Biography and memoir


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Essay/
Thinkers and theories
Susan Sontag was a monster

She took things too seriously. She was difficult and unyielding. That’s why Susan Sontag’s work matters so much even now

Lauren Elkin

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Self-improvement
The creed of compromise

Don’t throw in the day job to follow your dream. Join the bifurcators who juggle work-for-pay and their work-for-love

Thomas Maloney

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Biography and memoir
The lost children

The adults who joined Bhagwan’s ashram sought freedom, love and light. Many of their children found darkness instead

Lily Dunn

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Ethics
Ethics on the battlefield

The soldier in battle is confronted with agonising, even impossible, ethical decisions. Could studying philosophy help?

Andy Owen

Classic /Biography and memoir
CLASSIC

Cerium

Primo Levi

Primo Levi, 1975

How chemistry saved Levi’s life in the final days of Auschwitz

With a new introduction and commentary by Carole Angier

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Stories and literature
The real Casanova

His name is synonymous with serial seduction but Casanova’s memoirs reveal a man greater than the sum of his ‘conquests’

Laurence Bergreen

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Philosophy of mind
Telling memories

Jewish émigrés from the former Soviet Union tell inconsistent stories. What does this say about the nature of memory?

Helen Haft

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Cosmopolitanism
This is your morning

I left the US, the land of my birth, sickened by racial injustice. But the return to a homeland is not a simple matter

Enuma Okoro

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Biography and memoir
For the love of stuff

I am my things and my things are me. I don’t want to give them up: they are narrative prompts for the story of my life

Lee Randall

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Travel
Right on track

If there is a greater thrill of travelling than the discovery of unfamiliar places, for me it’s getting there by train

Margarita Gokun Silver

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Travel
The parlance of pilots

High above London, Tokyo and Cairo, the language of the cockpit is technical, obscure, geeky – and irresistibly romantic

Mark Vanhoenacker

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Travel
The migrant’s tale

Sure it’s progressive to sympathise with young undocumented migrants, but it also locks them into a victimhood narrative

Sarah Menkedick

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Biography and memoir
Riding the wind

Hot and bothersome or exhilarating and wild: winds blow through the mind as strongly as they blow through the landscape

Karen Emslie

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Family life
Korean Thanksgiving

‘Take a photo of the spread,’ my mother says. ‘This way you can remember what to arrange when I’m dead.’

Mary H K Choi

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Demography and migration
Exiled

I mourn my beloved uncle’s death in Ethiopia as I mourn my exile. I cannot bury him, but can I bury my loss?

Mohammed Ademo