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Narrative Nonfiction

Among the Living and the Dead: A Tale of Exile and Homecoming

Among the Living and the Dead: A Tale of Exile and Homecoming

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Inara Verzemnieks was raised by her Latvian grandparents in Washington State, among expatriates who scattered smuggled Latvian sand over coffins, the children singing folk songs about a land none of them had visited. Her grandmother Livija's stories vividly recreated the home she fled during the Second World War, when she was separated from her sister, Ausma, whom she wouldn't see again for more than fifty years.

Journeying back to their remote village, Inara comes to know Ausma and her trauma as an exile to Siberia under Stalin, while reconstructing Livija's survival through her years as a refugee. In uniting their stories, Inara honors both sisters in a haunting and luminous account of loss, survival, resilience, and love.

A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice.

Amoralman: A True Story and Other Lies

Amoralman: A True Story and Other Lies

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Truth and lies are two sides of the same coin. But who's flipping it?

A thought-provoking and brilliantly entertaining work of nonfiction from one of the world's leading deceivers, the creator and star of the astonishing theater show and forthcoming film In & Of Itself.

Derek DelGaudio believed he was a decent, honest man. But when irrefutable evidence to the contrary is found in an old journal, his memories are reawakened and Derek is forced to confront--and try to understand--his role in a significant act of deception from his past.

Using his youthful notebook entries as a road map, Derek embarks on a soulful, often funny, sometimes dark journey, retracing the path that led him to a world populated by charlatans, card cheats, and con artists. As stories are peeled away and artifices are revealed, Derek examines the mystery behind his father's vanishing act, the secret he inherited from his mother, the obsession he developed with sleight-of-hand that shaped his future, and the affinity he felt for the professional swindlers who taught him how to deceive others. And once he finds himself working as a crooked dealer in a big-money Hollywood card game, Derek begins to question his own sense of morality, and discovers that even a master of deception can find himself trapped inside an illusion.

A M O R A L M A N is a wildly engaging exploration of the fictions we live as truths. It is ultimately a book about the lies we tell ourselves and the realities we manufacture in others.

Amur River

Amur River

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The most admired travel writer of our time--author of Shadow of the Silk Road and To a Mountain in Tibet--recounts an eye-opening, often perilous journey along a little known Far East Asian river that for over a thousand miles forms the highly contested border between Russia and China.

The Amur River is almost unknown. Yet it is the tenth longest river in the world, rising in the Mongolian mountains and flowing through Siberia to the Pacific. For 1,100 miles it forms the tense border between Russia and China. Simmering with the memory of land-grabs and unequal treaties, this is the most densely fortified frontier on earth.

In his eightieth year, Colin Thubron takes a dramatic journey from the Amur's secret source to its giant mouth, covering almost 3,000 miles. Harassed by injury and by arrest from the local police, he makes his way along both the Russian and Chinese shores, starting out by Mongolian horse, then hitchhiking, sailing on poacher's sloops or travelling the Trans-Siberian Express. Having revived his Russian and Mandarin, he talks to everyone he meets, from Chinese traders to Russian fishermen, from monks to indigenous peoples. By the time he reaches the river's desolate end, where Russia's nineteenth-century imperial dream petered out, a whole, pivotal world has come alive.

The Amur River is a shining masterpiece by the acknowledged laureate of travel writing, an urgent lesson in history and the culmination of an astonishing career.

Anatomy of Addiction

Anatomy of Addiction

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Acclaimed medical historian Howard Markel traces the careers of two brilliant young doctors--Sigmund Freud, neurologist, and William Halsted, surgeon--showing how their powerful addictions to cocaine shaped their enormous contributions to psychology and medicine.

When Freud and Halsted began their experiments with cocaine in the 1880s, neither they, nor their colleagues, had any idea of the drug's potential to dominate and endanger their lives. An Anatomy of Addiction tells the tragic and heroic story of each man, accidentally struck down in his prime by an insidious malady: tragic because of the time, relationships, and health cocaine forced each to squander; heroic in the intense battle each man waged to overcome his affliction. Markel writes of the physical and emotional damage caused by the then-heralded wonder drug, and how each man ultimately changed the world in spite of it--or because of it. One became the father of psychoanalysis; the other, of modern surgery. Here is the full story, long overlooked, told in its rich historical context.

And the Monkey Learned Nothing

And the Monkey Learned Nothing

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Tom Lutz is on a mission to visit every country on earth. And the Monkey Learned Nothing contains reports from fifty of them, most describing personal encounters in rarely visited spots, anecdotes from way off the beaten path. Traveling without an itinerary and without a goal, Lutz explores the Iranian love of poetry, the occupying Chinese army in Tibet, the amputee beggars in Cambodia, the hill tribes on Vietnam's Chinese border, the sociopathic monkeys of Bali, the dangerous fishermen and conmen of southern India, the salt flats of Uyumi in Peru, and floating hotels in French Guiana, introduces you to an Uzbeki prodigy in the market of Samarkand, an Azeri rental car clerk in Baku, guestworkers in Dubai, a military contractor in Jordan, cucuruchos in Guatemala, a Pentecostal preacher in rural El Salvador, a playboy in Nicaragua, employment agents in Singapore specializing in Tamil workers, prostitutes in Colombia and the Dominican Republic, international bankers in Belarus, a teacher in Havana, border guards in Botswana, tango dancers in Argentina, a cook in Suriname, a juvenile thief in Uruguay, voters in Guyana, doctors in Tanzania and Lesotho, scary poker players in Moscow, reed dancers in Swaziland, young camel herders in Tunisia, Romanian missionaries in Macedonia, and musical groups in Mozambique. With an eye out for both the sublime and the ridiculous, Lutz falls, regularly, into the instant intimacy of the road with random strangers.
And Yet

And Yet

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"America's foremost rhetorical pugilist." --John Giuffo, The Village Voice

The death of Christopher Hitchens in December 2011 prematurely silenced a voice that was among the most admired of contemporary writers. For more than forty years, Hitchens delivered to numerous publications on both sides of the Atlantic essays that were astonishingly wide-ranging and provocative. The judges for the PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay, posthumously bestowed on Hitchens, praised him for the way he wrote "with fervor about the books and writers he loved and with unbridled venom about ideas and political figures he loathed." He could write, the judges went on to say, with "undisguised brio, mining the resources of the language as if alert to every possibility of color and inflection." He was, as Benjamin Schwarz, his editor at The Atlantic magazine, recalled, "slashing and lively, biting and funny--and with a nuanced sensibility and a refined ear that he kept in tune with his encyclopedic knowledge and near photographic memory of English poetry." And as Michael Dirda, writing in the Times Literary Supplement, observed, Hitchens "was a flail and a scourge, but also a gift to readers everywhere."

The author of five previous volumes of selected writings, including the international bestseller Arguably, Hitchens left at his death nearly 250,000 words of essays not yet published in book form. And Yet... assembles a selection that usefully adds to Hitchens's oeuvre. It ranges from the literary to the political and is, by turns, a banquet of entertaining and instructive delights, including essays on Orwell, Lermontov, Chesterton, Fleming, Naipaul, Rushdie, Pamuk, and Dickens, among others, as well as his laugh-out-loud self-mocking "makeover." The range and quality of Hitchens's essays transcend the particular occasions for which they were originally written. Often prescient, always pugnacious, and formidably learned, Hitchens was a polemicist for the ages. With this posthumous volume, his reputation and his readers will continue to grow.

Christopher Hitchens was the cartographer of his own literary and political explorations. He sought assiduously to affirm--and to reaffirm--the ideas of secularism, reason, libertarianism, internationalism, and solidarity, values always under siege and ever in need of defending. Henry James once remarked, "Nothing is my last word on anything." For Hitchens, as for James, there was always more to be said.

Andes

Andes

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For centuries, the Andes have caught the imagination of travelers, inspiring fear and wonder. The groundbreaking scientist Alexander von Humboldt claimed that everything here is grander and more majestic than in the Swiss Alps, the Pyrenees, the Carpathians, the Apennines, and all other mountains I have known. Rivaled in height only by the Himalayas and stretching more than 4,500 miles, the sheer immensity of the Andes is matched by its concentration of radically contrasting scenery and climates, and the rich and diverse cultures of the people who live there.

In this remarkable book, travel writer Michael Jacobs journeys across seven different countries, from the balmy Caribbean to the inhospitable islands of the Tierra del Fuego, through the relics of ancient civilizations and the remnants of colonial rule, retracing the footsteps of previous travelers. His route begins in Venezuela, following the path of the great nineteenth-century revolutionary Simón Bolívar, but soon diverges to include accounts from sources as varied as Humboldt, the young Charles Darwin, and Bolívar's extraordinary and courageous mistress, Manuela Saenz. On his way, Jacobs uncovers the stories of those who have shared his fascination and discovers the secrets of a region steeped in history, science, and myth.

Angry Wind: Through Muslim Black Africa By Truck, Bus, Boat, and Camel

Angry Wind: Through Muslim Black Africa By Truck, Bus, Boat, and Camel

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Hailed by Bill Bryson and the New York Times Book Review as a rising star among travel writers, Jeffrey Tayler penetrates one of the most isolated, forbidding regions on earth--the Sahel. This lower expanse of the Sahara, which marks the southern limit of Islam's reach in West and Central Africa, boasts such mythologized places as Mopti and Timbuktu, as well as Africa's poorest countries, Chad and Niger. In parts of the Sahel, hard-line Sharia law rules and slaves are still traded. Racked by lethal harmattan winds, chronic civil wars, and grim Islamic fundamentalism, it is not the ideal place for a traveler with a U.S. passport. Tayler finds genuine danger in many guises, from drunken soldiers to a thieving teenage mob. But he also encounters patience and generosity of a sort found only in Africa.
Traveling overland by the same rickety means used by the local people--tottering, overfilled buses, bush taxis with holes in the floor, disgruntled camels--he uses his fluency in French and Arabic (the region's lingua francas) to connect with them. Tayler is able to illuminate the roiling, enigmatic cultures of the Sahel as no other Western writer could.
Animal Mineral Radical

Animal Mineral Radical

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Radical, before it meant a person who advocates strong political reform, meant getting to the root of things, the origin. It comes from the Latin radix, radicis, meaning radish, a root vegetable.--BK Loren

These meditative essays range in subjects from a transcendental encounter with a pack of coyotes ironically juxtaposed with her neighbor's claim that nature has gone out of vogue, to Loren's mother's slow yet all-encompassing deterioration from Parkinson's, and the unexpected way the Loma Prieta earthquake eroded her depression by offering the author a sense of her small place in a wild and worthwhile world.

Loren has an empathetic and gentle approach to the world. In detailing the intricacies of human relationships and consciousness--fear of death and time, cooperation born of clashing viewpoints, tradition's beauty even when destructive, a love of language, a sense of loss amid the fast-paced materialistic world--she peels back the film of popular thinking in order to expose herself to the secrets so few of us ever see.

Animal Vegetable Miracle - Tenth Anniversary Edition

Animal Vegetable Miracle - Tenth Anniversary Edition

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A beautiful deluxe trade paperback edition celebrating the 10th anniversary of Barbara Kingsolver's New York Times bestseller, which describes her family's adventure as they move to a farm in southern Appalachia and realign their lives with the local food chain.

Since its publication in 2007, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle has captivated readers with its blend of memoir and journalistic investigation. Newly updated with original pieces from the entire Kingsolver clan, this commemorative volume explores how the family's original project has been carried forward through the years.

When Barbara Kingsolver and her family moved from suburban Arizona to rural Appalachia, they took on a new challenge: to spend a year on a locally-produced diet, paying close attention to the provenance of all they consume. Concerned about the environmental, social, and physical costs of American food culture, they hoped to recover what Barbara considers our nation's lost appreciation for farms and the natural processes of food production. Since 2007, their scheme has evolved enormously. In this new edition, featuring an afterword composed by the entire Kingsolver family, Barbara's husband, Steven, discusses how the project grew into a farm-to-table restaurant and community development project training young farmers in their area to move into sustainable food production. Camille writes about her decision to move back to a rural area after college, and how she and her husband incorporate their food values in their lives as they begin their new family. Lily, Barbara's youngest daughter, writes about how growing up on a farm, in touch with natural processes and food chains, has shaped her life as a future environmental scientist. And Barbara writes about their sheep, and how they grew into her second vocation as a fiber artist, and reports on the enormous response they've received from other home-growers and local-food devotees.

With Americans' ever-growing concern over an agricultural establishment that negatively affects our health and environment, the Kingsolver family's experiences and observations remain just as relevant today as they were ten years ago. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle is a modern classic that will endure for years to come.



"Cogent and illuminating...Without sentimentality, this book captures the pulse of the farm and the deep gratification it provides, as well as the intrinsic humor of the situation."--Janet Maslin, New York Times

Animal Wisdom

Animal Wisdom

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How is it that pets are able to travel thousands of miles through unknown territory to reunite with their beloved humans? How can dogs detect cancer with up to a 98 percent accuracy rate, and foresee epileptic or diabetic seizures in their owners? How do animals seem to know an earthquake is coming long before the world's best seismologists?
In Animal Wisdom, veterinarian and animal advocate Linda Bender offers a wealth of amazing stories and research-based evidence indicating animals have deeply perceptive--even extrasensory--abilities. She shows us that animals are extremely perceptive, intuitive, and psychic and provides step-by-step practices for honing your natural ability to communicate with them, so that you too can learn to understand their urgent messages about peace, happiness, and the future of the planet. Animal Wisdom is for animal lovers and anyone who seeks a deeper, more spiritual connection to these beautiful creatures.

From the table of contents:

Foreword by Linda Tucker

PART I: The Fabric of Creation
Chapter 1: The Ecology of Paradise
Chapter 2: How Can We Know What Animals Are Thinking and Feeling?

PART II: What Animals Want Us to Know
Chapter 3: You Are Loved
Chapter 4: You Are Already Living in Paradise
Chapter 5: You Don't Have to Figure Everything Out
Chapter 6: Dying Isn't Bad

PART III: The Connection of All Creatures
Chapter 7: How to Connect Telepathically with Animals: A Practical Guide
Chapter 8: The Animals Speak for Themselves
Chapter 9: Heeding the Cries of the Nonhuman World

Afterword by Andrew Harvey

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

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Author Barbara Kingsolver and her family abandoned the industrial-food pipeline to live a rural life--vowing that, for one year, they'd only buy food raised in their own neighborhood, grow it themselves, or learn to live without it. Part memoir, part journalistic investigation, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle is an enthralling narrative that will open your eyes in a hundred new ways to an old truth: You are what you eat.

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life

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Bestselling author Barbara Kingsolver returns with her first nonfiction narrative that will open your eyes in a hundred new ways to an old truth: You are what you eat.

As the U.S. population made an unprecedented mad dash for the Sun Belt, one carload of us paddled against the tide, heading for the Promised Land where water falls from the sky and green stuff grows all around. We were about to begin the adventure of realigning our lives with our food chain.

Naturally, our first stop was to buy junk food and fossil fuel. . . .

Hang on for the ride: With characteristic poetry and pluck, Barbara Kingsolver and her family sweep readers along on their journey away from the industrial-food pipeline to a rural life in which they vow to buy only food raised in their own neighborhood, grow it themselves, or learn to live without it. Their good-humored search yields surprising discoveries about turkey sex life and overly zealous zucchini plants, en route to a food culture that's better for the neighborhood and also better on the table. Part memoir, part journalistic investigation, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle makes a passionate case for putting the kitchen back at the center of family life and diversified farms at the center of the American diet.

This is the story of a year in which we made every attempt to feed ourselves animals and vegetables whose provenance we really knew . . . and of how our family was changed by our first year of deliberately eating food produced from the same place where we worked, went to school, loved our neighbors, drank the water, and breathed the air.

Animals Love Letters Between Christopher Isherwood and Don Bachardy

Animals Love Letters Between Christopher Isherwood and Don Bachardy

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The love story between Christopher Isherwood and Don Bachardy--in their own words

The English novelist and screenwriter Christopher Isherwood was already famous as the author of Goodbye to Berlin when he met Don Bachardy, a California teenager, on the beach in Santa Monica in 1952. Within a year, they began to live together as an openly gay couple, defying convention in the closeted world of Hollywood. Isherwood was forty-eight; Bachardy was eighteen. The Animals is the testimony in letters to their extraordinary partnership, which lasted until Isherwood's death in 1986--despite the thirty year age gap, affairs and jealousy (on both sides), the pressures of increasing celebrity, and the disdain of twentieth-century America for love between two men.

The letters reveal the private world of the Animals: Isherwood was Dobbin, a stubborn old workhorse; Bachardy was the rash, playful Kitty. Isherwood had a gift for creating a safe and separate domestic milieu, necessary for a gay man in mid-twentieth-century America. He drew Bachardy into his semi-secret realm, nourished Bachardy's talent as a painter, and launched him into the artistic career that was first to threaten and eventually to secure their life together.

The letters also tell of public achievements--the critical acclaim for A Single Man, the commercial success of Cabaret--and the bohemian whirl of friendships in Los Angeles, London, and New York with such stars as Truman Capote, Julie Harris, David Hockney, Vanessa Redgrave, Gore Vidal, and Tennessee Williams. Bold, transgressive, and playful, The Animals articulates the devotion, in tenderness and in storms, between two uniquely original spirits.

Animals Strike Curious Poses

Animals Strike Curious Poses

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Beginning with Yuka, a 39,000 year old mummified woolly mammoth recently found in the Siberian permafrost, each of the 16 essays in Animals Strike Curious Poses investigates a different famous animal named and immortalized by humans. Modeled loosely after a medieval bestiary, these witty, playful, whipsmart essays traverse history, myth, science, and more, bringing each beast vibrantly to life.

Elena Passarello is an actor, a writer, and recipient of a 2015 Whiting Fellowship in nonfiction. Her first collection with Sarabande Books, Let Me Clear My Throat, won the gold medal for nonfiction at the 2013 Independent Publisher Awards. She lives in Corvallis, Oregon.


Annals of the Former World

Annals of the Former World

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The Pulitzer Prize-winning view of the continent, across the fortieth parallel and down through 4.6 billion years

Twenty years ago, when John McPhee began his journeys back and forth across the United States, he planned to describe a cross section of North America at about the fortieth parallel and, in the process, come to an understanding not only of the science but of the style of the geologists he traveled with. The structure of the book never changed, but its breadth caused him to complete it in stages, under the overall title Annals of the Former World.

Like the terrain it covers, Annals of the Former World tells a multilayered tale, and the reader may choose one of many paths through it. As clearly and succinctly written as it is profoundly informed, this is our finest popular survey of geology and a masterpiece of modern nonfiction.

Annals of the Former World is the winner of the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for Nonfiction.

Annie Dillard Reader

Annie Dillard Reader

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Annie Dillard -- "one of the most distinctive voices in American letters today" ( "Boston Globe" ) -- collects her favorite selections from her own writings in this compact volume. A perfect introduction to one of America's most acclaimed and bestselling authors."One of the most distinctive voices in American letters today." "--Boston Globe"
Another Fine Mess: Life on Tomorrow's Moon

Another Fine Mess: Life on Tomorrow's Moon

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Now that we've pretty much ruined planet Earth--no big secret--science tells us the human race could be doomed. Well, not all science, but some of it, enough to have sparked a lively interest in setting up someplace else.

But where?

The answer is the moon of course, and that's what this book explores: the many ways in which today's scientists, entrepreneurs, architects and, yes, a few loonies are working to get colonies established there ASAP. Filled with research, interviews and expert projections, these pages reveal how a web of fantastic new technologies could give mankind a brand new start off-world.

The only worm in the ointment is human nature. It's the one thing pioneers in this business almost never discuss. Yet it's of vital concern: given a second chance on the moon, will we use it to create at last a sane and peaceful society? Or will we make a desperate hash of things all over again?

Here's your doorway to the moon of tomorrow. Pass through and decide for yourself.