Book review – memoir

Teffi: from Russia with laughs

21 May 2016 9:00 am

‘Ah! Scrubbing the deck! My childhood dream! As a child I had once seen a sailor hosing the deck with…

A Feelgood fairy story

21 May 2016 9:00 am

When I wrote for the NME as a schoolgirl in the 1980s, it was recognised that there were musicians who…

The deceptive charm of the bourgeoisie

14 May 2016 9:00 am

Glimpsing the title of Lynsey Hanley’s absorbing new book as it fell out of the jiffy bag, I found myself…

The hip-hop intellectual from inner-city Baltimore

7 May 2016 9:00 am

The author of the bestseller Between the World and Me and recipient of a MacArthur ‘Genius Grant’ last year, Ta-Nehisi…

The race from the Big C to the Big D

30 April 2016 9:00 am

The ‘journey’ — at least the one played out in public — begins with an announcement that you are incurable.…

All at sea — trying hard to stay afloat

16 April 2016 9:00 am

‘This happens to other people.’ The Guardian journalist Decca Aitkenhead says she had heard the phrase countless times, interviewing the…

St James by the Master of Mambrillas (early 16th century)

A pilgrim’s progress to Santiago

16 April 2016 9:00 am

In his friendly and beguiling voice, Jean-Christophe Rufin explains (in a way that reminded me of the pre-journey relish of…

How to have your cake — and not eat it

26 March 2016 9:00 am

Sitting at her desk at the BBC in March 2006, researching a documentary about the Olympic Games, Caroline Jones pressed…

Love like Salt: a memoir of music, motherhood and magical thinking

19 March 2016 9:00 am

Helen Stevenson’s daughter Clara has cystic fibrosis. Love Like Salt is an account of living with the disease, but it…

Harris and Klebold practise at a rifle range two weeks before the Columbine massacre

Are all moody teenagers potential Columbine killers?

12 March 2016 9:00 am

On an April morning in 1999, two teenagers, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, walked into Columbine High School in Colorado…

Greta Garbo in New York in 1955

Olivia Laing: homeless and tempest-tossed in the Big Apple

12 March 2016 9:00 am

Like a lot of people, Olivia Laing came to New York to join a lover. Like a lot of people,…

The polite anti-Semitism of 20th-century Britain

5 March 2016 9:00 am

Though it seems to begin as an affectionate memorial to his maternal grandparents, a testimonial to a rare and perfectly…

Jhumpa Lahiri's new tongue

20 February 2016 9:00 am

Imagine you’re an unknown young writer whose first collection of stories wins the Pulitzer prize. Your first novel is filmed,…

Coming of age in New York

20 February 2016 9:00 am

I read this, Meg Rosoff’s first novel for adults (though her previous fiction, aimed at teenagers, is widely enjoyed by…

An otter’s metabolism is so high that you’d have to eat 88 Big Macs a day to match it

Charles Foster: ‘I need to be more of a badger’

20 February 2016 9:00 am

Being a Beast is an impassioned and proselytising work of philosophy based on a spectacular approach to nature writing. That…

Hen Harrier (Circus cyaneus) by William MacGillivray

Enraptured by raptors

13 February 2016 9:00 am

The fewer birds there are, the more books about them, particularly of the literary kind. Helen MacDonald’s H is for…

Joan Bakewell: on socks, fridge magnets, teddy bears and such stuff

13 February 2016 9:00 am

I don’t know if this counts as name-dropping, but I recently interviewed a boyhood friend of Elvis Presley’s in Tupelo,…

A deadly role reversal

6 February 2016 9:00 am

Who would you trust to take a blade to your brain? Medical schools and hospitals, arbiters of this outrageous intimacy,…

Red sky of warning: Elephants and Cape buffaloes cross the Luangwa River

The Luangwa is far from being a happy valley

30 January 2016 9:00 am

Simon Barnes opens with a presumably true idea, that we are all in search of our own versions of paradise…

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Carly Simon: funniest, most sexually blunt star of her generation

30 January 2016 9:00 am

I usually dread the final 15 minutes of a celebrity interview: the awkward section during which the writer must steer…

In and out of the drink

23 January 2016 9:00 am

‘If I were to go mad,’ Amy Liptrot writes in her memoir of alcoholism and the Orkneys, ‘It would come…

‘Burlesque in New York mutated into vaudeville’s disreputable sister, filled with dirty comics and strippers in body stockings or less’

Drawing blood with pen and ink

23 January 2016 9:00 am

Molly Crabapple is an American artist and Drawing Blood is the story of her life. That life has only been…

Girl about town — on a bicycle

23 January 2016 9:00 am

The old ditty got it wrong: it should have been ‘Maybe it’s because I’m not a Londoner that I love…

Writing a bestseller ‘on the verge of a stroke’

16 January 2016 9:00 am

Every four seconds, somewhere in the world, a Lee Child book is sold. This phenomenal statistic places Child alongside Stephen…

What happened to British communism?

16 January 2016 9:00 am

Like most trade unionists in the 1970s and 80s I worked with a fair few communists. Men like Dickie Lawlor,…