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Nonfiction

About Us

About Us

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Boldly claiming a space in which people with disabilities can be seen and heard as they are--not as others perceive them--About Us captures the voices of a community that has for too long been stereotyped and misrepresented. Speaking not only to those with disabilities, but also to their families, coworkers and support networks, the authors in About Us offer intimate stories of how they navigate a world not built for them.

Since its 2016 debut, the popular New York Times' "Disability" column has transformed the national dialogue around disability. Now, echoing the refrain of the disability rights movement, "Nothing about us without us," this landmark collection gathers the most powerful essays from the series that speak to the fullness of human experience--stories about first romance, childhood shame and isolation, segregation, professional ambition, child-bearing and parenting, aging and beyond.

Reflecting on the fraught conversations around disability--from the friend who says "I don't think of you as disabled," to the father who scolds his child with attention differences, "Stop it stop it stop it what is wrong with you?"--the stories here reveal the range of responses, and the variety of consequences, to being labeled as "disabled" by the broader public.

Here, a writer recounts her path through medical school as a wheelchair user--forging a unique bridge between patients with disabilities and their physicians. An acclaimed artist with spina bifida discusses her art practice as one that invites us to "stretch ourselves toward a world where all bodies are exquisite." With these notes of triumph, these stories also offer honest portrayals of frustration over access to medical care, the burden of social stigma and the nearly constant need to self-advocate in the public realm.

In its final sections, About Us turns to the questions of love, family and joy to show how it is possible to revel in life as a person with disabilities. Subverting the pervasive belief that disability results in relentless suffering and isolation, a quadriplegic writer reveals how she rediscovered intimacy without touch, and a mother with a chronic illness shares what her condition has taught her young children.

With a foreword by Andrew Solomon and introductory comments by co-editors Peter Catapano and Rosemarie Garland-Thomson, About Us is a landmark publication of the disability movement for readers of all backgrounds, forms and abilities.

Featuring Essays from: John Altmann - Todd Balf - Jennifer Bartlett - Emily Rapp Black - Sheila Black - Sasha Blair-Goldensohn - Cheri A. Blauwet - Molly McCully Brown - Joseph P. Carter - Peter Catapano - Randi Davenport - Luticha Doucette - Anne Finger - Joseph J. Fins - Shane Fistell - Paula M. Fitzgibbons - Kenny Fries - Rosemarie Garland-Thomson - Jenny Giering - Ona Gritz - Elizabeth Guffey - Jane Eaton Hamilton - Ariel Henle - Edward Hoagland - Alex Hubbard - Liz Jackson - Elizabeth Jameson - Cyndi Jones - Anne Kaier - Georgina Kleege - Rachel Kolb - Elliott Kukla - Catherine Kudlick - Emily Ladau - Laurie Clements Lambeth - Alaina Leary - Riva Lehrer - Gila Lyons - Ben Mattlin - Zack McDermott - Catherine Monahon - Jonathan Mooney - Susannah Nevison - Joanna Novak - Valerie Piro - Oliver Sacks - Katie Savin - Melissa Shang - Alice Sheppard - Daniel Simpson - Brad Snyder - Andrew Solomon - Rivers Solomon - Carol R. Steinberg - Jillian Weise - Abby L. Wilkerson - Alice Wong
About Us

About Us

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Boldly claiming a space where people with disabilities tell the stories of their own lives--not other's stories about them--About Us captures the voices of a community that has for too long been stereotyped and misrepresented. Speaking not only to people with disabilities and their support networks, but to all of us, the authors in About Us offer intimate stories of how they navigate a world not built for them. Echoing the refrain of the disability rights movement, "nothing about us without us," this collection, with a foreword by Andrew Solomon, is a landmark publication of the disability movement for readers of all backgrounds, communities, and abilities.
Above the Clouds

Above the Clouds

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Kilian Jornet is the most dominating endurance athlete of his generation.--NEW YORK TIMES

Inspiring and humbling-- ALEX HONNOLD

The most accomplished mountain runner of all time contemplates his record-breaking climbs of Mount Everest in this profound memoir--an intellectual and spiritual journey that moves from the earth's highest peak to the soul's deepest reaches.



Kilian Jornet has broken nearly every mountaineering record in the world and twice been named National Geographic Adventurer of the Year. In 2018 he summitted Mount Everest twice in one week--without the help of bottled oxygen or ropes.

As he recounts a life spent studying and ascending the greatest peaks on earth, Jornet ruminates on what he has found in nature--simplicity, freedom, and spiritual joy--and offers a poetic yet clearheaded assessment of his relationship to the mountain . . . at times his opponent, at others, his greatest inspiration.

Above Us Only Sky

Above Us Only Sky

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Whether she is writing about arguing with her mother over her choice of oufit-at 46-on a family cruise, getting her tubes tied and the importance of a woman's right to choose, or her frequent battles with her rebel pyromaniac teenage son, writer and NPR commentator Marion Winik is earthy, searingly honest, and unfailingly witty in the face of adversity. In this new collection of essays, a treat for dedicated fans and new readers alike, Winik explores how she and other women face midlife and aging without getting tangled up in the past or the future, all with her trademark humor and insistence on the truth-the good, the bad, and the ugly.
The collection is divided into five sections: "Back," about her family and her past; "Underfoot," about being a mom; "In the Mirror," about growing older; "Above us Only Sky," about a key turning point in her life, and "Ahead," about facing the future."
Absent Hand

Absent Hand

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Of beach plums, ramps, and Ramada Inns: a quietly sensitive eminently sensible consideration of the landscapes of our lives . . . A gift. --Kirkus Reviews

Following her bestselling The Architect of Desire, Suzannah Lessard returns with a remarkable book, a work of relentless curiosity and a graceful mixture of observation and philosophy. This intriguing hybrid will remind some of W. G. Sebald's work and others of Rebecca Solnit's, but it is Lessard's singular talent to combine this profound book-length mosaic-- a blend of historical travelogue, reportorial probing, philosophical meditation, and prose poem--into a work of unique genius, as she describes and reimagines our landscapes. In this exploration of our surroundings, The Absent Hand contends that to reimagine landscape is a form of cultural reinvention.

This engrossing work of literary nonfiction is a deep dive into our surroundings--cities, countryside, and sprawl--exploring change in the meaning of place and reimagining the world in a time of transition. Whether it be climate change altering the meaning of nature, or digital communications altering the nature of work, the effects of global enclosure on the meaning of place are panoramic, infiltrative, inescapable. No one will finish this book, this journey, without having their ideas of living and settling in their surroundings profoundly enriched.

Absolute Convictions

Absolute Convictions

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A "Booklist "Editors' Choice of the Year On October 23, 1998, Barnett Slepian, an abortion provider in Buffalo, New York, was killed by a sniper's bullet. Days later, another local doctor, Shalom Press, received a threat that he was "next on the list." Within hours, the Press family was under police protection, and America's violent struggle over abortion had come to the blue-collar city of Buffalo. In "Absolute Convictions, " Press recounts his family's experience with protesters outside his father's clinic, patients who braved the gauntlet of demonstrators, and politicians who attempted to appease both sides. With remarkable sensitivity, Eyal Press "plunges into, and transcends, a polarized debate that makes partisans of us all" ("The Nation").
Absolute Instinct

Absolute Instinct

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The murder was so appalling even a hardened agent like FBI medical examiner Dr. Jessica Coran was shocked--the spinal cord had been literally ripped from the woman's back. Ghastly as it was, it wasn't unique. A man had already been convicted of killing his wife in the exact same fashion. Is the doomed death-row prisoner innocent? There's only one thing for Jessica to do: Find the real killer. That means following a gruesome trail of carnage, victim by victim, straight into the absolute darkness of a madman's inescapable fantasies. Watch your back, Jessica... (This book is eleventh in Robert W. Walker's Instinct series. It was originally published in paperback. Also includes an excerpt from Shot of Tequila by J.A. Konrath.)
Absurdistan

Absurdistan

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Readers can vicariously live for a year in Eastern Europe through the eyes of an American professor working in Absurdistan. With a rare blend of humor and insight, Professor Wright shares a year of teaching at universities in Absurdistan, the name given to former Czechoslovakia by its citizens. His job was to help universities overcome the last seventy years of communist propaganda. This true story is a tongue-in-cheek look at the people, history, and geography of Eastern Europe. Become acquainted with Dr. Wright's castle, village, university, and neighbors. Learn the true meaning of Eastern European Time, and the correct way to mime kitty litter. See if you can survive the alternately hilarious and tragic daily life. In turn funny and sad, Dr. Wright combines mordant insights into the human condition with truly touching stories of local citizens. His incisive wit takes on politics, religion, language, and history, with equal opportunity barbs. He lives in an ancient stone cottage just outside the ruins of a castle destroyed by Napoleon, in a genuine quaint little village with no telephone. He rides the same trolleys as the local people. He eats the same food, and shops in the same bazaars. Astoundingly, he survives a year without TV, the internet, or even a golf course. Twenty-four photos add a rare glimpse into the lives, people, and countries of Eastern Europe. The captions alone are worth the price of the book.
Abu Dhabi Bar Mitzvah

Abu Dhabi Bar Mitzvah

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Armed only with college Arabic and restless curiosity, Adam Valen Levinson sets out to "learn about the world 9/11 made us fear." From a base in globalized and sterilized Abu Dhabi, he sets out to lunch in Taliban territory in Afghanistan, travels under the watchful eye of Syria's secret police, risks shipwreck en route to Somalia, investigates Yazidi beliefs in a sacred cave, cliff dives in Oman, celebrates New Year's Eve in Tahrir Square, and, at every turn, discovers a place that matches not at all with its reputation.

Valen Levinson crosses borders with wisecracking humor, erudition, and humanity, seeking common ground with "bros" everywhere, and finding that people who pray differently often laugh the same. And as a young man bar mitzvahed eight years late, he slowly learns how childish it is to live by decisions and distinctions born of fear.

Abundance

Abundance

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Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author

In recognition of her long and lauded career as a master essayist, a landmark collection including her most beloved pieces and some rarely seen work, rigorously curated by the author herself

“Annie Dillard's books are like comets, like celestial events that remind us that the reality we inhabit is itself a celestial event."--Marilynne Robinson, Washington Post Book World

“Annie Dillard is, was, and will always be the very best at describing the landscapes in which we find ourselves."--Minneapolis Star Tribune

“Annie Dillard is a writer of unusual range, generosity, and ambition. . . . Her prose is bracingly intelligent, lovely, and human. "--Margot Livesey, Boston Globe

“A writer who never seems tired, who has never plodded her way through a page or sentence, Dillard can only be enjoyed by a wide-awake reader," warns Geoff Dyer in his introduction to this stellar collection. Carefully culled from her past work, The Abundance is quintessential Annie Dillard, delivered in her fierce and undeniably singular voice, filled with fascinating detail and metaphysical fact. The pieces within will exhilarate both admiring fans and a new generation of readers, having been "re-framed and re-hung," with fresh editing and reordering by the author, to situate these now seminal works within her larger canon.

The Abundance reminds us that Dillard's brand of "novelized nonfiction" pioneered the form long before it came to be widely appreciated. Intense, vivid, and fearless, her work endows the true and seemingly ordinary aspects of life--a commuter chases snowball-throwing children through neighborhood streets, a teenager memorizes Rimbaud's poetry--with beauty and irony, inviting readers onto sweeping landscapes, to join her in exploring the complexities of time and death, with a sense of humor: on one page, an eagle falls from the sky with a weasel attached to its throat; on another, a man walks into a bar.

Reminding us of the indelible contributions of this formative figure in contemporary nonfiction, The Abundance exquisitely showcases Annie Dillard's enigmatic, enduring genius, as Dillard herself wishes it to be marked.

Abundance

Abundance

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A collection of author-curated pieces that celebrates the essayist's career and offers insight into her establishment of the "novelized nonfiction" form.
Acceptance: A Legendary Guidance Counselor Helps Seven Kids Find the Right

Acceptance: A Legendary Guidance Counselor Helps Seven Kids Find the Right

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A Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist spends a year with a legendary high school guidance counselor who gets kids into the right colleges by focusing on self-discovery rather than test scores, grades, and the other traditional tools of the trade
Gwyeth Smith, known as Smitty, has made a national reputation by flouting the conventions of the college application ritual. He often steers kids from the SAT to the ACT, which he considers a more straightforward test that produces higher scores. He urges parents to home in on hidden bargains, scour the country for scholarships, and challenge financial aid offices rather than take out large loans. He will sometimes talk a seeming shoo-in candidate out of setting her sights on the prestigious Ivy League while goading another long-shot student into aiming for that same Ivy League school. His unorthodox approach is grounded on the principle that getting into college shouldn't just be about getting in; it should be a kid's first great moment of self-discovery.
David L. Marcus, a Pulitzer Prize-winning former education writer for "U.S. News & World Report," follows Smitty and "his" kids around Oyster Bay High, a diverse public school in Long Island, New York, as he works his unique magic on their applications and their lives. Smitty's kids run the gamut from the sweet but pathologically disorganized boy next door to the valedictorian who applies to twenty-eight schools. As the year unfolds, Smitty deals in his own ingenious way with almost every complication that can bedevil the applications process. What about the kid who doesn't test well? The kid who plunges into depression after being rejected by Columbia? The overachieving Korean American boy worried about reverse discrimination? Smitty has answers for all of them.
While Smitty excels at easing the pressure of the college hunt, his success comes from imposing a different-and deeper-challenge. He makes kids articulate (orally and in writing) their profoundest fears, their drawbacks, their secret hopes. In short, he makes them figure out who they are. Along the way, he uses his savant's knowledge of America's thirty-six hundred colleges and universities to pair each student with the right one. He sidesteps the applications industrial complex, with its slick Web sites, private essay coaches, and obsessive focus on metrics. He brings to the college search counterintuitive insight and even wisdom-attributes that thousands of students and their parents, frustrated with the excesses of the process, will find useful and inspiring.

Accepted!

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Accepted!: Secrets to Gaining Admission to the World's Top Universities

Accepted!: Secrets to Gaining Admission to the World's Top Universities

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Now a USA Today and Publishers Weekly bestseller!

How do you REALLY get accepted to Harvard, Yale, and the Ivy League?

Told from the fresh and personal perspective of 26-year-old Crimson Education CEO and Harvard, Stanford, and Oxford graduate Jamie Beaton, Accepted! is an honest and practical guide on beating the odds and getting into Ivy League and other elite schools - the smart way.

Beaton takes you behind the doors of the world's top college admissions offices, revealing the highly strategic selection processes applied by institutions whose reputations depend on the number of students they admit, or more pointedly, the tens of thousands that they don't.

In Accepted!, Beaton delivers the ultimate insider how to and disrupts cliched admissions advice with savvy strategies like:

  • Moneyballing the university rankings and increasing your chances of admission
  • Class spamming your way to academic supremacy and acceptance
  • Playing the early application dating game and understanding how institutions are using it to their reputational advantage

  • Packed with real-life examples from the thousands of students Beaton has helped land a spot at Harvard, Stanford, and other esteemed universities, Accepted! is a never-before assembled culmination of secrets, insights, and application strategies guaranteed to maximize your chances of getting in to the school of your choice.

    From ambitious students and their supportive parents to academic advisors and admissions professionals, Accepted! is the must-read guide to demystifying the often-convoluted and increasingly competitive world of elite college admissions.

    Access All Areas

    Access All Areas

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    Adventures in going forth and staying put from one of our greatest travel writers

    In vivid, urgent books such as Terra Incognita and The Magnetic North, Sara Wheeler reckoned with the allure and brutality of life on the fringes, exploring distant lands with an extraordinary sensitivity to history, to place, and to the people who inhabit them.
    Access All Areas collects the best essays and journalism by a writer who has used extreme travel as a means to explore an inner landscape. Ranging from Albania to the Arctic, Wheeler attends a religion seminar aboard the Queen Elizabeth 2 and defrosts her underwear inside an igloo. She treks to distant Tierra del Fuego--"a place where nothing ever happened"--and to the swamps of Malawi, a place so hot that toads explode. She crosses dubious borders with nothing but a kidney donor card for ID and learns to wing walk and belly dance, though not at the same time.
    Charming, scathing, restless, and eternally amused, the writer we meet in Access All Areas has spent a lifetime investigating roots and rootlessness. Seeking only to satisfy her own curiosity, Wheeler shows us the world.

    Accidental Activist: My Sudden Collision with Politics

    Accidental Activist: My Sudden Collision with Politics

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    An acclaimed young filmmaker and photographer--and daughter of Senator John Kerry--provides a rare glimpse into the inner circles of power through words and photographs. A presidential campaign memoir like no other.

    Though steeped all her life in politics because it was her father's profession, Alexandra Kerry never thought of herself as political. To her, her father's job was much like that of any other Dad: It was nothing extraordinary. She felt the tides of the various campaigns as they came and went, and naturally noticed the people who were always around the house--campaign managers, aides, strategists. But for most of that time, Alexandra was a young girl, an adolescent, and later, a young woman trying to find her own footing, first as an actress and later as a photographer and filmmaker.

    That all changed when her father became the Democratic front-runner in the race for president. It was during that time that Alexandra and her sister began to make campaign stops with their father, to submit to press interviews, and eventually to become regulars on the campaign trail as their father crisscrossed the country. At first this was just a role: a daughter supporting a father she loved and believed in. But eventually during the course of an emotional roller coaster of a political campaign, she found herself caring passionately about the voters she was meeting, the issues that were beginning to emerge as the hot buttons of the race. It was in fact during this time that she found herself becoming, for the first time in her life, a true activist.

    Documenting that journey via photographs and original writing in this, her first book, Alexandra Kerry brings readers inside the political whirlwind up close and personal: What did it feel like to see her father attacked by the Swiftboat Veterans for Truth? What did she learn about America and its people? How did it feel to see her father come so close to becoming president, and then to watch him concede?

    This fascinating chronicle is sure to captivate political junkies as well as the everyday reader interested in knowing more about the country, its voters, and the author herself.

    Accidental American

    Accidental American

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    The Accidental American calls for a bold new approach to immigration: a free international flow of labor to match globalization's free flow of capital. After all, corporations are encouraged to move anywhere in the world they can maximize their earnings. People shouldn't have to risk exploitation, abuse, and even imprisonment when they try to do the same.

    Activist, journalist, and immigration expert Rinku Sen and organizer Fekkak Mamdouh examine the consequences of this injustice through Mamdouh's own story. Born in Morocco, he was a waiter and union leader at Windows on the World, a restaurant in the World Trade Center. In the aftermath of September 11th, facing a rising tide of anti-immigrant bias, Mamdouh and others formed the Restaurant Opportunities Center of New York (ROC-NY) to help their colleagues fight for decent jobs and fair treatment. ROC-NY was able to unite native-born and immigrant workers, helping each group realize they were involved in a common struggle for better working conditions. The organization is now expanding nationwide.

    Since 9/11, immigrants have increasingly been treated as presumptive criminals. As a counterpoint to these regressive, fundamentally un-American practices, the authors forcefully advocate more humane policies that would ease rather than restrict people's movements, coupled with proposals for reforming globalization so that both sending and receiving countries can more equitably benefit from a more mobile international labor force.

    Immigrants enthusiastically contribute much more to our country than their labor. They ought to be welcomed, not marginalized. Citizenship should ultimately be determined by how willing people are to become a part of the social, civic, and political fabric of the country they live in, not by an accident of birth.

    Accidental American: Tony Blair and the Presidency

    Accidental American: Tony Blair and the Presidency

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    Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair is the most popular foreign leader in the United States, and one whose support for America has made him widely reviled at home. Why did Blair become such an object of fascination here? What are Democrats to make of their old friend's attachment to Bush? In a Europe profoundly skeptical about a new American imperialism, why did Blair decide to face resolutely west across the Atlantic?

    To James Naughtie, a renowned British journalist with unparalleled knowledge of Blair and a deep understanding of American politics, the story of our love affair with Blair provides a fascinating mirror on the troubles facing Western democracies, and on America itself. In The Accidental American, the first book about Blair written specifically for American readers, he explores how a politician swept to power by a party once avowedly socialist came to make common cause with American neo-conservatives, and became the gatekeeper between America and Western Europe.

    Though Blair has been feted by Congress and is beloved by the White House, his real beliefs about America remain almost unknown. Naughtie has watched Blair close-up for many years and has many contacts inside his circle of friends and advisors. In the tumult of a presidential election year, this book provides a revelatory portrait of a master politician and revelatory insights into the politics and character of our own country.