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.
Game of Thrones
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
- 2 Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
- 3 Make your voice heard: Sign The Independent's petition to welcome refugees
- 4 Refugee crisis: Aylan's life was full of fear - in death, he is part of 'humanity washed ashore'
- 5 German police forced to ask public to stop bringing donations for refugees arriving by train
The real reason Eddie Redmayne was cast as a trans woman in The Danish Girl
First Look at Bryan Cranston transformed into LBJ for HBO’s ‘All the Way’ film
Idris Elba is ‘too street’ to play 007, says James Bond author
This little boy loves books so much that he cries when his mother stops reading to him
Does this Game of Thrones season 6 filming location give away an important character death?
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up