Memoir

Michael Beloff QC drops names – but they’re not the ones we’re curious about

2 July 2022 9:00 am

‘The law,’ according to W.S. Gilbert’s Lord Chancellor, ‘is the true embodiment of everything that’s excellent’ and, by common consent,…

We could all once tell bird’s-foot trefoil from rosebay willowherb

2 July 2022 9:00 am

‘There are a great many ways of holding on to our sanity amid the vices and follies of the world,’…

Ethel, Ella and all that jazz: the soundtrack of a Chicago childhood

25 June 2022 9:00 am

Margo Jefferson’s Constructing a Nervous System compresses memoir and cultural criticism into one slim, explosive volume, and in doing so…

Piloting a Boeing Dreamliner can be less than dreamy

18 June 2022 9:00 am

Mark Vanhoenacker dreams of my nightmares. Ever since he was a young boy, he fantasised about piloting airplanes. Ever since…

Jarvis Cocker measures out his life in attic junk

18 June 2022 9:00 am

If you were hoping for an autobiography this isn’t it. Jarvis Cocker calls it ‘an inventory’ and insists: ‘This is…

From teenage delinquent to man of letters: James Campbell’s remarkable career

11 June 2022 9:00 am

The great age of the Scottish autodidact must have ended a century ago, but it had a prodigious impact while…

What do Beethoven, D.H. Lawrence and George Best have in common?

11 June 2022 9:00 am

This is not a book about tennis. Roger Federer appears early on, trailed by the obligatory question ‘When will he…

Musings on harmony, melody and rhythm

4 June 2022 9:00 am

Every Good Boy Does Fine – a banal phrase that also just happens to be the key to limitless wonder.…

Reflections on water in the Middle East

28 May 2022 9:00 am

These Bodies of Water begins dramatically (as befits a book derived from Sabrina Mahfouz’s Royal Court show A History of…

The history of Nazism in small objects

21 May 2022 9:00 am

‘I can’t cook,’ writes the historian Karina Urbach, ‘which is probably why it took me so long to realise that…

Poor parenting is at the root of our failing schools

30 April 2022 9:00 am

When it comes to education, I’m in two minds, maybe three. I was sent to private schools, including, for my…

Jonathan Bate weaves a memoir around madness in English literature

23 April 2022 9:00 am

There is a trend for books in which academics write personally about their engagement with literature. Examples include Lara Feigel’s…

The spycop debacle is another nail in the Met’s coffin

9 April 2022 9:00 am

In 2010, Mark Kennedy, a tattooed social justice warrior, was exposed as an undercover police officer. In this guise he…

Norman Scott has the last word on a very English scandal

9 April 2022 9:00 am

Norman Scott’s long-anticipated memoir reveals the British Establishment at its worst, says Roger Lewis

How I narrowly escaped joining Argentina’s ‘disappeared’

26 March 2022 9:00 am

A bully-boy leader. A corrupt, out-of-touch regime. A twisted reading of history. An unprovoked, military-led landgrab. A domestic disinformation blitz.…

The ghostly ruins of vanished Britain

19 March 2022 9:00 am

Take a walk in the English countryside and you get the impression that little has changed. The churches and farmhouses,…

Abandoned for a bogus guru – Lily Dunn’s harrowing family memoir

12 March 2022 9:00 am

Sins of My Father begins with an ending. Describing her 61-year-old parent’s final desperate flight from a life of vibrant…

Sister, where are you? – Clover Stroud mourns her beloved sibling

5 March 2022 9:00 am

‘CERTIFICATE IS NOT EVIDENCE OF IDENTITY,’ the freshly issued death certificate read. In the craziness and shock of grief for…

The torment of mentoring spoilt rich kids

5 March 2022 9:00 am

For 20 years of my adult life, I moonlighted as a private tutor. After a full day in the office…

Howard Jacobson superbly captures the terrible cost of becoming a writer

26 February 2022 9:00 am

Howard Jacobson, who turns 80 this year, published his first novel aged 40. Since then he has produced roughly a…

Christina Patterson overcomes family misfortunes

19 February 2022 9:00 am

The journalist and broadcaster Christina Patterson’s memoir begins promisingly. She has a talent for vivid visual description, not least: ‘We…

A Canadian’s experience of the migrant’s ordeal

12 February 2022 9:00 am

No one boards an overladen dinghy and sets out across a choppy sea without very good reason. Laden into migrant…

An innocent abroad: a Dutch tour operator in 1980s Russia

12 February 2022 9:00 am

‘One morning in late October 1988,’ begins TheLong Song of Tchaikovsky Street, ‘this dapper-looking guy from Leiden asked me if…

Is Julian Assange on a hiding to nothing?

5 February 2022 9:00 am

A question looms throughout this book: is it better to die rather than experience the wrath of a publicly shamed…

Scaling the heights: a woman’s experience of mountain climbing

29 January 2022 9:00 am

In her memoir Time on Rock, Anna Fleming charts her progress from ‘terrified novice’ to ‘competent leader’ as she scales…