Overcoming racism, homophobia, bullying, and abuse, a theatrical star is born.

UNPROTECTED

A MEMOIR

Debut memoir from the celebrated actor and singer, who has won Emmy, Grammy, and Tony Awards.

Growing up in the 1970s in the Hill District of Pittsburgh, which had “been a center of Black life in Pittsburgh for more than a century,” Porter felt like “an outcast” and was mercilessly bullied. Although recognized for his "clear and open-throated gospel boy soprano" in the Friendship Baptist Church Choir, "every time I showed up at church, the sermon would turn to the abomination of homosexual activity, of men lying with men. There was no apparent reason for this topic to surface so relentlessly. I couldn’t help feeling that somehow they knew about me." He also suffered sexual abuse by his stepfather twice a week for five years. However, blessed with a powerful voice, flair for auditioning, and relentless work ethic, Porter worked his way to the very pinnacles of his profession. He won Best Actor in a Musical for his role in Kinky Bootsin addition to an Emmy and Golden Globe nomination for Best Lead Actor in a Drama Series for his work on the TV show Pose. Porter doesn't conceal his many struggles along the way, including bankruptcy and living with diabetes and HIV. He focuses more on his triumphs, such as his sensational appearance as red carpet co-host at the 2019 Academy Awards or his entrance to the 2019 Met Gala, when he arrived on a litter carried by six shirtless men in a "Sun God" ensemble that included "a bejeweled catsuit outfitted with 10-foot wings [and] a 24-karat gold headpiece." Throughout, the author intersperses italicized passages that explore present-day issues, including the pandemic, but these attempts at timeliness are upstaged by his remarkable life story. Porter’s passionate support for music and art programs in public schools, as well as gay rights activism, are clear, but his first duty has always been to his work. "Your service is leaning into your truth," he advises, "your queerness, your authenticity."

Overcoming racism, homophobia, bullying, and abuse, a theatrical star is born.

Pub Date: Oct. 19, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-4197-4619-2

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: Sept. 8, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2021

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

NIGHT

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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For Patterson fans who can’t get enough.

THE DEFENSE LAWYER

THE BARRY SLOTNICK STORY

The Patterson publishing machine clanks its way into the nonfiction aisles in this lumbering courtroom drama.

Barry Slotnick made a considerable fortune and reputation as a defense attorney who had a long list of controversial clients, including mob boss John Gotti and Panamanian strongman Manuel Noriega. An “urbane lawyer known for his twenty-five-hundred-dollar Fioravanti suits, he was not unacquainted with violence,” write Patterson and Wallace. One of his early cases, indeed, involved a group of Jewish Defense League members who allegedly blew up a Broadway producer’s office, killing a woman who worked there. Slotnick’s defense was a standard confuse-the-jury ploy, but it worked. He put similar tactics to work in his defense of Bernhard Goetz, the “subway shooter” whose trial made international news. The authors open after that trial had concluded in yet another Slotnick win, and with a sensational incident: He was attacked by a masked man who beat him with a baseball bat. The evidence is sketchy, but it seems to place the attack in the hands of organized crime—perhaps even Gotti himself. No matter: Slotnick, “who saw himself as the foe of the all-powerful government” and “liberty’s last champion,” was soon back to representing clients including Radovan Karadžić, the murderous Bosnian Serb who was eventually imprisoned for having committed genocide; Dewi Sukarno, the widow of Indonesia’s similarly bloodstained president, “arrested for slashing the face of a fellow socialite with a broken champagne glass at a party in Aspen”; and Melania Trump, who had chosen Slotnick “to handle her prenup.” In the hands of a John Grisham, the story might have come to life, but while Patterson does a serviceable if cliché-ridden job of recounting Slotnick’s career, he fails to give readers much reason to admire the man.

For Patterson fans who can’t get enough.

Pub Date: Dec. 20, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-316-49437-3

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2021

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