Untitled-1How do you reconstruct the life of an anonymous person whose diaries you find in a skip? When you have to guess at gender, age, height (at one point a fail-safe formula concludes seven metres tall is the right answer), character? And why would you, when their privacy has presumably been invaded just by scooping 148 notebooks out into the world? Masters’ previous exceptional title, Stuart: A Life Backwards won the Guardian First Book Award and was shortlisted for the Whitbread Prize and the Hawthornden Prize, brings his forensic skills and emotional intelligence to bear on a life full of passion and pathos. Meet Alexander on 12th May at The Bedford Pub in Balham to hear him discuss his approach to life writing.

Susie Nicklin

A Life Discarded – Alexander Masters – 9780008130770