Memoir

Cover image for Featherhood by Charlie Gilmour

Featherhood by Charlie Gilmour: Of birds and fathers

I suspect I wouldn’t have read Charlie Gilmour’s memoir had it not been for the persuasive, clearly heartfelt enthusiasm of its editor coupled with a great quote in the letter which accompanied the proof. Gilmour’s name may be familiar to many through his stepfather, Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour, or his brief period of notoriety …

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Dinner with Edward by Isabel Vincent: A Story of an Unexpected Friendship

Regular readers will know that I’m not one for words like ‘charming’ and ‘delightful’ – smacks too much of tweeness for me – but when I read the pitch for Isabel Vincent’s Dinner with Edward, they immediately popped into my head. Another one was ‘Christmas’, but that’s the old bookseller in me. Vincent’s book tells …

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All Things Consoled by Elizabeth Hay: Families and how to survive them

I was initially attracted to Elizabeth Hay’s memoir for the same reason I read Ann Patchett’s This is the Story of a Happy Marriage: I’d enjoyed several of her novels very much, in particular Late Nights on Air. Truth be told, though, aren’t we all fascinated by other people’s families, perhaps looking for similarities with …

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The Sunday Times / Peters Fraser + Dunlop Young Writer Of The Year Award, in association with The University of Warwick: The Reading Cure by Laura Freeman

One of the many good things about shadow judging this award is that it’s made me review non-fiction. It’s not that I don’t read it but the last book I reviewed that wasn’t fiction was back in May. Laura Freeman’s The Reading Cure was already in my sights before the shortlist was announced but if …

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Alive, Alive Oh! by Diana Athill: A long life well lived

I first came across Diana Athill’s elegant prose in Stet, her account of her time at André Deutsch, the publishing house she co-founded in 1951 with her eponymous business partner. Deutsch was a refugee, one of the many who shaped modern British publishing. For readers who haven’t yet come across the book, it’s a treat …

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In Other Words by Jhumpa Lahiri (translated by Anne Goldstein): A passion for language

I was more than a little surprised to be sent a new Jhumpa Lahiri. I’m pretty up and together on my ‘Books to Look Out For’ previews and I’d seen nothing in the fiction schedules. Then I spotted that it had been translated which discombobulated me further. Reading the press release I found that In …

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