Memoir

Adam Gopnik: 30 years of New Yorker life

21 October 2017 9:00 am

When Adam Gopnik arrived in Manhattan in late 1980 he was an art history postgrad so poor that he and…

Nature’s cure for an unhappy childhood

9 September 2017 9:00 am

As naturalist, educator and writer, John Lister-Kaye was for many years a voice in the wilderness. In 1976, when nature…

Homer Simpson meets Homer on a Mediterranean cruise

9 September 2017 9:00 am

Milan Kundera has said that Homer’s Odyssey was the first novel. I’m not so sure — the verse kind of…

‘My witchcraft is going well’: The crazed Eva Rausing, photographed shortly before her death

All about Eva: Sigrid Rausing’s shocking portrait of her sister-in-law

9 September 2017 9:00 am

It’s awful, but the surname Rausing (once synonymous only with the Tetrapak fortune) now summons up a terrible stench in…

Diets, tans and tiny clothes: body-builders are becoming stereotypically female

26 August 2017 9:00 am

Is this the best book I’ve ever read on the subject of masculinity? Maybe it is, I thought, the first…

Death always makes for lively reading

26 August 2017 9:00 am

It’s an irony of our secular age that the more we fear death, the more enticing we find it. The…

The formidable Thelma Holt (right) with Vanessa Redgrave in 1987

Sweetpea Slight’s adventures in theatreland were far from sweet

12 August 2017 9:00 am

The story of Sweetpea Slight is a footnote to a footnote in the annals of British theatre. Even her name…

No one person can speak for all on the autistic spectrum

5 August 2017 9:00 am

The Reason I Jump, by the autistic Japanese teenager Naoki Higashida, was a surprise bestseller in 2013. Rendered as a…

Parker, Edna and Richard Ford, V-J Day 1945

Richard Ford gets to know his parents – after their deaths

17 June 2017 9:00 am

One of the great challenges in life, writes Richard Ford in Between Them, ‘is to know our parents fully —…

Stuart Hall in 1996

Stuart Hall, inventor of cultural studies, has much to answer for

10 June 2017 9:00 am

What’s this? An autobiography by Stuart Hall? Wasn’t he one of the guys who put the Eng. Lit. departments out…

I’ve got Mick Jagger’s lost memoir

18 February 2017 9:00 am

I’ve got it. But you may never see it

The piety and wit of Monsignor Ronald Knox

21 January 2017 9:00 am

During the second world war, while one brother was editing Punch as a national institution (‘Working with him was a…

Mike Love, with Brian Wilson in the background, on TV in Los Angeles, 1962

Bad vibes among the Beach Boys

26 November 2016 9:00 am

Volcanic fallings out within bands are an ever-recurring motif in the history of rock music. There’s an obvious reason for…

A treat to hum along to but don't ask me what it's about: Bowie's Lazarus reviewed

19 November 2016 9:00 am

One of David Bowie’s last works, Lazarus, is a musical based on Walter Tevis’s novel The Man Who Fell to…

Why has the Peninsular War been so readily forgotten?

12 November 2016 9:00 am

You learn startling things about the long entanglement of the British with Spain on every page of Simon Courtauld’s absorbing…

Tama Janowitz doesn’t write to be liked, just as well

17 September 2016 9:00 am

Tama Janowitz’s memoir is a relentlessly cheerless and bitter collection of vignettes. Between tales of her purportedly miserly, creepy and…

Too much clutter: Gina Lollobrigida reorganises her wardrobe

When does a collector turn into a hoarder?

17 September 2016 9:00 am

The enormous desk on which I am writing this is swamped by four precarious piles of books, one topped by…

17th- and 18th-century buttons from John Taylor’s Birmingham workshop

In grandmother’s treasure-chest

13 February 2016 9:00 am

Juliet Nicolson examines women’s lives and changing fashions through a rich hoard of buttons for all occasions

The King of Greece tells it like it really was

6 February 2016 9:00 am

Athens Viewed from Mars, this is a sunny, peaceful city. Up close, however, things ain’t what they used to be.…

Diana Athill finally accepts ‘Old Woman’ status, aged 98

23 January 2016 9:00 am

There’s something reassuring about 98-year-old Diana Athill. She’s stately and well-ordered, like the gardens at Ditchingham Hall in Norfolk, her…

Am I a brave cult survivor, too?

12 December 2015 9:00 am

When I was 21, I lived with a cult for a year. It was a commune really, a tight-knit group…

The brave thing now: don’t write about your death

25 July 2015 9:00 am

In the social media age, breaking ‘the last taboo’ is de rigueur

How could anyone enjoy Cédric Villani’s ‘Birth of a Theorem’? I think I’ve worked it out

28 February 2015 9:00 am

I’ve got a mathematical problem. Birth of a Theorem is by one of the great geniuses of today, a cosmopolitan,…

An unholy cross between Big Ben and Las Vegas, the Makkah Royal Clock Tower stands on an estimated 400 sites of cultural and historical importance

Mecca: from shrine to shopping mall

6 December 2014 9:00 am

The Saudis, official custodians of Islam’s holiest place, have bulldozed its historical sites, perverted its religion and turned Mecca into one vast shopping mall, says Justin Marozzi

Even Cilla’s biographer admits that critics were justified in knocking the ‘prurience ‘of Blind Date

Five of the best celebrity biographies of 2014

6 December 2014 9:00 am

Cilla Black has become a strange creature during her 50 years in showbiz. When her husband Bobby was in hospital…