Secondhand Literary Biography Books

    Barry Miles: William S. Burroughs [2014] hardback


    Authoritative biography of cult writer William Burroughs (1914-1997).It has been 50 years since Norman Mailer asserted, 'I think that William Burroughs is the only American novelist living today who may...

    Maggie O'Farrell: I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes With Death: The Breathtaking Number One Bestseller [2018] paperback



    Nigel Nicolson Mbe: Portrait Of A Marriage: Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicolson [2001] paperback


    The classic story of the relationship between Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicolson, and a unique portrait of the Bloomsbury Group.'A brilliantly structured account of the dramas, infidelities and deep emotional...

    Lorna Sage: Bad Blood (4th Estate Matchbook Classics) [2019] paperback


    One of the most critically acclaimed memoirs ever written. One of the ten books - novels, memoirs and one very unusual biography - that make up our Matchbook Classics' series,...

    Artemis Cooper: Elizabeth Jane Howard: A Dangerous Innocence [2016] hardback


    Elizabeth Jane Howard (1923-2014) wrote brilliant novels about what love can do to people, but in her own life the lasting relationship she sought so ardently always eluded her. She...

    Richard Glover: Flesh Wounds [2020] paperback


    A deluded mother who invented her past, an alcoholic father who couldn't deal with the present, a son who wondered if this could really be his family. Richard Glover's favourite...

    Gavin Mccrea: Cells: memories for my mother [2022] hardback


    'Are you going into town today?' she says, which annoys me because it's something she says all the time, having forgotten she said it before, and I say, 'Jesus, Mum,...

    David Sedaris: Me Talk Pretty One Day [2002] paperback


    A hilarious collection of essays from 'the premier observer of our world and its weirdnesses,' New York Times bestselling author David Sedaris (Adam Kay, author of This is Going to...

    Alan Bennett: A Life Like Other People's [2009] hardback


    Alan Bennett's A Life Like Other People's is a poignant family memoir offering a portrait of his parents' marriage and recalling his Leeds childhood, Christmases with Grandma Peel, and the...

    Lucy Worsley: Agatha Christie: Radio 4 Book of the Week [2022] paperback


    'One brilliant woman writing about another: an irresistible combination.' - Antonia Fraser'One of the most delightful biographies I have ever read.' - A.N. Wilson'Reading Worsley is as enjoyable as reading...

    Michael Rosen: Many Different Kinds of Love [2021] hardback


    A Guardian Book of the YearAn Evening Standard Book of the YearAn Independent Book of the Year Netgalley's non-fiction Book of the YearA national treasure's journey to the brink and...

    Dave Eggers: Zeitoun [2010] hardback


    In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, longtime New Orleans residents Abdulrahman and Kathy Zeitoun are cast into unthinkable struggle with forces beyond wind and water. Good Samaritan Abdulrahman has stayed...

    Wilde in America - Oscar Wilde and the Invention of Modern Celebrity [2015] hardback


    On 3 January 1882, Oscar Wilde, a twenty-seven-year-old "genius"-by his own reckoning-arrived in New York. The Dublin-born Oxford man had made a spectacle of himself in London with his fashion...

    Humphrey Carpenter: SEVEN LIVES OF JOHN MURRAY Z44 [2009] paperback


    From the burning of Byron's memoirs, Jane Austen's clipped businesslike manner, and the lucrative controversy caused by the publication of Darwin's Origin of Species, through to the discovery of the...

    Micheal Mac Liammoir: W. B. Yeats [1986] paperback


    Ireland's greatest poet, William Butler Yeats, was also perhaps the outstanding poet to have written in English since Wordsworth.Many of his early poems - wistful, mysterious and suffused with Pre-Raphaelite...

    Happy-Go-Lucky: David Sedaris (Language Acts and Worldmaking) [2022] paperback


    The latest instalment from always funny, sometimes bizarre humourist David Sedaris. Praise for Theft By FindingThe writing here is funnier, (even) sharper . . . There isn't a dull word...

    Ciaran. O'Driscoll: RUNNER AMONGS FALLING LEAVES Z21 [2001] paperback


    In this memoir of his childhood, O'Driscoll eloquently examines his troubled relationship with his father, whose bullying and mental abuse have affected him profoundly throughout his life. The task the...

    Artur Domoslawski: Ryszard Kapuscinski [2012] hardback


    From postcolonial Africa to revolutionary Iran, from the military dictatorships of Latin America to Soviet Russia, the Polish journalist and writer Ryszard Kapuscinski was one of the most dauntless and...

    Jenn Shapland: My Autobiography of Carson McCullers [2021] hardback


    FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARDLonglisted for the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Non-fictionHow do you tell the real story of someone misremembered - an icon and idol -...

    Joseph Farrell: ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON IN SAMOA Z44 [2017] hardback


    Shortlised for the Saltire Society Non Fiction Book of the Year Award Almost every adult and child is familiar with his Treasure Island, but few know that Robert Louis Stevenson...

    Tim Winton: The Boy Behind the Curtain: Notes From an Australian Life [2017] hardback


    The Boy Behind the Curtain is a portrait of a life, a place and a man. In this deeply personal collection of true stories and essays Tim Winton shows how...

    David Hare: BLUE TOUCH PAPER Z44 [2015] hardback


    When, in 2000, the National Theatre published its poll of the hundred best plays of the 20th century, David Hare had written five of them. Yet he was born in...

    Jay Parini: Every Time a Friend Succeeds Something Inside Me Dies [2015] hardback


    An intimate yet frank biography of Gore Vidal, one of the most accomplished, visible and controversial American novelists and cultural figures of the past century. The product of thirty years...

    John Curran: Agatha Christie's Secret Notebooks [2009] hardback


    A fascinating exploration of the contents of Agatha Christie's 73 recently discovered notebooks, including illustrations, deleted extracts, and two unpublished Poirot stories. When Agatha Christie died in 1976, aged 85,...

    Bill Bryson: Shakespeare [2007] hardback


    In this much anticipated addition to the Eminent Lives series, Bill Bryson's biography of William Shakespeare unravels the superstitions, academic discoveries and myths surrounding the life of our greatest poet...

    Richard Davenport-Hines: A Night at the Majestic [2006] hardback


    One May night in 1922, in a grand hotel in Paris, five of the greatest artists of the 20th century sat down to supper. It would be the only time...

    Vikram Seth: Two Lives [2005] hardback


    TWO LIVES tells the remarkable story of Seth's great uncle and aunt. His great uncle Shanti left India for medical school in Berlin in the 1930s and lodged with a...

    Claire Tomalin: A Life of My Own [2017] hardback


    A Sunday Times Top 10 Bestseller As one of the best biographers of her generation, Claire Tomalin has written about great novelists and poets to huge success: now, she turns...

    Susannah Clapp: A Card From Angela Carter [2012] hardback


    Angela Carter was one of the most vivid voices of the twentieth century. When she died in 1992 at the age of fifty-one, she had published fifteen books of fiction...

    Kathy Chamberlain: Jane Welsh Carlyle [2017] hardback


    Hailed by Virginia Woolf and many others as the all-time great letter writer, Jane Welsh Carlyle, wife of Thomas Carlyle, is not as well known today as she should be....

    Anchee Min: The Cooked Seed [2013] hardback


    In 1994, Anchee Min published Red Azalea, a memoir of growing up during the violent trauma of the Cultural Revolution. It became an international bestseller. Twenty years later, Min returns...

    Paul Auster: Report from the Interior [2014] paperback


    'In the beginning, everything was alive. The smallest objects were endowed with beating hearts . . .'Having recalled his life through the story of his physical self in Winter Journal,...

    James Atlas: The Shadow in the Garden [2018] hardback


    The biographer - so often in the shadows, kibbitzing, casting doubt, proving facts - here comes to the stage.James Atlas takes us back to his childhood in suburban Chicago, where...

    Isabel Allende: Paula [1996] paperback


    In December 1991, Allende's daughter Paula, aged 28 fell gravely ill and sank into a coma. This book started as a letter to Paula written during the hours spent at...

    Deborah Orr: Motherwell [2020] hardback


    *THE NO.3 SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER* 'Raw, compelling, wise and tender' Dolly Alderton'Motherwell is razor-sharp, fearless and wonderful' Adam Kay'Utterly candid and staggeringly good, both as the history of a woman...

    Alan Bennett: Writing Home [1995] paperback


    Autobiographical and idiosyncratic, this is a collection of Alan Bennett's prose writings, assembled by Bennett himself from 25 years of diaries, reminiscences, broadcasting and reviews. It includes his address at...

    Germaine Greer: White Beech: The Rainforest Years [2015] paperback


    One bright day in December 2001, sixty-two-year-old Germaine Greer found herself confronted by an irresistible challenge in the shape of sixty hectares of dairy farm, one of many in south-east...

    Anthony Holden: The Wit In The Dungeon [2006] paperback


    He was born in the year Dr Johnson died, and died in the year A.E. Houseman and Conan Doyle were born. The 75 years of Leigh Hunt's life uniquely span...

    White: Corpsing: My Body and Other Horror Shows [2021] paperback


    Nora Ephron meets Bram Stoker in Sophie White's vivid and ambitious literary non-fiction collection. White asks uncomfortable questions about the lived reality of womanhood in the 21st century, and the...

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