Liza minelli

A long goodbye to Berlin

Christopher Isherwood pioneered what is now known as ‘autofiction’ long before it acquired that label. His best known work, Goodbye to Berlin (1939), which later inspired the musical Cabaret, was based on the diaries he kept while living in the Weimar Republic in his twenties. He’d already used the material before in Mr Norris Changes Trains (1935), a brilliant black comedy thriller that deserves to be read alongside more supposedly serious works of modernism. Forty years later, he reworked the experiences yet again in Christopher and His Kind (1977), in which he finally made explicit, for the new gay liberation era, what had been suppressed in the earlier works: his

Why I was labelled a bitch: Joan Collins remembers the old Hollywood days

Readers of this magazine will have enjoyed Joan Collins’s diaries, and her Past Imperfect was one of the funniest showbiz autobiographies ever. (One of her beauty tips: ‘Never eat rancid nuts.’) She started as a Rank teenage starlet who, after being beckoned to Hollywood, was given B-roles because ‘I wouldn’t be “nice” to studio heads and it gave me a reputation of being a bitch’. More accurately, her ex-fiancé Warren Beatty called her ‘Butterfly’ —always fluttering on to some new project, even now at the age of 88. I love gossip and was looking forward to a wagonload of it in these diaries, written between 1989 to 2006, ‘when I