Let Us Build Us a City

LET US BUILD US A CITY reads like a master class on writing as practice, while performing a deep reading of art and life and looking to discern why liberal education matters so much to our society. At its core, this is a work of cultural and literary history, combining memoir (of the author’s experiences as a student and teacher of literature and writing) with analysis and speculation. Daugherty exploits a variety of forms to explore literary apprenticeship and mentoring, philosophy, politics, metaphysics, and American history. A stirring defense and timely renewal of our national literary vision. (more…)

The Last Love Song

The Last Love SongJoan Didion lived a public and private life with her late husband, the writer John Gregory Dunne, whom she met while the two were working in New York City while Didion was at Vogue and Dunne was writing for Time. They became wildly successful partners when they moved to Los Angeles and co-wrote screenplays and adaptations. Didion is well-known for her literary journalistic style in both fiction and non-fiction, and for The Year of Magical Thinking, a National Book Award winner shortlisted for the Pulitzer Prize, which dealt with Didion’s grief after the loss of her husband and daughter. THE LAST LOVE SONG takes readers on a journey through time, following a young Didion in Sacramento all the way to her adult life as a writer. (more…)

Just One Catch: A Biography of Joseph Heller

Joseph Heller was a Coney Island kid, the son of Russian immigrants, and a military vet whose experiences flying missions over France during World War II would become the inspiration for an American classic, CATCH-22. Throughout his life, Heller was well-loved and surrounded by famous friends, among them Mel Brooks, Zero Mostel, Kurt Vonnegut, Mario Puzo, and Dustin Hoffmann. When he passed away in 1999, Heller left behind a body of work, including the novels SOMETHING HAPPENED, GOOD AS GOLD, and CLOSING TIME, that have remained in print and continue to influence readers throughout the world. JUST ONE CATCH is the first major biography of Yossarian’s creator, written with full cooperation from the Estate. (more…)

Hiding Man: A Biography of Donald Barthelme

Hiding Man: A Biography of Donald BarthelmeDuring the heyday of American letters in the early 1960s, a time when modernist writers such as Hemingway and Faulkner were still revered as giants of literature, Donald Barthelme broke with tradition and arguably became the father of the American postmodern movement. This is the first major biography of this important figure. It is a beguiling, sumptuous, and intimate portrait of an American master. (more…)

Five Shades of Shadow: Essays

Five Shades of ShadowSpeaking with survivors of the Murrah building bombing, revisiting his Texas and Oklahoma roots, and retracing the paths of exile and migration in the American West, Daugherty creates a diverse and heartfelt portrait of America in an uncertain time-its people, its politics, its music, and its poetry-a sobering but ultimately hopeful view of the national community. At heart an exploration, from an intimate vantage point, of the consequences of violence in contemporary America, Five Shades of Shadow will hold special resonance for readers struggling to come to terms with trauma and loss. (more…)