Memoir

Too many of our children are battling severe depression

26 September 2020 9:00 am

Christopher Hitchens once said that women just aren’t as funny as men and Caitlin Moran believed him. But that was…

French lessons, with tears: inside a Lyonnais kitchen

26 September 2020 9:00 am

You can’t say he didn’t warn us. In the final sentence of his previous book, Heat, a joyously gluttonous exploration…

Where will our inventions lead?

26 September 2020 9:00 am

When reviewers say that some new book reminds them of some famous old book, it often ends up as a…

Bringing up Benzene: Charlie Gilmour adopts a magpie

19 September 2020 9:00 am

One day a baby bird falls from its nest into an oily scrapyard in Bermondsey, south London and seems unlikely…

When sexism was routine: the life of the female reporter in 1970s London

19 September 2020 9:00 am

This book made me almost weep with nostalgia, but heaven knows what today’s snowflakes will make of it. Fleet Street…

What Barbara Black’s choice of friends says about her

19 September 2020 9:00 am

Gstaad   I’m not usually nonplussed, but this is very strange: the memoir of Barbara Black, the wife of my…

The skeleton is key to solving past mysteries

12 September 2020 9:00 am

One hot summer’s morning, as a nine-year-old girl living on the rim of a Scottish loch in the hotel owned…

Treasures or clutter? The problem of knowing what to keep

29 August 2020 9:00 am

Every so often the past makes a pass at you. An old school report, a train ticket, a curl from…

When the King of the Delta Blues came home — the family life of Robert Johnson

15 August 2020 9:00 am

Whatever would Robert Johnson, self-styled King of the Delta Blues, have made of the Black Lives Matter movement? His was…

Part Beat, part hippy, part punk: the gay life of John Giorno

8 August 2020 9:00 am

John Giorno, who died last year, was a natural acolyte: he needed a superior being to set him in motion.…

‘I was frightened every single day’: the perils of guarding Stalin

1 August 2020 9:00 am

In Russian, the proverb ‘Ignorance is bliss’ translates as ‘The less you know, the better you sleep’. For those who…

One man’s rubbish is another man’s treasure

1 August 2020 9:00 am

All it takes to turn a cast-off into a prized possession can be a bit of imagination. To a passerby,…

The dark underbelly of New Orleans revealed by Hurricane Katrina

1 August 2020 9:00 am

Home, as James Baldwin wrote, is perhaps ‘not a place but simply an irrevocable condition’. Sarah M. Broom’s National Book…

If you spent a day at Action Park you took your life in your hands

25 July 2020 9:00 am

Before reading this book, the only thing I knew about Action Park was that it had lent its name to…

Good memoir-writing should also be self-critical

25 July 2020 9:00 am

A book about breaking confidences, not to mention friendships, rather begs the same in return. Reading Anne Applebaum’s brief memoir…

Natalie Wood’s death remains a mystery

25 July 2020 9:00 am

Are all children of famous parents told they must have a book in them? Since Allegra Huston’s wonderful memoir Love…

Finder and keeper: two family memoirs reviewed

4 July 2020 9:00 am

What can we ever know about our family’s past? How do we love those closest to us when doing so…

Keeping poker-faced is no use – it’s the hands that give the game away

27 June 2020 9:00 am

This is not a rip-roaring, gonzo gambling adventure. By page 66 this cautious, thoughtful author has still never played a…

From bashful teenager to supermodel: Susanna Moore’s fairytale memoir

27 June 2020 9:00 am

There’s a kind of writing about LA that I am a sucker for. Gossipy, lyrical, with a surface of affectless…

How I finally came to terms with my sister’s death

6 June 2020 9:00 am

‘Grief is the price we pay for love,’ the Queen once wrote. This memoir is steeped in the pain of…

My mother — as I remember her best

30 May 2020 9:00 am

Nine cups of milky Nescafé Gold Blend a day; a low-tar cigarette smouldering; a hot-water-bottle always on her lap; the…

The best way to cope with rejection is to write about it

23 May 2020 9:00 am

With more than a dozen acclaimed novels to her name, not to mention short stories, poetry, a memoir and a…

How not to get away from it all in the Hebrides

2 May 2020 9:00 am

Some accounts of moving to the countryside are aspirational and inspiring, but this book is more of a ‘how not…

Alexandra Shulman’s unlikely career in fashion journalism should have made a Hollywood movie

24 April 2020 11:00 pm

Alexandra Shulman says that she had ‘no desire to write an autobiography’ — so instead she has written about her…

Consigned to a living tomb: Aziz BineBine endures 18 years in a subterranean prison

11 April 2020 9:00 am

Imagine being on indefinite lockdown, imprisoned in a dark, underground, 6’ x 12’ cell, freezing in winter, boiling in summer…