Who was Jules Gabriel Verne?

Jules Verne, (born February 8, 1828, Nantes, France—died March 24, 1905, Amiens), prolific French author, novelist, poet and playwright whose writings laid much of the foundation of modern science fiction.

Verne’s father, intending that Jules follow in his footsteps as an attorney, sent him to Paris to study law. But the young Verne fell in love with literature, especially theatre. He wrote several plays, worked as secretary of the Théâtre Lyrique (1852–54), and published short stories and scientific essays in the periodical Musée des familles. In 1857 Verne married and for several years worked as a broker at the Paris Stock Market. During this period he continued to write, to do research at the Bibliothèque Nationale (National Library), and to dream of a new kind of novel—one that would combine scientific fact with adventure fiction. In September 1862 Verne met Pierre-Jules Hetzel, who agreed to publish the first of Verne’s Voyages extraordinaires (“Extraordinary Journeys”)—Cinq semaines en ballon (1863; Five Weeks in a Balloon). Initially serialized in Hetzel’s Le Magasin d’éducation et de récréation, the novel became an international best seller, and Hetzel offered Verne a long-term contract to produce many more works of “scientific fiction.” Verne subsequently quit his job at the stock market to become a full-time writer and began what would prove to be a highly successful author-publisher collaboration that lasted for more than 40 years and resulted in more than 60 works in the popular series Voyages extraordinaires.

Verne’s works can be divided into three distinct phases. The first, from 1862 to 1886, might be termed his positivist period. After his dystopian second novel Paris au XXe siècle (1994; Paris in the 20th Century) was rejected by Hetzel in 1863, Verne learned his lesson, and for more than two decades he churned out many successful science-adventure novels, including Voyage au centre de la terre (1863, expanded 1867; Journey to the Centre of the Earth), De la terre à la lune (1865; From the Earth to the Moon), Autour de la lune (1870; Around the Moon), Vingt mille lieues sous les mers (1870; Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea), and Le Tour du monde en quatre-vingts jours (1873; Around the World in Eighty Days). During these years Verne settled with his family in Amiens and made a brief trip to the United States to visit New York City and Niagara Falls. During this period he also purchased several yachts and sailed to many European countries, collaborated on theatre adaptations of several of his novels, and gained both worldwide fame and a modest fortune.

The second phase, from 1886 until his death in 1905, might be considered Verne’s pessimist period. Throughout these years the ideological tone of his Voyages extraordinaires began to change. Increasingly, Verne turned away from pro-science tales of exploration and discovery in favour of exploring the dangers of technology wrought by hubris-filled scientists in novels such as Sans dessus dessous (1889; Topsy-Turvy or The Purchase of the North Pole), L’Île à hélice (1895; The Floating Island or The Self-Propelled Island or Propeller Island), Face au drapeau (1896; Facing the Flag or For the Flag), and Maître du monde (1904; Master of the World). This change of focus also paralleled certain adversities in the author’s personal life: growing problems with his rebellious son, Michel; financial difficulties that forced him to sell his yacht; the successive deaths of his mother and his mentor Hetzel; and an attack by a mentally disturbed nephew who shot him in the lower leg, rendering him partially crippled. When Verne died, he left a drawerful of nearly completed manuscripts in his desk.

Credit : Britannica 

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What is the name of the autobiography written by Helen Keller?

Helen Keller, in full Helen Adams Keller, (born June 27, 1880, Tuscumbia, Alabama, U.S.—died June 1, 1968, Westport, Connecticut), American author and educator who was blind and deaf. Her education and training represent an extraordinary accomplishment in the education of persons with these disabilities.

Keller was afflicted at the age of 19 months with an illness (possibly scarlet fever) that left her blind and deaf. She was examined by Alexander Graham Bell at the age of 6. As a result, he sent to her a 20-year-old teacher, Anne Sullivan (Macy) from the Perkins Institution for the Blind in Boston, which Bell’s son-in-law directed. Sullivan, a remarkable teacher, remained with Keller from March 1887 until her own death in October 1936.

Within months Keller had learned to feel objects and associate them with words spelled out by finger signals on her palm, to read sentences by feeling raised words on cardboard, and to make her own sentences by arranging words in a frame. During 1888–90 she spent winters at the Perkins Institution learning Braille. Then she began a slow process of learning to speak under Sarah Fuller of the Horace Mann School for the Deaf, also in Boston. She also learned to lip-read by placing her fingers on the lips and throat of the speaker while the words were simultaneously spelled out for her. At age 14 she enrolled in the Wright-Humason School for the Deaf in New York City, and at 16 she entered the Cambridge School for Young Ladies in Massachusetts. She won admission to Radcliffe College in 1900 and graduated cum laude in 1904.

She wrote of her life in several books, including The Story of My Life (1903), Optimism (1903), The World I Live In (1908), Light in My Darkness and My Religion (1927), Helen Keller’s Journal (1938), and The Open Door (1957). In 1913 she began lecturing (with the aid of an interpreter), primarily on behalf of the American Foundation for the Blind, for which she later established a $2 million endowment fund, and her lecture tours took her several times around the world. She cofounded the American Civil Liberties Union with American civil rights activist Roger Nash Baldwin and others in 1920. Her efforts to improve treatment of the deaf and the blind were influential in removing the disabled from asylums. She also prompted the organization of commissions for the blind in 30 states by 1937.

Credit : Britannica 

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What is the name of the Nelson Mandela autobiography?

Long Walk to Freedom is an autobiography written by South African President Nelson Mandela, and first published in 1994 by Little Brown & Co. The book profiles his early life, coming of age, education and 27 years in prison.

The book won the Alan Paton Award in 1995 and has been published in many languages, including an Afrikaans translation by Antjie Krog.

Long Walk to Freedom has been adapted into a film titled Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom directed by Justin Chadwick, written by William Nicholson, and produced by Anant Singh. Mandela personally awarded the film rights to the book to Singh's company some years before 2009. Singh believes that as the film is based on Mandela's writing, it will be the "definitive" biopic of him. English actor Idris Elba portrays Mandela in the film. The film was limited released on 29 November 2013 in the United States. The full release happened on Christmas Day 2013 in the United States. When the film was shown in London for Prince William and his wife, Nelson Mandela's death was announced.

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What is the name of the Barak Obama autobiography?

Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance (1995) is a memoir by Barack Obama that explores the events of his early years in Honolulu and Chicago until his entry into Harvard Law School in 1988.

After Obama won the U.S. Senate Democratic primary victory in Illinois in 2004, the book was re-published that year. He gave the keynote address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention (DNC) and won the Illinois Senate seat in the fall. Obama launched his presidential campaign three years later. The 2004 edition includes a new preface by Obama and his DNC keynote address.

The book "may be the best-written memoir ever produced by an American politician," wrote Time columnist Joe Klein. In 2008, The Guardian's Rob Woodard wrote that Dreams from My Father "is easily the most honest, daring, and ambitious volume put out by a major US politician in the last 50 years." Michiko Kakutani, the Pulitzer Prize-winning critic for The New York Times, described it as "the most evocative, lyrical and candid autobiography written by a future president." Writing for the Guardian, literary critic Robert McCrum wrote that Obama had "executed an affecting personal memoir with grace and style, narrating an enthralling story with honesty, elegance and wit, as well as an instinctive gift for storytelling." McCrum had included the book in his list of the 100 best non-fiction books of all time.

The audiobook edition earned Obama the Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album in 2006. Five days before being sworn in as President in 2009, Obama secured a $500,000 advance for an abridged version of Dreams from My Father for middle-school-aged children.

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What is the name of the Sachin Tendulkar autobiography?

Playing It My Way is the autobiography of former Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar. It was launched on 5 November 2014 in Mumbai. The book summarises Tendulkar's early days, his 24 years of international career and aspects of his life that have not been shared publicly.

In the book, Sachin Tendulkar mentioned that just months before the 2007 Cricket World Cup, Greg Chappell, then the coach of the Indian cricket team, visited Tendulkar at his home and suggested that he should take over the captaincy from Rahul Dravid, then the team captain. Chappell however denied this, stating that he never contemplated Tendulkar replacing Dravid as captain. Tendulkar also mentioned in the book that John Wright "took over as coach of India in 2005", when Wright actually took over five years earlier, and got many scorecards wrong.

 He has been playing the game since he was eleven years old and debuted in a Test match against Pakistan at the age of 16. He has represented Mumbai domestically and India at an International level for close to 24 years. Among several other notable achievements, he is the only player to have scored one hundred international centuries, to have completed more than 30,000 runs in international cricket and the first batsman to score a double century in an One Day International.

Tendulkar has been awarded the Bharat Ratna for his contribution towards Indian sports and is the youngest recipient and the first sportsperson to receive the award so far.The book is in Sachin's own words as told to his co-writer Boria Majumdar, senior sports journalist and cricket historian who worked closely with Sachin.

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