On Thin Ice
By Hugh Rowland
From floating ice to snowstorms - meet the adrenalin junkie and death-defying star of the History Channel and Five USA's hit show ICE ROAD TRUCKERS.Every year a fleet of men travel to the Arctic Circle, a region heavily endowed with natural resources. Locating the abundance of natural gas, conflict-free diamonds and gold is relatively easy - but extracting and transporting these goods is another matter entirely. The truckers picked to deliver these precious commodities spend two months traveling hundreds of miles on a naturally formed road of ice. It is one of the most dangerous jobs in the world.For more than 20 years, Hugh Rowland has survived the ice roads like no other. Known by the ice road trucking community as 'The Polar Bear' - a reference to his legendary stamina, strong personality, bearish attitude and prowess on the ice - Rowland has performed amazing feats and survived spectacular wrecks to become the undisputed king of the ice road truckers. Each year when the temperature plummets to -70°C, Rowland leaves his family, home and successful excavation business north of Vancouver, Canada, to drive 1900 miles to Yellowknife, where he throttles up for another ice road season. ON THIN ICE traces the history of ice road trucking, the preparation for the trek and follows Rowland through his nine week journey across the infamous Ice Road. From the first snowstorm to the final thaw, this adrenalin-filled book follows his journey to the edge of endurance and back. It's an extraordinary look at an extreme life.
By Helia Phoenix
We're all going gaga for Gaga. The first biography of the international superstar, style icon and pop princess...Pop princess. Fashionista. Icon. Rebel. Eccentric. Superstar.She's known all over the world for her catchy music, outlandish style and often controversial opinions. A paparazzi favourite, she manages to grab headlines whilst remaining enigmatic. Whether she's carrying a purple teacup, fuelling the fire about her gender or stealing the limelight with her creative performances, no one can deny this twenty-first-century sensation is turning heads wherever she goes. She is Lady Gaga.But Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta was always destined to be a star. Just Dance is the first unauthorised biography to reveal how she achieved popworld domination to become one of the globe's most exciting new entertainers - an artist who constantly pushes the boundaries of music, fashion and culture. Find out why we're all going gaga for Gaga...
There Will Be Rainbows: A Biography of Rufus Wainwright
By Kirk Lake
The first ever biography of one of the most fascinating singers to have appeared in the last 50 years."Rufus Wainwright is the greatest songwriter on the planet" - Elton JohnRufus Wainwright's work mixes innovation and tradition like no other contemporary pop performer. His private life, which, by choice or otherwise, he has lived in public, is equally incredible -- and in its own, sometimes peculiar, often exaggerated way, has encompassed all three of the clichéd tenets of the popular artist (sex, drugs and rock n roll).In seeking to explain how the artist works and where his place lies in a great tradition, Kirk Lake enters into the diverse worlds of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, opera, gay liberation, Canadian folk, neo-Conservatism, drug addiction and Hollywood musicals. He follows Wainwright's journey (from Van Dyke Parks, to rehab, to Carnegie Hall), and talks to those who have orbited close to Wainwright. Rufus Wainwright: A Biography is an intelligent, critical piece of music writing that befits the integrity and complexity of the artist's work while fully embracing the self-deprecating humour and flamboyance that embodies Rufus Wainwright, the person.
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 Brian Matthews
Manning Clark was one of the most influential Australian intellectuals of the last half century. His political pronouncements were often highly provocative and his sweeping judgements, dire denunciations and oracular prophecies infuriated conservatives and made him a controversial figure.His most enduring legacy, however, was his magisterial six-volume History of Australia. In it he reshaped the now familiar story of our nation's modern evolution; from the First Fleet's arrival, the convicts, the rum rebellion, gold, the sheep's back, Federation, and the glorious defeat at Gallipoli, up to the nation emerging from the Great Depression and on the threshold of a new world war. Within the dramatic narrative, which he envisaged as an epic, are highly original and insightful portraits of its great men with their tragic flaws: Phillip, Macquarie, Burke and Wills, Bligh, Wentworth, and above all Henry Lawson. But behind this ambitious work - with its more than a million words and twenty-five, long slogging years of research and scholarship - was a man as flawed as the historical figures he was presenting, figures in whose personalities and life events he often saw himself dauntingly mirrored. He was wracked with self-doubt, and dogged by fears of failure and personal weakness, he craved forgiveness for the betrayals that stalked and threatened his marriage to Dymphna, and wrestled with an elusive Christ in whom he longed to have a secure faith. Behind the signature broad hat and the stern unsmiling visage was a tortured man.That is the complex, enigmatic and thoroughly enthralling Clark who emerges in this remarkable biography by Brian Matthews, whose previous acclaimed memoir of Louise Lawson was judged to be both ground breaking and revolutionary. Manning Clark: a life draws a compelling portrait of the great historian, who attracted both critics and acolytes alike in equal number. Both sides can expect to be astounded and captivated.
A Postillion Struck by Lightning
By Dirk Bogarde
Dirk Bogarde's own vivid and engaging account of his childhood and first steps as an actor - a bestseller on first publication in 1977.'At the top of the field the cottage roof stuck up with its chimney, and then the flint walls and the two rather surprised looking windows in the gable looking down to the farm. Round the cottage was a rickety wooden fence with bits of wire and an old bedstead stuck in it, and some apple trees and the privy with its roof of ivy and honeysuckle'A POSTILLION STRUCK BY LIGHTNING marked Dirk Bogarde's transition from star of stage and screen to a bestselling and internationally acclaimed author.This vivid and engaging memoir traces the first steps of Dirk Bogarde as a young actor before he became world famous as well as his childhood amidst the enchanting beauty of rural Sussex. Here is the delightful harmony of summer days spent fishing with his young sister, a hunt for an escaped tortoise, the discovery of the biggest mushroom in the world, and the quest to win a pet canary at the local fair. Then came the plays he and sister used to put on in their barn, followed by the local amateur dramatic society, all a prelude to his growing desire to join the world of the stage.
By Judith Mackrell
The story of the splendidly unpredictable Russian dancer who ruffled the feathers of the Bloomsbury set and became the wife of John Maynard KeynesBorn in 1891 in St Petersburg, Lydia Lopokova lived a long and remarkable life. Her vivacious personality and the sheer force of her charm propelled her to the top of Diaghilev's Ballet Russes. Through a combination of luck, determination and talent, Lydia became a star in Paris, a vaudeville favourite in America, the toast of Britain and then married the world-renowned economist, and formerly homosexual, John Maynard Keynes.Lydia's story links ballet and the Bloomsbury group, war, revolution and the economic policies of the super-powers. She was an immensely captivating, eccentric and irreverent personality: a bolter, a true bohemian and, eventually, an utterly devoted wife.
Time to Say Hello
By Katherine Jenkins
The UK's biggest-selling classical artist reveals how her angelic voice has shot her to superstardom...Katherine Jenkins is an international singing superstar who has redefined a music genre: she has brought classical music to the masses and inspired young and old with her incredible voice, her glamorous looks and, above all, her love for music, her country and her fans.Born in Neath, South Wales, Katherine won national acclaim as the BBC Welsh Choirgirl of the year and soon after a place at the Royal Academy of Music. Auditioning for a terrifying panel of industry experts at Universal Music she came away with the largest recording deal in classical music history. And so began Katherine's meteoric rise to stardom.TIME TO SAY HELLO is Katherine's incredible story. Packed with laughter, adventure, heartbreak and music, it is the tale of a dream coming true and one that will keep you gripped to the last note ¿
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.
By Anthony Summers
The classic, definitive biography of Marilyn Monroe, now updated in the year of the 50th anniversary of the iconic star's deathShe was born Norma Jeane but the world knew and loved her as Marilyn. Her life was one of unprecedented fame and private misery, her death a tragedy surrounded by mysteries. Drawing on first-hand interviews Anthony Summers offers both a classic biography and a shockingly revealing account of the screen goddess's relations with John and Robert Kennedy.'The definitive story of the legend ... more convincing at every page - told with all the coldness of truth and the authority of the historian, but at the end of it we still love Marilyn' Maeve Binchy, Irish Times
By Christopher Sandford, Christopher Sandford
In this compelling biography, Christopher Sandford explores the full, inside story of Kurt Cobain. From the disruptive childhood which had such a crucial impact on Cobain's personality to the ambitious career musician who, as a friend said, "lunged for success", and the worldwide breakthrough of Nirvana's Nevermind, Sandford also writes about Cobain's stormy marriage to Courtney Love, his heroin addiction, and how he became more and more of a recluse. Finally, he writes of the crisis when, in April 1994, Cobain turned a shotgun on himself and became a martyr for disaffected youth.The result is a saga of success and corruption which John Peel has called "the ultimate rock and roll morality story".
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.