Biography & Memoir | Prepub Alert, October 2024 Titles

Hollywood and musical memoirs are highlights, along with a memoir about reading and books, science, and the supernatural. 








Bernstein, Richard. Only in America: Al Jolson and The Jazz Singer. Knopf. Oct. 2024. ISBN 9780805243673. 272p. $28. BIOGRAPHY

Journalist, book critic, and author Bernstein (China 1945) focuses on singer and actor Al Jolson and the creation of his 1927 film The Jazz Singer. The book considers how Jolson rose to success and how he shaped American culture, expanding it in many ways but also modeling its prejudices.

Conant, Jennet. Fierce Ambition: The Life and Legend of War Correspondent Maggie Higgins. Norton. Oct. 2024. ISBN 9781324086406. pbk. 416p. $21.99. BIOGRAPHY

Bestselling author Conant (Tuxedo Park) writes a biography of New York Herald Tribune reporter Higgins, who documented the liberation of Dachau and went on to earn a Pulitzer for her war dispatches from Korea; she was the first woman reporter to win a Pulitzer for frontline reporting. Based on previously unpublished material and interviews, including Higgins’s private papers.

Edim, Glory. Gather Me: A Memoir in Praise of the Books That Saved Me. Ballantine. Oct. 2024. ISBN 9780525619796. 256p. $28. MEMOIR

Edim, the founder of the Well-Read Black Girl book club, writes a memoir in books, stressing how authors such as Nikki Giovanni, Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison, and Audre Lorde, as well as places of reading, from the public library to her dorm room, to airplane flights, have shaped and powered her life.

Greenberg, David. John Lewis: A Life. S&S. Oct. 2024. ISBN 9781982142995. 704p. $35. BIOGRAPHY

Historian Greenberg (Rutgers Univ.; Nixon’s Shadow) writes about the late civil rights leader and congressman, drawing on extensive interviews with Lewis and hundreds of others, a dozen archives, media footage, and even FBI documents. Greenberg traces Lewis’s life from childhood through his iconic contributions to U.S. politics.

Jones, Dan. Henry V: The Astonishing Triumph of England’s Greatest Warrior King. Viking. Oct. 2024. ISBN 9780593652732. 432p. $35. BIOGRAPHY

Bestselling Jones (Powers and Thrones; the “Essex Dogs” trilogy), host of the This Is History podcast, offers a biography of England’s great medieval king, Henry V, who led the victory at Agincourt. That’s not all Henry did: he also saved England’s finances, justice system, and maritime dominance. Jones examines it all.

Kaplan, Bruce Eric. They Went Another Way: A Hollywood Memoir. Holt. Oct. 2024. ISBN 9781250370334. 272p. $28.99. MEMOIR

Kaplan (I Was a Child), a cartoonist for the New Yorker and a Netflix writer and producer who worked on Seinfeld and Girls, ruminates about living a creative life in a dysfunctional world. In this memoir that began as a journal in 2022, Kaplan addresses a wide array of topics, from show business to politics to family life to his heating system. With an 80K-copy first printing.

Lenz, Bethany Joy. Dinner for Vampires. S&S. Oct. 2024. ISBN 9781668067307. 320p. $29.99. MEMOIR

Actress Lenz (One Tree Hill, Suits, Charmed) writes about her hidden life as a member of the Big House Family cult. Married to a son of the group’s leader, she had millions of dollars taken from her and minders watching her on set. It was only after giving birth that she found the courage to break away.

Milford Jr., Stanley. The Paranormal Ranger: A Navajo Investigator’s Search for the Unexplained. Morrow. Oct. 2024. ISBN 9780063371057. 256p. $28.99. MEMOIR

Milford, who served as Chief Navajo Ranger and oversaw its special projects unit focused on reports of the paranormal and supernatural, writes about the cases of skinwalker and cryptid sightings, hauntings, and unidentified aerial phenomena. Using his law-enforcement eye and his Indigenous worldview, he offers his take on the investigations. With a 100K-copy first printing.

Mintz, Elliot. We All Shine On: John, Yoko, and Me. Dutton. Oct. 2024. ISBN 9780593475553. 336p. $32. MEMOIR

Having worked in radio and TV before becoming a media consultant, Mintz offers a personal account of his 50-year relationship with John Lennon and Yoko Ono, from when he first interviewed Ono in 1971 to the days after Lennon’s murder when Mintz became the official spokesperson for the Lennon estate.

Pacino, Al. Sonny Boy: A Memoir. Penguin Pr. Oct. 2024. ISBN 9780593655115. 400p. $35. MEMOIR

Oscar-, Tony-, and Golden Globe–winning Pacino writes a memoir about acting, and how it has been the love and light of his life. He details his youth in the South Bronx, his family life, his education in the arts, his life in avant-garde theater, and all the films that made him famous.

Patterson, James & Matt Eversmann. Medal of Honor: True Stories of America’s Most Decorated Military Heroes. Little, Brown. Oct. 2024. ISBN 9780316407205. 400p. $32.50. BIOGRAPHY

The authors behind the bestselling Walk in My Combat Boots turn their attention to military service members who have been awarded the Medal of Honor, the Distinguished Service Cross, or the Bronze or Silver Star. In story-rich profiles, they recount the deeds of these service members who served in battle from WWII to Afghanistan. With a 200K-copy first printing.

Presley, Lisa Marie & Riley Keough. Untitled Memoir. Random. Oct. 2024. ISBN 9780593733875. 304p. $32. MEMOIR

Not much is known yet about Presley’s memoir other than it is based on her own efforts to pen her story before her death in 2023 and hours of recordings she left behind. Her daughter, actor Riley Keough (Daisy Jones & the Six), worked with the material to produce this book.

Sobel, Dava. The Elements of Marie Curie: How the Glow of Radium Lit a Path for Women in Science. Atlantic Monthly. Oct. 2024. ISBN 9780802163820. 336p. $28. BIOGRAPHY

Pulitzer Prize finalist and bestselling author Sobel (Galileo’s Daughter) offers a portrait of Marie Curie and explores her Nobel Prize–winning scientific research, taking readers into her laboratory, the first run by a woman. Along the way, she details other women in science who trained with Curie and made significant discoveries of their own.

Van Halen, Alex. Brothers. Harper. Oct. 2024. ISBN 9780063265707. 240p. $32. MEMOIR

Van Halen, along with New Yorker writer Ariel Levy, writes about his musical and family life in a tribute to his brother and fellow band mate, Edward van Halen—from their childhood in the Netherlands and their family life in California to the inner world of music and the making of the band. With a 250K-copy first printing.

Weber, Nicholas Fox. Mondrian: His Life, His Art, and the Quest of the Absolute. Knopf. Oct. 2024. ISBN 9780307961594. 656p. $40. BIOGRAPHY

Cultural historian Weber (iBauhaus; Le Corbusier), executive director of the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, focuses on Piet Mondrian, the early 20th-century abstract artist who would become famous for his geometric work in primary colors. The biography covers Mondrian’s childhood through to his artistic philosophy developed during both world wars.

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