Category Archives: Biography

New Teffi Translations (part 2): ‘Memories: From Moscow to the Black Sea’

I had originally intended to review ‘Memories’ and ‘Rasputin and other Ironies’ in the same post, but that was only because I’d forgotten how uncontrollably enthusiastic I get about Teffi’s writing.  You can read how much I loved ‘Rasputin’ here, … Continue reading

Posted in Biography, Reading in translation, Russian Reading, Teffi | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments

Everybody Loves Her – Teffi’s Newly Translated Life Writings (part 1): ‘Rasputin and Other Ironies’

Teffi was one of the most enjoyable discoveries of my year of Russian Reading in 2015.  The wonderful thing is that it appears I’m not alone; it seems everyone loves Teffi, has always loved Teffi and was just waiting for … Continue reading

Posted in Biography, Reading in translation, Russian Reading, Teffi | Tagged , , , , | 15 Comments

Best Biography So Far: ‘The Adventures of Mrs. Seacole in Many Lands

I’ve been doing well on my resolution to read more non-fiction this year.  In January I reviewed Eva Hoffman’s ‘Lost in Translation,’ February took me into outer space with Michael Collins’ ‘Carrying the Fire‘ and I was bowled over by … Continue reading

Posted in Biography, Mary Seacole | Tagged , , | 19 Comments

Non-Fiction Challenge (book 3): ‘Persepolis,’ by Marjane Satrapi (2001-2)

Back in 2015, when I put together my non-fiction reading list of biographies I owned but had chronically failed to open, ‘Persepolis’ seemed to be top of the list.  From blog comments, friends’ recommendations and the wonderful first page, it was … Continue reading

Posted in Biography, Marjane Satrapi | Tagged , , , , | 16 Comments

Non-Fiction Challenge (Book 2): ‘Carrying the Fire,’ by Michael Collins (1974)

I was very proud of myself for reading Michael Collins’ memoir of his astronaut experiences.  I probably shouldn’t have been, but I read so little non-fiction, know so little about the space programme, and am so unlikely to pick up … Continue reading

Posted in Biography, Michael Collins | Tagged , , , | 11 Comments

Fictional Biography at its Finest: ‘The Noise of Time,’ by Julian Barnes (2016)

The first Barnes novel I ever read was the charmingly idiosyncratic ‘Flaubert’s Parrot’, a delightfully unreliable biography of the French novelist.  When I learned that ‘The Noise of Time’ was a new fictional biography, this time of the Soviet composer Shostakovich, … Continue reading

Posted in Biography, Julian Barnes | Tagged , , , , | 17 Comments

Non-Fiction Challenge (Book 1): ‘Lost in Translation’ by Eva Hoffman (1998)

Eva Hoffman’s memoir is subtitled: ‘Life in a New Language’ and it felt like the perfect place to start my journey as I branch out into non-fiction literature.  I realised early on that I was in good company; Hoffman herself is … Continue reading

Posted in Biography, Eva Hoffman, Reading in translation | Tagged , , | 9 Comments