Vladimir Nabokov: Selected Letters 1940-1977 [EPUB]

Vladimir Nabokov: Selected Letters 1940-1977 [EPUB]
Vladimir Nabokov: Selected Letters 1940-1977 by Vladimir Nabokov
2012 | EPUB | 4.67MB

If Vladimir Nabokov's fiction merits any criticism, it is for its iciness. The master himself declared in a 1977 BBC interview, "My characters cringe as I come near them with my whip. I have seen a whole avenue of imagined trees losing their leaves at the threat of my passage." Nabokov's correspondence, however, reveals a far warmer individual, though one ever-ready with a verbal shiv. This volume begins with a 1923 letter to his mother, written while he was a farmhand in the French Alps, and ends with a 1977 letter sent to his wife, Vera, for Mother's Day: "My dearest, your roses, your fragrant rubies, glow red against a background of spring rain..."

Nabokov's son, Dmitri, and Matthew Bruccoli have created the fullest, and by far the most amusing, portrait of the serious artist as trickster. There's the famous letter to Burma-Vita, in which Nabokov offers the company an advertising jingle (alas, they turned him down). There's the best, and most amusing, account of "l'affaire Lolita." Here is his response to his New Yorker editor, Katharine White: "Let me thank you very warmly for your frank and charming letter about LOLITA. But after all how many are the memorable literary characters whom we would like our teen-age daughters to meet? Would you like our Patricia to go on a date with Othello? Would we like our Mary to read the New Testament temple against temple with Raskolnikov? Would we like our sons to marry Emma Rouault, Becky Sharp or La belle dame sans merci?"

In another letter, however, he takes care to thank White for a "chubby check." (One wishes this phrase had gained greater circulation.) Nabokov again and again comes off as a difficult author, challenging his publishers left, right, and center over issues large (and there were many) and as well as those that were niggling. Calling the British paperback cover of Laughter in the Dark "atrocious, disgusting, and badly drawn besides having nothing to do whatever with the contents of the book," he tells his U.K. publisher, "I would appreciate if you would use your influence and have them substitute a pretty dark-haired girl, or a palmtree, or a winding road, or anything else for this tasteless abomination." Still, one is most often convinced that he's right, even when he makes the large claim that the French film Les Nymphettes infringes on his rights, "since this term was invented by me for the main character in my novel Lolita."

Not only is this volume endlessly quotable, it also reads like a great epistolary novel--fraught with high thought, high drama, and the delightfully unexpected. Who would have guessed that Nabokov would ask Hugh Hefner, "Have you ever noticed how the head and ears of your Bunny resemble a butterfly in shape, with an eyespot on one hindwing?"

The Gentle Barbarian: The Life and Work of Turgenev [EPUB]

The Gentle Barbarian: The Life and Work of Turgenev [EPUB]
The Gentle Barbarian: The Life and Work of Turgenev by V S Pritchett
2011 | EPUB | 2.16MB

'A gentle giant', as the Goncourts called him, Turgenev emerged from the barbarous yet doting rules of a terrible mother, whose cruelties to her serfs are at the heart of his hatred of serfdom. He was saturated in femininity and could not write unless he was in love. When he freed himself from his mother, he became enslaved by the famous Spanish singer, Pauline Viardot, married to a Frenchman. He was heir to vast estates, a convinced Westerner, proud to be both European and deeply Russian, and one of the most civilized men of his time.

This is his story.

Chekhov: A Biography [EPUB]

Chekhov: A Biography [EPUB]
Chekhov: A Biography by V S Pritchett
2011 | EPUB | 1.86MB

V.S. Pritchett explores the connections between Chekhov's life and art, showing how Chekhov often based his fiction on experiences of his difficult early years where he was responsible for his impoverished family, and as a young doctor, reported on the conditions of the Russian penal colony at Sakhalin. Later he continued his medical career, even when he became a well-known writer and playwright.

This book focuses on the short stories of Chekhov often neglected in favor of his plays and discusses why Chekhov was a success in both mediums. Pritchett, himself a master of the short story, is a uniquely qualified to write this superb biography.

The Amazing Bud Powell [EPUB]

The Amazing Bud Powell [EPUB]
The Amazing Bud Powell: Black Genius, Jazz History, and the Challenge of Bebop by Guthrie P Ramsey Jr
2013 | EPUB | 6.38MB

Bud Powell was not only one of the greatest bebop pianists of all time, he stands as one of the twentieth century’s most dynamic and fiercely adventurous musical minds. His expansive musicianship, riveting performances, and inventive compositions expanded the bebop idiom and pushed jazz musicians of all stripes to higher standards of performance. Yet Powell remains one of American music’s most misunderstood figures, and the story of his exceptional talent is often overshadowed by his history of alcohol abuse, mental instability, and brutalization at the hands of white authorities.

In this first extended study of the social significance of Powell’s place in the American musical landscape, Guthrie P. Ramsey, Jr. shows how the pianist expanded his own artistic horizons and moved his chosen idiom into new realms. Illuminating and multi-layered, The Amazing Bud Powell centralizes Powell’s contributions as it details the collision of two vibrant political economies: the discourses of art and the practice of blackness.

Time and Chance: An Autobiography [EPUB]

Time and Chance: An Autobiography [EPUB]
Time and Chance: An Autobiography by L Sprague de Camp
2011 | EPUB | 485.79KB

Time and Chance is the autobiography of Hugo, World Fantasy and SFWA Grand Master Award-winning author, L. Sprague de Camp. It is a fascinating insight into a man who began writing in the late 1930's and remained an active voice in the genre up until his death in the last year of the twentieth century, and who was a prime mover in the formation of the fields of Science Fiction and Fantasy as we know them today.

Our Moon Has Blood Clots [EPUB]

Our Moon Has Blood Clots [EPUB]
Our Moon Has Blood Clots: The Exodus of the Kashmiri Pandits by Rahul Pandita
2013 | EPUB | 899.39KB

Rahul Pandita was fourteen years old in 1990 when he was forced to leave his home in Srinagar along with his family, who were Kashmiri Pandits: the Hindu minority within a Muslim-majority Kashmir that was becoming increasingly agitated with the cries of ‘Azadi’ from India.

The heartbreaking story of Kashmir has so far been told through the prism of the brutality of the Indian state, and the pro-independence demands of separatists. But there is another part of the story that has remained unrecorded and buried.

Our Moon Has Blood Clots is the unspoken chapter in the story of Kashmir, in which it was purged of the Kashmiri Pandit community in a violent ethnic cleansing backed by Islamist militants. Hundreds of people were tortured and killed, and about 3,50,000 Kashmiri Pandits were forced to leave their homes and spend the rest of their lives in exile in their own country.

Rahul Pandita has written a deeply personal, powerful and unforgettable story of history, home and loss.

The World Is My Home [EPUB]

The World Is My Home [EPUB]
The World Is My Home: A Memoir by James A Michener
2014 | EPUB | 1.54MB

Literary legend James A. Michener was “a Renaissance man, adventurous, inquisitive, unpretentious and unassuming, with an encyclopedic mind and a generous heart” (The New York Times Book Review). In this exceptional memoir, the man himself tells the story of his remarkable life and describes the people, events, and ideas that shaped it.

Moving backward and forward across time, he writes about the many strands of his experience: his passion for travel; his lifelong infatuation with literature, music, and painting; his adventures in politics; and the hard work, headaches, and rewards of the writing life. Here at last is the real James Michener: plainspoken, wise, and enormously sympathetic, a man who could truly say, “The world is my home.”

I Am Providence: The Life and Times of H. P. Lovecraft [EPUB]

I Am Providence: The Life and Times of H. P. Lovecraft [EPUB]
I Am Providence: The Life and Times of H P Lovecraft (2 Vols) by S T Joshi
2010 | EPUB + MOBI | 2.13/3.3MB

S. T. Joshi s award-winning biography H. P. Lovecraft: A Life (1996) provided the most detailed portrait of the life, work, and thought of the dreamer from Providence ever published. But that edition was in fact abridged from Joshi s original manuscript, and this expanded and updated edition restores the 150,000 words that Joshi omitted and, in addition, updates the texts with new findings.

Howard Phillips Lovecraft was born to a well-to-do family in Providence, Rhode Island. As a child, he revealed remarkable precocity in his early interests in literature and science. Ill-health dogged him in youth, rendering school attendance sporadic; and in 1908 he experienced a nervous breakdown that rendered him a virtual recluse for several years. In 1914 he discovered the world of amateur journalism and began slowly emerging from his hermitry. He wrote tremendous amounts of essays, poetry, and other work; in 1917, under the encouragement from W. Paul Cook and others, he resumed the writing of horror fiction, and his career as a dream-weaver began anew.

In 1921 Lovecraft met his future wife, Sonia H. Greene, at an amateur journalism convention. It was at this time that he began expanding his horizons, both geographical and intellectual: he traveled widely, from New England to New York to Cleveland; and he absorbed such literary and intellectual influences as Lord Dunsany, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Arthur Machen. In 1924 he and Sonia decided to marry, and Lovecraft moved to New York to pursue his literary fortune. But, as the first volume of this biography concludes, his metropolitan adventure would be bittersweet at best.

As the second volume of S. T. Joshi s comprehensive biography of H. P. Lovecraft begins, we find Lovecraft dwelling in misery in a one-room apartment in Brooklyn Heights: his wife, Sonia, has had to move to the Midwest for work, and he must rely on the companionship of the Kalem Club, the informal band of friends in the New York area. In 1926, in part through the intervention of his close friend Frank Belknap Long, Lovecraft finally decided to return to his native Providence, Rhode Island, effectively ending his marriage. That return spurred the greatest spurt of literary creativity he would ever experience: in less than a year, such works as "The Call of Cthulhu," The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath, The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, and The Colour out of Space would emerge from his pen, establishing Lovecraft as the leading weird fictionist of his generation.

In spite of his increasing poverty, antiquarian travel occupied much of Lovecraft s time, and he gained an impressive knowledge of such oases of antiquity as Charleston, Quebec, St. Augustine, and Richmond. These voyages both renewed his connection with the past and infused his literary work, as such later tales as The Whisperer in Darkness and The Shadow over Innsmouth drew ever more profoundly upon his far-flung travels.

Intellectually, Lovecraft evolved as well. Recent developments in science confirmed his materialism and his atheism, and the onset of the Great Depression gradually caused him to reassess his political and economic theory; he emerged as a moderate socialist and advocate of the New Deal. Late in life he became a giant in the world of fantasy fandom a development that foreshadowed his worldwide fame in the decades following his early death.

Ask Me Why I Hurt [EPUB]

Ask Me Why I Hurt [EPUB]
Ask Me Why I Hurt: The Kids Nobody Wants and the Doctor Who Heals Them by Randy Christensen
2011 | EPUB | 2.12MB

The unforgettable inspiring memoir of one extraordinary doctor who is saving lives in a most unconventional way Ask Me Why I Hurt is the touching and revealing first-person account of the remarkable work of Dr. Randy Christensen. Trained as a pediatrician, he works not in a typical hospital setting but, rather, in a 38-foot Winnebago that has been refitted as a doctor’s office on wheels. His patients are the city’s homeless adolescents and children.

In the shadow of one affluent American city, Dr. Christensen has dedicated his life to caring for society's throwaway kids—the often-abused, unloved children who live on the streets without access to proper health care, all the while fending off constant threats from thugs, gangs, pimps, and other predators. With the Winnebago as his moveable medical center, Christensen and his team travel around the outskirts of Phoenix, attending to the children and teens who need him most.

With tenderness and humor, Dr. Christensen chronicles everything from the struggles of the van’s early beginnings, to the support system it became for the kids, and the ultimate recognition it has achieved over the years. Along with his immense professional challenges, he also describes the trials and joys he faces while raising a growing family with his wife Amy. By turns poignant, heartbreaking, and charming, Dr. Christensen's story is a gripping and rich memoir of his work and family, one of those rare books that stays with you long after you’ve turned the last page.

Dave Bing: A Life of Challenge [PDF]

Dave Bing: A Life of Challenge [PDF]
Dave Bing: A Life of Challenge by Drew Sharp
2012 | PDf | 8.43MB

What kind of person loses sight in one eye and then through dedicated practice and honed skills becomes one of the top 50 NBA players of all time? What kind of person, with limited business experience, builds a start-up company into a thriving corporation and is recognized as one of the world’s most successful black executives? What kind of person, while running a $350 million business, takes the time to reach out to black youths lacking father figures and provides counsel and support? And what kind of person, instead of enjoying a well-deserved luxurious retirement, chooses to become mayor of a large city that many long ago had written off as dead? Dave Bing, that’s who.

In Dave Bing: A Life of Challenge, Detroit Free Press sports columnist Drew Sharp chronicles the compelling story of a figure whose sheer will to succeed, refusal to make excuses for setbacks, and efforts to contribute to society set him apart as an anomaly—a man of virtues so rarely found in recent history. His path from Washington D.C. to Syracuse to Detroit is sometimes tumultuous, blazed by hard work, perseverance, and savvy. Much more than the stereotypical tale of celebrity ex-jock who does good, this is a story about a black male who, even as a youngster, determined to conquer whatever challenges came his way.

And now, as mayor of Detroit, Bing encounters perhaps his greatest test of all. Faced with entrenched and power-hungry political foes, a series of failed and corrupt predecessors, a work force ill prepared for today’s job market, a staggering city debt, and recent health problems, Bing would appear to have little chance of surviving his office. Both the naysayers and optimists would do well to read the book.

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