I am so at home in Dublin, more than any other city, that I feel it has always been familiar to me. It took me years to see through its soft charm to its bitter prickly kernel - which I quite like too.

Maura O’Kiely

You Should Be Glad

With the Beatles: a sparkling account of an innocent mania

The Devil’s Disciple

As a person, Patricia Highsmith was simply vile: mean, cruel and hard.

Mother of Invention

Aunt Betty wasn’t who she said she was. Also known as Eileen and Patricia, she liked to be called Munca, after Beatrix Potter’s pet mouse. Getting on in life ‑ moving on, moving up ‑ was her compulsion, and any lie, any hurt to her family, could be justified along the way.

Kiss Kiss Scratch Scratch

A huge and stately galleon, sailing slowly into harbour and slightly holed beneath the waterline, André Talley has a story or two to tell of his years in the highest reaches of the fashion industry. And for his readers’ amusement, he has a great big axe to grind too.

The Dying of the Light

After months of being diminished, pared away piece by piece, the young French woman in the hospice is brought into the garden, where she is replenished by nothing more technical than honeysuckle, bees and a blue vault of sky. She is growing while dying, before her doctor’s eyes.

Listen up, kid

One hundred celebrities offer advice that they feel might have been useful to their younger selves long before they were famous – and in many cases rich. The advice ranges from the endearing to the surprisingly revelatory, to the brave and wise, to the predictably smug.

Well Bless Your Heart!

If you want to be a Southern lady and reach the summit of flowery femininity and thoughtful, gracious manners, there are a few things to master: how to bestow a sharp-edged compliment and when not to wear pearls. But above all never be seen chewing gum, because that’s just cheap.