Memoir

The misery memoir of a devoted polyamorist

22 January 2022 9:00 am

The rules of sex can kill. In 1844 an angry mob shot Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism, for his…

Favourite books revisited: Rob Doyle’s edgy reading list

15 January 2022 9:00 am

‘Male writers now are the opposition party, and that may not be such a bad thing for them.’ So Rob…

Richard Needham takes a businesslike attitude to the Troubles

11 December 2021 9:00 am

This memoir from Sir Richard Needham, 6th Earl of Kilmorey, businessman and former Northern Ireland minister, has a frank opening:…

What I really said to Gordon Brown: Field Marshal Lord Guthrie sets the record straight

11 December 2021 9:00 am

A headline in the Mail on Sunday, taken up eagerly by the BBC’s Todayprogramme, claimed recently: ‘The SAS is getting…

A scrapbook of sketches: James Ivory’s memoir is slipshod and inconsequential

11 December 2021 9:00 am

James Ivory and Ismail Merchant formed the most successful cinematic partnership since Michael Powell and Eric Pressburger. Between the founding…

Anthony Holden is nostalgic for journalism’s good old bad old days

27 November 2021 9:00 am

After a career spanning 50 years, 40 books and about a million parties, Anthony Holden has written a memoir. Based…

A macabre meditation on psoriasis

27 November 2021 9:00 am

Obsessed with purity and pain, the boundaries of blame and innocence, Skin is a fascinating meditation on psoriasis, the long-lasting…

Bernardine Evaristo sets a rousing example of ‘never giving up’

13 November 2021 9:00 am

Bernardine Evaristo’s Manifesto — part instructional guide for artists, part call to arms for equality, part literary memoir —shimmers with…

Andrew Mitchell relives the agony of Plebgate

30 October 2021 9:00 am

Andrew Mitchell, as he readily admits, was born into the British Establishment. Almost from birth, his path was marked out:…

It’s the fisherman who’s truly hooked

30 October 2021 9:00 am

Trying to catch fish with rod and line is a pursuit that, for many, goes far beyond the pleasant passing…

The revival of the blacksmith’s craft — a new generation goes at it hammer and tongs

30 October 2021 9:00 am

At Intelligent Life, the Economistmagazine where I worked for some years, it was easy to feel intellectually challenged. Even the…

From ‘little Cockney’ to playing Queen Mary: the remarkable career of Eileen Atkins

16 October 2021 9:00 am

Eileen Atkins belongs to a singular generation of British actresses, among them Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Sian Phillips and Vanessa…

The life of an ambassador’s wife

25 September 2021 9:00 am

‘One day,’ she writes, ‘we had the Minister for Northern Ireland for the night. He arrived wearing a kilt, which…

Only Iain Sinclair could glimpse Hackney in the wilds of Peru

18 September 2021 9:00 am

It seemed like a preposterous proposition. For decades, Iain Sinclair has been an assiduous psychogeographer of London, an eldritch cartographer…

A narrow escape in Britain’s most treacherous mountain range

28 August 2021 9:00 am

Twenty-five years ago, my cousin Jock, a Scottish priest, rang in shock. Two priest friends, David and Norman, had been…

A glimpse of lost London – before the yuppie invasion

28 August 2021 9:00 am

In a 1923 book called Echo de Paris, the writer Laurence Houseman attempted to conjure up in a very slim,…

The cosmopolitan spirit of the Middle East vanished with the Ottomans

28 August 2021 9:00 am

One of the most depressing vignettes in Michael Vatikiotis’s agreeably meandering account of his cosmopolitan family’s experiences in the Near…

On the run from the Nazis: a Polish family’s protracted ordeal

31 July 2021 9:00 am

Writers of memoirs are often praised for their honesty — but how do we know? I found I did believe…

A death foretold: the last days of Gabriel García Márquez

31 July 2021 9:00 am

In March 2014 Gabriel García Márquez went down with a cold. The man who wrote beautifully about ageing was approaching…

A volte face over what caused the pandemic needs explaining

31 July 2021 9:00 am

Sir Jeremy Farrar, the head of the Wellcome Trust, writes that ‘the last year has been an eye-opener for me.…

Even psychiatrists don’t know how the drugs they prescribe work

24 July 2021 9:00 am

What is it like to go mad? Not so much developing depression or having a panic attack — which is…

The great awakening: Henry Shukman becomes a child of the universe

24 July 2021 9:00 am

For eight years I rented a small house in Oxford overlooking the canal. The landlord, a poet and novelist younger…

The life cycle of the limpet teaches universal truths

17 July 2021 9:00 am

Adam Nicolson is one of our finest writers of non-fiction. He has range — from place and history to literature…

A lesson in understanding serial killers and child molesters

3 July 2021 9:00 am

True crime is having a moment: every day there’s a new documentary, book, podcast, or blockbuster film announced, detailing the…

Death by negligence: why did no one diagnose my sister’s TB?

12 June 2021 9:00 am

In 2016, Arifa Akbar’s elder sister, Fauzia, died suddenly in the Royal Free Hospital, London at the age of 45.…