Book review – memoir

The chick and the dead: Clare Holman plays the pathologist Dr Laura Hobson in Inspector Morse. Rex images.

The perfect place to fall in love? The mortuary

22 April 2017 9:00 am

I grew up with a skeleton in the attic. My mother’s clinical training bestowed on our family a short man’s…

What do Joan Rivers and Enoch Powell have in common?

15 April 2017 9:00 am

This is a gem of a book for Radio 4 lovers, particularly those of us who work out which day…

Nicky Beard on holiday in Cornwall shortly before his death

The tragedy of a brother’s drowning

8 April 2017 9:00 am

Nicholas Shakespeare is full of admiration for Richard Beard’s painful inquest into the death of his brother

How to survive grief — and be of comfort to others

11 March 2017 9:00 am

If a single book could help you to be kinder and more compassionate, could expand and deepen your understanding of…

Sam Miller’s life with two fathers

11 March 2017 9:00 am

No disrespect to any of the present incumbents, but Karl Miller (1931–2014) was a literary editor in an age when…

Althea Altemus: a single mother in the Roaring Twenties

18 February 2017 9:00 am

What the secretary sawSarah Churchwell Big Bosses: A Working Girl’s Memoir of the Jazz Age by Althea McDowell AltemusUniversity of…

How LSD saved my marriage — and my life

18 February 2017 9:00 am

Ayelet Waldman is, surely, not the first writer to have scrolled through a list of ‘Books of the Year’ and…

Molly Keane’s bad behaviour

11 February 2017 9:00 am

Molly Keane achieved fame and critical acclaim in 1981 aged 75, when she published the novel Good Behaviour, a razor-sharp…

The unexpected delights of dementia

11 February 2017 9:00 am

August Geiger led an unremarkable life. Born in 1926, the third of ten children of a Catholic farming family in…

Clover Stroud flirts with danger and death

4 February 2017 9:00 am

Clover Stroud opens her memoir with the crippling bout of post-natal depression that hit after the birth of her fourth…

The horrifying life of the African guerrilla

31 December 2016 9:00 am

When George Omona first saw soldiers in the infamous Lord’s Resistance Army, he was amazed. The scary fighters who had…

Tippi Hedren in a publicity still for The Birds

Tippi Hedren gives nothing away

31 December 2016 9:00 am

‘The Birds is coming’ screamed the posters for Tippi Hedren’s only famous film. Well, the cats is coming in her…

Shame and scandal of the ‘falling sickness’

26 November 2016 9:00 am

In the cult Steve Martin film The Man With Two Brains, a doctor falls in love with a surgically removed…

Why is it OK to eat insects but not little furry animals?

29 October 2016 9:00 am

I’m writing this in the Highlands. Through the window I can see Loch Maree, being ruffled into white-tipped skirls by…

From Buenos Aires to Miami — at breakneck speed

10 September 2016 9:00 am

Bogotá airport, immigration form in hand. Tourist, migrant, businessman? Andrés Neuman ponders the descriptors, unsure which to tick. He opts…

Peter Wright rehearses Giselle with the Canadian ballet dancer Karen Kain in 1974

Peter Wright and the bitchy world of ballet

3 September 2016 9:00 am

Memoirs of old men, baldly, tend to be tricky. Sir Peter Wright, one of the founding pillars of the British…

John McEntee’s gossip puts even the Street of Shame to shame

3 September 2016 9:00 am

John McEntee — ‘the Chancer from Cavan’, as he bills himself — has enjoyed a long career as a gossip…

Samir Basim leads the basses in France, 2013

Iraq's national youth orchestra: an improbable story on a heroic scale

20 August 2016 9:00 am

Now that even candidates for President of the United States can rise up from the undead dregs of reality television,…

How I survived my nightmare upbringing, by Ariel Leve

30 July 2016 9:00 am

All parents worry about the extent to which their children will expose their private weirdness to the world. They tell…

Sylvia Patterson: my golden years in the music business

2 July 2016 9:00 am

‘How can you come into this room and ask me “What is the purpose of life?”,’ wails Massive Attack’s laconic…

How my father plotted against Gaddafi — by Hisham Matar

25 June 2016 8:00 am

Hisham Matar’s family memoir of terrible deeds — and of love, loyalty and courage — simply must be read, says Horatio Clare

When darts — and Eric Bristow — ruled Britain

11 June 2016 9:00 am

Was there life before darts? I am old enough, just about, to remember such a time. One minute, in or…

Tim Winton is captivated by Western Australia’s terrible beauty

11 June 2016 9:00 am

It was only when I left Western Australia for university in England that I understood how vast and dangerous my…

A good man at the 1970s BBC

4 June 2016 9:00 am

When I saw this book, a biography of Huw Wheldon, who was managing director of BBC Television between 1968 and…

Above and below: From Robin Dalton’s My Relations: ‘My second cousin, Penelope Wood, is an artist, or at least hopes to be one. She is only 16, but she has done some beautiful little paintings. I have one hanging in my room now. It is a landscape and is one she did when only 12 years old’

When mother killed the plumber — and Nellie Melba came round to sing

4 June 2016 9:00 am

Here’s a pair of little books — one even littler than the other — by Robin Dalton (née Eakin), a…