The Critical Difference, Barbara Johnson (Johns Hopkins). Investigates the writings of Balzac, Baudelaire, Poe and Derrida, among others, to illustrate the relationship between literature and criticism.
Diane Arbus, Patricia Bosworth (Avon). Biography of the celebrated photographer whose visions of the grotesque were transformed into haunting, often shocking art.
Empires in the Sun: The Rise of the New American West, Peter Wiley and Robert Gottlieb (University of Arizona). The true story behind the development and continuing exploitation of the resources of the West.
Fathers: Reflections by Daughters, edited by Ursula Owen (Pantheon). Alice Walker, Doris Lessing, Grace Paley--the list is longer--all recount what growing up with father was like.
C. Wright Mills: An American Utopian, Irving Louis Horowitz (Free Press). Intellectual biography of an energetic sociologist.
Slow Learner, Thomas Pynchon (Bantam). Collection of short stories with a revealing introduction by the author of "V" and "Gravity's Rainbow."
The Wooden Horse, Eric Williams (Penguin). A true adventure story about the British POWs who escaped the Nazi camp Stalag-Luft III to return to England.
Something to Be Desired, Thomas McGuane (Vintage). A tale of self-discovery from a Montana man.