By Joanna Lumley
Joanna Lumley is one of Britain's undisputed national treasures, an English actress, voiceover artist and author, best known for her roles in the British television series ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS portraying Edina Monsoon's best friend, Patsy Stone, as well as parts in THE NEW AVENGERS and SAPPHIRE & STEEL. A former model and Bond girl, her distinctive voice has been supplied for animated characters, film narration and AOL's "You've got mail" notification in the UK. She has spoken out as a human rights activist for Survival International and the recent Gurkha Justice Campaign, and is now considered a 'national treasure' of Nepal as well as the UK because of her support. She is also an advocate for a huge number of charities. She has won two BAFTA awards, but it is the sheer diversity of her life that has made her so compelling a personality - early years in Kashmir and Malaya, growing up in Kent, then a photographic model before becoming an actress, appearing in a huge range of roles, whether it is the Nimble bread TV ad, movies like ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE, dramas like SENSITIVE SKIN and documentaries on the Northern Lights, Bhutan and the Nile, and of course as the unforgettable Patsy in ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS or as Purdy in THE NEW AVENGERS, where her plummy vowels and upper-class demeanour has made her one of our most recognisable actors.
By Mick Wall
Mick Wall penetrates the closed world of Aussie rock legends AC/DC.AC/DC moved to Britain from Sydney in 1975, and soon set up a residency at London's Marquee Club. Their short hair (including the odd mullet), loud rock and attitude chimed well with the lingering pub rock and soon-to-be punk crowd. They weren't really a band for guitar solos, and singer Bon Scott was the original bike-riding, speed-snorting, fighting man. An ex-convict he lived life fast and short; he died in February 1980, just before BACK IN BLACK, their huge-selling album, took off and the second period of AC/DC (with Brian Johnson as lead vocalist) was ushered in. BACK IN BLACK has gone on to sell 45 million copies worldwide, and as the band have become a global phenomenon so their reclusiveness has increased. Mick Wall, the don of heavy metal writing, seeks to penetrate the wall around the Young brothers, and write the first authoritative, in-depth critical account of AC/DC.
By Christopher Bigsby
Biography of one of the greatest of modern playwrights, Arthur Miller (1915-2005).This is the long-awaited biography of one of the twentieth century's greatest playwrights whose postwar decade of work earned him international critical and popular acclaim.Arthur Miller was a prominent figure in American literature and cinema for over sixty years, writing a wide variety of plays - including The Crucible, A View from the Bridge, All My Sons, and Death of a Salesman - which are still performed, studied and lauded throughout the world.Born in 1915 to moderately affluent Jewish-American parents, Miller wrote during a fascinating time in American history. The Great Depression was a period of deprivation for many that left an indelible mark on the national psyche, and, like many, Miller found hope for the beleaguered common man in Communism. The Second World War elevated the common man to war hero, but when the Cold War subsequently began, the ugly elements of American conservatism freely persecuted writers and artists who had embraced Communism. Miller was among them. His refusal to give evidence against others to the notorious House Un-American Activities Committee in 1956 gave him a heroic role to play. In that same year, Arthur Miller momentously married the young actress Marilyn Monroe, a marriage that remains famous to this day. Christopher Bigsby's gripping, meticulously researched biography, based on boxes of papers made available to him before Miller's death, offers new insights into their marriage, and sheds new light on how their relationship informed Miller's subsequent great plays. After his death in 2005, many respected actors, directors and producers paid tribute to Miller, calling him 'the last great practitioner of the American stage'. Christopher Bigsby's supremely authoritative biography does full justice to Miller's life and art.
By Darleen Bungey
Arthur Boyd's legacy is a collection of masterpieces that define the history of Australian art in the last century. But the man himself-enigmatic, inarticulate, modest-has remained in the shadows until now. Based on over six years of meticulous research and hundreds of interviews, Darleen Bungey sweeps us into the intimate circle of one of Australia's most fascinating families. Arthur Boyd emerges as a passionate, dramatic figure whose self-effacing demeanour cloacked a strong personality that refused to allow his turbulent and sometimes tragic personal life to interfere with his creative genius. From Victoria's bohemian enclaves to the heady swirl of Melbourne and London in the years of artistic and social revolution, to the rural removes of Suffolk and the Shoalhaven, this is a journey into the mind and heart of a complex man whose absolute commitment to his art thrust aside personal adversity in the relentless pursuit of his work. There are art books and there are biographies. Arthur Boyd: A life is rare - a revelation of an artist's life as compelling as the writing about his art.
Audrey: Her Real Story
By Alexander Walker
The definitive guide to a Hollywood legend.Few stars are as loved as Audrey Hepburn, today as much as ever. Beautiful, delicate, graceful - but always warm and natural - she stole our hearts. She was also brave, working tirelessly for UNICEF in the face of her own failing health. in this moving and heartwarming biography Alexander Walker traces the extraordinary combination of luck and talent that allowed a fragile little girl,who nearly died in Hitler's occupied Europe, to conquer, in just one year, the New York stage and the Hollywood screen. Walker analyses her ascent to power and world fame and reveals the sadness of her life: two failed marriages, a broken engagement, and the crushing disappointment that occupied her triumph in My Fair Lady. Most importantly of all, this biography reveals what no one has known until now: the truly terrifying family secret that tore Audrey's childhood apart and kept her forever silent about her parents.