Arts & Literature Previews, Dec. 2022, Pt. 1 | Prepub Alert

From Hollywood glitter to the hottest jazz. 

Brower, Kate Andersen. Elizabeth Taylor: The Grit & Glamour of an Icon. Harper. Dec. 2022. 464p. ISBN 9780063067653. $32.50. lrg. prnt. CD. BIOGRAPHY/FILM

Author of the No. 1 New York Times best-selling The Residence, Brower interviewed more than 250 of Elizabeth Taylor's closest friends and family for this authorized biography and had access to the family and estate’s archives. Some secret spilling here, including the contents of a sealed letter marked “ET PERSONAL—DO NOT OPEN”; with a 100,000-copy first printing.

Le Carré, John. A Private Spy: The Letters of John le Carré. Viking. Dec. 2022. 352p. ed. by David Cornwell & Tim Cornwell. ISBN 9780593490679. $30. lrg. prnt. Downloadable. LITERATURE/LETTERS

During his life, Le Carré corresponded with various spies, politicians, artists, actors, and public figures, not to mention other writers, and the evidence is displayed in this volume, edited by one of his sons. The author expressly asked his children to find ways to extend his literary legacy, and here’s one good way.

Levy, Aidan. Saxophone Colossus: The Life and Music of Sonny Rollins. Hachette. Dec. 2022. 752p. ISBN 9780306902796. $35. BIOGRAPHY/MUSIC

When it comes to writing a biography of jazz great Sonny Rollins, truly a “saxophone colossus,” Levy looks like the right man for the job. A former fellow at CUNY’s Leon Levy Center for Biography, he works with the Center for Jazz Studies and played baritone sax in the Stan Rubin Orchestra for ten years. Based on 200 interviews with friends, family, collaborators, and Rollins himself, plus his personal archive; with a 20,000-copy first printing.

Myers, Marc. Anatomy of 55 More Songs: The Oral History of 55 Hits That Changed Rock, R&B, and Soul. Grove. Dec. 2022. 336p. ISBN 9780802160201. $27. MUSIC

A three-time winner of the Jazz Journalists Association’s award for Jazz Blog of the Year, Wall Street Journal columnist Myers returns with 55 more oral histories after the success of 2016’s Anatomy of a Song. Coverage ranges from Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Bad Moon Rising” to Dionne Warwick’s “Walk On By,” with accounts from Joan Jett, Keith Richards, Sheryl Crow, Alice Cooper, and more. All post-1964.

Strachey. Nino. Young Bloomsbury: The Generation That Redefined Love, Freedom, and Self-Expression in 1920s England. Atria. Dec. 2022. 304p. ISBN 9781982164768. $29. CD. LITERATURE/HISTORY

In a twist on the ever-popular Bloomsbury story, Strachey highlights not Virginia Woolf, Lytton Strachey, et al., but the following generation, among them novelist/critic Eddy Sackville-West and photographer/designer Cecil Beaton, who revitalized their forebears. Clearly, this is an all-in-the-family affair for the author, the last Strachey to grow up at the family’s Sutton Court in Somerset; she has also worked as head of Research for the National Trust.

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Barbara Hoffert

Barbara Hoffert (, @BarbaraHoffert on Twitter) is Editor, LJ Prepub Alert; winner of ALA's Louis Shores Award for reviewing; and past president, awards chair, and treasurer of the National Book Critics Circle, which awarded her its inaugural Service Award in 2023.

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