As a child in the 1960s, Luke Jennings was fascinated by the rivers and lakes around his Sussex home. Beneath their surfaces, it seemed to him, waited alien and mysterious worlds. With library books as his guide, he applied himself to the task of learning to fish. His progress was slow, and for years he caught nothing. But then a series of teachers presented themselves, including an inspirational young intelligence officer, from whom he learnt stealth, deception and the art of the dry fly. So began an enlightening but often dark-shadowed journey of discovery. It would lead to bright streams and wild country, but would end with his mentor's capture, torture and execution by the IRA. Blood Knots is about angling, about great fish caught and lost, but it is also about friendship, honour and coming of age. As an adult Jennings has sought out lost and secretive waterways, probing waters 'as deep as England' at dead of night in search of giant pike. The quest, as always, is for more than the living quarry. For only by searching far beneath the surface, Jennings suggests in this most moving and thought-provoking of memoirs, can you connect with your own deep history.
Virginia Nicholson's Singled Out is the touching and beautifully told story of the women who were left alone after World War I - a remarkable generation of women who were changed by war; and in their turn helped change society.
Now in her ninety-first year and freed from any of the inhibitions that even she may once have had, Diana Athill reflects candidly, and sometimes with great humor, on the condition of being old.
Summertime is a 2009 novel by South African-born Nobel laureate J. M. Coetzee. It is the third in a series of fictionalized memoirs by Coetzee and details the life of one John Coetzee from the perspective of five people who have known him.
Alan Bennett opens with a poignant memoir of growing up in Leeds and closes with an account of his cancer diagnosis and recovery, with everything from his much-celebrated essays to his irreverent comic pieces and reviews in between.