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See below for a selection of the latest books from Biography: literary category. Presented with a red border are the Biography: literary books that have been lovingly read and reviewed by the experts at Lovereading. With expert reading recommendations made by people with a passion for books and some unique features Lovereading will help you find great Biography: literary books and those from many more genres to read that will keep you inspired and entertained. And it's all free!
The definitive biography of Soviet Jewish dissident writer Vasily Grossman If Vasily Grossman's 1961 masterpiece, Life and Fate, had been published during his lifetime, it would have reached the world together with Pasternak's Doctor Zhivago and before Solzhenitsyn's Gulag. But Life and Fate was seized by the KGB. When it emerged posthumously, decades later, it was recognized as the War and Peace of the twentieth century. Always at the epicenter of events, Grossman (1905-1964) was among the first to describe the Holocaust and the Ukrainian famine. His 1944 article The Hell of Treblinka became evidence at Nuremberg. Grossman's powerful anti-totalitarian works liken the Nazis' crimes against humanity with those of Stalin. His compassionate prose has the everlasting quality of great art. Because Grossman's major works appeared after much delay we are only now able to examine them properly. Alexandra Popoff's authoritative biography illuminates Grossman's life and legacy.
The story behind the origins of Anna Karenina and the turbulent life and times of Leo Tolstoy. Anna Karenina is one of the most nuanced characters in world literature and we return to her, and the novel she propels, again and again. Remarkably, there has not yet been an examination of Leo Tolstoy specifically through the lens of this novel. Critic and professor Bob Blaisdell unravels Tolstoy's family, literary, and day-to-day life during the period that he conceived, drafted, abandoned, and revised Anna Karenina. In the process, we see where Tolstoy's life and his art intersect in obvious and unobvious ways. Readers often assume that Tolstoy, a nobleman-turned-mystic would write himself into the principled Levin. But in truth, it is within Anna that the consciousness and energy flows with the same depth and complexities as Tolstoy. Her fateful suicide is the road that Tolstoy nearly traveled himself. At once a nuanced biography and portrait of the last decades of the Russian empire and artful literary examination, Creating Anna Karenina will enthrall the thousands of readers whose lives have become deeper and clearer after experiencing this hallmark of world literature.
Ernest Hemingway was an involuntary chameleon, who would shift seamlessly from a self-cultivated image of hero, aesthetic radical, and existential non-conformist to a figure made up at various points of selfishness, hypocrisy, self-delusion, narcissism and arbitrary vindictiveness. Richard Bradford shows that Hemingway's work is by parts erratic and unique because it was tied into these unpredictable, bizarre features of his personality. Impressionism and subjectivity always play some part in the making of literary works. Some authors try to subdue them while others treat them as the essentials of creativity but they endure as a ubiquitous element of all literature. They are the writer's private signature, their authorial fingerprint. In this ground-breaking and intensely revealing biography, which includes a complete reassessment of Hemingway's oeuvre Hemingway's unfixed personality is shown to be the index to why and how he wrote as he did.
E. E. Cummings is one of our most popular and enduring poets, one whose name extends beyond the boundaries of the literary world. Renowned for his formally fractured, gleefully alive poetry, Cummings is not often thought of as a war poet. But his experience in France and as a prisoner during World War I (the basis for his first work of prose, The Enormous Room) escalated his earliest breaks with conventional form?the innovation with which his name would soon become synonymous. Intimate and richly detailed, The Beauty of Living begins with Cummings's Cambridge upbringing and his relationship with his socially progressive but domestically domineering father. It follows Cummings through his undergraduate experience at Harvard, where he fell into a circle of aspiring writers including John Dos Passos, who became a lifelong friend. Steeped in classical paganism and literary Decadence, Cummings and his friends rode the explosion of Cubism, Futurism, Imagism, and other modern movements in the arts. As the United States prepared to enter World War I, Cummings volunteered as an ambulance driver, shipped out to Paris, and met his first love, Marie Louise Lallemand, who was working in Paris as a prostitute. Soon after reaching the front, however, he was unjustly imprisoned in a brutal French detention center at La Ferte-Mace. Through this confrontation with arbitrary and sadistic authority, he found the courage to listen to his own voice. Probing an underexamined yet formative time in the poet's life, this deeply researched account illuminates his ideas about love, justice, humanity, and brutality. J. Alison Rosenblitt weaves together letters, journal entries, and sketches with astute analyses of poems that span Cummings's career, revealing the origins of one of the twentieth century's most famous poets.
Novelist Zora Neale Hurston and poet Langston Hughes, two of America's greatest writers, first met in New York City in 1925. Drawn to each other, they helped launch a radical journal, Fire!! Later, meeting by accident in Alabama, they became close as they traveled together-Hurston interviewing African Americans for folk stories, Hughes getting his first taste of the deep South. By illuminating their lives, work, competitiveness, and ambitions, Yuval Taylor savvily details how their friendship and literary collaborations dead-ended in acrimonious accusations.
Shortlisted for the Stanford Dolman Travel Book of the Year Award 'A gem of a book, informative, companionable, sometimes funny, and wholly original. MacLean must surely be the outstanding, and most indefatigable, traveller-writer of our time' John le Carre In 1989 the Berlin Wall fell. In that euphoric year Rory MacLean travelled from Berlin to Moscow, exploring lands that were - for most Brits and Americans - part of the forgotten half of Europe. Thirty years on, MacLean traces his original journey backwards, across countries confronting old ghosts and new fears: from revanchist Russia, through Ukraine's bloodlands, into illiberal Hungary, and then Poland, Germany and the UK. Along the way he shoulders an AK-47 to go hunting with Moscow's chicken Tsar, plays video games in St Petersburg with a cyber-hacker who cracked the US election, drops by the Che Guevara High School of Political Leadership in a non-existent nowhereland and meets the Warsaw doctor who tried to stop a march of 70,000 nationalists. Finally, on the shores of Lake Geneva, he waits patiently to chat with Mikhail Gorbachev. As Europe sleepwalks into a perilous new age, MacLean explores how opportunists - both within and outside of Russia, from Putin to Home Counties populists - have made a joke of truth, exploiting refugees and the dispossessed, and examines the veracity of historical narrative from reportage to fiction and fake news. He asks what happened to the optimism of 1989 and, in the shadow of Brexit, chronicles the collapse of the European dream.
George Orwell left post-war London for Barnhill, a remote farmhouse on the Isle of Jura, to write what became Nineteen Eighty-Four. He was driven by a passionate desire to undermine the enemies of democracy and make plain the dangers of dictatorship, surveillance, doublethink and censorship. Typing away in his damp bedroom overlooking the garden he curated and the sea beyond, he invented Big Brother, Thought Police, Newspeak and Room 101 - and created a masterpiece. Barnhill tells the dramatic story of this crucial period of Orwell's life. Deeply researched, it reveals the private man behind the celebrated public figure - his turbulent love life, his devotion to his baby son and his declining health as he struggled to deliver his dystopian warning to the world.
The definitive biography of a leading twentieth-century French writer A leading exponent of the nouveau roman, Nathalie Sarraute (1900-1999) was also one of France's most cosmopolitan literary figures, and her life was bound up with the intellectual and political ferment of twentieth-century Europe. Ann Jefferson's Nathalie Sarraute: A Life Between is the authoritative biography of this major writer. Sarraute's life spanned a century and a continent. Born in tsarist Russia to Jewish parents, she was soon uprooted and brought to the city that became her lifelong home, Paris. This dislocation presaged a life marked by ambiguity and ambivalence. A stepchild in two families, a Russian emigre in Paris, a Jew in bourgeois French society, and a woman in a man's literary world, Sarraute was educated at Oxford, Berlin, and the Sorbonne. She embarked on a career in law that was ended by the Nazi occupation of France, and she spent much of the war in hiding, under constant threat of exposure. Rising to literary eminence after the Liberation, she was initially associated with the existentialist circle of Beauvoir and Sartre, before becoming the principal theorist and practitioner of the avant-garde French novel of the 1950s and 1960s. Her tireless exploration of the deepest parts of our inner psychological life produced an oeuvre that remains daringly modern and resolutely unclassifiable. Nathalie Sarraute: A Life Between explores Sarraute's work and the intellectual, social, and political context from which it emerged. Drawing on newly available archival material and Sarraute's letters, this deeply researched biography is the definitive account of a life lived between countries, families, languages, literary movements, and more.