Memoir

… in the battle for London

26 November 2011 11:00 am

Charlatan, fornicator, liar, inebriate, pugilist, Marxist, anti-Semite; Ken Livingstone has been called many things but never a writer. Actually, that’s…

Blue Night by Joan Didion

12 November 2011 10:00 am

This is a raw, untidy, ragged book. Well, grief is all of those things. On the other hand, Didion wrote…

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Bookends: The showbiz Boris Johnson

29 October 2011 11:00 am

Amiability can take you a long way in British public life. James Corden is no fool: he co-wrote and co-starred…

Fun-loving feminist

16 July 2011 12:00 am

How to be a Woman is a manifesto memoir.

Casualties on the home front

16 July 2011 12:00 am

War correspondents aren’t like the rest of us: they can’t be.

Wool of bat and lizard leg

16 July 2011 12:00 am

When Julia Blackburn and her Dutch husband Herman move into an old village house perched on a cliff high above the Italian Ligurian Riviera they become part of a dwindling community in a landscape of forests and deserted villages with roofless ruins almost swallowed up by the riotous undergrowth.

Sense and magnanimity

9 July 2011 12:00 am

People see William Rees-Mogg as an archetypal member of the Establishment.

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The worst crime was to be a bore

2 July 2011 12:00 am

Gully Wells is a spirited and amusing writer, the daughter of the American journalist Dee Wells and the stepdaughter of the famous philosopher Freddie Ayer.

Backs to the wall

28 May 2011 12:00 am

Susan Gibbs begins her book by describing the death from cancer of her first husband after 13 years of happy marriage.

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Sixties mystic

28 May 2011 12:00 am

The misery memoir is the fad of the moment.

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The Russian connection

7 May 2011 12:00 am

It’s impossible not to warm to the author of this book, a perky Turkish-American woman with a fascination with Russian literature and an irresistible comic touch.

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The choppy sea of family life

7 May 2011 12:00 am

This is a lovely book. Judy Golding writes of her father —indeed of both her parents — with candour, humour and great insight and perception

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Pet obsession

16 April 2011 12:00 am

I declare two interests. I own a dog, Lily, and I admire the New York Review of Books. What could go wrong?

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The wisdom of youth

9 April 2011 12:00 am

‘You must write it all down’ is the age-old plea to elderly relatives about their childhood memories.

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Hand over fist

26 February 2011 12:00 am

When King Abdullah first started work on this political memoir two years ago, he can hardly have imagined how different the Middle East would look by the time of its publication.

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Land of lost content

11 September 2010 12:00 am

Tom Frayn, says his son Michael in this admirable memoir, trod lightly upon the earth.

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Out of the woods

21 August 2010 12:00 am

These two memoirs by ladies born into the Russian elite in the 1880s have both had to wait many decades before publication in English.

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Fighting spirit

20 January 2010 12:00 am

The metaphors that come to us when we are sick, trapped in the no-man’s land bet- ween consciousness and oblivion, are often the most vivid of which our minds are capable.

His island story

4 November 2009 12:00 am

‘If you don’t come to terms with the ghost of your father, it will never let you be your own man.’ Here Christopher Ondaatje (brother of novelist Michael) combines his voyage of filial discovery with another quest: to pursue his obsession with a story he heard at his father’s knee, of a man-eating leopard.

The one that got away

14 October 2009 12:00 am

Michael Palin is the meekest, mildest and nicest of the Pythons.

Making the running

16 September 2009 12:00 am

Journalists’ memoirs tend to be as transitory as the great stories they so lovingly recall.

Fiery genius

16 September 2009 12:00 am

In July 1967, a young artist named John Nankivell, living in Wantage, plucked up the courage to knock on John Betjeman’s front door, in the same town, to show the poet (whom he had never met) some of his architectural drawings.

Gut instincts

9 September 2009 12:00 am

Julie Powell wrote Julie and Julia, a book (and now a film) in which she described her attempts to cook a huge number of recipes by the cookery writer Julia Child.

House of memories

2 September 2009 12:00 am

Selina Hastings recalls her visit in 1989 to Lady Beauchamp, mistress of Madresfield

Puzzling out the past

7 April 2009 12:00 am

The Pattern in the Carpet, by Margaret Drabble