No catches, no fine print just unadulterated book loving, with your favourite books saved to your own digital bookshelf.
New members get entered into our monthly draw to win £100 to spend in your local bookshop Plus lots lots more…Find out more
See below for a selection of the latest books from Autobiography: literary category. Presented with a red border are the Autobiography: literary books that have been lovingly read and reviewed by the experts at Lovereading. With expert reading recommendations made by people with a passion for books and some unique features Lovereading will help you find great Autobiography: literary books and those from many more genres to read that will keep you inspired and entertained. And it's all free!
`The small translucent bottle of shampoo outlived him. It was the kind you take home from hotels in distant places. For over a year it had sat on the shower shelf where he had left it. I looked at it every day.' After the death of her partner of thirty-two years, Lisa Appignanesi was thrust into a state striated by rage and superstition in which sanity felt elusive. The dead of prior generations loomed large and haunting. Then, too, the cultural and political moment seemed to collude with her condition: everywhere people were dislocated and angry. In this electrifying and brave examination of an ordinary enough death and its aftermath, Appignanesi uses all her evocative and analytic powers to scrutinize her own and our society's experience of grieving, the effects of loss and the potent, mythical space it occupies in our lives. With searing honesty, lashed by humour, she navigates us onto the terrain of childhood, the way it forms our feelings of love and hate, and steers us towards a less tumultuous version of the everyday. This book may be short, but life, death, madness, love, and grandchildren, are all there - seen through the eyes of a writer who is ever aware of the historical and current vagaries of woman's condition.
Taken together, Arthur Koestler's volumes of autobiography constitute an unrivalled study of twentieth-century man and his dilemma. Arrow in the Blue ended with his joining the Communist Party and The Invisible Writing covers some of the most important experiences in his life. This book tells of Koestler's travels through Russia and remote parts of Soviet Central Asia and of his life as an exile. It puts in perspective his experiences in Franco's prisons under sentence of death and in concentration camps in Occupied France and ends with his escape in 1940 to England, where he found stability and a new home.
Born in 1922 in the tiny Portuguese village of Azinhaga, Jose Saramago was only a baby when his family moved to a series of cramped lodgings in a working-class neighbourhood of Lisbon. Nevertheless, he would return to the village throughout his early life, its river and olive groves seeping deep into his memory. Shifting between Azinhaga and Lisbon, this touching book is a mosaic of memories. Written with characteristic wit and honesty, Small Memories traces the formation of an artist always fascinated by language and who emerged, against all odds, as one of the world's most respected writers.
What is The Tiger Who Came to Tea really about? What has Meg and Mog got to do with Polish embroidery? Why is death in picture books so often represented by being eaten? We've read Green Eggs and Ham, laughed at Mr Tickle and whetted our appetites with The Very Hungry Caterpillar. But what lies behind the picture books that make up our childhood? Fierce Bad Rabbits takes us on an eye-opening journey in a pea-green boat through the history of picture books. From Edward Lear through to Beatrix Potter and contemporary picture books like Stick Man, Clare Pollard shines a light on some of our best-loved childhood stories, their histories and what they really mean. Because the best picture books are far more complex than they seem - and darker too. Monsters can gobble up children and go unnoticed, power is not always used wisely, and the wild things are closer than you think. Sparkling with wit, magic and nostalgia, Fierce Bad Rabbits weaves in tales from Clare's own childhood, and her re-readings as a parent, with fascinating facts and theories about the authors behind the books. Introducing you to new treasures while bringing your childhood favourites to vivid life, it will make you see even stories you've read a hundred times afresh.
Samuel Richardson (1689-1761) was a prominent eighteenth-century printer and businessman as well as an important and influential English novelist. He was also a prolific letter writer. This volume in the first ever full edition of Richardson's correspondence offers a fascinating glimpse of the writer in his final years - at the height of his professional powers but facing the challenging circumstances of physical decline and commercial conflict. The collection of miscellaneous letters addresses a variety of issues ranging from details of Richardson's printing operation to his mentorship of women writers including Sarah Fielding, Anna Meades and Frances Sheridan. Other correspondents of note include Samuel Johnson, Meta Klopstock, Thomas Sheridan and Tobias Smollett. Taken together this series of letters draws an intimate picture of Richardson's professional and personal circles as they exchange family gossip, business advice, literary anecdotes and news of the day.
Andrei Sinyavsky wrote In Gogol's Shadow while serving time in a Soviet labor camp. Opening with Gogol's funeral, this unorthodox biography strips the man away from the myth. Sinyavsky challenges the deeply held Russian and Soviet view-promoted by Gogol-that Gogol was first and foremost a political writer, whose biting satire was part of a quest for his country's salvation. In Gogol's Shadow reveals a writer more obsessed with language than with politics. Gogol's attempt to force his art neatly into the function of exposing social ills is undermined by his uncanny imagination and inventiveness. Over the course of his investigation, Sinyavsky's own style comes to recall the digressive, free-flowing prose of the author of Dead Souls and The Government Inspector. This irreverent and incisive analysis of Gogol's life and work is a path-breaking exploration of literary creativity in times of strict censorship and ideological control.
David Hare has long been one of Britain's best-known screenwriters and dramatists. He's the author of more than thirty acclaimed plays that have appeared on Broadway, in the West End, and at the National Theatre. He wrote the screenplays for the hugely successful films The Hours, Plenty, and The Reader. Most recently, his play Skylight won the 2015 Tony Award for Best Revival on Broadway. Now, in his debut work of autobiography, Britain's leading contemporary playwright (Sunday Times) offers a vibrant and affecting account of becoming a writer amid the enormous flux of postwar England. In his customarily dazzling prose and with great warmth and humor, he takes us from his university days at Cambridge to the swinging 1960s, when he cofounded the influential Portable Theatre in London and took a memorable road trip across America, to his breakthrough successes as a playwright amid the political ferment of the '70s and the moment when Margaret Thatcher came to power at the end of the decade. Through it all, Hare sets the progress of his own life against the dramatic changes in postwar England, in which faith in hierarchy, religion, empire, and the public good all withered away. Filled with indelible glimpses of such figures as Alfred Hitchcock, Laurence Olivier, Tennessee Williams, Helen Mirren, and Joseph Papp, The Blue Touch Paper is a powerful evocation of a society in transition and a writer in the making.
Shots From the Hip is the memoir of Daniel Reid, a world-renowned expert on consciousness, holistic medicine and living life to the full. It recounts a life lived footloose and free, unbound by convention and driven by a quest for new experiences on roads less traveled. From the sex, drugs, and rock & roll scene of Late Sixties America to the opium dens, bars, and bordellos of far-flung Asian outposts, the author recounts his outlandish escapades in a rollicking narrative told with flair and candor. But that's just the tip of the iceberg. Shots From the Hip is also an in-depth commentary on life itself, and a deliberation on death drawn from the author's own close encounters. Reid, who calls himself a Sinopath, felt a link with China early in life, compelling him to cultivate his taste for all things Chinese, from poetry and philosophy to food and women. His sinologisms entice the reader with tasty treats from the gourmet feast of traditional Chinese life. There is also a love story running through these pages, a tender tribute to the redemptive power of a woman's love for a man in the extremes of adversity. For readers with an appetite for the exotic and bizarre, the author offers a generous banquet of vicarious experience, while for those interested in loftier ideas, he shares new insights about ancient spiritual questions and the enduring mysteries of the mind. Reid's explanations of alternate ways to understand reality, drawn from Eastern teachings may provide readers with new perspectives on their own lives.
George's memory is inseparable from Orkney, where he was born the youngest child of a poor family and which he rarely left. His mother was a beautiful woman who spoke only Gaelic and his father was a wit, mimic and singer, who also doubled as postman and tailor. Tuberculosis framed George's early life and kept him in a kind of limbo. He discovered alcohol which gave him insights into the workings of the mind. While attending the University of Edinburgh he came into contact with Goodsir Smith, MacDiarmid and Norman MacCaig - and Stella Cartwright with whom perhaps all of them were in love. By the time of his death in 1996 he was recognised as one of the great writers of his time and country.
This classic autobiography is a moving life story that reveals great insight into the making of a major writer. Broken down into three distinct parts, the book details Anderson's childhood, along with the years she spent primarily as a mother and the wife of a prominent naval officer, before concluding with her return to school and a renewal of the desire to write late in life. Her life's story poignantly illuminates not only her own existence, but also that of her country, New Zealand, over the past 80 years.