Women's Biography
Monday, May 14, 7:30 pm
My (Underground) American Dream: My True Story as an Undocumented Immigrant Who Became a Wall Street Executive By Julissa Arce Cover Image

My (Underground) American Dream: My True Story as an Undocumented Immigrant Who Became a Wall Street Executive (Paperback)


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Politics and Prose at Union Market (1324 4th Street NE)
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A National Bestseller!

What does an undocumented immigrant look like? What kind of family must she come from? How could she get into this country? What is the true price she must pay to remain in the United States?

JULISSA ARCE knows firsthand that the most common, preconceived answers to those questions are sometimes far too simple-and often just plain wrong.

On the surface, Arce's story reads like a how-to manual for achieving the American dream: growing up in an apartment on the outskirts of San Antonio, she worked tirelessly, achieved academic excellence, and landed a coveted job on Wall Street, complete with a six-figure salary. The level of professional and financial success that she achieved was the very definition of the American dream. But in this brave new memoir, Arce digs deep to reveal the physical, financial, and emotional costs of the stunning secret that she, like many other high-achieving, successful individuals in the United States, had been forced to keep not only from her bosses, but even from her closest friends.

From the time she was brought to this country by her hardworking parents as a child, Arce-the scholarship winner, the honors college graduate, the young woman who climbed the ladder to become a vice president at Goldman Sachs-had secretly lived as an undocumented immigrant. In this surprising, at times heart-wrenching, but always inspirational personal story of struggle, grief, and ultimate redemption, Arce takes readers deep into the little-understood world of a generation of undocumented immigrants in the United States today- people who live next door, sit in your classrooms, work in the same office, and may very well be your boss. By opening up about the story of her successes, her heartbreaks, and her long-fought journey to emerge from the shadows and become an American citizen, Arce shows us the true cost of achieving the American dream-from the perspective of a woman who had to scale unseen and unimaginable walls to get there.
JULISSA ARCE is a writer, speaker, and social-justice advocate. She is the cofounder and chairman of the Ascend Educational Fund, a college scholarship and mentorship program that assists immigrant students, regardless of their immigration status, ethnicity, or national origin. Julissa is also a board member for the National Immigration Law Center and for College Spring. Prior to becoming an advocate, she built a successful career on Wall Street, working at Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch.
Product Details ISBN: 9781455540266
ISBN-10: 1455540269
Publisher: Center Street
Publication Date: September 19th, 2017
Pages: 320
Language: English
A great, bright explosion of a book. A 21st-century David Copperfield with its utterly lovable, wildly imperfect heroine; a plot packed with incident; a few villains and many, many heroes. There are as many miracles as disasters, and no place to catch your breath. The reader will cheer and then be sad-and will learn much about the lives of young immigrants in America.—Donald E. Graham, Former Chairman and Publisher of The Washington Post

Arce takes us on a breathtaking climb to the highest pinnacles of Wall Street while holding fast to a deep secret. The path to her success at Goldman Sachs is certainly inspiring. But it is the telling of her story with humor, grace and insight that is the real achievement.—Lisa Endlich, author of New York Times bestseller Goldman Sachs: The Culture of Success

There are so many moments in Julissa's journey that numbed my body and transported me fully into her harrowing experience. Her story broke my heart and then made it jump for joy.—America Ferrera, actor, producer

A heart-rendering testament to the resiliency and determination of one woman who dared to dream. It crosses borders - literally and metaphorically.—Turney Duff, New York Times bestselling author of The Buy Side

Julissa Arce's story is a must read. The twist and turns of her life keep you on the edge of your seat. She lives with a secret that could destroy her life every day, while rising through the ranks of Wall Street. You will cry and you will be inspired with the will of a woman who embodies the real American Dream.—Nely Galán, Entrepreneur and Producer


Women's Biography
Monday, April 9, 7:30 pm
Marathon Woman: Running the Race to Revolutionize Women's Sports By Kathrine Switzer Cover Image

Marathon Woman: Running the Race to Revolutionize Women's Sports (Paperback)


Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
A new edition of a sports icon's memoir, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of Kathrine Switzer's historic running of the Boston Marathon as the first woman to run.

In 1967, Kathrine Switzer was the first woman to officially run what was then the all-male Boston Marathon, infuriating one of the event's directors who attempted to violently eject her. In one of the most iconic sports moments, Switzer escaped and finished the race. She made history-and is poised to do it again on the fiftieth anniversary of that initial race, when she will run the 2017 Boston Marathon at age 70. Now a spokesperson for Reebok, Switzer is also the founder of 261 Fearless, a foundation dedicated to creating opportunities for women on all fronts, as this groundbreaking sports hero has done throughout her life.

"Kathrine Switzer is the Susan B. Anthony of women's marathoning."-Joan Benoit Samuelson, first Olympic gold medalist in the women's marathon
Kathrine Switzer, one of the greatest icons in sports, has been an authority on running and women's fitness for over forty years. She is best known for pioneering the official entrance of women into the marathon, beginning with her epoch-making run in the previously all-male Boston Marathon in 1967, and went on to become a world-ranked athlete and the winner of the 1974 New York Marathon.

Switzer is an Emmy-award winning television commentator, having covered a continuous string of the sport's major events, including the Boston, New York, Pittsburgh, and Los Angeles marathons, as well as the Olympic and Goodwill Games. Her first book, Running and Walking for Women Over 40, has sold over 100,000 copies. She lives in New Paltz, NY.
Product Details ISBN: 9780306825651
ISBN-10: 0306825651
Publisher: Da Capo Press
Publication Date: April 4th, 2017
Pages: 448
Language: English
"A thoughtfully written memoir...[Switzer is] still running strong; she's headed back to Boston this year to celebrate the 50th anniversary of her 1967 pioneering run, making this a perfect time to brush up on running history."
Mother Runner

"Women all over the world run, and it is due, in large part, to Kathrine's efforts."—Joann Flaminio, 1st woman President of the Boston Athletic Association, overseer of the Boston Marathon

"Kathrine Switzer gives us all a huge life lesson on how to turn negatives into positives. It's about always showing up, working hard, and never, ever quitting."—Meb Keflezighi, Olympic Marathon Silver Medal, 4-time Olympian, New York City and Boston Marathon Champion, author, Meb for Mortals and Run To Overcome

"Kathrine Switzer helped change women's running forever. She tells her story--full of surprises, unexpected twists, setbacks, and Olympic triumphs--with a mix of humor and sharply-recalled anecdote that never fails to engage."—Amby Burfoot, 1968 Boston Marathon winner; author, First Ladies of Running; Editor at Large, Runner's World

"Perhaps the best that can be said of any of us is that we have made a difference. Kathrine has, and we see it at the Boston Marathon every year."
Tom Grilk, Executive Director, Boston Athletic Association, 2:49 marathoner, and perennial Boston Marathon finish line announcer

"Marathon Woman is told with humor and style and is as uplifting and inspirational as was her run back in 1967."
George A. Hirsch, marathoner and chairman of the New York Road Runners

"Kathrine Switzer clearly propelled women running in to the global phenomena it is today and the struggle she endured even before Chapter IX Is the stuff strong women are made of."—Gloria Ratti, Vice President, Boston Athletic Association

"Marathon Woman is infused with grace and humor, determination and inspiration. And unlike a real marathon--26.2 miles that can stretch on seemingly forever--we didn't want this book to ever end!"
Dimity McDowell & Sarah Bowen Shea, runners and authors of Run Like a Mother, Train Like a Mother and founders of "Another Mother Runner"

Running may be the connective tissue, but the true essence of Kathrine's journey is a passage to a bigger world. Fifty years ago Kathrine opened the door and literally thousands of women ran through.
Bart Yasso, Chief Running Officer, Runners World; author, My Life On The Run

"Kathrine Switzer is a living metaphor of strength and courage, inspiring millions of girls and women to turn You can't into I can. Since that pivotal moment fifty years ago, she has shown us the power we each have to use our personal experiences to create lives of meaning and purpose."—Elizabeth Kunz, CEO, & Kathryn Thompson, COO, Girls on the Run International

"As the father of a young daughter, I am forever grateful that Kathrine had the courage to step out on that racecourse back in 1967, blaze a path that has strengthened and endured for five decades and shows no sign of slowing down, just like Kathrine herself. Marathon Woman is timeless, as is she."—Dean Karnazes, Ultramarathoner and NY Times bestselling author

"At times laugh-out-loud funny, at others inspirational and educational, this is the incredible story of Kathrine Switzer's gutsy fight for women to be allowed to participate in long-distance running. By relating her own passion for running, Kathrine is bound to ignite yours!"—Lisa Jackson, Contributing Editor to Women's Running UK magazine, best-selling author of Your Pace or Mine? and Running Made Easy; and veteran of 105 marathons

"Kathrine Switzer is the spiritual leader, emotional center, activist spark plug and intellectual depth of the global women's running boom. Marathon Woman is simply a page-turning must read."
Margaret Webb, author, Older Faster Stronger: What Women Runners Can Teach Us All About Living Younger Longer and running blogger at

"As we celebrate so many advancements for women, now we celebrate 50 years since Kathrine Switzer busted through the glass starting line. In her captivating memoir, Marathon Woman, she reminds us of the gift we have, and the responsibility we have to share it, celebrate it, and be grateful for it."—Kristin Armstrong, Contributing Editor for Runner's World, author, Mile Markers: The 26.2 Most Important Reasons Why Women Run


Women's Biography
Monday, March 12, 7:30 pm
Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life By Ruth Franklin Cover Image

Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life (Paperback)


Special Order—Subject to Availability

Winner • National Book Critics Circle Award (Biography)

Winner • Edgar Award (Critical/Biographical)

Winner • Bram Stoker Award (Nonfiction)

A New York Times Notable Book

A Washington Post Notable Nonfiction Pick of the Year

Named one of the Best Books of the Year by Entertainment Weekly, NPR, TIME, Boston Globe, NYLON, San Francisco Chronicle, Seattle Times, Kirkus Reviews, and Booklist

In this “thoughtful and persuasive” biography, award-winning biographer Ruth Franklin establishes Shirley Jackson as a “serious and accomplished literary artist” (Charles McGrath, New York Times Book Review).


Instantly heralded for its “masterful” and “thrilling” portrayal (Boston Globe), Shirley Jackson reveals the tumultuous life and inner darkness of the literary genius behind such classics as “The Lottery” and The Haunting of Hill House. In this “remarkable act of reclamation” (Neil Gaiman), Ruth Franklin envisions Jackson as “belonging to the great tradition of Hawthorne, Poe and James” (New York Times Book Review) and demonstrates how her unique contribution to the canon “so uncannily channeled women’s nightmares and contradictions that it is ‘nothing less than the secret history of American women of her era’ ” (Washington Post). Franklin investigates the “interplay between the life, the work, and the times with real skill and insight, making this fine book a real contribution not only to biography, but to mid-20th-century women’s history” (Chicago Tribune). “Wisely rescu[ing] Shirley Jackson from any semblance of obscurity” (Lena Dunham), Franklin’s invigorating portrait stands as the definitive biography of a generational avatar and an American literary genius.

Ruth Franklin is a book critic and frequent contributor to The New Yorker, Harper’s, and many other publications. A recipient of a New York Public Library Cullman Fellowship and a Guggenheim Fellowship, she lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Product Details ISBN: 9781631493416
ISBN-10: 1631493418
Publisher: Liveright
Publication Date: October 10th, 2017
Pages: 624
Language: English
With this welcome new biography Franklin makes a thoughtful and persuasive case for Jackson as a serious and accomplished literary artist. . . . [Franklin] sees Jackson not as an oddball, one-off writer of horror tales and ghost stories but as someone belonging to the great tradition of Hawthorne, Poe and James, writers preoccupied, as she was, with inner evil in the human soul.
— Charles McGrath - New York Times Book Review

Ruth Franklin’s sympathetic and masterful biography both uncovers Jackson’s secret and haunting life and repositions her as a major artist whose fiction so uncannily channeled women’s nightmares and contradictions that it is ‘nothing less than the secret history of American women of her era.’
— Elaine Showalter - Washington Post

Franklin is a conscientious, lucid biographer, and her book is never less than engaging.
— Blake Bailey - Wall Street Journal

Franklin's research is wide and deep, drawing on Jackson's published and unpublished writings including correspondence and diaries, as well as interviews….Franklin has shown the interplay between the life, the work, and the times with real skill and insight, making this fine book a real contribution not only to biography, but to mid-20th-century women's history.
— Katherine A. Powers - Chicago Tribune

Masterful…Taut, insightful, and thrilling, in ways that haunt, not quite as ghost story, but as a tale of a woman who strains against the binds of marriage, of domesticity, and suffers for it in a way that is of her time as a 1950s homemaker, and in a way that speaks to what it means to be a writer, an artist, and a woman even now.
— Nina MacLaughlin - Boston Globe

A Shirley Jackson biography seems especially timely today, even though Jackson, as with many of her stories, remains somewhat mythically timeless….Franklin’s is both broader in scope and more measured in its analysis….[A] masterful account.
— Jane Hu - New Republic

Comprehensive…Jackson’s lifelong interest in rituals, witchcraft, charms and hexes were, Franklin convincingly maintains, metaphors for exploring power and disempowerment…Franklin situates Jackson’s conflicted relationship with coercive postwar US domesticity within the context that would give rise in 1963 to Betty Friedan’s attack on ‘the feminine mystique’…[A] sympathetic and fair-minded biography.
— Sarah Churchwell - The Guardian

[Shirley Jackson] strongly affirms the American author’s powerful collection of stories, novels and memoirs…Magisterial and compulsively readable.

— Lauren LeBlanc - Minneapolis Star Tribune

[Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life] represents the latest and most concerted attempt to reclaim the writer’s reputation. It’s also a fresh effort to frame her as an artist with extraordinary insight into the lives, the concerns, and—above all—the fears of women…Gender is not the only prejudice that has kept us from acknowledging the brilliance of Shirley Jackson, but Franklin’s biography is a giant step toward the truth.

— Laura Miller - Slate

Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life deftly narrates the influences, experiences and reputation of the author of the famously enduring story ‘The Lottery.’ As a history of the literary culture of the 1940s and ’50s, it teases out the daily lives of people who displayed James Joyce’s ‘Ulysses,’ Wilhelm Reich’s ‘The Function of the Orgasm’ and James George Frazer’s ‘The Golden Bough’ on their coffee tables. And as a chronicle of American life in the Eisenhower era, it reminds us of a time when people with too many books could be considered subversive…Much of Jackson’s writing is a weird, rich brew, and Franklin captures its savor.

— Seth Lerer - San Francisco Chronicle

Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life . . . lifts its subject out of the genre ghetto and makes a convincing case that Jackson was a courageous woman in a male-dominated field whose themes resonate strongly today.

— Jeff Baker - Seattle Times

To truly reclaim a legacy, it generally helps to have a big, penetrating biography, one that takes into consideration everything that’s come before and pushes forward a new and improved interpretation. Ruth Franklin’s excellent Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life is all that and more…Franklin proves to be a supple biographer.

— Kate Bolick - Bookforum

This meticulous biography tackles the work of Shirley Jackson with the kind of studied seriousness some might give to a male titan of history like Robert Moses. And thank goddess for that, as Ruth Franklin wisely rescues Shirley Jackson from any semblance of obscurity. Despite her well-documented magnetism (and dalliances in the dark arts) Jackson's work was often dismissed as mere genre nonsense or, worse yet, women's fiction and Franklin's sensitive, witty and rigorous work makes an airtight case for just why this isn't right. The ire Jackson's short stories inspired in New Yorker readers is only a hint of the drama and intensity that characterized her short but beguiling life, with Franklin captures with a hefty dose of wit and suspense. One of the best literary biographies I've ever encountered.

— Lena Dunham

Ruth Franklin is the biographer Jackson needed: she tells the story of the author in a way that made me want to reread every word Jackson ever wrote.
— Neil Gaiman

Ruth Franklin has written the ideal biography of a figure long and unjustly neglected in the history of twentieth-century American literature. By restoring Shirley Jackson to her proper stature as one of our great writers, Franklin has in a stroke revised the canon.
— James Atlas, author of Bellow: A Biography

Franklin’s biography takes us beyond the chilling stories that made Shirley Jackson’s name into the dilemmas of a woman writer in the 1950s and ’60s, struggling to make a career between the pressures of childcare, domesticity, and her own demons. It’s a very modern story, and a terrific read.
— Mary Beard, author of SPQR

With her account of an emblematically American literary life, Ruth Franklin reminds us that her subject was far more than the writer of classy ghost stories. On the contrary, Shirley Jackson was the harbinger of profound upheavals both societal and literary. This is a brilliant biography on every level, but it is especially astute on Jackson's ground- and genre-breaking work, which I will now reread immediately.
— Tom Bissell, author of Apostle

A perfect marriage of biographer and subject: Ruth Franklin’s portrait of Shirley Jackson restores to her rightful place a writer of considerable significance, and draws a rich intellectual portrait of the age.
— Claire Messud, author of The Woman Upstairs

A biography that is both historically engaging and pressingly relevant, Ruth Franklin’s absorbing book not only feelingly creates a portrait of Shirley Jackson the writer but also provides a stirring sense of what it was like to navigate (and sometimes circumvent) the strictures of American society as a wife, mother, artist, and woman.
— Meg Wolitzer, author of The Interestings