Latest Issue

Memoir and mystery

Does an unhappy childhood make for a good autobiography?

By Kate Kellaway   January 2001

Bad blood is a dashing title for an autobiography, somewhere between apology and swank. Lorna Sage, at the end of this year, has much to swank about. Look at any newspaper’s “Books of the Year” and there she is, turning up, again and again, like the bad penny she pretends to be.

Lorna Sage has my vote, too. But Bad Blood has been praised for some rum reasons. Doris Lessing says it would be “the saddest book you have ever read,” were it not for Sage’s vitality. But Bad Blood isn’t in the running for a “most unhappy childhood” award.…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect