D. T. Max's Bookshelf


  • Bing Crosby: A Pocketful of Dreams; The Early Years, 1903-1940

    By Gary Giddins

    Our Price: $11.50 - $22.49
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9780316886451
    • Publisher: Little, Brown & Company
    • Published: October 2002
    The first volume of a major new entertainment biography focuses on the rise of Bing Crosby, from his early successes as a radio star to his initial foray into Hollywood. Reprint. 25,000 first printing.
  • Charles Darwin: The Power of Place

    By Janet Browne

    Our Price: $37.50
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9780691114392
    • Publisher: Princeton University Press
    • Published: September 2003
    In 1858, Charles Darwin was forty-nine years old, a gentleman scientist living quietly at Down House in the Kent countryside. He was not yet a focus of debate; his "big book on species" still lay on his desk as a manuscript. For more than twenty years he had been accumulating material for it, puzzling over the questions that it raised, trying to bring it to a satisfactory conclusion, and wanting to be certain that his startling theory of evolution was correct. It is at this point that the concluding volume of Janet Browne's magisterial biography opens. Beginning with the extraordinary events that finally forced the Origin of Species into print, we come to the years of fame and controversy. Here, Browne does dramatic justice to all aspects of the Darwinian revolution, from a fascinating examination of the Victorian publishing scene to a survey of the debates between scientists and churchmen over evolutionary theory. At the same time, she presents a wonderfully sympathetic and authoritative picture of Darwin himself.
  • Charles Darwin: Voyaging - A Biography

    By Janet Browne

    Our Price: $15.00
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9780691026060
    • Publisher: Princeton University Press
    • Published: April 1996
    Few lives of great men offer so much interest - and so many mysteries - as the life of Charles Darwin, the greatest figure of nineteenth-century science, whose ideas are still inspiring discoveries and controversies more than a hundred years after his death.Yet only now, with the publication of Voyaging, the first of two volumes that will constitute the definitive biography, do we have a truly vivid and comprehensive picture of Darwin as a man and a scientist. Drawing upon much new material, supported by an unmatched acquaintance with both the intellectual setting and the voluminous sources, Janet Browne has at last been able to unravel the central enigma of Darwin's career: how did this amiable young gentleman, born into a prosperous provincial English family, grow into a thinker capable of challenging the most basic principles of religion and science?As Janet Browne makes clear, Darwin's story was also the story of the era. For he could not have achieved his great work on his own. Without his clubbable friends in London scientific circles, who supplied him with information and provoked his thinking, he might never have hit upon the principle of natural selection, or received a serious hearing for his theories when they matured. Voyaging breaks important new ground in showing how his own life cannot be understood except in the context of a richly complex Victorian society.As a historian and a highly experienced editor of Darwin's correspondence, Janet Browne is uniquely equipped to bring us the man in his world. Wonderfully written, scientifically sophisticated, lively and profound, her book is a life of Darwin for our times.
  • Cheever: A Life

    Our Price: $16.95
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9781400079681
    • Publisher: Vintage Books
    • Published: March 2010
    National Book Critics Circle Award Winner. This acclaimed biography tells the story of the unforgettable life of John Cheever, a proud New Englander who flaunted his lineage while deploring the provincialism of his family circle; a struggling alcoholic and conflicted bisexual who spent much of his career impersonating a perfect suburban gentleman; a high-school dropout who went on to become one of the foremost chroniclers of post-WWII America. This life is informed by biographer Blake Bailey's access to Cheever's massive journal, only a fraction of which has ever been published. Notes, Index. Illus., b*w photos. 770p.
  • Dr. Johnson & Mr. Savage

    By Richard Holmes

    Our Price: $17.00
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9780679757702
    • Publisher: RANDOM HOUSE
    • Published: April 1996
  • Every Love Story Is a Ghost Story: A Life of David Foster Wallace

    By D.T. Max

    Our Price: $7.50
    • Format: Hardcover
    • ISBN-13: 9780670025923
    • Publisher: Viking
    • Published: August 2012
    "The first biography of the most influential writer of his generation, David Foster Wallace. David Foster Wallace was the leading literary light of his era, a man who not only captivated readers with his prose but also mesmerized them with his brilliant mind. In this, the first biography of the writer, D. T. Max sets out to chart Wallace's tormented, anguished and often triumphant battle to succeed as a novelist as he fights off depression and addiction to emerge with his masterpiece, Infinite Jest. Since his untimely death by suicide at the age of forty-six in 2008, Wallace has become more than the quintessential writer for his time--he has become a symbol of sincerity and honesty in an inauthentic age. In the end, as Max shows us, what is most interesting about Wallace is not just what he wrote but how he taught us all to live. Written with the cooperation of Wallace's family and friends and with access to hundreds of his unpublished letters, manuscripts, and audio tapes, this portrait of an extraordinarily gifted writer is as fresh as news, as intimate as a love note, as painful as a goodbye. "--
  • Footsteps: Adventures of a Romantic Biographer

    By Richard Holmes

    Our Price: $17.00
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9780679770046
    • Publisher: Vintage Books
    • Published: March 1996
    Richard Holmes knew he had become a true biographer the day his bank bounced a check that he had inadvertently dated 1772. Because for the acclaimed chronicler of Shelly and Coleridge, biography is a physical pursuit, an ardent and arduous retracing of footsteps that may have vanished centuries before.In this gripping book, Holmes takes us from France's Massif Central, where he followed the route taken by Robert Louis Stevenson and a sweet-natured donkey, to Mary Wollstonecraft's Revolutionary Paris, to the Italian villages where Percy Shelly tried to cast off the structures of English morality and marriage. Footsteps is a wonderful exploration of the ties between biographers and their subjects, filled with passion and revelation.
  • New Ways to Kill Your Mother: Writers and Their Families

    By Colm Toibin

    Our Price: $16.00
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9781451668568
    • Publisher: Scribner
    • Published: June 2012
    The Columbia Mellon Professor in the Humanities and award-winning author of Brooklyn presents a collection of essays that explores the sources of intimate family dynamics in forefront works of literature, from the relationship between W. B. Yeats and his father to the complicated ties between Thomas Mann and his children.
  • Samuel Johnson: A Biography

    By W. Jackson Bate

    Our Price: $24.95
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9781582435244
    • Publisher: COUNTERPOINT
    • Published: August 2009
    Samuel Johnson is a writer of such significance that his era ? the second half of the 18th century ? is known as the Age of Johnson. Starting out as a Grub Street journalist, he made his mark on history as a poet, author, moralist, literary critic, political commentator, and lexiconographer. We, as moderns, need to know this man, and W. Jackson Bate's formidable biography, with its uncanny depth and empathy, is the book that makes that happen.Professor W. Jackson Bate is a lyrical writer who deftly explains the effect Johnson has had on scholars, critics, and readers of all kinds through the past 200 years: "The reason Johnson has always fascinated so many people of different kinds," Bate writes, "is not simply that [he] is so vividly picturesque and quotable . . . The deeper secret of his hypnotic attraction, especially during our own generation, lies in the immense reassurance he gives to human nature."Bate delves deep into the character that formed Johnson's intellect and fueled his prodigious contribution to literature, religion, politics, and our understanding of the nature of humankind, revealing the fascinating nature ? both odd and adored ? of this literary luminary.
  • The Family That Couldn't Sleep: A Medical Mystery

    By D. T. Max

    Our Price: $8.00
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9780812972528
    • Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks
    • Published: September 2007
    For two hundred years, a noble Venetian family has suffered from a progressive insomnia that kills all afflicted within months. In Papua New Guinea, a primitive tribe is struck by a lethal illness whose principal symptom is uncontrollable laughter. In England, once-placid cows attack their owners, while in the American West, thousands of deer starve to death in fields of plentiful grass. These strange conditions share a cause: prions – ordinary proteins that turn into killers when they misfold. What destroys viruses and bacteria – disinfectant, heat, and radiation – cannot destroy prions, and they now pose an ever-widening threat to our food and our land. Where prions are concerned what you don’t know can kill you. Here, essayist and journalist D. T. Max charts the mysterious past and scary future of this brain-eating molecule, beginning with a sleepless eighteenth-century Venetian doctor whose unwitting be quest of a mutation to his descendants sets off a chain of events that his family – and, by extension, the rest of us – are still battling today. Notes, Index. 299p.
  • The Life of Graham Greene: Volume I: 1904-1939

    By Norman Sherry

    Our Price: $10.00
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9780142004203
    • Publisher: PENGUIN USA
    • Published: April 2004
    The first volume of this celebrated biography explores the exalted 20th-century British literary figure's early life through letters, diaries, and hundreds of interviews; a breakdown in his early teens, his years at Oxford; and, most particularly, his long and tortuous courtship of his future wife. Greene's development as a novelist, from the early success of 'The Man Within' to his masterpiece, 'The Power and the Glory,' is also explored in full, with Sherry literally following his subject's footsteps to West Africa and Mexico in order to access the strange and emotional terrain that Greene made into his own. Notes, index. Illus., b&w photographs. 783p.
  • The Man Within My Head

    By Pico Iyer

    Our Price: $16.00
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9780307387561
    • Publisher: Vintage
    • Published: January 2013
    Recounts the author's life-long obsession with Graham Greene's writings on the experiences of being an outsider, which informed both the author's travels and his private explorations of his relationship with his elusive father. By the author of Abandon.
  • The Metaphysical Club: A Story of Ideas in America

    By Louis Menand

    Our Price: $8.50
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9780374528492
    • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
    • Published: April 2002
    An exacting and imaginative exploration of 19th Century American intellectual history's post-Emersonian void, spanning from the end of the Civil War to the WWI, drawing portraits of Oliver Wendell Holes, Jr., William James, Charles Sanders Pierce, and John Dewey. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for History, 2000. 546p. Pap.
  • The Silent Woman: Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes

    By Janet Malcolm

    Our Price: $8.00
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9780679751403
    • Publisher: Vintage Books
    • Published: March 1995
    Examines the afterlife of the troubled poet, looking at how her estranged husband, Ted Hughes, struggled to share Plath's work, yet maintain his own privacy. Reprint.
  • White Heat: The Friendship of Emily Dickinson and Thomas Wentworth Higginson

    By Brenda Wineapple

    Our Price: $9.00
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9780307456304
    • Publisher: Anchor Books
    • Published: December 2009
    In this remarkably original portrait of two American literary originals author and professor Brenda Wineapple has successfully recreated one of the Nation's most sincere and enduring friendships. 'White Heat' chronicles the days of literary figure, activist, and editor of 'The Atlantic Monthly' Thomas Wentworth Higginson, as his 1862 request for submissions indirectly introduced him to the genius Emily Dickinson. Throughout this revealing look into the private life of Dickinson, and the poems she shared with Higginson, readers will find their relationship to be one of shared enthusiasm for the art of writing and the cultural triumph of humankind.