diagnosis spends her time with her family and advocating on breast cancer issues ... when not busy seeing how much torture her brother will endure before he says no.

D.J. Taylor

D. J. Taylor is a writer and critic. His collection of short stories, After Bathing at Baxter's was published in 1997 and he is the author of six novels: Great Eastern Land (1986); Real Life (1992); English Settlement (1996); Trespass (1998), a satire of 1970s England; The Comedy Man (2001), the story of one half of a comedy duo; and Kept: A Victorian Mystery (2006). Several of his books are set in his home city of Norwich.His books of non-fiction include Afer the War: The Novel and England Since 1945 (1993); A Vain Conceit: British fiction in the 1980s (1989), a critical look at the quality of fiction-writing in Britain; and most recently, Bright Young People: The Rise and Fall of a Generation 1918-1940. He is also well-known for his biographies: Thackeray (1999); and Orwell: The Life, published in 2003 to coincide with the centenary of Orwell's birth. This book won the 2003 Whitbread Biography Award.

Hollie McNish

Hollie McNish is a published UK poet based between London, Cambridge and Glasgow. She has two poetry collections - Cherry Pie and Papers and an album Versus, which made her the first poet to record at Abbey Road Studios, London.

Irvin D. Yalom

Dr Irvin Yalom is an emeritus professor of psychiatry at Stanford University and the author of many books, including Creatures of a Day and the bestselling Love's Executioner. He and his wife, the author Marilyn Yalom, live in Palo Alto, California.

James Atlas

JAMES ATLAS is the author of Bellow: A Biography, Delmore Schwartz: The Life of an American Poet, which was nominated for the National Book Award, and the memoir My Life in the Middle Ages. The founder of the Lipper/Viking Penguin Lives series and a longtime contributor to The New Yorker, he was an editor at The New York Times Magazine for many years. His work has appeared in The New York Times Book Review, The New York Review of Books, London Review of Books, Vanity Fair, and many journals. He lives in New York City.

Jim Florentine

Jim Florentine is one of the top comedians in the nation, with a massive fan base and an extensive reach into television, film, radio, and digital entertainment. He's currently the featured guest on the Opie with Jim Norton radio broadcast and the co-host for VH1's That Metal Show. He's a critically acclaimed actor, seen most recently on FX's Louie starring Louis CK, Inside Amy Schumer, and Amy Schumer's hit movie Trainwreck.Florentine hosts a popular weekly podcast, Comedy Metal Midgets, and is a featured DJ on Ozzy's Boneyard channel on Sirius XM radio. He rose to fame with his bestselling recordings Terrorizing Telemarketers and he created and voiced the wildly popular character Special Ed for Comedy Central's Crank Yankers. Florentine won an Emmy for his work on HBO's Inside The NFL and had two Billboard top-ten comedy albums within a single year (Cringe N' Purge and Awful Jokes from My First Comedy Notebook).

Katherine Wilson

Katherine Wilson was born and raised in Wash­ington, DC. She graduated Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Princeton University, where she was taught by Toni Morrison and Peter Sellars. She has lived in Italy for the past nineteen years, working in television, film and theatre. Most recently, she acted in Giuseppe Tornatore's The Best Offer with Geoffrey Rush and Donald Sutherland. She lives in Rome with her husband and two children.

Lauren Graham

Lauren Graham is the actress best known for her roles on the critically-acclaimed series "Gilmore Girls" and "Parenthood." She has performed on Broadway and appeared in such films as Bad Santa, Evan Almighty, and Because I Said So. She is also the author of the New York Times bestselling novel SOMEDAY, SOMEDAY, MAYBE, which Ballantine Books published in 2013. Her essay collection TALKING AS FAST AS I CAN: FROM GILMORE GIRLS TO GILMORE GIRLS (AND EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN) was published in 2016 and was also a New York Times bestseller. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Barnard College and an MFA in acting from Southern Methodist University.

Mark Billingham

Mark Billingham has twice won the Theakston's Old Peculier Award for Crime Novel of the Year, and has also won a Sherlock Award for the Best Detective created by a British writer. Each of the novels featuring Detective Inspector Tom Thorne has been a Sunday Times bestseller. Sleepyhead and Scaredy Cat were made into a hit TV series on Sky 1 starring David Morrissey as Thorne, and a series based on the novels In the Dark and Time of Death was broadcast on BBC1. Mark lives in north London with his wife and two children.

Mitch Albom

Mitch Albom is an internationally bestselling author, screenwriter, playwright, and award-winning journalist. He is the author of six consecutive number one New York Times bestsellers and has sold over thirty-five million copies of his books in forty-five languages worldwide, including Tuesdays with Morrie, which is the bestselling memoir of all time.Albom also works as a columnist and broadcaster and has founded eight charities in Detroit and Haiti, where he operates an orphanage. He lives with his wife, Janine, in Michigan.

Muriel Spark

Muriel Spark, D.B.E, C. Litt, was born in Edinburgh in 1918. A poet and novelist, she also wrote children's books, radio plays, a comedy, 'Doctors of Philosophy', first performed in London in 1962, and biographies. She is best known for her stories and many successful novels, including Memento Mori, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Loitering With Intent, The Comforters, A Far Cry from Kensington and The Public Image. For her long career of literary achievement, Muriel Spark won international praise and many awards, including the David Cohen British Literature Award, the T. S. Eliot Award, the Saltire Prize, the Boccaccio Prize for European Literature, the Gold Pen Award and the Italia Prize for dramatic radio. Muriel Spark was given an honorary doctorate of Letters from a number of universities, London, Edinburgh and Oxford among these. She died in 2006.

Nadia Murad

Nadia Murad is a human rights activist. She is the recipient of the Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize and the Sakharov Prize, and is the UN's first Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking. Together with Yazda, a Yazidi rights organization, she is currently working to bring the Islamic State before the International Criminal Court on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity. She is also the founder of Nadia's Initiative, a program dedicated to helping survivors of genocide and human trafficking to heal and rebuild their communities.

Robin Green

Robin Green is an award-winning TV writer/producer known for her work as an Executive Producer and writer for The Sopranos on HBO and for creating, with her husband Mitchell Burgess, the CBS drama Blue Bloods, now in its seventh season. She is an alumna of Brown University and holds an MFA from the University of Iowa Writer's Workshop. Green lives in New York City with her husband and mixed-breed dog Silenzio.

Running Press

Running Press, Running Press Kids, and Running Press Miniature Editions publish books that inspire, entertain and delight readers with innovative formats and irresistible packages for humor, pop culture, activity, cooking and self-help titles. The long-running miniature editions program features original bestsellers like Grow Your Own Mini Bonsai and top licenses like Harry Potter.

Samuel Johnson

Samuel is an Australian actor with 20 years experience, best-known for his work on THE SECRET LIVES OF US, CRACKERJACK, UNDERBELLY II and RUSH. In recent times he is more proud of his work as a breast cancer advocate and determined unicyclist.

Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones

Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones was born in Jamaica and grew up in inner-city Birmingham. Following a turn as producer-director of BBC's Food and Drink, Wilfred ran his own marketing agency, before buying a farm in Devon from which he launched his multi-million-pound, award-winning Black Farmer brand. He has since set up the Black Farmer Scholarship, which aims to help and encourage ethnic minorities to work in the rural community. This aim was the subject of a Channel 4 series, Young Black Farmers, which saw him take a group of nine inner-city school leavers from ethnic minorities to work on his Devon farm.