On the Road to Bridget Jones: five books that define each generation

Blake Morrison on boomers, Chris Power on Gen X, Megan Nolan on millennials and Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé on Gen Z … which books shaped your generation?

It took till the end of the decade for the 60s to arrive in our provincial backwater, but the impact was all the stronger for being delayed. Unlike my parents, who’d survived the war and settled down to build a comfortable life, I yearned for risk, adventure, escape. I had a vision of it already from Mr Toad in The Wind in the Willows – “the open road, the dusty highways … Travel, change, interest, excitement. The whole world before you and a horizon that’s always changing” – but Mr Toad was a comical figure, whereas Sal Paradise, the narrator of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, was cool.

Continue reading...


The Escape Artist by Jonathan Freedland review – the man who broke out of Auschwitz

The astonishing story of how Rudolf Vrba escaped the Nazi camp, and his mission to tell the world ab...

Read More >

On Agoraphobia by Graham Caveney review – a brilliant memoir

From Franz Kafka to Anne Tyler, literature amplifies the author’s moving insights into living with ...

Read More >

England: A Class of Its Own by Detlev Piltz review – an outsider applauds the status quo

The German author updates Jilly Cooper and The Official Sloane Ranger Handbook in a provocative cele...

Read More >

The Stasi Poetry Circle by Philip Oltermann review – paper spies

The strange true story of how East Germany’s secret service tried to win the cold war with verseThi...

Read More >

Outside, the Sky Is Blue by Christina Patterson review – faith, hope and trauma

A golden childhood is followed by family tragedies – but resilience and understanding triumph in th...

Read More >

Solid Ivory by James Ivory review – an Oscar-winning film director tells all

Though more focused on flirtations and finery than the craft of film-making, there is much to enjoy ...

Read More >