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Head of Zeus
Mosaic
01 Aug 2015 * EBOOK * £6.99 * 9781784971427

Following on from Michael Holroyd's autobiography, Basil Street Blues, these are the remarkable stories about his family that came to light in readers letters.

Non Fiction / BGLA (Biography)
Extent: 528 pages
Exclusive: GB AU NZ IN ZA SG   Not for sale: CA US
Basil Street Blues: A Family Story
A Book Of Secrets: Illegitimate Daughters, Absent Fathers
Also in Memoirs series
MosaicMemoirs, 2Michael Holroyd

'This is a book about surprises – at any rate, it has surprised me.'

In 1999, Michael Holroyd published Basil Street Blues, in which one of our finest biographers turned his attentions to something more personal – his own family. But rather than the story being over, in fact it was just beginning. For as the letters from readers started to arrive, the author discovered an extraordinary narrative that his own memoir had only touched upon. Mosaic, then, is Michael Holroyd's piecing together of these remarkable stories: some of which are pleasant surprises, other more startling. There is the death of the fearsome headmaster at his school, who was murdered by one of the boys after he left: the discovery that his Swedish grandmother was the mistress of the French anarchist writer Jacques Prevert; and a letter from Margaret Forster about the beauty of his mother, that leads to his remarkable account of a decade-long affair. A love story, a detective story, a book of secrets, Mosaic is both a beautifully written journey into a forest of family trees, and a fascinating insight into the workings of genealogy.

 
Besides the biographies of Augustus John, Bernard Shaw and Lytton Strachey, Michael Holroyd has written two volumes of memoirs, Basil Street Blues and Mosaic. He was president of the Royal Society of Literature from 2003 - 2008 and is the only non-fiction writer to have been awarded the British Literature Prize. He lives in London and Somerset with his wife, the novelist Margaret Drabble.

'An absolute tour de force of brilliant writing' The Telegraph

'Holroyd is a marvellously sour wit and an observer who never misses a good detail, even in extremis' Sunday Times

'MOSAIC is restless, interrogative, hungry for knowledge and resolution' Guardian

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