Sixties mystic

28 May 2011 12:00 am

The misery memoir is the fad of the moment.


The Russian connection

7 May 2011 12:00 am

It’s impossible not to warm to the author of this book, a perky Turkish-American woman with a fascination with Russian literature and an irresistible comic touch.


The choppy sea of family life

7 May 2011 12:00 am

This is a lovely book. Judy Golding writes of her father —indeed of both her parents — with candour, humour and great insight and perception


Pet obsession

16 April 2011 12:00 am

I declare two interests. I own a dog, Lily, and I admire the New York Review of Books. What could go wrong?


The wisdom of youth

9 April 2011 12:00 am

‘You must write it all down’ is the age-old plea to elderly relatives about their childhood memories.


Hand over fist

26 February 2011 12:00 am

When King Abdullah first started work on this political memoir two years ago, he can hardly have imagined how different the Middle East would look by the time of its publication.


Land of lost content

11 September 2010 12:00 am

Tom Frayn, says his son Michael in this admirable memoir, trod lightly upon the earth.


Out of the woods

21 August 2010 12:00 am

These two memoirs by ladies born into the Russian elite in the 1880s have both had to wait many decades before publication in English.


Fighting spirit

20 January 2010 12:00 am

The metaphors that come to us when we are sick, trapped in the no-man’s land bet- ween consciousness and oblivion, are often the most vivid of which our minds are capable.

His island story

4 November 2009 12:00 am

‘If you don’t come to terms with the ghost of your father, it will never let you be your own man.’ Here Christopher Ondaatje (brother of novelist Michael) combines his voyage of filial discovery with another quest: to pursue his obsession with a story he heard at his father’s knee, of a man-eating leopard.

The one that got away

14 October 2009 12:00 am

Michael Palin is the meekest, mildest and nicest of the Pythons.

Making the running

16 September 2009 12:00 am

Journalists’ memoirs tend to be as transitory as the great stories they so lovingly recall.

Fiery genius

16 September 2009 12:00 am

In July 1967, a young artist named John Nankivell, living in Wantage, plucked up the courage to knock on John Betjeman’s front door, in the same town, to show the poet (whom he had never met) some of his architectural drawings.

Gut instincts

9 September 2009 12:00 am

Julie Powell wrote Julie and Julia, a book (and now a film) in which she described her attempts to cook a huge number of recipes by the cookery writer Julia Child.

House of memories

2 September 2009 12:00 am

Selina Hastings recalls her visit in 1989 to Lady Beauchamp, mistress of Madresfield

Puzzling out the past

7 April 2009 12:00 am

The Pattern in the Carpet, by Margaret Drabble


The world of big brother

1 April 2009 12:00 am

The Music Room, by William Fiennes

Beyond the wildest dreams

12 December 2008 12:00 am

Collections of Nothing, by William Davies King

Memoirs of the Great War

10 December 2008 12:00 am

Survivors of a Kind, by Brian Bond

Living the legend

3 December 2008 12:00 am

My Judy Garland Life, by Susie Boyt

The view from the middle lane

3 December 2008 12:00 am

The Hugo Young Papers: Thirty Years of British Politics — Off the Record, by Hugo Young, edited by Ion Trewin