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Biography / Autobiography

Where War Ends

Where War Ends

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An Iraq War veteran's riveting journey from suicidal despair to hope

Winner of a 2019 Foreword INDIES Silver Book of the Year Award

After serving in a scout-sniper platoon in Mosul, Tom Voss came home carrying invisible wounds of war -- the memory of doing or witnessing things that went against his fundamental beliefs. This was not a physical injury that could heal with medication and time but a "moral injury" -- a wound to the soul that eventually urged him toward suicide. Desperate for relief from the pain and guilt that haunted him, Voss embarked on a 2,700-mile journey across America, walking from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to the Pacific Ocean with a fellow veteran. Readers walk with these men as they meet other veterans, Native American healers, and spiritual teachers who appear in the most unexpected forms. At the end of their trek, Voss realizes he is really just beginning his healing. He pursues meditation training and discovers sacred breathing techniques that shatter his understanding of war and himself, and move him from despair to hope. Voss's story will give inspiration to veterans, their friends and family, and survivors of all kinds.
Where We Going, Daddy? Life with Two Sons Unlike Any Others

Where We Going, Daddy? Life with Two Sons Unlike Any Others

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Jean-Louis Fournier did not expect to have a disabled child. He certainly did not expect to have two. But that is precisely what happened to this wry French humorist, and his attempts to live and cope with his Mathieu and Thomas, both facing extremely debilitating physical and mental challenges, is the subject of this brave and heartbreaking book. Fournier recalls the life he imagined having with his sons but his boys will never really grow up, and he mourns the loss of every memory he thought he d have.
Though a devoted father, he does not shy away from exploring the limits of his love, the countless times he is filled with frustration and disappointment with no relief in sight. Mathieu and Thomas can barely communicate, and each in turn repeats learned phrases, such as Where we going, Daddy? (a favorite in the car) in what feels to
Fournier to be an eternal loop.
In "WhereWe Going, Daddy? "Fournier reveals everything, and that is perhaps his most remarkable quality. He does not hide behind a mask of cliche, but gives voice to the darkness that comes with disability, and the rare moments of light. Through short, powerful vignettes Jean-Louis manages his grief with cynicism and humor. For parents of disabled children, this book will offer some relief from the courage they must garner every day, a chance to let down their guard, laugh at themselves, and embrace even the ugly emotions they feel. For the rest of us, it s an unsettling and heartfelt glimpse into an otherwise unimaginable life.
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Where We Have Hope

Where We Have Hope

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American-born journalist Andrew Meldrum was seized and expelled from Zimbabwe in May 2003, forced to leave for writing bad things about President Robert Mugabe's regime. Here, Meldrum describes what it meant to live through this period of hope and tragedy, and how he was harassed, arrested, imprisoned, and tried.
Where We Have Hope: A Memoir of Zimbabwe

Where We Have Hope: A Memoir of Zimbabwe

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Where We Have Hope is the gripping memoir of a young American journalist. In 1980, Andrew Meldrum arrived in a Zimbabwe flush with new independence, and he fell in love with the country and its optimism. But over the twenty years he lived there, Meldrum watched as President Robert Mugabe consolidated power and the government evolved into despotism. In May 2003, Meldrum, the last foreign journalist still working in the dangerous and chaotic nation, was illegally forced to leave his adopted home. His unflinching work describes the terror and intimidation Mugabe's government exercised on both the press and citizens, and the resiliency of Zimbabweans determined to overturn Mugabe and demand the free society they were promised.
Where You Left Me

Where You Left Me

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An extraordinarily powerful account of hardship and healing by a woman whose husband, a top executive at Cantor Fitzgerald, was killed in the attacks on the World Trade Center, and her unexpected journey to find love again.

Lucky--that's how Jennifer would describe herself. She had a successful law career, met the love of her life in Doug, married him, had an apartment in New York City, a house in the Hamptons, two beautiful children, and was still madly in love after nearly seven years of marriage. Jennifer was living the kind of idyllic life that clichés are made of.

Until Doug was killed in the attacks on the World Trade Center, and she became a widow at age thirty-five--a "9/11 widow," no less, a member of a select group bound by sorrow, of which she wanted no part. Though completely devastated, Jennifer still considered herself blessed. Doug had loved her enough to last her a lifetime, and after his sudden death, she was done with the idea of romantic love--fully resigned to being a widowed single mother . . . until a chance encounter with a gregarious stranger changed everything. Without a clue how to handle this unexpected turn of events, Jennifer faced the question asked by anyone who has ever lost a loved one: Is it really possible to feel joy again, let alone love?

With unvarnished emotion and clear-eyed sardonic humor, Jennifer tells an ordinary woman's extraordinary tale of unimaginable loss, resilience, friendship, love, and healing--which is also New York City's narrative in the wake of September 11. Where You Left Me is an unlikely love story, a quintessentially New York story--at once Jennifer's tribute to the city that gave her everything and proof that second chances are possible.

Where's My Fortune Cookie?

Where's My Fortune Cookie?

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The hilarious, startling biography of Phil Proctor, the co-founder of the legendary satirical comedy group, the Firesign Theatre. Includes over 120 rare photos, illustrating his work in comedy recordings, TV, film and even the Broadway stage.
Where's My Wand? One Boy's Magical Triumph Over Alienation and Shag Carpeting

Where's My Wand? One Boy's Magical Triumph Over Alienation and Shag Carpeting

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Augusten Burroughs, David Sedaris, and David Rakoff have all produced winning memoirs of their demented, alternately heartrending and sidesplitting late- twentieth-century American childhoods. Now, first-time author Eric Poole joins their ranks with his chronicle of a childhood gone hilariously and heartbreakingly awry in the Midwest of the 1970s. From the age of eight through early adolescence, Poole sought refuge from his obsessive-compulsive mother, sadistic teachers, and sneering schoolyard thugs in the Scotchgarded basement of his family's suburban St. Louis tract house. There, emulating his favorite TV character, Endora from "Bewitched," he wrapped himself in a makeshift caftan and cast magical spells in an effort to maintain control over the rapidly shifting ground beneath his feet. But when a series of tragic events tested Eric's longstanding belief that magic can vanquish evil, he began to question the efficacy of his incantations, embarking on a spiritual journey that led him to discover the magic that comes only from within.
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Wheres My Wand

Wheres My Wand

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Gut-splittingly funny...a deeply moving account of a boy's attempt to control his world with his own brand of magic. --People magazine, 4 stars.

Tracey Ullman once described Eric Poole as the best undiscovered writer I ever met. Now the world can enjoy his achingly honest wit and gift for capturing real life characters in this memoir about growing up in the 1970's with an obsessive-compulsive mother and a crush on Endora from Bewitched.

While... Born During WWII

While... Born During WWII

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You were born in a hospital?" Hilde says as she lays down her black bread and cheese sandwich. She sits opposite me at my kitchen table.

Looking up from my salad, I nod. "Yes, I thought everyone by the 1940's was born in a hospital."

"Hell no." Hilde stares at me. "In Germany I was born at home, on the couch, delivered by a midwife."

Thus began the noontime conversations of an American housewife and a German cleaning lady about their contrasting lives during and after WWII.

My mother taught me that an important word in any language is while. While one thing is happening, so is another. "While I wash dishes, Peggy, you dry. While we are in nighttime, someone is in daylight. While one person dies, another is born."

While WWII began, two little girls were born and grew up in opposing countries and living in its aftermath.

With this word while, we started this book of extreme contrasts, startling discoveries and sometimes striking similarities.

Whip Smart

Whip Smart

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A dark, wild, powerful memoir about a young woman's transformation from college student to professional dominatrix

While a college student at The New School, Melissa Febos spent four years working as a dominatrix in a midtown dungeon. In poetic, nuanced prose she charts in Whip Smart how unchecked risk-taking eventually gave way to a course of self-destruction. But as she recounts crossing over the very boundaries that she set for her own safety, she never plays the victim. In fact, the glory of this memoir is Melissa's ability to illuminate the strange and powerful truths that she learned as she found her way out of a hell of her own making. Rest assured; the reader will emerge from the journey more or less unscathed.

Whipping Boy

Whipping Boy

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Winner of the Edgar(R) Award for Best Fact Crime

The true account of one boy's lifelong search for his boarding-school bully.

Equal parts childhood memoir and literary thriller, Whipping Boy chronicles prize-winning author Allen Kurzweil's search for his twelve-year-old nemesis, a bully named Cesar Augustus. The obsessive inquiry, which spans some forty years, takes Kurzweil all over the world, from a Swiss boarding school (where he endures horrifying cruelty) to the slums of Manila, from the Park Avenue boardroom of the world's largest law firm to a federal prison camp in Southern California.

While hunting down his tormentor, Kurzweil encounters an improbable cast of characters that includes an elocution teacher with ill-fitting dentures, a gang of faux royal swindlers, a crime investigator "with paper in his blood," and a onocled grand master of the Knights of Malta. Yet for all its global exoticism and comic exuberance, Kurzweil's riveting account is, at its core, a heartfelt and suspenseful narrative about the "parallel lives" of a victim and his abuser.

A scrupulously researched work of nonfiction that renders a childhood menace into an unlikely muse, Whipping Boy is much more than a tale of karmic retribution; it is a poignant meditation on loss, memory, and mourning, a surreal odyssey born out of suffering, nourished by rancor, tempered by wit, and resolved, unexpectedly, in a breathtaking act of personal courage.

Whipping Boy features two 8-page black-and-white photo inserts and 83 images throughout.

Whipping Boy

Whipping Boy

$27.99
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Winner of the Edgar(R) Award for Best Fact Crime

The true account of one boy's lifelong search for his boarding-school bully.

Equal parts childhood memoir and literary thriller, Whipping Boy chronicles prize-winning author Allen Kurzweil's search for his twelve-year-old nemesis, a bully named Cesar Augustus. The obsessive inquiry, which spans some forty years, takes Kurzweil all over the world, from a Swiss boarding school (where he endures horrifying cruelty) to the slums of Manila, from the Park Avenue boardroom of the world's largest law firm to a federal prison camp in Southern California.

While hunting down his tormentor, Kurzweil encounters an improbable cast of characters that includes an elocution teacher with ill-fitting dentures, a gang of faux royal swindlers, a crime investigator "with paper in his blood," and a onocled grand master of the Knights of Malta. Yet for all its global exoticism and comic exuberance, Kurzweil's riveting account is, at its core, a heartfelt and suspenseful narrative about the "parallel lives" of a victim and his abuser.

A scrupulously researched work of nonfiction that renders a childhood menace into an unlikely muse, Whipping Boy is much more than a tale of karmic retribution; it is a poignant meditation on loss, memory, and mourning, a surreal odyssey born out of suffering, nourished by rancor, tempered by wit, and resolved, unexpectedly, in a breathtaking act of personal courage.

Whipping Boy features two 8-page black-and-white photo inserts and 83 images throughout.

Whiskey Breakfast My Swedish Family, My American Life

Whiskey Breakfast My Swedish Family, My American Life

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Chicago in the 1920s: Clark Street was the city's last Swedetown, a narrow corridor of weather-beaten storefronts, coal yards, and taverns running along the north side of the city and the locus of Swedish community life in Chicago during the first half of the twentieth century. It represented a way station for a generation of working-class immigrants escaping the hardships of the old country for the promise of a brighter new day in a halfway house of sorts, perched between the old and new lands. For Richard C. Lindberg, whose Swedish immigrant parents and grandparents settled there, it was also the staging ground for an intensely personal, multigenerational, coming-of-age drama based on the struggles of two disparate families--their dreams and their depravities, their victories and their failures.

Whiskey Breakfast is Lindberg's captivating tale of life as a first-generation baby-boomer Swedish American, caught between the customs of a land he had never been to and the desire to conform and fit into a troubled existence, tragically scarred by alcoholism, divorce, and peer abuse. But it is also a powerful and intimate portrait of his immigrant ancestors, and especially of his father, Oscar--a contractor and master builder who helped develop Chicago's post-World War II suburbs. A paradoxical man, known to some as a socialist, an anarchist, and a serious drinker, Oscar would carry with him to the grave a sixty-two-year-old family secret, a secret that for Lindberg lies at the very heart of the great Swedish unrest that drove his father and countless other men and women out of Sweden and onward to America.

Masterfully blending autobiography with immigrant history, Whiskey Breakfast surrounds Lindberg's family story with Swedish cultural history and politics, as well as remarkable Chicago history and how Clark Street and Swedetown became, and in many ways remain, a center of Swedish immigrants' social and cultural life. Far from a eulogy for an idealized past, Lindberg has crafted a moving and sobering memoir of a young man's struggle to come to terms with his father and himself, his immigrant heritage, and his native home.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot The Taliban Shuffle MTI

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot The Taliban Shuffle MTI

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Now a Major Motion Picture titled Whiskey Tango Foxtrot starring Tina Fey, Margot Robbie, Martin Freeman, Alfred Molina, and Billy Bob Thornton.

From tea with warlords in the countryside to parties with drunken foreign correspondents in the "dry" city of Kabul, journalist Kim Barker captures the humor and heartbreak of life in post-9/11 Afghanistan and Pakistan in this profound and darkly comic memoir. As Barker grows from awkward newbie to seasoned reporter, she offers an insider's account of the region's "forgotten war" at a time when all eyes were turned to Iraq. Candid, self-deprecating, and laugh-out-loud funny, Barker shares both her affection for the absurdities of these two hapless countries and her fear for their future stability.
Whistleblower

Whistleblower

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"A powerful illustration of the obstacles our society continues to throw up in the paths of ambitious young women." --The New York Times Book Review

"Important . . . empowering." --Gayle King, CBS This Morning

That [Fowler] became a whistle-blower and a pioneer of a social movement almost seems inevitable once you get to know her. Uber should have seen her coming." --San Francisco Chronicle

Named a Best Book of 2020 by NPR



Susan Fowler was just twenty-five years old when her blog post describing the sexual harassment and retaliation she'd experienced at Uber riveted the nation. Her post would eventually lead to the ousting of Uber's powerful CEO, but its ripples extended far beyond that, as her courageous choice to attach her name to the post inspired other women to speak publicly about their experiences. In the year that followed, an unprecedented number of women came forward, and Fowler was recognized by Time as one of the Silence Breakers who ignited the #MeToo movement.

Here, she shares her full story: a story of extraordinary determination and resilience that reveals what it takes--and what it means--to be a whistleblower. Long before she arrived at Uber, Fowler's life had been defined by her refusal to accept her circumstances. She propelled herself from an impoverished childhood with little formal education to the Ivy League, and then to a coveted position at one of the most valuable companies in the history of Silicon Valley. Each time she was mistreated, she fought back or found a way to reinvent herself; all she wanted was the opportunity to define her own dreams and work to achieve them. But when she discovered Uber's pervasive culture of sexism, racism, harassment, and abuse, and that the company would do nothing about it, she knew she had to speak out--no matter what it cost her.

Whistleblower takes us deep inside this shockingly toxic workplace and reveals new details about the aftermath of the blog post, in which Fowler was investigated and followed, hacked and threatened, to the point that she feared for her life. But even as it illuminates how the deck is stacked in favor of the status quo, Fowler's story serves as a crucial reminder that we can take our power back. Both moving personal narrative and rallying cry, Whistleblower urges us to be the heroes of our own stories, and to keep fighting for a more just and equitable world.

Whistleblower: Sex Trafficking, Military Contractors, and One Woman's Fight for Justice

Whistleblower: Sex Trafficking, Military Contractors, and One Woman's Fight for Justice

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When Nebraska police officer and divorced mother of three Kathryn Bolkovac saw a recruiting announcement for private military contractor DynCorp International, she applied and was hired. Good money, world travel, and the chance to help rebuild a war-torn country sounded like the perfect job. Bolkovac was shipped out to Bosnia, where DynCorp had been contracted to support the UN peacekeeping mission. She was assigned as a human rights investigator, heading the gender affairs unit. The lack of proper training provided sounded the first alarm bell, but once she arrived in Sarajevo, she found out that things were a lot worse. At great risk to her personal safety, she began to unravel the ugly truth about officers involved in human trafficking and forced prostitution and their connections to private mercenary contractors, the UN, and the U.S. State Department. After bringing this evidence to light, Bolkovac was demoted, felt threatened with bodily harm, was fired, and ultimately forced to flee the country under cover of darkness--bringing the incriminating documents with her. Thanks to the evidence she collected, she won a lawsuit against DynCorp, finally exposing them for what they had done. This is her story and the story of the women she helped achieve justice for.

White American Youth

White American Youth

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As featured on Fresh Air and the TED stage, a stunning look inside the world of violent hate groups by a onetime white supremacist leader who, shaken by a personal tragedy, abandoned his destructive life to become an anti-hate activist.

Raw, inspiring, and heartbreakingly candid, White American Youth explores why so many young people lose themselves in a culture of hatred and violence and how the criminal networks they forge terrorize and divide our nation. The story begins when Picciolini found himself stumbling through high school, struggling to find a community among other fans of punk rock music. There, he was recruited by a notorious white power skinhead leader and encouraged to fight with the movement to protect the white race from extinction. Soon, he had become an expert in racist philosophies, a terror who roamed the neighborhood, quick to throw fists. When his mentor was sent to prison, sixteen-year-old Picciolini took over the man's role as the leader of an infamous neo-Nazi skinhead group.

Seduced by the power he accrued through intimidation, and swept up in the rhetoric he had adopted, Picciolini worked to grow an army of extremists. He used music as a recruitment tool, launching his own propaganda band that performed at white power rallies around the world. But slowly, as he started a family of his own and a job that for the first time brought him face to face with people from all walks of life, he began to recognize the cracks in his hateful ideology. Then a shocking loss at the hands of racial violence changed his life forever, and Picciolini realized too late the full extent of the harm he'd caused.

Simultaneously horrifying and redemptive (AlterNet), White American Youth examines how radicalism and racism can conquer a person's way of life and how we can work together to stop those ideologies from tearing our world apart.

*An earlier edition of this book was published as Romantic Violence

White Heat: : The Friendship of Emily Dickinson and Thomas Wentworth Higginson

White Heat: : The Friendship of Emily Dickinson and Thomas Wentworth Higginson

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White Heat is the first book to portray the remarkable relationship between America's most beloved poet and the fiery abolitionist who first brought her work to the public.
As the Civil War raged, an unlikely friendship was born between the reclusive poet Emily Dickinson and Thomas Wentworth Higginson, a literary figure who ran guns to Kansas and commanded the first Union regiment of black soldiers. When Dickinson sent Higginson four of her poems he realized he had encountered a wholly original genius; their intense correspondence continued for the next quarter century. In White Heat Brenda Wineapple tells an extraordinary story about poetry, politics, and love, one that sheds new light on her subjects and on the roiling America they shared.