The tale of young Malala, already a global heroine
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