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Books  >   >   >  Biography Books
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Biography Books

A biography is a sweeping portrait of one’s life or career. Biographies are interesting reads as they document the life stories of prominent individuals – their struggles, successes, and significant occurrences. Read more about biography books in Hong Kong below.

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Coolie Woman: The Odyssey of Indenture
HK$ 183.00

In 1903; a young woman sailed from India to Guiana as a coolie”the British name for indentured laborers who replaced the newly emancipated slaves on sugar plantations all around the world. Pregnant and traveling alone; this woman; like so many coolies; disappeared into history. In Coolie Womanshortlisted for the 2014 Orwell Prizeher great-granddaughter Gaiutra Bahadur embarks on a journey into the past to find her. Traversing three continents and trawling through countless colonial archives; Bahadur excavates not only her great-grandmother’s story but also the repressed history of some quarter of a million other coolie women; shining a light on their complex lives.Shunned by society; and sometimes in mortal danger; many coolie women were either runaways; widows; or outcasts. Many of them left husbands and families behind to migrate alone in epic sea voyagestraumatic middle passages”only to face a life of hard labor; dismal living conditions; and; especially; sexual exploitation. As Bahadur explains; however; it is precisely their sexuality that makes coolie women stand out as figures in history. Greatly outnumbered by men; they were able to use sex with their overseers to gain various advantages; an act that often incited fatal retaliations from coolie men and sometimes larger uprisings of laborers against their overlords. Complex and unpredictable; sex was nevertheless a powerful tool.Examining this and many other facets of these remarkable women’s lives; Coolie Woman is a meditation on survival; a gripping story of a double diasporafrom India to the West Indies in one century; Guyana to the United States in the nextthat is at once a search for one’s roots and an exploration of gender and power; peril and opportunity. 

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Reset: My Fight for Inclusion and Lasting Change
HK$ 234.00

SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2017 FINANCIAL TIMES AND MCKINSEY BUSINESS BOOK OF THE YEAR | NAMED A BEST FALL BOOK BY ELLE AND BUSTLEIn 2015; Ellen K. Pao sued a powerhouse Silicon Valley venture capital firm; calling out workplace discrimination and retaliation against women and other underrepresented groups. Her suit rocked the tech world—and exposed its toxic culture and its homogeneity. Her message overcame negative PR attacks that took aim at her professional conduct and her personal life; and she won widespread public support—Time hailed her as “the face of change.” Though Pao lost her suit; she revolutionized the conversation at tech offices; in the media; and around the world. In Reset; she tells her full story for the first time.The daughter of immigrants; Pao was taught that through hard work she could achieve her dreams. She earned multiple Ivy League degrees; worked at top startups; and in 2005 was recruited by Kleiner Perkins; arguably the world’s leading venture capital firm at the time. In many ways; she did everything right; and yet she and other women and people of color were excluded from success—cut out of decisive meetings and email discussions; uninvited to CEO dinners and lavish networking trips; and had their work undercut or appropriated by male executives. It was time for a system reset.After Kleiner; Pao became CEO of reddit; where she took forceful action to change the status quo for the company and its product. She banned revenge porn and unauthorized nude photos—an action other large media sites later followed—and shut down parts of reddit over online harassment. She and seven other women tech leaders formed Project Include; an award-winning nonprofit for accelerating diversity and inclusion in tech. In her book; Pao shines a light on troubling issues that plague today’s workplace and lays out practical; inspiring; and achievable goals for a better future.Ellen K. Pao’s Reset is a rallying cry—the story of a whistleblower who aims to empower everyone struggling to be heard; in Silicon Valley and beyond.

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Must-Read Biographies Everyone Should Include into their Personal Collection

Biographies provide a glimpse into the past or capture the life and experiences of an icon, allowing readers to walk in someone else’s shoes. A meaningful biography can serve as a great teacher, offering valuable life lessons and teaching readers to be like the subject or sometimes, not to be like the subject. Fictional stories make for fun reads as well, but nothing is as compelling and inspirational as real-life recollections of one’s life. Noteworthy biography recommendations that everyone should own, or at least read about, are mentioned below.

Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela

The late Nelson Mandela was a former President of South Africa, serving from 1994 to 1999. He was known to be a strong supporter of the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa. Nelson Mandela’s autobiography contains intricate details about this leader who was revered and respected by many people, including world leaders, around the world. The book documents significant moments in his life – his childhood, growing up to be a freedom fighter, being imprisoned for 27 years, and his role in building a democratic South Africa. This book also analyses Mandela’s perception of the anti-apartheid struggles of South Africa, a movement that he was well-known for throughout his life.

The Story of My Experiments with Truth by Mahatma Gandhi

Easily one of the most well-known leaders of our time, this autobiography of Mahatma Gandhi is an honest and humble account of his life. This book highlights the forty years he spent in India and details every aspect of Gandhi’s life, from historical events to political incidents, as well as his personal philosophy on life.

The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X

Possibly one of the most controversial icons in American history, Malcolm X was once called the most dangerous man in America. This classic autobiography chronicles the story of this Muslim leader’s life and introduces readers to the growth of the Black Muslim movement. The book mentions the details of his life, from the poverty he faced during his childhood, to his criminal teenage years, to his emergence as a national leader and world leader. This book also features controversial topics revolving the African American struggle for equality, lies, and limitations of the American Dream, and the inherent racism that exists in the American society.

Agatha Christie: An Autobiography by Agatha Christie

This book unravels the life of the “Queen of Mystery”, world-renowned crime novelist Agatha Christie. This autobiography enlightens readers on the experiences that shaped her into the beloved writer she was. The book highlights her happy childhood and close relationship with her mother, tragic episodes such as her mother’s death and her first husband’s adultery, and much more. Agatha Christie also talks about her extraordinary career and her past works that made her one of the most influential novelists.

Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler

Mein Kampf (meaning My Struggle in German) is an autobiography of arguably one of the most infamous real-life “villains”, Adolf Hitler. This book gives readers an in-depth and no-holds-barred insight on the controversial leader’s life, touching on elements such as his childhood, early aspirations, his conflict with his father, his rise in politics, and his well-known hatred of the Jews. To truly understand Hitler’s story, you need to read this autobiography.

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