Literary news: biographies, autobiographies and portraits of a life

Literary news: biographies

Biographies, autobiographies and memoirs they take us into family portraits that are not always perfect, human infirmities and torments, local customs and ancient traditions of a country… Thus, we discover very diverse protagonists that we thought we knew and that we do not know.

We have traveled the catalogs from different publishers looking for literary novelties that fit into this category and we have found many more than we could propose. They are not all that they are, but if they have been represented, or so we have tried, different sensitivities and themes.

I haven't told my garden yet

  • Author: Pia Pera
  • Publisher: Errata Naturae

A beautiful garden in Tuscany: a passion, a learning, a place of resistance. Also a dream, which the writer Pia Pera was able to fulfill thanks to an abandoned farm: she fixed the cabin transforming it into a house full of books, paintings and furniture; however, he barely intervened in the orchard that surrounded it, full of wild herbs that traveled there thanks to the wind and birds. Hundreds of varieties of flowers, trees and vegetables gave it a jungle look ordered by a few trails.

One day, the writer discovers that an incurable disease takes her away little by little. Faced with the degradation of his body, gradually constrained to the immobility of a plant, the garden, that place where life germinates and where "resurrections" take place, becomes his refuge. As you contemplate it, you forge a new bond with nature and offer a thoughtful and moving reflection on the meaning of life. The author listens and listens to herself, and tells what happens during her visits to the hospital, the thoughts that assail her at night, the passages that accompany her and console her ... Forced by her illness to a continuous resistance, she does not stop feeling curiosity and tenderness for everything that surrounds her and that has always beautified her existence: not only the flowers and birds that populate her garden, but also the company of her dogs, her friends, books, gastronomy ... «Now everything is pure and simple beauty », reveals us.

Literary news: biographies

Mother Ireland

  • Author: Edna O'Brien
  • Publisher: Lumen

Ireland has always been a woman, a womb, a cave, a cow, Rosaleen, a sow, a girlfriend, a whore ...

The award-winning author of Country Girls weaves her autobiography - her childhood in County Clare, her days at nun school, her first kiss, or her flight to England - with the essence of Ireland, a land of myth, poetry, superstitions, ancient customs, popular wisdom and extreme beauty. Mother Ireland is, according to The Guardian, “Edna O'Brien at her best. An evocative and elegant account of a natural environment and of those who inhabit it, full of audacity and ingenuity.

My father and his museum

  • Author: Marina Tsvietáieva
  • Publisher: Cliff

Marina Tsvetaeva wrote this autobiographical account during exile in France and published it in Russian, in 1933, in various magazines in Paris; three years later, in 1936, trying to get closer to French readers, he reworked his childhood memories in French, a set of five chapters which he named My father and his museum and which, however, never got published in lifetime. In both versions gathered in this volume the author offers a emotional and lyrical evocation of the figure of his father, Ivan Tsvetaev, a university professor who devoted his life to the founding of the Moscow Museum of Fine Arts, the current Pushkin Museum. Often laconic and fragmentary but with an extraordinary poetic force, this wonderful text, vibrant and moving, brings us closer to the intimacy of an inimitable poet than few others.

Literary news: biographies

Svetlana Geier, a life between languages

  • Author: Taja Gut
  • Publisher: Tres Hermanas

If a life deserves the qualification of "novel" it is that of the translator Svetlana Geier. Born in Kiev in 1923, she spent her childhood among some of the most outstanding intellectuals in her country. The Stalinist purges ended his father's life and, later, during the German occupation, he witnessed Nazi barbarism in its most bloody version. Thanks to her intelligence and an unusual vital drive, Geier would become, years later, the most brilliant translator of Russian literature into German of the XNUMXth century. A new translation of Dostoevsky's five great novels was the titanic task with which he crowned a life of service to translation and literature. A splendid biography that includes several interviews that the editor and translator Taja Gut made with Svetlana Geier between 1986 and 2007.


  • Author: Emmanuel Carrère
  • Publisher: Anagrama

Yoga is the narration in the first person and without any concealment of the deep depression with suicidal tendencies which led to the author being hospitalized, diagnosed with bipolar disorder and treated for four months. It is also a book about a relationship crisis, about emotional breakdown and its consequences. And about Islamist terrorism and the drama of the refugees. And yes, in a way also about yoga, which the writer has been practicing for twenty years.

The reader has in his hands a text by Emmanuel Carrère on Emmanuel Carrère written in the manner of Emmanuel Carrère. That is, without rules, jumping into the void without a net. Long ago the author decided to leave behind fiction and the corset of genres. And in this dazzling and at the same time heartbreaking work, autobiography, essays and journalistic chronicles intersect. Carrère talks about himself and goes one step further in his exploration of the limits of the literary.

Which of these biographies are you going to read first? Have you read any yet? I am clear that I will start with "I have not told my garden yet", but I do not know which of the other biographies I will follow.

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