Tagged: Biography/memoir

Editors choice

My Past Is a Foreign Country: A Muslim feminist finds herself

by Zeba Talkhani

"For years I yearned for love and acceptance until I realised that the voice I was looking for was mine.' At 28, the admirable Talkhani tells her already epic personal story in this inspiring memoir. Raised amid the patriarchal strictures of Saudi Arabia, as a young woman she rejected the traditional path her culture had mapped out for her.

Sceptre, £14.99, 27th June 2019, 9781473684065
Editors choice

On the Red Hill: Where Four Lives Fell Into Place

by Mike Parker

In the early 2000s, Parker and his partner moved to a remote village in West Wales and met Reg and George, a couple for over 60 years who settled there at a time when their relationship could have landed them in prison. The four men became firm friends, and when Reg and George died within a few weeks of one another, they willed their house, Rhiw Goch-the Red Hill-to Parker and his partner. This spellbinding, gorgeously written book is a portrait of two relationships through the ebb and flow of the seasons. It is also a valuable portrait of the queer rural experience.

William Heinemann Ltd, £16.99, 6th June 2019, 9781785151934
Editors choice

Mother Ship

by Francesca Segal

"Each woman of the milking shed has been swept out by a riptide, pulled far from the current of normal motherhood." This riveting memoir—the first non-fiction book by an award-winning novelist—beautifully evokes the heart-in-mouth weeks that followed the premature births of Segal's identical twin girls as they fought to hold on to life.

Chatto & Windus, £14.99, 6th June 2019, 9781784742690
Editors choice

Family Business

by Peter J. Conradi

As well as being Iris Murdoch's biographer, Conradi was her disciple and close friend, and towards the end of her life, her carer. In Murdoch's centenary year, this multi-stranded and deeply thoughtful memoir provides a more much personal account of their friendship than his official biography could. It takes in Conradi's upbringing in an upwardly mobile European Jewish family, his life in London as a gay man before homosexuality was decriminalised, his part in the early campaigns for gay rights, becoming a Buddhist, and finding peace in the Welsh Marches.

Seren, £20.00, 3rd June 2019, 9781781725016

Noble Savages: The Olivier Sisters

by Sarah Watling

Winner of the Tony Lothian Prize for the best first uncommissioned biography, this tells of the four "emancipated, determined and wild" Olivier sisters whose dramatic interconnected lives span the 20th century. Margery and Daphne studied at Cambridge when education was still thought to be damaging to ovaries and formed a group called the Neo Pagans. Daphne later set up Britain's first Steiner school, while Noel was one of very few female doctors before the First World War. Sounds wonderful.

Jonathan Cape Ltd, £25.00, 6th June 2019, 9781787330191

The Churchill Who Saved Blenheim: The Life of Sunny, 9th Duke of Marlborough

by M. Waterhouse

Written by the ninth Duke's grandson, this is the untold story of the husband of "dollar princess" Consuelo Vanderbilt. It aims to somewhat restore his reputation, especially in respect to Blenheim Palace, which he "left in a far better state than he found it".

Unicorn Publishing Group, £25.00, 13th June 2019, 9781912690220

A Lesson in Art and Life: The Colourful World of Cedric Morris and Arthur Lett Haines

by Hugh St Clair

"Long overdue" biography of a couple who were hugely influential across the spheres of art, gardening and cookery. Morris became a sought-after painter of flowers, birds and landscapes (David Bowie collected his art); Lett-Haines was hailed as "Britain's first Surrealist" and was a superb cook, who swapped recipes with Elizabeth David.

Pimpernel Press Ltd, £30.00, 6th June 2019, 9781910258361

The Shepherd and the Morning Star

by Willie Orr

This double biography and autobiography charts both the author's struggles with mental health and his eventual recovery, and also his relationship with his father Lawrence, a leading Unionist politician in Northern Ireland during the height of the Troubles. "A deeply absorbing and powerful piece of writing," says Birlinn.

Birlinn Ltd, £9.99, 6th June 2019, 9781780275888

The Making of Poetry: Coleridge, the Wordsworths and Their Year of Marvels

by Adam Nicolson

"Wordsworth and Coleridge as you've never seen them before." This dual biography, "brimming with poetry, art and nature writing", recounts the 16 months during which two young men of genius, living on the edge of the Quantocks, developed a new understanding of nature, the world and themselves, and discovered that "poetry was not an aspect of civilisation but a challenge to it". Illustrated with woodcuts by Tom Hammick, it sounds marvellous. Next year is the 250th anniversary of Wordsworth's birth.

William Collins, £25.00, 30th May 2019, 9780008126476

King and Emperor: A New Life of Charlemagne

by Janet L. Nelson

Brings together everything we know about Charles, King of the Franks, and sifts through the evidence to come as close as we can to understanding the man and his motives, in this "sort of detective story" that makes use of everything from prayer books to skeletons, and from gossip to artwork.

Allen Lane, £25.00, 27th June 2019, 9780713992434
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