The Reading List: Family memoirs
Monday 25 July 2011
'My Father's Fortune' by Michael Frayn, Faber & Faber, £15.99
Winner of last week's PEN prize, Michael Frayn's atmospheric memoir traces his family lineage, from his grandparents through to his father, a builders' commercial traveller and perennial odd one out. Rich in domestic detail, the work is beautifully crafted and elegantly written.
'I Slept with Joey Ramone' by Legs McNeil and Mickey Leigh, Touchstone, £11.99
Joey Ramone co-founded The Ramones, offering one of the defining sounds of 1970s New York. Here, his brother, Mickey Leigh, documents the rock star's evolution: from the suburban child with low self-esteem and possible obsessive compulsive disorder, to the Greenwich Village hipster and musical pioneer. A vibrant musical memoir.
'Dreams from My Father (A Story of Race and Inheritance)' by Barack Obama, Canongate, £8.99
The US President's memoirs deal not only with his own childhood but also with his parents' story. After receiving a phone call informing him of his father's death, Obama journeys to Africa to uncover the tale that made his dad the man he was. Concluding just as the future president enrolled at Harvard Law School, Dreams from My Father has become a must-read for anyone with an interest in politics.
'Bad Blood: A Memoir' by Lorna Sage, Fourth Estate, £8.99
Harrowing and hopeful, Welsh literary critic Lorna Sage's book recounts her difficult childhood being brought up by a submissive mother and her tyrannical grandparents. Throughout, her grandfather, a womanising, hard-drinking cleric, looms large.
'Madame Curie: A Biography' by Eve Curie, Da Capo Press, £14.99
Eve Curie chronicles the achievements of her mother, Marie Curie, the pioneering scientist renowned for her research on radioactivity. Beginning with her childhood in Poland, it recounts her marriage to Pierre Curie, her winning of two Nobel Prizes in Physics and Chemistry and the tragic irony of her death from aplastic anaemia.
Ray Davies' Sunny Afternoon scoops the most awardsTheatre
Grace DentChannel 4 show proves there's no app for happiness
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 2 Ben Affleck asked TV chiefs to hide slave-owning ancestry, new hacked Sony emails published by Wikileaks claim
- 3 Driving while dehydrated can be just as dangerous as drink driving, study suggests
- 4 Farmer told to tear down mock-Tudor castle after hiding construction behind hay bales
- 5 One Direction: Louis Tomlinson launching his own record label, has already 'signed two acts'
Better Call Saul creator Peter Gould on the creative concerns of a prequel, season 2 and the mind-numbing realities of the small courts
Britain's Got Talent 2015: RSPCA investigating Marc Metral's miming dog after cruelty complaints
One Direction: Louis Tomlinson launching his own record label, has already 'signed two acts'
Tidal CEO leaves Jay Z's music streaming service only a month after it launched
Star Wars 7: The Force Awakens: Luke Skywalker actor Mark Hamill admits he was suspicious of 'Star Trek guy' JJ Abrams
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate