The Reading List: Family memoirs

Alice-Azania Jarvis
Monday 25 July 2011 00:00
Comments

Literature

'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.

Music

'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.

Politics

'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.

Family

'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.

Medicine

'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.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in