Category Archives: Biography and Autobiography

Leaving Home: Deborah Feldman’s Unorthodox

Feldman, Deborah. Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots. Simon and Schuster, 2012. The only child of a mother who left the community and of a mentally challenged father unable to care for her, Feldman was raised by her paternal … Continue reading

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Life in a Setting Sun: Peter Godwin’s Mukiwa: A White Boy in Africa

Godwin, Peter. Mukiwa. A White Boy in Africa. 1996. HarperPerennial, 1997. Just after I started work for a large firm of London solicitors in the summer of 1969, a frisson of excitement rippled through the office because one of the typists … Continue reading

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A Respectable Life? Ruth Scurr’s John Aubrey: My Own Life

Scurr, Ruth. John Aubrey: My Own Life.Vintage, 2015. You are probably aware of John Aubrey’s Brief Livesand of Anthony Powell’s John Aubrey and His Friends. Anyone reading about Restoration England is also fairly used to coming across references to Aubrey … Continue reading

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The Personal View: Christabel Bielenberg’s The Past is Myself and The Road Ahead

I found this draft post unposted earlier today. I wrote it just before I left home and didn’t put it on line.  Bielenberg, Christabel. The Past is Myself. Chatto, 1968. Corgi, 1984 and The Road Ahead. Bantam 1992. Corgi, 1993. … Continue reading

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Remembering: Lynn Barber’s An Education

Barber, Lynn. An Education. Penguin, 2009. I thought I had posted about this book when I first read it a few years ago. I was mistaken. Some of you may have seen the film of the same name starring Carey … Continue reading

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Ethics of Memory: Tom Segev’s Simon Wiesenthal: The Life and Legends

Segev, Tom. Simon Wiesenthal: The Life and Legends. Trans. Ronnie Hope. Doubleday, 2010. Excluding the acknowledgements and detailed notes, this book takes 409 pages. At times, as is often the case with biographies, the book felt like a mere listing … Continue reading

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Deciphering Freedom: Sarah Bakewell’s At The Existentialist Café

Bakewell, Sarah. At The Existentialist Café: Freedom, Being and Apricot Cocktails. Knopf Canada,  2016. How I wish Sarah Bakewell had been my Philosophy professor when I began my undergraduate career. How I wish she’d been around to talk to when … Continue reading

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