My History by Antonia Fraser

Fraser’s earliest days were spent in an aristocratic family in pre-World War II Britain. Her parents were both deeply involved in politics, while Antonia was mesmerized by history; it was the one constant in her life, and she researched and wrote one magnificent historical biography after another including Mary, Queen of Scots, The Wives of Henry VIII, and Faith and Treason. This memoir is a lyrical celebration of a time and place that has largely disappeared, and a great companion to the memoir she wrote on her marriage and partnership with Harold Pinter (Must You Go?). – Barbara Hoagland

Other Books Mentioned in This Piece: 
Mary Queen of Scots By Antonia Fraser Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385311298
Availability: Not on our shelves currently | available to order
Published: Delta - September 1st, 1993

The Wives of Henry VIII By Antonia Fraser Cover Image
ISBN: 9780679730019
Availability: Not on our shelves currently | available to order
Published: Vintage - November 30th, 1993

Faith and Treason: The Story of the Gunpowder Plot By Antonia Fraser Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385471909
Availability: Not on our shelves currently | available to order
Published: Anchor - October 13th, 1997

Must You Go?: My LIfe With Harold Pinter By Lady Antonia Fraser Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780307475572
Published: Anchor - October 4th, 2011

Empire of Self: A Life of Gore Vidal by Jay Parini

Gore Vidal was not only a 20th century literary icon, he was also an iconoclastic critic of his age. He came in contact with virtually every notable figure of his time and usually had something acerbic to say about each of them. Parini was a close friend of Vidal and, thus, has had unprecedented access to documents, letters and reminisces of those who were close to both men. The figure we see in this ambitious biography is brilliant as well as troubled. Gore Vidal was not only a man of his time, but a man of the world, and we are lucky to have access to his life through the eyes of a friend who is a skilled biographer as well. – Barbara Hoagland

The Ambassador’s Wife by Jennifer Steil

Set in a beautiful, ancient capital city in the fictional middle-eastern country of Mazrooq, this is a sensuous tale of a portrait artist developing her craft in the midst of the Muslim culture that forbids the drawing of the human figure. Miranda falls in love and marries the British ambassador Finn. Both are surrounded by luxury, their every need attended to. When she is kidnapped, their world crumbles, and each must search for his or her truest sense of self. How complicit is Miranda as she involves her devout Muslim female students in creating work abhorrent to the men and elders of Islam? How can she possibly return to her husband and daughter while forced to care for the infant girl who will surely die if she escapes? How has Finn’s idealism and that of the Western allies threatened to alienate and subjugate the very people they are there to help and advise? A harrowing love story about the meaning of trust, friendship, and ongoing colonialism in our age. – Anne Stewart Mark

The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood

There is no tonic more bracing in the face of our present melting-down world than Margaret Atwood’s smart and slyly funny cynicism, no stratagem more effective in warding off disaster than staring it in the face—and laughing at it. The Heart Goes Last finds a married couple, Stan and Charmaine, living in their car fending off roving gangs. The economy has crashed and their once-bright futures are dim, to put it mildly. After seeing an ad for a corporation that offers hope—security, money, a safe albeit controlled environment—they apply, ignoring warnings from Stan’s brother, and are accepted. What happens to each of them in the town of Consilience, the panache and wit with which Atwood peoples that town, what their fate says about the fate of all of us is the stuff of this mesmerizing, funny, frightening novel. – Betsy Burton