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Berliner brief

German politics is once again veering to the left. Meanwhile, former foreign minister Joschka Fischer's memoirs are thick on self-regard and thin on historical perspective
Hugh Williamson  

In sickness and in hope

We have always told tales about suffering and healing, yet our ideas of "medical narrative"—the kind of stories we tell about illness and treatment, and the stories our society constructs around medicine—are young and evolving. Here, Michael Blastland, Francesca Happé…
Michael Blastland  

English journeys

From the Boys' Brigade to postcolonial Sudan, my early years brought me into contact with many kinds of Englishness. But what was never in doubt was that each was part of a whole. It is hard to say the same…
Robert Colls  

Modern manners

Holidays are about becoming enchanted by short-term habits. Noises don't annoy us, and even bus timetables seem fascinating. But then we return, and the spell is broken
Lesley Chamberlain  

The prisoner

I am in Belmarsh, England's worst prison, awaiting trial for conspiracy to murder. Although the other men have been kind to me, I know I can never be part of their world
CAR Hills  

Kingsley, dad and me

My father and Kingsley Amis struggled against similarly claustrophobic suburban upbringings. Dad relished Amis's work because he was the chief enemy of bullshit. Now I read Amis to understand dad
Kate Saunders  

Confessions

Writers are people who have been sidelined by life. I get my revenge in my novels—by handing out hideous fates to those who have offended me. And I usually get away with it
Hilary Mantel  

Confessions

Most newspaper confession columns are completely phoney, including my own. I do have a juicy secret and I'm sure you would like to hear about it—except there's no way in the world I'm going to reveal it here
Lucy Kellaway  

Labours of love

After being sacked from the tube, Prospect's diarist begins a new life above ground—on a building site
Dan Kuper  

Notes from underground

Why is the Northern line worse than the others? No one seems to be quite sure, but it does mean plenty of "crowd control" practice for us tube workers
Dan Kuper  

New Labour odyssey

From the back streets of Birmingham via Oxford to election as an MP in 2001, I have been at the heart of New Labour. It was never a middle-class coup—it grew from the core of Labour's traditions
prospect