Biography and Memoir reviews

The Motherhood edited by Jamila Rizvi

Reviewed by Chris Gordon

In The Motherhood, Jamila Rizvi has compiled a collection of letters all written by women to earlier versions of themselves in a bid to offer guidance and reassurance for those frightful, incredibly …

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Girls at the Piano by Virginia Lloyd

Reviewed by Jo Case

Entering the world of some memoirs feels like an intimate conversation with a stranger who will, over the course of your time together, become your new best friend. Reading Virginia Lloyd’s exquisite…

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Growing Up Aboriginal in Australia edited by Anita Heiss

Reviewed by George Delaney

This brilliant collection of short memoir from Indigenous writers highlights an enormous diversity in the life stories of Aboriginal people in Australia, from those who grew up in middle-class suburb…

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Educated by Tara Westover

Reviewed by Nina Kenwood

Tara Westover grew up on a mountain in Idaho with her parents and six siblings. She was given almost no formal education, as her father kept the family isolated, prepping for the end times, eschewing…

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Afterglow by Eileen Myles

Reviewed by George Delaney

Afterglow is the ‘memoir’ of Eileen Myles’ dog Rosie, a pitbull-cross who figures in Myles’ earlier work, particularly in sections of Inferno, where the poet describes halcyon months spent in upstate…

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The Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell

Reviewed by George Delaney

I was reluctant to make a start on this diary because I suspected it might, in the spirit of its ur-text, Black Books, engender short-tempered job dissatisfaction and make me feel like I was repeatin…

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Tracker by Alexis Wright

Reviewed by Bronte Coates

A fiercely intelligent and provocative writer, Alexis Wright is one of the most important voices in our literary landscape. Her singular books – whether a richly surreal imagining of the future (The

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Logical Family by Armistead Maupin

Reviewed by Jason Austin

Armistead Maupin’s nine-volume Tales of the City chronicle is a cultural icon. Among other things, it’s the story of gay life in San Francisco from the late 1970s, through the AIDS crisis and ending …

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Danger Music by Eddie Ayres

Reviewed by Marie Matteson

Eddie Ayres was 12 when he saw Afghanistan for the first time. It was on television. The Soviets had just invaded. He was 49 when he last left Afghanistan after teaching at the Afghanistan National I…

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Mayhem by Sigrid Rausing

Reviewed by Jo Case

Sigrid Rausing is the editor (and owner) of Granta. Her grandfather built the Tetrapak global packaging empire. An heir to the resulting fortune, Rausing’s first memory is the smell and alienation of…

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