We live in an age obsessed with self-image. Technology has made the ‘selfie’ a ubiquitous form of social currency. Renaissance means may have been very different, but celebrity artists in Medici Florence dealt with many of the issues relating to identity and authorship that we grapple with today. Maria Loh, author of Still Lives: Death, Desire, and the Portrait of the Old Master, talks to Five Books about the curated self.
He was one of the great intellectuals of the 20th century, but a people person with little interest in publishing books. Henry Hardy, the editor who helped publish many of them, chooses the best books by (and one about) Isaiah Berlin.
The Memoirs Of Marguerite De Valois
by Marguerite De Valois
Why Not Say What Happened?: A Memoir
by Ivana Lowell
Casting with a Fragile Thread: A Story of Sisters and Africa
by Wendy Kann
The Mighty Queens of Freeville
by Amy Dickinson
Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail
by Cheryl Strayed
The traumas of the 20th century hit Eastern Europe hard – a region of changing borders, uncertain identity, and shattering of moral norms. The journalist and communism expert selects books that capture the spirit of the age
Writing in the first person doesn’t have to be inward-looking or egotistical, says the author of The Snow Geese. He tells us about his favourite autobiographical works that use the first person to look out into the world
The historian and China specialist says that to get a real sense of the country you need to focus on individuals and their stories. Here he chooses five books that draw on China’s long tradition of biographical writing
Via five engrossing memoirs, the Zimbabwe-born journalist Georgina Godwin talks wistfully about her country; amongst the older generation, she says, there is a feeling that Rhodesia was sold down the river by Britain and things needn’t have turned out the way they did.