Book review – memoir

Reading one book from every country in the world sounds like fun - until you come to North Korea

28 February 2015 9:00 am

One day in 2011, while perusing her bookshelves, Ann Morgan realised her reading habits were (to her surprise) somewhat parochial.…

Emer O’Toole is a joyless bore compared with my heroine Caitlin Moran, says Julie Burchill

21 February 2015 9:00 am

Looking at the brightly coloured front cover of this book, I felt cheerful; turning it over and seeing the word…

Alexandra’s Fuller’s parents are the stars even when their daughter is divorcing, in this sequel to the bestselling Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight

21 February 2015 9:00 am

‘Double ouzo, hold the Coke,’ Mum ordered at the Mkushi Country Club bar, during spanikopita night. ‘My daughter’s a lesbian.’…

John Steinbeck at the time of writing Travels with Charley

Touring America in Steinbeck’s footsteps

3 January 2015 9:00 am

In 1960 John Steinbeck set off with his poodle Charley to drive around the United States in a truck equipped…

What Hanif Kureishi learned from being robbed by his accountant

6 December 2014 9:00 am

Have you ever met a sane accountant? I ask, because one of the more striking sentences in A Theft runs:…

What Julie Burchill's ex-husband thinks of her new memoir

8 November 2014 9:00 am

Unchosen is the journalist Julie Burchill’s account of how she — a bright and bratty working-class girl from Bristol —…

A woman who wears her homes like garments

18 October 2014 9:00 am

Depending on your approach, home is where your heart is, where you hang your hat, or possibly where you hang…

Corin Redgrave, playing the contrarian William Roper, husband of Thomas More’s favourite child, Margaret, in A Man for All Seasons

From Trot to Thatcher: the life of Kika Markham

4 October 2014 9:00 am

In a varied career, the actress Kika Markham has regularly played real-life charcters, including, on television, Mrs Thatcher — piquant…

Beer and skittles and Lucian Freud and Quentin Crisp – a Hampstead misery memoir

20 September 2014 9:00 am

The rise of the ‘misery memoir’ describing abusive childhoods, followed by the I-was-a-teenage-druggie-alkie-gangbanger-tick-as-appropriate memoir, pushed into the shadows an older…

The case of the amnesiac autobiographer

16 August 2014 9:00 am

In October 2002, 28-year-old David Stuart MacLean woke up at Hyderabad railway station. He was standing at the time, and…

The Australian literary icon who fooled her family

21 June 2014 9:00 am

There aren’t many places you can get shouty about Proust without losing your job. The Lane Bookshop in Perth, Western…

The punk who inspired a generation of British woman to pick up a guitar

21 June 2014 9:00 am

Viv Albertine is deservedly famous as the guitarist of the tumultuous, all-female English punk band The Slits. Their debut album,…

Narcotically-induced mischief in an urban wasteland

7 June 2014 9:00 am

Fifteen minutes by rail from Paddington, Southall is a ‘Little India’ in the borough of Ealing. An ornate Hindu temple…

My desert island poet

31 May 2014 9:00 am

If I had to be marooned on a desert island with a stranger, that stranger would be John Burnside. Not…

An escape to the country that became a struggle for Poland's soul

12 April 2014 9:00 am

In 1993, John Borrell, a longtime foreign correspondent with no permanent home, decided to abandon journalism. Tired of writing about…

Gay Paree: food, feuds and phalluses – I mean, fallacies

15 March 2014 9:00 am

In his preface to The Joy of Gay Sex (revised and expanded third edition), Edmund White praises the ‘kinkier’ aspects…

What other job lets you swear in front of your parents?

15 March 2014 9:00 am

There aren’t many jobs that allow a nice middle-class Jewish boy to say ‘fuck’ in front of his parents. But…

A master craftsman of the anecdote

15 March 2014 9:00 am

One of the many charms of this book is its sheer unexpectedness, which makes it hard to review, for to…

Middlemarch: the novel that reads you

15 March 2014 9:00 am

The genesis of The Road to Middlemarch was a fine article in the New Yorker about  Rebecca Mead’s unsuccessful search…

Lance Sieveking (right) with Colonel G.L. Thompson broadcasting a running commentary on the final bumping race from a tree in Rectory Meadow, Cambridge, June 1927

'One warm night in June 1917 I became the man who nearly killed the Kaiser'

1 March 2014 9:00 am

The traditional story told about the first world war is that it changed everything: that it was the end of…

How to get around South Africa's many boundaries

15 February 2014 9:00 am

There are writers whose prose style is so fluid, so easy, the reader feels as though he has been taken…

Portrait of a Guardian music critic

8 February 2014 9:00 am

We critics seldom write our memoirs, perhaps because we skulk away our lives in dark corners, avoiding the public gaze,…

Germaine Greer's mad, passionate quest to heal Australia

8 February 2014 9:00 am

Like an old woman in a fairy story, Germaine Greer, now in her late seventies, has taken to lurking in…

What family life — and love — was like in East Germany

7 December 2013 9:00 am

Historians still argue over whether the regime of the GDR can be called a totalitarian one. Some say that the…

The Garden of Eros, by John Calder - review

1 June 2013 9:00 am

John Calder is Britain’s most distinguished living publisher, and at the age of 86 he’s still at it. He first…