- A Promise to Ourselves: A Journey Through Divorce and Fatherhood
An Academy and Tony Award nominee and a 2007 recipient of Golden Globe, SAG, and Television Critics Association Awards for best actor in a comedy, Alec Baldwin is one of the best-known, most successful actors in the world. His relationship with Kim Basinger, the Academy Award - winning actress, lasted nearly a decade. They have a daughter named Ireland, and for a time, theirs seemed to be the model of a successful Hollywood marriage. But in 2000 they separated and in 2002 divorced. Their split - specifically the custody battle surrounding Ireland - would be the subject of media attention for years to come.In his own life and others', Baldwin has seen the heavy toll that divorce can take - psychologically, emotionally, and financially. He has been extensively involved in divorce litigation, and he has witnessed the way that noncustodial parents, especially fathers, are often forced to abandon hopes of equitable rights when it comes to their children. He makes a powerful case for reexamining and changing the way divorce and child custody is decided in this country and levels a scathing attack at what he calls the 'family law industry'.When it comes to his experiences with judges, court-appointed therapists, and lawyers, Baldwin pulls no punches. He casts a light on his own divorce and the way the current family law system affected him, his ex-wife, and his daughter, as well as many other families. This is an important, informative, and deeply felt book on a contentious subject that offers hope of finding a better way.
- Small Island
Small Island is an international bestseller. It won the Orange Prize for Fiction, The Orange Prize for Fiction: Best of the Best, The Whitbread Novel Award, The Whitbread Book of the Year Award, and the Commonwealth Writers' Prize. It has now been adapted for the screen as a coproduction of the BBC and Masterpiece/WGBH Boston.
Hortense Joseph arrives in London from Jamaica in 1948 with her life in her suitcase, her heart broken, her resolve intact. Her husband, Gilbert Joseph, returns from the war expecting to be received as a hero, but finds his status as a black man in Britain to be second class. His white landlady, Queenie, raised as a farmer's daughter, befriends Gilbert, and later Hortense, with innocence and courage, until the unexpected arrival of her husband, Bernard, who returns from combat with issues of his own to resolve.
Told in these four voices, Small Island is a courageous novel of tender emotion and sparkling wit, of crossings taken and passages lost, of shattering compassion and of reckless optimism in the face of insurmountable barriers---in short, an encapsulation of that most American of experiences: the immigrant's life.
- I'm Down
Mishna Wolff grew up in a poor black neighborhood with her single father, a white man who truly believed he was black. 'He strutted around with a short perm, a Cosby-esqe sweater, gold chains and a Kangol - telling jokes like Redd Fox, and giving advice like Jesse Jackson. You couldn't tell my father he was white. Believe me, I tried', writes Wolff. And so from early childhood on, her father began his crusade to make his white daughter down. Unfortunately, Mishna didn't quite fit in with the neighborhood kids: she couldn't dance, she couldn't sing, and she was the worst player on her all-black basketball team. She was shy, uncool, and painfully white. And yet when she was suddenly sent to a rich white school, she found she was too 'black' to fit in with her white classmates. "I'm Down" is a hip, hysterical, and at the same time beautiful memoir that will have you howling with laughter, recommending it to friends, and questioning what it means to be black and white in America.
- The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby
"An excellent book by a genius," said Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., of this now classic exploration of the 1960s from the founder of new journalism.
"This is a book that will be a sharp pleasure to reread years from now, when it will bring back, like a falcon in the sky of memory, a whole world that is currently jetting and jazzing its way somewhere or other."--Newsweek
In his first book, The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby (1965) Wolfe introduces us to the sixties, to extravagant new styles of life that had nothing to do with the "elite" culture of the past.
- Illness As Metaphor And AIDS And Its Metaphors: And, AIDS And Its Metaphors
In 1978 Susan Sontag wrote Illness as Metaphor, a classic work described by Newsweek as "one of the most liberating books of its time." A cancer patient herself when she was writing the book, Sontag shows how the metaphors and myths surrounding certain illnesses, especially cancer, add greatly to the suffering of patients and often inhibit them from seeking proper treatment. By demystifying the fantasies surrounding cancer, Sontag shows cancer for what it is--just a disease. Cancer, she argues, is not a curse, not a punishment, certainly not an embarrassment and, it is highly curable, if good treatment is followed.
Almost a decade later, with the outbreak of a new, stigmatized disease replete with mystifications and punitive metaphors, Sontag wrote a sequel to Illness as Metaphor, extending the argument of the earlier book to the AIDS pandemic.
These two essays now published together, Illness as Metaphor and AIDS and Its Metaphors, have been translated into many languages and continue to have an enormous influence on the thinking of medical professionals and, above all, on the lives of many thousands of patients and caregivers.