Kate Buford

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Kate Buford

Goodreads Author


Member Since
July 2007

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I was born and grew up in California, and later went to school at Trinity College, Dublin, and Columbia. After a first career as a law librarian on Wall Street, I became a writer. BURT LANCASTER: AN AMERICAN LIFE (Knopf, 2000) was my first book, followed by NATIVE AMERICAN SON: THE LIFE AND SPORTING LEGEND OF JIM THORPE (Knopf, 2010). I live in Virginia and New York.

Writing narrative nonfiction is a grueling but rewarding task. My two biographies are serious, literary treatments of iconic Americans performing in two of the most popular American pastimes: the movies and sports. I relish going deep into the psyches and backgrounds of people who may be widely known in the popular culture but not truly understood or respected.

Both Jim Thorpe a
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Average rating: 3.85 · 179 ratings · 35 reviews · 2 distinct works
Burt Lancaster: An American...

3.94 avg rating — 101 ratings — published 2000 — 10 editions
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Native American Son: The Li...

3.73 avg rating — 78 ratings — published 2010
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* Note: these are all the books on Goodreads for this author. To add more, click here.

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Titian: His Life
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Kate Buford is now friends with Nora P. Berger
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The Blue Touch Paper by David Hare
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David Hare has been such a provocative and compelling playwright that I eagerly bought this memoir. However, it often reads like inside baseball for the English theater. Lots of names and antecedents that are, no doubt, very familiar to a British rea ...more
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Barbarian Days by William Finnegan
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Could not put this book down. As a one-time body surfer summer in Santa Cruz, Finnegan's descriptions and analyses of wave behavior while in search for perfect waves around the world were enthralling. But the book is much more: a bildungsroman unlike ...more
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Burning the Days by James Salter
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Though I gobbled this up, by the end it seemed thin and disorganized. There were, of course, this being Salter, page-stopping sentences and insights and descriptions, but it felt hurried and lacked the elegance of theme and structure he usually has. ...more
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The First Tycoon by T.J. Stiles
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Stiles brings to life a major -- maybe THE major player -- in mid-19th century transportation as it evolved through new and different modes. But he also delves deep into the larger context of the times, especially the finance and economics. Admittedl ...more
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The Blue Book by A.L. Kennedy
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Kennedy is brilliant. Her DAY is one of my favorite books, but this one I couldn't finish. Too convoluted. Trying to be something but not being something, if that makes sense. Too bad.
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Arthur & George by Julian Barnes
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Barnes is such a good, inventive writer that when I saw this book on a table in my brother's table in Berkeley over Thanksgiving, I walked right down to Pegasus Books on Solano and bought a copy. I devoured it, but in the end found it disappointing. ...more
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Woody Allen by Eric Lax
Woody Allen: A Biography
by Eric Lax (Goodreads Author)
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Just when you think you've had enough of Woody Allen, he makes MOONLIGHT IN PARIS which, not least, introduced me to its theme song, Si Tu Vois Ma Mère, as performed by Sidney Bechet. Lax's biography, done with the cooperation of Allen, takes us back ...more
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Hemingway's Boat by Paul Hendrickson
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This is a wonderful book, especially if you're interested in different approaches to narrative nonfiction. I had stopped thinking about Hemingway years ago, but had to read this book for a panel I was moderating, with Hendrickson as a panelist. He is ...more
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Jerry Lee Lewis by Rick Bragg
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