Biography — Wilton Library
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Biography

Bossypants by Tina Fey

From her youthful days as a vicious nerd to her tour of duty on Saturday Night Live; from her passionately halfhearted pursuit of physical beauty to her life as a mother eating things off the floor; from her one-sided college romance to her nearly fatal honeymoon, comedian Tina Fey reveals all, and proves that you’re no one until someone calls you bossy.

 

Butterfly in the Typewriter: The Tragic Life of John Kennedy Toole and the Remarkable Story of A Confederacy of Dunces by Cory MacLachlin

After writing A Confederacy of Dunces, Toole corresponded with Robert Gottlieb of Simon & Schuster for two years. Exhausted from Gottlieb’s suggested revisions, Toole declared the publication of the manuscript hopeless and stored it in a box. Years later he suffered a mental breakdown, took a two-month journey across the United States, and finally committed suicide. Toole’s mother discovered the manuscript. After many rejections, she cornered Walker Percy, who found it a brilliant novel and spearheaded its publication.

 

Celebrity Detox by Rosie O’Donnell

This is Rosie’s story of the years after she walked away from her top-rated TV show in 2002, and her reasons for going back on the air in 2006. In it, she takes you inside the world of talk show TV, speaking candidly about the conflicts and challenges she faced as cohost on ABC’s The View. Along the way Rosie shows us how fame becomes addiction and explores whether or not it’s possible for an addict to safely, and sanely, return to the spotlight.

 

Haywire by Brooke Hayward

Brooke Hayward was born into the most enviable of circumstances. The daughter of a famous actress and a successful Hollywood agent, she was beautiful, wealthy, and living at the very center of the most privileged life America had to offer. Yet at twenty-three her family was ripped apart. Who could have imagined that this magical life could shatter, so conclusively, so destructively? Brooke Hayward tells the riveting story of how her family went haywire.

 

Hoda: How I Survived War Zones, Bad Hair, Cancer, and Kathie Lee by Hoda Kotb

Hoda Kotb grew up in two cultures—one where summers meant playing at the foot of the ancient pyramids and another where she had to meet her junior prom date at the local 7-Eleven to spare them both the wrath of her conservative Egyptian parents. She’s traveled the globe for network television, and survived divorce and breast cancer in the same year. And if that’s not scary enough, she then began cohosting the fourth hour of Today with Kathie Lee Gifford.

 

The Life of Kingley Amis by Zachary Leader

Kingsley Amis was a dominant figure in post–World War II Britain, writing as a novelist, poet, critic, and polemicist. Leader’s definitive, authorized biography conjures in vivid detail the life of one of the most controversial figures of twentieth-century literature, renowned for his blistering intelligence, savage wit, and belligerent fierceness of opinion.

 

Losing Mum and Pup by Christopher Buckley

In twelve months between 2007 and 2008, Christopher Buckley coped with the passing of his father, William F. Buckley, the father of the modern conservative movement, and his mother, Patricia Taylor Buckley, one of New York’s most glamorous and colorful socialites. As Buckley tells the story of their final year together, he takes readers on a surprisingly entertaining tour through hospitals, funeral homes, and memorial services, capturing the heartbreaking and disorienting feeling of becoming a 55-year-old orphan.

 

Marmee and Louisa: The Untold Story of Louisa May Alcott and Her Mother by Eva LaPlante

Louisa May Alcott was one of the most successful and bestselling authors of her day, earning more than any of her male contemporaries. Biographers have consistently attributed Louisa’s uncommon success to her father, Bronson Alcott, assuming that this outspoken idealist was the source of his daughter’s progressive thinking and remarkable independence. But in this dual biography, LaPlante explodes these myths, drawing from a trove of surprising new documents to show that it was Louisa’s actual “Marmee,” Abigail May Alcott, who formed the intellectual and emotional center of her world.

 

My Happy Days in Hollywood by Garry Marshall

Marshall takes us on a journey from his stickball-playing days in the Bronx to his time at the helm of some of the most popular television series and movies of all time, including Happy Days and Pretty Woman. This honest, vibrant, and often hilarious memoir reveals a man whose career has been defined by his drive to make people laugh and whose personal philosophy has always been that life is more important than show business.

 

My Mother was Nuts by Penny Marshall

This is an intimate backstage pass to Penny’s personal life — her breakout role on The Odd Couple, her exploits with Cindy Williams and John Belushi, and her travels across Europe with Art Garfunkel on the back of a motorcycle. We see Penny get married. And divorced. And married again (the second time to Rob Reiner). We see Penny at work with Tom Hanks, Whoopi Goldberg and Robert De Niro among others.

 

Nomad: From Islam to America: A Personal Journey through the Clash of Civilizations by Ayaan Hirsi Ali

In Nomad, Hirsi Ali tells of coming to America to build a new life, an ocean away from the death threats made to her by European Islamists, the strife she witnessed, and the inner conflict she suffered. It is the story of her physical journey to freedom and, more crucially, her emotional journey to freedom—her transition from a tribal mind-set that restricts women’s every thought and action to a life as a free and equal citizen in an open society. Through stories of the challenges she has faced, she shows the difficulty of reconciling the contradictions of Islam with Western values.

 

Private Demons: The Life of Shirley Jackson by Judy Oppenheimer

She wrote one of the most memorable American short stories of the century, “The Lottery,” a chilling tale that shocked the world when it was first published in 1948. This haunting allegory epitomizes the short story form. A deceptively simple, but ultimately tragic tale, the life of the author Shirley Jackson, echoes in every phrase. Her extraordinary complex life is revealed in this biography of a creative genius who left her indelible mark on the literature of our times.

 

Yes, Chef by Marcus Samuelsson

It begins with a simple ritual: Every Saturday afternoon, a boy who loves to cook walks to his grandmother’s house and helps her prepare a roast chicken for dinner. The grandmother is Swedish, a retired domestic. The boy is Ethiopian and adopted, and he will grow up to become the world-renowned chef Marcus Samuelsson. This book is his love letter to food and family in all its manifestations.