Autobiographies

by Fingal Libraries
by Fingal Libraries on December 8, 2014 in Libraries

Approaching Christmas is the peak time for new autobiographies. Most of us, and most celebrities, would be happy with having written just one. But in the modern age there are many figures who achieve fame or are in the spotlight at a young age. There are a select group of stellar names who are onto […]

Approaching Christmas is the peak time for new autobiographies. Most of us, and most celebrities, would be happy with having written just one. But in the modern age there are many figures who achieve fame or are in the spotlight at a young age. There are a select group of stellar names who are onto their second autobiography, and counting, including the biggest sporting autobiography of the year.

Roy Keane – The Second Half

This new biography is in part a response to another second autobiography by legendary Manchester United manager, Alex Ferguson. Roy’s first biography was a huge bestseller that had insights into Keane’s childhood and footballing development, but it also focussed hugely on the Saipan World Cup controversy and the 2002-3 period of time.

This new book, ghostwritten by acclaimed novelist, Roddy Doyle, looks in depth at his life after playing, as a fledgling manager of Sunderland and Ipswich Town, and emphasises that he has little time for Ferguson after their falling out in 2005. It reviews his formative years, looks at his new involvement with the Irish team, and offers a different perspective on a controversial character.

Graham Norton – The Lives and Loves of a He-Devil

Ireland has had great success in the British media. There is Gloria Hunniford, Eamonn Holmes and Henry Kelly; Terry Wogan is a BBC institution and the avuncular Eamonn Andrews was a much loved presenter of This Is Your Life before his untimely death. Following them, Tipperary native Graham Norton has had a meteoric rise as a TV presenter and celebrity in his own right interviewing the celebrities. His earlier autobiography, So Me came out a decade ago when he was a less mainstream TV presence on Channel 4. He now writes more about his earlier life and writes compellingly about the pressures of doing his job with the BBC in a multi-media environment.

Anjelica Huston – Watch Me

Huston published her first memoir last year, A Story Lately Told: Coming of Age in Ireland, London and New York. Most of her childhood was spent on a large 18th century estate in Co. Galway during the 1960s, and she has fond memories of living in a rural idyll, where there were visits from famous actors who were friends of her father, director John Huston. She began acting and modelling in her late teens in London and her first book ends there. Watch Me is a more intense tale as she recounts her adult life in the spotlight as an Oscar-winning actress, her long on-off relationship with Jack Nicholson, and her marriage to sculpter Robert Graham, who tragically died in 2008.

John Lydon – Anger is an Energy – My Life Uncensored

The London-Irish punk singer and agitator wrote an edgy, often angry biography in 1994, No Irish No, Blacks, No Dogs. The title set the tone. His mother was from Cork, his father from Galway, and he spent childhood holidays in Ireland, and also served time in Mountjoy Prison in 1979. Lydon, formerly punk firebrand Johnny Rotten, settled a few old scores in his first book. His new book with Andrew Perry is a more ruminative account of his life, focussing on his later life as a reality TV celebrity and modern cultural icon, but also returning in more detail to his childhood, which was marked by illness and isolation.

Mick Fleetwood – Play on

Mick Fleetwood had an earlier biography, Fleetwood: My Life and Adventures with Fleetwood Mac (written with Stephen Davis) in 1990, but at the time the band were out of fashion. Now, with Anthony Bozza, he revisits an epic story. Fleetwood Mac had an amazing transformation from local British blues band to Los Angeles-based soft-rock titans, blurring the line between rock band and soap opera.

Along the way there were lifestyle casualties, most prominently early genius guitarist and songwriter, Peter Green. Another early member popped out to a bookstore in L.A. in 1970 and ended up joining a religious cult. Fleetwood recounts the labyrinthine intrigues and tangled relationships of the band up to the present day.

Other figures who have only got around to writing their first autobigraphy are:

  • Former TDs Ivan Yates and Des O’ Malley
  • Comedian Paul Merton (who had an Irish mother) and comic legend John Cleese
  • Singer Mary Black and Majella O’ Donnell, business woman and spouse of Daniel
  • Rugby great Brian O’ Driscoll and GAA stars, Paul Galvin and Anthony Daly; golfer Ian Poulter and controversial footballer, Luis Suarez.

Blanchardstown Library