Memoir

Fried squid, stale sweat and sensuality in Ian Buruma’s Tokyo

12 May 2018 9:00 am

In 1975, the 24-year-old Ian Buruma (now an award-winning essayist and historian, and the editor of the New York Review…

Rao Pingru and his siblings make a lion lantern with their mother

Enduring life under Chairman Mao

5 May 2018 9:00 am

Rao Pingru is 94, and a born storyteller. His gripping graphic narrative weaves in and out of the violent, disruptive…

Portrait of Helen by John Bellany

The ordeal of being married (twice) to John Bellany

5 May 2018 9:00 am

Misery memoirs are in vogue. There is much misery in this harrowing account of married life with John Bellany (1942–2013)…

Lamont ‘U-God’ Hawkins in 1995

The futile gang wars of New York

5 May 2018 9:00 am

I’ve interviewed a lot of rappers over the years and always feel a little grimy when I find myself nudging…

The misery of policing the US–Mexico border

5 May 2018 9:00 am

Francisco Cantú’s mother is surprised when he announces he’s joining the Border Patrol and going to work in the Arizona…

Laura Freeman reads her way out of anorexia

24 February 2018 9:00 am

It is hard to be honest about anorexia. The illness breeds deceit and distortion: ‘It thrives on looking-glass logic. It…

The best way to escape my abusive family was to write novels

17 February 2018 9:00 am

Early on in Amy Tan’s 1989 bestseller, The Joy Luck Club, a Chinese concubine slices a chunk of flesh from…

It’s not a wave’s crest, but its translucent interior that surfers dream of

17 February 2018 9:00 am

Surfing has come of age. Like rock and roll, it was once strictly for young people, edgy and alternative and…

Lady Lucan, a week after the murder

How Lucky Lucan begged me for money shortly before mistakenly murdering the nanny

17 February 2018 9:00 am

A Moment in Time reminded me of the sort of British expatriate women I used to meet in the south…

Despite her inability to talk or swallow, Genevieve Fox brims with joie de vivre

17 February 2018 9:00 am

A good, solid life-threatening illness can be the making of a writer. This has certainly been the case for Genevieve…

Never had it so good: British novelists in the 1980s

13 January 2018 9:00 am

In 1990, the BBC’s adaptation of David Lodge’s culture-clash novel Nice Work won an award at a glitzy soirée in…

A master of Norwegian wood

16 December 2017 9:00 am

Ole Thorstensen has been a carpenter for 25 years. A master craftsman, in fact. He is busy working on a…

What will Katie Hopkins do next?

9 December 2017 9:00 am

In her memoir Rude, the former Mail Online columnist Katie Hopkins reveals her true self. She does this by accident,…

Secrets of an abused aristocratic childhood

2 December 2017 9:00 am

Charles Duff’s memoir tells a sad tale of cruelty and betrayal with spry wit rather than bitter resentment. Notwithstanding the…

Adam Gopnik (image: Getty)

Art and aspiration

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…

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

Descent into hell

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…

Creature comforts

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

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…

Manning up

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…

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

Watching from the wings

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…

Some insights into autism

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…

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…