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Biographies ‘P’ Authors

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18 Biographies Audio books available

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1. Her Father's Daughter (Large Print 16pt) - Alice Pung

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At twenty - something, Alice is eager for the milestones of adulthood: leaving home, choosing a career, finding friendship and love on her own terms. But with each step she takes she feels the sharp tug of invisible threads: the love and worry of her parents, who want more than anything to keep her from harm. Her father fears for her safety to an extraordinary degree - but why? As she digs further into her father's story, Alice embarks on a journey of painful discovery: of memories lost and found, of her own fears for the future, of history and how it echoes down the years. Set in Melbourne, China and Cambodia, Her Father's Daughter captures a father - daughter relationship in a moving and astonishingly powerful way.

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2. Prisoner of the State The Secret Journal of Zhao Ziyang (Large Print 16pt) - Bao Pu, Renee Chiang, Adi Ignatius

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Prisoner of the State is the story of the man who brought liberal change to China and who, at the height of the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989, tried to stop the massacre and was dethroned for his efforts. When China's army moved in, killing hundreds of students and other demonstrators, Zhao was placed under house arrest at his home in Beijing. The Premier spent the last 16 years of his life, up until his death in 2005, in seclusion. China scholars often lamented that Zhao never had his final say. As it turns out, Zhao did produce a memoir, in complete secrecy. He methodically recorded his thoughts and recollections on what had happened behind the scenes during many of modern China's most critical moments. The tapes he produced were smuggled out of the country and form the basis for Prisoner of the State. Although Zhao now speaks from beyond the grave, his voice has the moral power to make China sit up and listen.

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3. Governor Macquarie His Life, Times and Revolutionary Vision for Australia (Large Print 16pt) - Derek Parker

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The first new biography of Lachlan Macquarie in decades, this book draws on a wealth of sources, both in Australia and overseas, to paint a picture of the man and his times. It must be seen as one of the great ironies of Australian history that as far as the British Government was concerned he failed in his duty as Governor of New South Wales - as was clearly documented to official minds in the official report compiled by Commissioner John Bigge. This report concluded that while Governor Macquarie had certainly supervised the building in New South Wales of some good roads and some handsome buildings (if at far too high a cost to the British taxpayers), under his government the colony had ceased to be what it was required to be: a place with a reputation for cruelty and hopelessness so terrifying that the very threat of being banished there would strike terror into the heart of any prospective malefactor. Macquarie had in fact had a vision shared by few others that New Holland had the potential to become `one of the greatest and most flourishing colonies belonging to the British Empire' - and became determined to do his part in steering the fledgling community in that direction.

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4. The First Marine Captured in Vietnam: A Biography of Donald G. C - Donald L. Price

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Colonel Donald Gilbert Cook was the first US Marine captured in Vietnam; and the first and only Marine in history to earn the Medal of Honor while in captivity. This biography focuses on his three years in captivity, and outlines he circumstances surrounding his Medal of Honor citation and death.

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5. On Passion (Large Print 16pt) - Dorothy Porter

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In On Passion celebrated Australian poet Dorothy Porter delves headfirst into the passions, both literary and earthly. We discover the young Dorothy Porter's 'drug of choice' was none other than romantic love and that 'some of the most deeply passionate experiences of [her] life happened between the covers of a book'.
Written just before she passed away in 2008, On Passion is a wonderful, ultimately joyous, insight into the creative life of one of our best loved poets.

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6. Hairdresser's Experience in High Life (Large Print 16pt) - Eliza Potter

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Here is the first fully annotated edition of a landmark in early African American literature - Eliza Potter's 1859 autobiography, A Hairdresser's Experience in High Life. Potter was a freeborn black woman who, as a hairdresser, was in a unique position to hear about, receive confidences from, and observe wealthy white women - and she recorded it all in a revelatory book that delighted Cincinnati's gossip columnists at the time. But more important is Potter's portrait of herself as a wage-earning woman, proud of her work, who earned high pay and accumulated quite a bit of money as one of the nation's earliest ''beauticians'' at a time when most black women worked at the bottom of the socioeconomic ladder. Because her work offered insights into the private lives of elite white women, Potter carved out a literary space that featured a black working woman at the center, rather than at the margins, of the era's transformations in gender, race, and class structure. Xiomara Santamarina provides an insightful introduction to this edition that includes newly discovered information about Potter, discusses the author's strong satirical voice and proud working-class status, and places the narrative in the context of nineteenth-century literature and history.

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7. When Variety Was King Memoir of a TV Pioneer (Large Print 16pt) - Frank Peppiatt

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He created Hee Haw, the number - one show on TV. He wrote and produced variety shows for Jackie Gleason, Andy Williams, Judy Garland, Julie Andrews, Sonny and Cher, and Perry Como. He invented the rock TV show Hullabaloo. He was the most popular producer of his time a time when variety television was king. With his writing/producing partner John Aylesworth, Frank Peppiatt developed dozens of TV shows but their career began on air in the initial days of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, alongside other talented newcomers like Norman Jewison and Arthur Hiller. Then came a call from New York to write for the Eydie Gorme/Steve Lawrence show in 1958, and quickly A & P became the most in - demand writing and producing team around.

Peppiatt, a man who spent his life behind the scenes writing comedy and turning entertainers into household names, now recounts his own remarkable life story: a humble Canadian boy who grew up to create iconic American TV shows amid a cast of Hollywood celebrities. When Variety Was King captures the early days of TV with humour and spice.

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8. The Mouse's Tail Is Gone - Jeanne Robb Pritchard

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9. Eugene O'Neill's America Desire Under Democracy (Large Print 16pt) - John Patrick Diggins

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In the face of seemingly relentless American optimism, Eugene O'Neill's plays reveal an America many would like to ignore, a place of seething resentments, aching desires, and family tragedy, where failure and disappointment are the norm and the American dream a chimera. Though derided by critics during his lifetime, his works resonated with audiences, won him the Nobel Prize and four Pulitzer, and continue to grip theatergoers today. Now noted historian John Patrick Diggins offers a masterly biography that both traces O'Neill's tumultuous life and explains the forceful ideas that form the heart of his unflinching works. Diggins paints a richly detailed portrait of the playwright's life, from his Irish roots and his early years at sea to his relationships with his troubled mother and brother. Here we see O'Neill as a young Greenwich Village radical, a ravenous autodidact who attempted to understand the disjunction between the sunny public face of American life and the rage that he knew was simmering beneath. According to Diggins, O'Neill mined this disjunction like no other American writer. His characters burn with longing for an idealized future composed of equal parts material success and individual freedom, but repeatedly they fall back to earth, pulled by the tendrils of family and the insatiability of desire. Drawing on thinkers from Emerson to Nietzsche, O'Neill viewed this endlessly frustrated desire as the problematic core of American democracy, simultaneously driving and undermining American ideals of progress, success, and individual freedom. Melding a penetrating assessment of O'Neill's works and thought with a sensitive re-creation of his life, Eugene O'Neill's America offers a striking new view of America's greatest playwright - and a new picture of American democracy itself.

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10. Confessions of an Economic Hit Man (Easyread Large Edition) - John Perkins

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Economic hit men (EHMs) are highly paid professionals who cheat countries around the globe out of trillions of dollars. They funnel money from the World Bank, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and other foreign "aid" organizations into the coffers of huge corporations and the pockets of a few wealthy families who control the planet's natural resources. Their tools include fraudulent financial reports, rigged elections, payoffs, extortion, sex, and murder. They play a game as old as empire, but one that has taken on new and terrifying dimensions during this time of globalization. John Perkins has lived four lives: as an economic hit man (EHM); as the CEO of a successful alternative energy company, who was rewarded for not disclosing his EHM past; as an expert on indigenous cultures and shamanism, a teacher and writer who used this expertise to promote ecology and sustainability while continuing to honor his vow of silence about his life as an EHM; and now as a writer who, in telling the real-life story about his extraordinary dealings as an EHM, has exposed the world of international intrigue and corruption that is turning the American republic into a global empire despised by increasing numbers of people around the planet.

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11. Far and Away A Prize Every Time (Large Print 16pt) - Neil Peart

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Following in the tradition of Ghost Rider and Traveling Music, Rush drummer Neil Peart lets us ride with him along the backroads of North America, Europe, and South America, sharing his experiences in personal reflections and full - color photos. Spanning almost four years, these 22 stories are open letters that recount adventures both personal and universal - from the challenges and accomplishments in the professional life of an artist to the birth of a child. These popular stories, originally posted on Neil's website, are now collected and contextualized with a new introduction and conclusion in this beautifully designed collector's volume.
Fans will discover a more intimate side to Neil's very private personal life and will enjoy his observations of natural phenomena. At one point, he anxiously describes the birth of two hummingbirds in his backyard; at the same time, his wife is preparing for the birth of their daughter - a striking synchronicity tenderly related to readers.
A love of drumming, nature, art, and the open road threads through the narrative, as Neil explores new horizons, both physical and spiritual. This is the personal, introspective travelogue of rock's foremost drummer, enthusiastic biker, and sensitive husband and father. Far and Away is a book to be enjoyed again and again, like letters from a distant friend.

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12. Roadshow Landscape with Drums: A Concert Tour by Motorcycle (Large Print 16pt) - Neil Peart

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For thirty years, drummer, author, and songwriter Neil Peart had wanted to write a book about ''the biggest journey of all in my restless existence: the life of a touring musician.'' Finally, the right time, and the right tour . . . In the summer of 2004, after three decades, twenty gold albums, and thousands of performances spanning four continents, the band Rush embarked on a celebratory 30th Anniversary World Tour. The ''R30'' tour traveled to nine countries, where the band performed fifty - seven shows in front of more than half a million fans. Uniquely, Peart chose to do his between - show traveling by motorcycle, riding 21,000 miles of back roads and highways in North America and Europe - from Appalachian hamlets and Western deserts to Scottish castles and Alpine passes. Roadshow illuminates the daunting rigors of a major international concert tour, as well as Peart's exploration of the scenic byways and country towns along the way. His evocative and entertaining prose carries the reader through every performance and every journey, sharing the bittersweet reflections triggered by the endlessly unfolding landscape. Observations and reflections range from the poignantly, achingly personal to the wickedly irreverent. Part behind - the - scenes memoir, part existential travelogue, Roadshow winds through nineteen countries on both sides of the Atlantic, in search of the perfect show, the perfect meal, the perfect road, and an elusive inner satisfaction that comes only with the recognition that the journey itself is the ultimate destination. The inner workings of the tour, the people Peart works with and the people he meets, the roads and stages and ever - changing scenery - all flow into an irresistible story.

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13. Des Lynam The Biography (Large Print 16pt) - Steve Purcell

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Des Lynam's warmth, easy - going charm and sharp wit have made him an icon with fans male and female, sporting and non - sporting alike. He is a man for all seasons - understated yet knowledgeable about football, tennis, horse racing, athletics and cricket as well as his first love boxing. In his biography, Steve Purcell reveals the real man behind the most famous moustache on television. This celebration of the presenter known as the 'Silver Fox' provides an insight into what created Des's common touch and what makes him Man of the Match every time.

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14. Sarah Palin (Large Print 16pt) - Susan Sherwood Parr

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'Who is Sarah Palin?'' This was the first question many asked when John McCain appointed her to be his vicepresidential running mate in the 2008 election. This book gives many interesting answers to this question as it explores Governor Palin's background

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15. Watery Ways (Large Print 16pt) - Valerie Poore

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Trading life in the fast lane of Johannesburg for that of Rotterdam's serene Oude Haven, Valerie Poore packs all her worldly possessions aboard the historic Dutch barge Hoop and sets about rebuilding both the boat and her life after divorce - and rediscovering herself and her own capabilities in the process. Along the journey of renovation she is joined by an array of characters, including two dogs and a rather adventurous cat, a smiling but absent - minded 'landlord', a quirky friend and confidante, and an olde worlde charmer whose mastery at the helm wins more than just her respect. Before long Val has to learn to cope with the strenuous demands of acting as Skipper's Mate during numerous nail - biting adventures - frequently with hilarious effect. When the Hoop, her rented home, is sold Valerie relishes the new challenge of hunting down the Vereeniging, another picturesque barge aboard which she builds herself a new home and learns that, when life on the waterways is threatened by rust and insurance critics, it is those who band together to help who make the lifestyle so worthwhile. Valerie's touchingly sincere story is one of discovery and friendship, endurance and love and, most importantly, never allowing the landlubbers to get you down!

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16. Hard Men Fight Back Kiwi Sportsmen Who Beat the Odds to Live Their Dream - Gregor Paul

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It is well known that Kiwi sportsmen punch well above their weight in many different sporting arenas. What is perhaps less known is that some of them have had to battle extreme adversity to come back and live out their sporting dreams. Hard Men Fight Back is a collection of 17 remarkable stories of New Zealanders who have suffered severely, either through horrendous accidents, life-threatening illnesses or dire misfortune, yet have fought their way back to succeed in their chosen sport. Their courage, determination and tenacity make compelling reading.

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17. A Man of Intelligence The Life of Captain Theodore Eric Nave, Australian Codebreaker Extraordinary (Large Print 16pt) - Ian Pfennigwerth

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Eric Nave, an Australian naval officer, was the first to unravel Japanese naval telegraphy and to break Imperial Japanese Navy codes. Yet few Australians have ever heard of the exploits and achievements of this exceptionally talented man who did so much for the safety and security of our country. This biography tells how a bright lad with ambition and with a powerful streak of luck entered and carved his own special niche in the arcane world of codebreaking. It sets his achievements against the geopolitical shifts which led to war with Japan in 1941. It explores the dysfunctional nature of US signals intelligence and its effects on war in the South West Pacific, and charts the rise of Australia's quantitative and qualitative contribution to Allied intelligence.

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18. Ghost Rider Travels on the Healing Road (Large Print 16pt) - Neil Peart

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Within a ten - month period, Neil Peart lost both his 19 - year - old daughter, Selena, and his wife, Jackie. Faced with overwhelming sadness and isolated from the world in his home on the lake, Peart was left without direction. This memoir tells of the sense of personal devastation that led him on a 55,000 - mile journey by motorcycle across much of North America, down through Mexico to Belize, and back again. Peart's journey of self - exile and exploration chronicle his personal odyssey and include stories of reuniting with friends and family, grieving, and reminiscing. He recorded with dazzling artistry, the enormous range of his travel adventures, from the mountains to the seas, from the deserts to the Arctic ice, and the memorable people who contributed to his healing. Ghost Rider is a brilliantly written, and ultimately triumphant narrative memoir from a gifted writer and the drummer and lyricist of the legendary rock band Rush.

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