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About the book
  • Published: 3 January 2011
  • ISBN: 9781407064185
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 576

Basil Street Blues and Mosaic


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This enchanting collection by James Tait Black Award winning biographer Michael Holroyd contains his two volumes of memoir - Basil Street Blues and Mosaic

Michael Holroyd is one of the finest biographers of our time yet he was never interested in exploring his own family's history until the death of his parents in the 1980s. Then, faced with a sudden vacuum, he felt a desire to fill it with the stories of their lives.

Basil Street Blues, the first of his volumes of memoir, is part detective story, part family memoir and part an oblique voyage of self-discovery which is both startlingly comic and profoundly moving. In his follow-up volume, Mosaic, he delves deeper into his family history. Witty, touching and wry, Mosaic shows the strange interconnectedness of our lives, and how other people's stories, however eccentric or extreme, echo our own dreams and experiences.

These two volumes - published together for the first time here - form an extraordinary piece of writing, and an enthralling lesson in identity and perspective for both author and reader.

  • Pub date: 3 January 2011
  • ISBN: 9781407064185
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 576

About the Author

Michael Holroyd

Besides the Lives of Augustus John, Bernard Shaw and Lytton Strachey (which was filmed as Carrington), Michael Holroyd has written two volumes of memoirs, Basil Street Blues and Mosaic. His most recent book, A Strange Eventful History, winner of the James Tait Black Prize for Biography, was a biography of theatre greats Ellen Terry and Henry Irving and their children. He has been president of the Royal Society of Literature and is the first non-fiction writer to have been awarded the British Literature Prize. He lives in London and Somerset with his wife, the novelist Margaret Drabble.

Also by Michael Holroyd

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Praise for Basil Street Blues and Mosaic

“Basil Street Blues is an extraordinary piece of work...a classic piece of English autobiography”

D. J. Taylor, Times Literary Supplement

“Fine, funny and touching...[Basil Street Blues is] an original, unforgettable book”

Victoria Glendinning, Daily Telegraph

“A brilliant writer blessed with prefect pitch...there could be no more sympathetic and funny companion with whom to go into the jungle of genealogy than Holroyd”

Mail on Sunday

“Michael Holroyd is one of the greatest biographers of our age... [Mosaic] is an absolute tour de force of brilliant writing”

Lynn Barber, Daily Telegraph

“[Mosaic] is marvellous because the autobiographer is in fact a master-biographer”

Diana Athill, Literary Review


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