Category Archives: Memoir

Paris, I Love You but You’re Bringing Me Down by Rosecrans Baldwin

Paris, I Love You But You're Bringing Me DownParis, I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down
Rosecrans Baldwin
Picador Paperback
On Sale: June 25, 2013

For a review copy (US and Canada only), or to schedule an interview with Rosecrans Baldwin, please email gabrielle.gantz [at] picadorusa.com.

PRAISE FOR PARIS, I LOVE YOU
“Baldwin’s book is deftly written, with a wry style and liberally deployed irony. And it’s very funny.”The Atlantic

“A picture of what it’s like to live and work—like, work work—in a city understood by most Americans only through tourist goggles. It’s this balance of the city’s dirty deceptions…with the timeless elegance of every boulevard and back-alley bistro that makes the book feel so necessary and welcome.”GQ

“The most French book by an American author you’ll ever read…Baldwin’s writings on Paris are saturated with a bittersweet nostalgia for the present, living in a place he loves that he is fated to leave.”The Daily Beast

“Baldwin and his wife, Rachel—as well as the Parisians he came to know—are funny and idiosyncratic, and it’s a pleasure to spend time with them….A love story about the city and its people.”—NPR

“A charming, hilarious account of la vie Parisienne as experienced by an observant young American…his vivid impressions of Paris and its people (expats included) are most engaging. Great fun and surprisingly touching. Great fun and surprisingly touching.”Kirkus (starred review)

ABOUT PARIS, I LOVE YOU
Rosecrans Baldwin had always dreamed of living in Paris, ever since vacationing there when he was nine. So he couldn’t refuse an offer to work at a Parisian ad agency—even though he had no experience in advertising and hardly spoke French.

But the Paris that Rosecrans and his wife, Rachel, arrived in wasn’t the romantic city he remembered, and over the next eighteen months, his dogged American optimism was put to the test: at work (where he wrote booklets on breastfeeding), at home (in the hub of a massive construction project), and at every confusing dinner party in between. A hilarious and refreshingly honest take on life in one of the world’s most beloved cities, PARIS, I LOVE YOU BUT YOU’RE BRINGING ME DOWN is a book about a young man whose preconceptions are usurped by the oddities of a vigorous, nervy metropolis—which is just what he needs to fall in love with Paris a second time.

ABOUT ROSECRANS BALDWIN
ROSECRANS BALDWIN is the author of the novel You Lost Me There, an NPR Best Book of 2010 and a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice. He is a cofounder of the online magazine The Morning News. He lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

FOR MORE INFORMATION
Cover image for download
Follow Rosecrans on Tumblr
Read an excerpt of PARIS, I LOVE YOU at GQ
Listen to Rosecrans on WNYC’s Leonard Lopate Show

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When Women Were Birds: Fifty-four Variations on Voice by Terry Tempest Williams

When Women Were BirdsWHEN WOMEN WERE BIRDS: Fifty-four Variations on Voice
Terry Tempest Williams
Picador / $15.00 / 256 pages
On Sale: February 26, 2013
Memoir

For review copies (US and Canada only), or to schedule an interview with Terry Tempest Williams, please email gabrielle.gantz [at] picadorusa.com

PRAISE FOR WHEN WOMEN WERE BIRDS
“The writing of Terry Tempest Williams is brilliant, meditative, and full of surprises, wisdom, and wonder. She’s one of those writers who changes peoples’ lives by encouraging attention and a slow, patient awakening.”—Anne Lamott, author of Imperfect Birds

“Williams displays a Whitmanesque embrace of the world and its contradictions…As the pages accumulate, her voice grows in majesty and power until it become a full-fledged aria.”San Francisco Chronicle

“Williams narrates stories that range wide and run deep . . . Here, readers get a Terry Tempest Williams who is at the top of her game, the master of her craft . . . a gift from a writer who knows how to split the world open.”—Cheryl Strayed, Orion

“This poetic memoir continues the work Williams began in Refuge….Williams explores her mother’s identity—woman, wife, mother, and Mormon—as she continues to honor her memory….A lyrical and elliptical meditation on women, nature, family, and history.”—The Boston Globe

“Williams is the kind of writer who makes a reader feel that [her] voice might also, one day, be heard….She cancels out isolation: Connections are woven as you sit in your chair readingbetween you and the place you live, between you and other readers, you and the writer. Without knowing how it happened, your sense of home is deepened.”Susan Salter Reynolds, The Daily Beast

ABOUT WHEN WOMEN WERE BIRDS
“I am leaving you all my journals, but you must promise me you won’t look at them until after I’m gone.” This is what Terry Tempest Williams’s mother, the matriarch of a large Mormon clan in northern Utah, told her a week before she died. It was a shock to Williams to discover that her mother had kept journals. But not as much of a shock to discover that the three shelves of journals were all blank.

In WHEN WOMEN WERE BIRDS: Fifty-four Variations on Voice (Picador / On Sale: February 26, 2013 / ISBN: 978-1-250-02411-4 / $15.00), Williams recounts memories of her mother, ponders her own Mormon faith, and contemplates the notion of absence in art and in our world. WHEN WOMEN WERE BIRDS is a carefully crafted kaleidoscope that keeps turning around the question: What does it mean to have a voice?

ABOUT TERRY TEMPEST WILLIAMS
TERRY TEMPEST WILLIAMS
is the author of fourteen books, including Refuge, Leap, The Open Space of Democracy, and most recently, Finding Beauty in a Broken World. The recipient of a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship and a Lannan Literary Fellowship in creative nonfiction, she divides her time between Castle Valley, Utah, and Moose, Wyoming.

MORE INFORMATION
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Terry Tempest Williams on To The Best Of Our Knowledge

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The Guardians: An Elegy for a Friend by Sarah Manguso

The GuardiansThe Guardians: An Elegy for a Friend
Sarah Manguso
Picador / $15.00 / 128 pages
On Sale: March 5, 2013
Memoir / Health / Mental Health

For review copies (US and Canada only), or to schedule an interview with Sarah Manguso, please email gabrielle.gantz [at] picadorusa.com

PRAISE FOR THE GUARDIANS
“Memoirs about grief often concern a relative or partner, but Manguso’s offers a revealing perspective on simple friendship and on a formative period of early adulthood when choices are made and selfhood solidifies.”—The New Yorker

“‘Nobody understands how I feel,’ we often think (mistakenly) in times of loss. But Manguso not only understands, she can articulate it in the precisest and most unexpected of images—an unrelated car accident, a bowl of Italian candies, a swim in the ocean. What results is a memoir that reveals not the just intimacies of the writer’s life, but of your own. Most moving is that The Guardians covers a subject so rarely recognized in our society, the grief from the death of a friend.”—Leigh Newman, Oprah.com, “Book of the Week”

“Sarah Manguso’s The Guardians goes to hell and back . . . The book majors in bone-on-bone rawness, exposed nerve endings . . . With The Guardians, I did something I do when I love a book: start covering my mouth when I read; this is very pure and elemental, and I wanted nothing coming between me and the page.”—David Shields, Los Angeles Review of Books

“A bittersweet elegy to a friend who ‘eloped’ from a locked psychiatric ward . . . [Manguso] explores the extent to which we are our friends’ guardians and, in outliving them, the guardians of their memory . . . Manguso’s writing manages, in carefully honed bursts of pointed, poetic observation, to transcend the darkness and turn it into something beautiful. The results are also deeply instructive, not in the manner we’ve come to fatuously call “self-help” but in the way that good literature expands and illuminates our realm of experience.”—Heller McAlpin, Barnes and Noble Review

“Shortly after returning home from a fellowship year in Rome, poet and memoirist Sarah Manguso received word that her old college friend Harris had fled a psychiatric hospital and jumped in front of a train. In The Guardians: An Elegy, the writer explores, in prose that singes with precision and honesty, the many ambiguities surrounding the tragedy . . . A long friendship is a crucial orientation point, and Manguso captures with great delicacy the spinning compass of her grief, and its accompanying jumble of anger, disappointments, corrupted memories—and love.”—Megan O’Grady, Vogue

“Packs an emotional wallop into small, patterned movements.”—The A.V. Club

“In The Guardians, Sarah Manguso holds up two kinds of love: the love for someone willfully at one’s side (the new husband) and the love for someone willfully gone (the dear friend, a suicide). The limitations and complexities of romantic love played out in the present are here haunted on all sides by the simple expansiveness of platonic love, especially as seen through the lens of mourning. The living cannot compete with the dead. But marriage has its rights before any friendship. The mystery of where Manguso’s heart will land propels us through this vivid meditation.”—Sheila Heti, author of How Should a Person Be?

“Sarah Manguso’s is a disarming and yet infectiously charming style, one that mixes intimate personal reflection with curiously distanced observations of the world. What this ends up feeling like while reading The Guardians is a tension that’s both inviting and simultaneously alienating, a wounded sort of intellect that wants to protect and yet expose itself to the reader. It’s a beautifully sad meditation—as exhilarating as it is devastating.”—John D’Agata, author of About a Mountain

“Manguso is a deliberate and exact stylist….At her best, she has some of Didion’s rhythms, her watchfulness and remove, her way of drawing attention to her own fragility….A fiercely personal book.”—The Cleveland Plain Dealer

ABOUT THE GUARDIANS
“An unidentified white man was struck and instantly killed by a Metro-North train last night,” reported the July 24, 2008, edition of the Riverdale Press. This man was named Harris, and The Guardians—written in the years after he escaped from a psychiatric hospital and ended his life—is Sarah Manguso’s heartbreaking elegy.

Harris was a man who “played music, wrote software, wrote music, learned to drive, went to college, went to bed with girls.” In The Guardians, Manguso grieves not for family or for a lover, but for a best friend. With startling humor and candor, she paints a portrait of a friendship between a man and a woman—in all its unexpected detail—and shows that love and grief do not always take the shapes we expect them to.

ABOUT SARAH MANGUSO
Sarah Manguso is the author of a memoir, The Two Kinds of Decay; two books of poetry, Siste Viator and The Captain Lands in Paradise; and a short-story collection, Hard to Admit and Harder to Escape.

MORE INFORMATION
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Sarah Manguso’s website

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Some of My Lives: A Scrapbook Memoir by Rosamond Bernier

Some of My Lives: A Scrapbook Memoir
Rosamond Bernier
On sale: November 27, 2012 (December)
Essays / Memoir / Art

For a review copy (US and Canada only) or to schedule an interview with Rosamond Bernier, please email gabrielle.gantz [at] picadorusa.com

PRAISE FOR SOME OF MY LIVES
Some of My Lives: A Scrapbook Memoir, animated by Bernier’s inimitable voice and charm, includes encounters with countless luminaries from the worlds of art and style.…Her razor-sharp insights, playful humor, and deep humility throw the colorful personalities surrounding her into high relief.”Vogue

“[Bernier’s] charm, wit, and style are apparent….She doesn’t just give names; she provides the details that reveal someone’s personality….She turned being social into a kind of art.”The New York Times Book Review

“Bernier proves an able guide across a wide range of forms, from painting and sculpture to architecture and fashion. Her interview with Coco Chanel is brilliant….She has provided a very stylish memoir indeed.”
The Plain Dealer

“These are scrumptious essays, not only because they chronicle extraordinary adventures of artistic and historical significance but also because they are so wise, archly offhand, and alight with a passion for living and learning.”—Booklist (starred review)

“An inimitable life captured with spirited, winning immediacy.”—Kirkus

ABOUT SOME OF MY LIVES
Rosamond Bernier has known many (one is tempted to say all) of the greatest artists and composers of the twentieth century. In SOME OF MY LIVES (Picador / On Sale: November 27, 2012), she has made a kind of literary scrapbook from an extraordinary array of writings, ranging from scholarly articles for American publications to her many contributions to the art journal L’OEIL, which she cofounded in 1955.

Through the stories of her encounters with Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Leonard Bernstein, Max Ernst, Aaron Copeland, Malcolm Lowry, and Karl Lagerfeld, we come to understand the sheer richness of Bernier’s experiences and memories. Pithy, hilarious, and wise, SOME OF MY LIVES is a multifaceted self-portrait of a life informed and surrounded by the arts.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Rosamond Bernier
was born in Philadelphia and was educated in France, England, and America. In 1955, she cofounded the influential art magazine L’OEIL, which featured the works of the masters of the School of Paris. A renowned lecturer at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Rosamond Bernier was named for life to the International Best-Dressed List.

MORE INFORMATION
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Read an excerpt

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My Korean Deli: Risking It All for a Convenience Store by Ben Ryder Howe

My Korean Deli: Risking It All for a Convenience Store
Ben Ryder Howe
On Sale: March 2012
Memoir

This warm and funny tale of an earnest preppy editor finding himself trapped behind the counter of a Brooklyn convenience store is about family, culture, and identity in an age of discombobulation.

It starts with a gift, when Ben Ryder Howe’s wife, the daughter of Korean immigrants, decides to repay her parents’ self-sacrifice by buying them a store. Howe, an editor at the rarefied Paris Review, agrees to go along. Things soon become a lot more complicated. After the business struggles, Howe finds himself living in the basement of his in-laws’ Staten Island home, commuting to the Paris Review offices in George Plimpton’s Upper East Side townhouse by day, and heading to Brooklyn at night to slice cold cuts and peddle lottery tickets. My Korean Deli follows the store’s tumultuous life span, and along the way paints the portrait of an extremely unlikely partnership between characters with shoots across society, from the Brooklyn streets to Seoul to Puritan New England. Owning the deli becomes a transformative experience for everyone involved as they struggle to salvage the original gift—and the family—while sorting out issues of values, work, and identity.

Ben Ryder Howe has written for The New YorkerThe Atlantic Monthly, andOutside, and his work has been selected for Best American Travel Writing. He is a former senior editor of The Paris Review. He, his wife, and their two children live on Staten Island. This is his first book.

Read more: Includes excerpt

Review copies are limited, please email Gabrielle.Gantz [at] Picadorusa.com for availability.

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Poser: My Life in Twenty-three Yoga Poses by Claire Dederer

Poser: My Life in Twenty-three Yoga Poses
Claire Dederer
On Sale: January 2012
Memoir

Ten years ago, Claire Dederer put her back out while breastfeeding her baby daughter. Told to try yoga by everyone from the woman behind the counter at the co-op to the homeless guy on the corner, she signed up for her first class. She fell madly in love.

Over the next decade, she would tackle triangle, wheel, and the dreaded crow, becoming fast friends with some poses and developing long-standing feuds with others. At the same time, she found herself confronting the forces that shaped her generation. Daughters of women who ran away to find themselves and made a few messes along the way, Dederer and her peers grew up determined to be good, good, good—even if this meant feeling hemmed in by the smugness of their organic-buying, attachment-parenting, anxiously conscientious little world. Yoga seemed to fit right into this virtuous program, but to her surprise, Dederer found that the deeper she went into the poses, the more they tested her most basic ideas of what makes a good mother, daughter, friend, wife—and the more they made her want something a little less tidy, a little more improvisational. Less goodness, more joy.

Read more: Includes excerpt and video
Claire’s website

Review copies are limited, please email Gabrielle.Gantz [at] Picadorusa.com for availability.

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Planning Ahead: Summer 2012

Here’s a list of books I’m working on for our Summer 2012 season. I have a limited number of galleys but feel free to request. As review copies become available each title will have its own page. Please follow Books on Tap on Facebook for updates. Please email me at Gabrielle.Gantz [at] us.penguingroup.com to be included on a book’s mailing list. More information about these titles will be posted as it becomes available.

May
As the Crow Flies
Craig Johnson
Viking (Hardcover)
On Sale: May 14, 2012
Category: Mystery / Western
Author’s website

In AS THE CROW FLIES, the eighth book in Craig Johnson’s Sheriff Walt Longmire series, Walt is forced, on the eve of hisdaughter’s wedding, to lead adarkly complex investigation into thedeath of Audrey Last Bull, an Iraqi war veteran, on the Cheyenne Reservation.

The Story of Earth: The First 4.5 Billion Years, from Stardust to Living Planet
Robert M. Hazen
Viking (Hardcover)
On Sale: April 30, 2012
Category: Science / Earth Science

THE STORY OF EARTH: The First 4.5 Billion Years, from Stardust to Living Planet by Robert M. Hazen takes readers on an astonishing journey across space and time to bring to life the story of the only home any of us has ever known.

Jack’s Book: An Oral Biography of Jack Kerouac
Barry Gifford and Lawrence Lee
Penguin Paperback
On Sale:  April 24, 2012
Category: Biography

Here, in what has become a classic of its kind since its publication in 1978, is the fascinating story of Jack Kerouac, “King of the Beats” and American literary legend, recorded through the voices of his friends and lovers.

June
The Obamians: How a Band of Newcomers Redefined American Power
James Mann
Viking (Hardcover)
On Sale: June 18, 2012
Category: Politics / Current Events

THE OBAMIANS is the definitive analysis of the events, ideas, personalities, and conflicts that have defined Obama’s foreign policy.

Witness the Night: A Novel
Kishwar Desai
Penguin Paperback Original
On Sale: May 29, 2012
Category: Fiction / Mystery, Suspense, Thriller

Costa First Novel Award winner WITNESS THE NIGHT: A Novel by Kishwar Desai is adazzling mystery that takes readers into the heart of India.

Autobiographical Writings
Mark Twain
Penguin Classics
On Sale: May 29, 2012
Category:  Classics, Memoir, Autobiography, Essays

AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL WRITINGS is a curated collection of Mark Twain’s autobiographical writings with particular attention to texts reflecting his early life.

July
Runaway Girl: Escaping Life on the Streets, One Helping Hand at a Time
Carissa Phelps
Viking (Hardcover)
On Sale: July 9, 2012
Category: Memoir
Author’s website 

RUNAWAY GIRL is Carissa’s story, the tale of a girl who lost herself and survived, against all odds, through the generosity of strangers. It is an inspiring true story about finding the courage to run toward healing and summoning the strength to light the way for others.

August
Now You See It: How Technology and Brain Science Will Transform Schools andBusiness for the 21st Century
Cathy N. Davidson
Penguin Paperback
On Sale: July 31, 2012
Category: Education / Technology
Author’s website

Pyg: The Memoirs of Toby, the Learned Pig
Russell Potter
Penguin Paperback Original
On Sale: July 31, 2012
Category: Fiction

Blending the sophisticated satire of Jonathan Swift with the charming exuberance of a Pixar film, PYG tells the story of Toby, a truly exceptional pig who lived in late eighteenth-centuryEngland.

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Filed under Classics, Current Events / Politics, Education, Fiction, Literary, Memoir, Mystery, Paperback Original, Politics, Science, Season Roundup, Technology