Sunday, August 14, 2011

Upcoming Biographies and Memoirs

The fall book season is just around the corner, and there are a bunch of interesting new titles on the horizon.

I'm not familiar with all the authors listed here, but hopefully each of these titles will prove to be worthwhile.

SPENCER TRACY: A BIOGRAPHY, will be out from Knopf on October 18th. The author is James Curtis, who has previously written biographies of James Whale and Preston Sturges.

Incidentally, I note from the Amazon blurb that Mr. Curtis lives here in Orange County.

The author's website is here.

I recently read an interview with biographer Patrick McGilligan at John Greco's Twenty Four Frames. McGilligan is the author of a just-released biography, NICHOLAS RAY: THE GLORIOUS FAILURE OF AN AMERICAN DIRECTOR.

The release is well-timed, as Ray's centennial is being celebrated this year, with TCM planning a Ray retrospective in October.

I first became acquainted with McGilligan's work many years ago, thanks to his excellent book on Ginger Rogers in the Pyramid Illustrated History of the Movies.

A few days ago Raquelle of Out of the Past kindly shared links to several upcoming books on Twitter. One of the books she made me aware of was LEARNING TO LIVE OUT LOUD: A MEMOIR, by actress Piper Laurie. It will be out November 1st, 2011.

Having enjoyed Laurie over the years in projects like UNTIL THEY SAIL (1957) and THE THORN BIRDS (1983), I'm quite interested in reading her book. I love the cover, which is quite striking.

Singer-actress Florence Henderson is publishing her autobiography, LIFE IS NOT A STAGE, on September 20th.


Although Henderson is best known for THE BRADY BUNCH, my earliest memory of her is as "Laurey" in a '60s studio cast recording of OKLAHOMA! with John Raitt. Along with MARY POPPINS, it's probably the first musical I remember consciously being aware of, and I still play that recording today!

Here's another title from Raquelle: JOHN HUSTON: COURAGE AND ART, coming on September 27th.

The author is Jeffrey Meyers.

Those interested in Huston might also be interested in his daughter Allegra's book LOVE CHILD, published a couple years ago. The link is included in this post from July.

It's not due out till this winter, but there will no doubt be many film fans interested in BARBARA STANWYCK: THE MIRACLE WOMAN, coming on February 1, 2012.

I'm not familiar with the author, Dan Callahan, and saw one brief reference indicating this is Callahan's first book. The Self-Styled Siren mentioned a few months ago that he's a Stanwyck expert; that, along with the fact it's from the University Press of Mississippi, hopefully bodes well for this being a really worthwhile book Stanwyck's many fans will appreciate adding to their shelves.

Raquelle has also posted about new film books today at Out of the Past. Be sure to check out her post, as she's got info on many other new titles, including books on Steve McQueen, Jane Fonda, Cary Grant, Charlie Chaplin, and more!

I've previously posted information regarding other upcoming titles on James Garner, due November 1st (moved up from November 8th); Cary Grant (by ex-wife Dyan Cannon), due September 20th; and Myrna Loy, due October 1st.


Blogger Kori and Ken Pellman said...

My very first "Weird Al" Yankovic concert was in Hollywood... I believe the venue was the Henry Fonda Theater. I had a really great seat. I was closer to the stage than Florence Henderson (and Dick Clark, and Dr. Demento). It was 1996, and this was the tour associated with Al's "Bad Hair Day" album, which featured "Amish Paradise", a parody of Coolio's "Gangsta's Paradise". Florence Henderson played an Amish woman, in Michelle Pfeiffer's role (think the film "Dangerous Minds") interacting with Al in Coolio's role.

I thought it was very cool of Henderson to do that video, and it was good to see her there at the concert. (Al seems to have had a good relationship with Sherwood Schwartz, "Brady Bunch" producer.) After the concert, Al was presented with a gold or platinum record... don't remember which. But he and the band did sign autographs for those of us who stood around on the sidewalk for hours after.

6:42 PM  

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