The tale of young Malala, al­ready a global hero­ine

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - LIFE - KATY GUEST

IN A year that saw the death of a true 20th-cen­tury hero, it seems ap­pro­pri­ate to be­gin the list of best bi­ogra­phies and mem­oirs with the life of a new one for the 21st: I Am Malala, by Malala Yousafzai and Christina Lamb (W&N).

It is barely a year since Malala was shot in the face for speak­ing up for girls’ ed­u­ca­tion in Pak­istan, and now the girl-whowould-not-be-shut-up is sur­viv­ing be­ing a global icon.

Hon­est, in­sight­ful and pierc­ingly wise, this is the celebrity mem­oir to give your teenaged daugh­ter.

Malala cred­its the sup­port of her fa­ther, while two other writ­ers dis­cuss less straight­for­wardly in­spi­ra­tional re­la­tion­ships with their moth­ers.

Mom & Me & Mom by Maya An­gelou (Vi­rago) re­vis­its some ter­ri­tory that will be fa­mil­iar to fans of her writ­ing, while She Left Me the Gun: My Mother’s Life Be­fore Me, by Emma Brockes (Faber & Faber), is a trib­ute to another pe­cu­liar and fab­u­lous woman.

Another in­domitable ma­tri­arch over­shad­ows Damian Barr’s Mag­gie & Me (Blooms­bury), the sur­pris­ingly funny and pos­i­tive story of grow­ing up gay in a work­ing­class town in Thatcher’s Bri­tain.

Childhood pro­vides fer­tile ground for a mem­oir An Ap­petite for Won­der: The Mak­ing of a Sci­en­tist by Richard Dawkins (Ban­tam Press), the touch­ing mem­oir of a young boy be­com­ing an inquirer af­ter sci­en­tific truth.

Fi­nally, pub­lish­ers have rushed to print new edi­tions of bi­ogra­phies of Nel­son Man­dela. – The In­de­pen­dent

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