BOOKS / Recommended

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The Independent Culture
Under my Skin by Doris Lessing, HarperCollins, pounds 20. Stirring and very impressive memoirs by the eminent novelist, which move through the spirit of the age. Interview by Natasha Walter, 15 October.

Coming Back Brockens by Mark Hudson, Cape, pounds 16.99. A sober and evocative account of a year spent in a Durham mining village. The mine closes. Review by Robert Winder, 21 October.

Writing Home by Alan Bennett, Faber pounds 17.50. Marvellous anecdotes and observations on English life, stirred by the author's rare humour. Review by Mark Lawson, 8 October.

First Grey, then White, then Blue by Margriet de Moor, translated from the Dutch by Paul Vincent, Picador, pounds 5.99. A love-and-death story of great refinement. Winner of the Independent Foreign Fiction Award for August / September.

None to Accompany Me by Nadine Gordimer, Bloomsbury, pounds 15.99.

Gordimer's new novel deals eloquently with both the euphoria and the realities of life in the new South Africa. Review by Briege Duffaud, 17 September.

The Last Three Minutes by Paul Davies, Orion, pounds 9.99. A gripping and sharp Cook's tour of the universe, a tribute to the wonders of science.

Review by Tom Wilkie, 19 October.

Nelson: A Personal History by Christopher Hibbert, Viking, pounds 20. A portrait that reveals Nelson as a popinjay, a perfect ass and a great man.

Review by Jan Morris, 22 October The Silent Woman by Janet Malcolm, Picador, pounds 14.99 A controversial and compelling book, which uses the case of Sylvia Plath to discuss the ethics of biography. Review by Lucasta Miller, 22 October