Mosaic by Michael Holroyd
A Family Memoir Revisited

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Synopsis

A love story, a detective story, a book of secrets, a beautifully written journey into a forest of family trees.

After writing the definitive biographies of Lytton Strachey and George Bernard Shaw, Michael Holroyd turned his hand to a more personal subject: his own family. The result was Basil Street Blues, published in 1999. But rather than the story being over, it was in fact only beginning. As letters from readers started to pour in, the author discovered extraordinary narratives that his own memoir had only touched on.

Mosaic is Holroyd's piecing together of these remarkable stories: the murder of the fearsome headmaster of his school; the discovery that his Swedish grandmother was the mistress of the French anarchist Jacques Prévert; and a letter about the beauty of his mother that provides a clue to a decade-long affair.

Funny, touching, and wry, Mosaic shows how other people's lives, however eccentric or extreme, echo our own dreams and experiences.
 

About Michael Holroyd

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Michael Holroyd was born in London, England on August 27, 1935. He was educated at Eton College. He published his first book, a biography of writer Hugh Kingsmill, in 1964. He has also written the biographies of George Bernard Shaw, Augustus John, Lytton Strachey, and Ellen Terry and Henry Irving. His other works include Basil Street Blues, Mosaic, and A Book of Secrets: Illegitimate Daughters, Absent Fathers. He has received several awards including the Heywood Hill Literary Prize in 2001, the David Cohen British Prize for Literature in 2005, and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for biography for A Strange Eventful History in 2009. He was knighted for his services to literature in 2007.
 
Published August 1, 2004 by W. W. Norton & Company. 288 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Education & Reference. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Mosaic

Publishers Weekly

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In 1999, British biographer Holroyd (Lytton Strachey , Bernard Shaw ) published his memoir Basil Street

Jun 14 2004 | Read Full Review of Mosaic: A Family Memoir Revis...

The Guardian

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It is a typical example of imposing sea-front architecture and looks expensive - probably too expensive for Agnes May who, after two or three years, moved to a less grand, red-brick apartment building, Downview Court in Boundary Road.

Feb 21 2004 | Read Full Review of Mosaic: A Family Memoir Revis...

The Guardian

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Mosaic by Michael Holroyd 283pp, Little, Brown, £17.99 Five years ago, after giving several decades of his life to the lives of others, Michael Holroyd at last trained his biographer's binoculars on himself.

Feb 28 2004 | Read Full Review of Mosaic: A Family Memoir Revis...

The Guardian

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Mosaic by Michael Holroyd Little, Brown £17.50, pp304 Five years ago, biographer Michael Holroyd published a memoir called Basil Street Blues, in which he applied his professional skills to the genteel downward spiral of his family's history over the past century: a fortune made in Indian tea lea...

Feb 22 2004 | Read Full Review of Mosaic: A Family Memoir Revis...

Publishers Weekly

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In 1999, British biographer Holroyd (Lytton Strachey , Bernard Shaw ) published his memoir Basil Street Blues , and devoted readers wrote him letters with testimonies and memories that both enhanced and contradicted the careful family history he'd attempted to write.

| Read Full Review of Mosaic: A Family Memoir Revis...

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