Biography books

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In brief: Three Times a Countess; Queen High; Nina Simone’s Gum – review
An eye-opening biography of Raine Spencer; an exciting counterfactual novel set in postwar Britain; and Warren Ellis’s witty account of devotion

Alexander Larman

02, Oct, 2022 @3:00 PM

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Boris Johnson by Andrew Gimson review – a fawning defence
It requires an iron self-discipline to get through more than 400 pages of sympathy for our disgraced former prime minister

Sonia Purnell

28, Sep, 2022 @10:00 AM

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Terry Pratchett: A Life With Footnotes by Rob Wilkins review – anecdotes, elephants and ‘an embuggerance’
A new biography by the fantasy novelist’s longtime assistant provides a joyful and painful closeup of the irrepressible writer who made the absurd strangely convincing

Frank Cottrell-Boyce

25, Sep, 2022 @6:00 AM

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‘Everyone’s got a book in them’: boom in memoir industry as ordinary people record their stories
Companies providing ghostwritten autobiographies for people wanting to share histories have seen surge in trade since Covid

David Barnett

24, Sep, 2022 @2:00 PM

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Violence of British empire in focus on Baillie Gifford longlist
Legacy of Violence: A History of the British Empire by Caroline Elkins among potential winners of £50,000 nonfiction prize

Sarah Shaffi

22, Sep, 2022 @8:00 AM

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Agatha Christie by Lucy Worsley; Marple: Twelve New Stories – review
With a keen historian’s eye, Lucy Worsley pieces together the queen of crime’s life, work and misunderstood episode of mental illness, while Val McDermid, Natalie Haynes and others put a fresh spin on Miss Marple

Stephanie Merritt

18, Sep, 2022 @10:00 AM

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Xi Jinping by Aust and Geiges; China After Mao by Frank Dikötter review
China’s president is shoring up his authority but, as Dikötter’s weighty study of the country indicates, he might have less of it than he thinks

Isabel Hilton

18, Sep, 2022 @6:00 AM

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Jann Wenner on Rolling Stone: ‘Some reviews were just insufferably nasty’
The founder of the legendary magazine discusses his rise to the top, navigating famous friendships and hiding his sexuality

Jim Farber

16, Sep, 2022 @3:07 PM

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Diaghilev’s Empire by Rupert Christiansen review – brilliance of the Ballets Russes
How the visionary impresario’s revolutionary ballet company took the Paris of Pablo Picasso and Coco Chanel by storm

Kathryn Hughes

16, Sep, 2022 @8:00 AM

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A Visible Man by Edward Enninful review – the long road to Vogue
A refreshingly intimate account of Enninful’s rise from refugee status to editor-in-chief

Michael Donkor

15, Sep, 2022 @10:00 AM

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Retrospective by Juan Gabriel Vásquez review – Mao, movies and me
From Red Guard in China to guerrilla fighter in Colombia … the extraordinary life of a film-maker is barely fictionalised

Melissa Harrison

15, Sep, 2022 @8:00 AM

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Charlie’s Good Tonight by Paul Sexton review – chronicles of a reluctant Stone
The authorised biography of the Rolling Stones’ late drummer is warm and diligent on his love of jazz and family – while ducking any difficult issues

Neil Spencer

13, Sep, 2022 @6:00 AM

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