In this collection, the reclusive Italian author Elena Ferrante addresses her unwavering decision to remain out of the public eye, her literary inspirations, Italian politics and culture, and the role of the writer (and the publisher) in modern society. This title has added interest now after Ferrante’s identity was recently revealed by an Italian journalist.
In August 1947, Diana Athill travelled to Florence by the Golden Arrow train for a two-week holiday with her good friend Pen. In this playful diary of that trip, Athill recorded her observations and adventures - eating with (and paid for by) the hopeful men they meet on their travels, admiring architectural sights, sampling delicious pastries, eking out their budget and getting into scrapes.
In July 2012, aged 30, Juliet Jacques underwent sex reassignment surgery and felt for the first time that her body matched the person she felt she had been since childhood. Through university and then in a series of dead-end clerical jobs, Jacques felt out of place with her surroundings, and with who she really was. Living in Brighton, trying to launch a career as a writer, she navigates the hostilities and misunderstandings of growing up in a time where the mainstream media fail to acknowledge transgender identity. Yet through films, music, politics and football she begins to find herself, and starts the process of transition. Through her memoir, Jacques interweaves the narrative with powerful explorations of many of the major debates surrounding trans: the uses of life writing, the relationship with feminism, and the ‘before and after’ images that illustrated so many articles and documentaries.
London in 1934. Clever young civil servant Doreen Bates is working in the same office as E, an older married man. In the years just before the war, they develop an irresistible attraction to one another and strike up a passionate affair. Doreen records it all with startling candour in her diary - secret midnight walks, countryside escapades and stolen moments of intimacy. But Doreen starts to long for a child with E. Despite all the taboos of the time, and against the wishes of E, she is determined to become a mother - even though she knows that her decision will provoke anger and shame from her family, friends and colleagues. Eventually she gets pregnant and is amazed when twins are born during the war. However, Doreen faces an uncertain future - will E ever leave his wife and join his new family?
Johnny Marr was born in 1960s Manchester to Irish parents and knew from an early age that he would be a musician. Forming his first band at thirteen, Marr spent his teenage years on the council estates of Wythenshawe playing guitar, devouring pop culture and inventing his own musical style. It wasn’t until the early 80s, when Marr turned up on the doorstep of a singer named Steven Patrick Morrissey, that both a unique songwriting partnership and the group recognised as one of the most iconic bands of all time were formed. Here, for the first time, he tells his own side of the story.
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Without the Sex Pistols there would be no punk. And without Steve Jones there would be no Sex Pistols. It was Steve who formed Kutie Jones and his Sex Pistols, the band that eventually went on to become the Sex Pistols, with his schoolmate Paul Cook. Steve’s modern Dickensian tale begins in the streets of Hammersmith and Shepherd’s Bush, West London, where as a lonely, neglected boy living off his wits and his petty thievery, he is given purpose by the glam art rock of David Bowie and Roxy Music and becomes one of the first generation of ragamuffin punks taken under the wings of Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood.
Return to the wizarding world and discover how director David Yates and producer David Heyman brought J.K. Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them to the big screen. Inside the Magic introduces filmmaking fans to Newt Scamander, Magizoologist, and the principal characters, locations, artefacts and beasts that he encounters in 1920s New York. Each section contains profiles of the key characters, with revealing insights from Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Alison Sudol, Dan Fogler, Colin Farrell and many others.
A brilliant companion piece to ‘Wide Sargasso Sea’, this is Jean Rhys’s beautifully written, bitter-sweet (uncompleted) autobiography, covering her early years in Dominica, England and Paris.
As a member of Bowie’s legendary band at the time - The Spiders From Mars - Woody played drums on four seminal albums: The Man Who Sold The World, Hunky Dory, The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars and Aladdin Sane. Woody’s memoir focuses on this key period and brings it to glorious life.
A look at the personal lives of the people who served one of the richest families in Britain.