Ian Sansom

Thanks for the Memories

Divided Lives: Dreams of a Mother and Daughter

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Virago 328pp £20 order from our bookshop

I Put a Spell on You

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Jonathan Cape 288pp £16.99 order from our bookshop

Little Failure: A Memoir

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Hamish Hamilton 368pp £16.99 order from our bookshop

Oh, God, no. More memoirs? Really? Who needs them? And who cares? We do, of course. It is the art of our age, as it is the art of every age. In the end, every scribbler eventually finds their way back to themselves, to the true hoard, and to the beginning. ‘It is long ere we discover how rich we are,’ writes Ralph Waldo Emerson in his essay ‘Intellect’:

Our history, we are sure, is quite tame: we have nothing to write, nothing to infer. But our wiser years still run back to the despised recollections of childhood, and always we are fishing up some wonderful article out of that pond; until, by and by, we begin to suspect that the biography of the one foolish person we know is, in reality, nothing less than the miniature paraphrase of the hundred volumes of the Universal History. 

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