Biography and memoir


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Fairness and equality
Poor teeth

If you have a mouthful of teeth shaped by a childhood in poverty, don’t go knocking on the door of American privilege

Sarah Smarsh

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Biography and memoir
Stoop stories

My black friends call it Murderland. My white friends call it Charm City, a town of trendy cafés. I just call it home

D Watkins

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Childhood and adolescence
The great forgetting

Our first three years are usually a blur and we don’t remember much before age seven. What are we hiding from ourselves?

Kristin Ohlson

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Love and friendship
My mom

I love her and it’s a secret. I love her so much it kills me, and you bet I’d sooner die than tell her

Mary H K Choi

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Life stages
Awaiting renewal

I’m 43 years old now, damn it, and my life is amazing. So why am I comparing myself to some styled professional?

Heather Havrilesky

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Design and fashion
Hot girl #2

Because I’m getting older, my days as a model are numbered – and I’m not sure what to do next

Melissa Stetten

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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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Biography and memoir
Hotel Melancholia

Travel is supposed to make us feel more alive, so why is the hotel room a place of such loneliness and despair?

Suzanne Joinson

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Meaning and the good life
Je regrette

Our forward-charging culture sees regret as a sign of weakness and failure. But how else can we learn from our past?

Carina Chocano

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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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Ethics
Ethics on the battlefield

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

Andy Owen

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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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Biography and memoir
Like a prayer

Even secular people need time out to meditate, reflect, and give thanks. Is prayer the answer?

Heather Havrilesky

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Death
The death of my father

When someone close to you dies, the very fabric of your life is ripped to shreds. Is philosophy any consolation?

Julian Baggini

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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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Demography and migration
Losing my voice

When I left Nigeria for Belgium, I made my husband’s home my own. But homesickness lodged like a stone inside

Chika Unigwe

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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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Illness and disease
Unravelling man

Bipolar disorder can rage through life like a hurricane. So why does the US healthcare system leave us to cope alone?

Kristin Ohlson

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Chemistry
American petro-topia

The genius and hubris of plastic has been absorbed by every living thing. Is it a curse or evolution’s next step?

Rebecca Altman

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Biography and memoir
The coward

My husband got the death threat, but I went into hiding. Are some brains wired for courage and others for fear?

Caren Chesler

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Demography and migration
Searching for home

My connection to place is fluid and complex. In a nomadic world, do we still need a home?

Ruth Behar

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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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Childhood and adolescence
The wanderer

My grandfather was a legend – a holy vagabond whose life spanned India’s 20th century. Why did I let him elude me?

Samanth Subramanian

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Childhood and adolescence
A raccoon of my own

Only a handful of all the animal species on earth can be tamed, but that doesn’t stop a homesick girl of 15 from trying

Lauren Slater

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Consciousness and altered states
Like someone is there

Ineffable encounters and moments of ego-transcendence can be quite matter-of-fact. What’s really going on?

Ken MacLeod

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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