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Biography

Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood

Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood

$18.00
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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - More than one million copies sold! A "brilliant" (Lupita Nyong'o, Time), "poignant" (Entertainment Weekly), "soul-nourishing" (USA Today) memoir about coming of age during the twilight of apartheid

"Noah's childhood stories are told with all the hilarity and intellect that characterizes his comedy, while illuminating a dark and brutal period in South Africa's history that must never be forgotten."--Esquire

Winner of the Thurber Prize for American Humor and an NAACP Image Award - Named one of the best books of the year by The New York Time, USA Today, San Francisco Chronicle, NPR, Esquire, Newsday, and Booklist

Trevor Noah's unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Trevor was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. Living proof of his parents' indiscretion, Trevor was kept mostly indoors for the earliest years of his life, bound by the extreme and often absurd measures his mother took to hide him from a government that could, at any moment, steal him away. Finally liberated by the end of South Africa's tyrannical white rule, Trevor and his mother set forth on a grand adventure, living openly and freely and embracing the opportunities won by a centuries-long struggle.

Born a Crime is the story of a mischievous young boy who grows into a restless young man as he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist. It is also the story of that young man's relationship with his fearless, rebellious, and fervently religious mother--his teammate, a woman determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence, and abuse that would ultimately threaten her own life.

The stories collected here are by turns hilarious, dramatic, and deeply affecting. Whether subsisting on caterpillars for dinner during hard times, being thrown from a moving car during an attempted kidnapping, or just trying to survive the life-and-death pitfalls of dating in high school, Trevor illuminates his curious world with an incisive wit and unflinching honesty. His stories weave together to form a moving and searingly funny portrait of a boy making his way through a damaged world in a dangerous time, armed only with a keen sense of humor and a mother's unconventional, unconditional love.

Civil Rights Queen: Constance Baker Motley and the Struggle for Equality

Civil Rights Queen: Constance Baker Motley and the Struggle for Equality

$30.00
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A TIME BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR - The first major biography of one of our most influential judges--an activist lawyer who became the first Black woman appointed to the federal judiciary--that provides an eye-opening account of the twin struggles for gender equality and civil rights in the 20th Century. - "Timely and essential."--The Washington Post

"A must-read for anyone who dares to believe that equal justice under the law is possible and is in search of a model for how to make it a reality." --Anita Hill

With the US Supreme Court confirmation of Ketanji Brown Jackson, "it makes sense to revisit the life and work of another Black woman who profoundly shaped the law: Constance Baker Motley" (CNN). Born to an aspirational blue-collar family during the Great Depression, Constance Baker Motley was expected to find herself a good career as a hair dresser. Instead, she became the first black woman to argue a case in front of the Supreme Court, the first of ten she would eventually argue. The only black woman member in the legal team at the NAACP's Inc. Fund at the time, she defended Martin Luther King in Birmingham, helped to argue in Brown vs. The Board of Education, and played a critical role in vanquishing Jim Crow laws throughout the South. She was the first black woman elected to the state Senate in New York, the first woman elected Manhattan Borough President, and the first black woman appointed to the federal judiciary.

Civil Rights Queen captures the story of a remarkable American life, a figure who remade law and inspired the imaginations of African Americans across the country. Burnished with an extraordinary wealth of research, award-winning, esteemed Civil Rights and legal historian and dean of the Harvard Radcliffe Institute, Tomiko Brown-Nagin brings Motley to life in these pages. Brown-Nagin compels us to ponder some of our most timeless and urgent questions--how do the historically marginalized access the corridors of power? What is the price of the ticket? How does access to power shape individuals committed to social justice? In Civil Rights Queen, she dramatically fills out the picture of some of the most profound judicial and societal change made in twentieth-century America.

Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano: Written by Himself

Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano: Written by Himself

$24.25
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Providing a vivid account of the eighteenth-century Western world through his own experiences, the Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano combines Eqiano's own words about issues such as slavery and independence with related documents.

In this truly astonishing eighteenth-century memoir, Olaudah Equiano recounts his remarkable life story, which begins when he is kidnapped in Africa as a boy and sold into slavery and culminates when he has achieved renown as a British antislavery advocate. The narrative “is a strikingly beautiful monument to the startling combination of skill, cunning, and plain good luck that allowed him to win his freedom, write his story, and gain international prominence,” writes Robert Reid-Pharr in his Introduction. “He alerts us to the very concerns that trouble modern intellectuals, black, white, and otherwise, on both sides of the Atlantic.”

Knife: Meditations After an Attempted Murder

Knife: Meditations After an Attempted Murder

$28.00
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From internationally renowned writer and Booker Prize winner Salman Rushdie, a searing, deeply personal account of enduring--and surviving--an attempt on his life thirty years after the fatwa that was ordered against him

Speaking out for the first time, and in unforgettable detail, about the traumatic events of August 12, 2022, Salman Rushdie answers violence with art, and reminds us of the power of words to make sense of the unthinkable. Knife is a gripping, intimate, and ultimately life-affirming meditation on life, loss, love, art--and finding the strength to stand up again.

Maps on the Ceiling

Maps on the Ceiling

$45.00
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For more than four decades, 1965-2008, Jossy and Ken Nebenzahl have traveled the world; from the sands of Arabia to the Mogolian outback, Khyber Pass tothe Strait of Hormuz, from Himalaya to Papua New Guinea.  Traveling by freighter, camel, dugout canoe, hot air balloon, antique aircraft and by their own rapidly toughening feet.

 This book encapsulates their journals and photographs into a memoir that captures the exhilaration of setting off into the wild blue with little more than curiosity and a bedroll.  

My Bondage and My Freedom

My Bondage and My Freedom

$16.00
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Ex-slave Frederick Douglass's second autobiography-written after ten years of reflection following his legal emancipation in 1846 and his break with his mentor William Lloyd Garrison-catapulted Douglass into the international spotlight as the foremost spokesman for American blacks, both freed and slave. Written during his celebrated career as a speaker and newspaper editor, My Bondage and My Freedom reveals the author of the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass (1845) grown more mature, forceful, analytical, and complex with a deepened commitment to the fight for equal rights and liberties.

Edited with an Introduction and Notes by John David Smith"

Necessary Trouble: Growing Up at Midcentury

Necessary Trouble: Growing Up at Midcentury

$30.00
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AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

A memoir of coming of age in a conservative Southern family in postwar America.

To grow up in the 1950s was to enter a world of polarized national alliances, nuclear threat, and destabilized social hierarchies. Two world wars and the depression that connected them had unleashed a torrent of expectations and dissatisfactions--not only in global affairs but in American society and Americans' lives.

A privileged white girl in conservative, segregated Virginia was expected to adopt a willful blindness to the inequities of race and the constraints of gender. For Drew Gilpin, the acceptance of both female subordination and racial hierarchy proved intolerable and galvanizing. Urged to become "well adjusted" and to fill the role of a poised young lady that her upbringing imposed, she found resistance was necessary for her survival. During the 1960s, through her love of learning and her active engagement in the civil rights, student, and antiwar movements, Drew forged a path of her own--one that would eventually lead her to become a historian of the very conflicts that were instrumental in shaping the world she grew up in.

Culminating in the upheavals of 1968, Necessary Trouble captures a time of rapid change and fierce reaction in one young woman's life, tracing the transformations and aftershocks that we continue to grapple with today.

Includes black-and-white images