If your idea of a great beach read is losing yourself in someone else’s world, try these new memoirs, selected by Orna Mulcahy …
Vogue’s dating columnist Annie Lord has written a raw account of her own relationship breakdown in NOTES ON A HEARTBREAK (Trapeze, €16.60) that will strike a chord with anyone who loved and lost at a young age and grown up in the process. At first she revels in news about her ex’s sadness and failures while obsessively following him on social media but gradually they come to an understanding of what it is truly to have loved (and still love) each other.
FLOOR SAMPLE, A CREATIVE MEMOIR by Julia Cameron (Souvenir Press, €12.90) is an update of The Artist’s Way author’s 2006 autobiography chronicling her life as a writer and one-time wife of Martin Scorcese. From an Irish Catholic background, Cameron showed big promise as a journalist but blew her chances through drink and drugs. She recovered through writing (“and God”) and was soon helping others to get past their demons. Fans of her Artist’s Way programme include Eat, Pray Love writer Elizabeth Gilbert and Alicia Keys.
WITHOUT WARNING AND ONLY SOMETIMES Kit de Waal tells the story of her tough childhood with a Jehovah’s Witness Irishwoman for a mother and a dapper, bullying Caribbean father in her superb memoir Without Warning and Only Sometimes (Tinder Press, €14.99) to be published in mid-August. Growing up in Birmingham, Kit was the second child of five who watched their mother Sheila scrabble and scrub to make ends meet, while their father splurged on fancy clothes and shoes. Shamefully treated in school by sneering teachers and pupils alike, the children fared only slightly better with their grandmothers, a towering terror of a woman on their father’s side and a tight-lipped Irish landlady who was tough on her coloured (as they were then called) grandchildren. Beautifully told with not a shred of self-pity and much humour.