Biography books

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Two Way Mirror by Fiona Sampson review – a fine life of Elizabeth Barrett Browning
A portrait of the poet and ‘public prophet’ spotlights her entanglements with empire and race but doesn’t neglect the schlockier pleasures of biographical speculation

Kathryn Hughes

24, Feb, 2021 @10:00 AM

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Sally Bayley: what Shakespeare taught me about my family
Falstaff, Mistress Quickly and the fairy rulers of A Midsummer Night’s Dream helped the author through a traumatic childhood and feature in her memoir No Boys Play Here

Claire Armitstead

23, Feb, 2021 @3:00 PM

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Amos Oz accused of 'sadistic abuse' by daughter in new memoir
Galia Oz claims late author – hailed as Israel’s greatest – beat and humiliated her in childhood, but siblings say they remember him differently

Alison Flood

23, Feb, 2021 @12:34 PM

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In brief: Princess Mary; We Are Not in the World; A Curious History of Sex – review
A study of a neglected royal, a lyrical novel about a father and daughter; and an eye-opening look at carnal activity

Alexander Larman

21, Feb, 2021 @9:30 AM

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Unfinished manuscripts that lay behind Palestinian critic’s stated contempt for fiction
Scholar Edward Said longed to write novels, yet never succeeded, a new biography reveals

Donna Ferguson

21, Feb, 2021 @6:30 AM

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On my radar: Brett Anderson's cultural highlights
The Suede frontman on his latest musical discoveries, the brilliance of Michael Clark and the enduring appeal of mudlarking by the Thames

Brett Anderson

20, Feb, 2021 @3:00 PM

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Johnny Rogan obituary
Music biographer whose tenacity and meticulous attention to detail did not always please his subjects

Chris Charlesworth

18, Feb, 2021 @12:46 PM

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Gay Bar by Jeremy Atherton Lin – a going out memoir
An incisive history of London, LA and San Francisco recalls the sights, sounds and distinctive smells of gay life from the 1990s to today

Colm Tóibín

18, Feb, 2021 @7:30 AM

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How we made: Nick Lowe on Cruel to Be Kind
‘When the record company liked it, I was embarrassed – I was a hip new wave producer by then. I said I had a better song about a woman who was eaten by her dog’

Interviews by Jack Watkins

15, Feb, 2021 @3:47 PM

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Bessie Smith by Jackie Kay review – a potent blues brew
This welcome reissue of the poet’s 1997 book about the ‘empress of the blues’ combines fact, personal memory and poetry to create an eloquent ‘herstory’

Kitty Empire

15, Feb, 2021 @7:00 AM

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Remembering Jeremy Heywood, the civil servant who ran Britain
In Suzanne Heywood’s memoir, What Does Jeremy Think?, she reveals the inner workings of Whitehall – and its ‘greatest servant’, her husband

Tim Adams

14, Feb, 2021 @11:00 AM

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What’s in a surname? The female artists lost to history because they got married
A new biography of the painter Isabel Rawsthorne highlights how talented women have often missed out on the recognition they deserved

Vanessa Thorpe

13, Feb, 2021 @9:30 PM

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