Miserable Catholics, amorous Victorians, a writer's essential requirements... and that famous boy wizard

Profile #24: Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt. Profile by Susie McSwiney.

Frank McCourt's compelling memoir of his "miserable Irish Catholic childhood," growing up in the slums of Limerick in the 1930s and 1940s. Tragedy is heaped upon tragedy, and Frank's alcoholic father finally abandons his destitute family. But he leaves Frank with a precious gift – the love of language, music and story-telling.

Angela's Ashes


Profile #25: The French Lieutenant's Woman by John Fowles. Profile by Kat Matfield.

An across-the-tracks romance between a very conventional man and a very unconventional woman, this parody of – and tribute to – the Victorian novel is also, in its digressions on Darwin, fashion, politics and changing cultural values, the story of the whole Victorian era.

The French Lieutenant's Woman


Profile #26: A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf. Profile by Siân Cleaver.

The first profile completed since the Tournament

A lively, experimental and highly imaginative piece of semi-fiction, which will take you on a guided tour of women writers and the obstacles they have faced in a male-dominated society.

A Room of One's Own   Sian Cleaver


Profile #27: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling. Profile by Elaine Catania.

Harry Potter expects his second year at Hogwarts to be nothing but magic lessons, Quidditch games and fun with Hermione and Ron. Instead he must witness the arrest of one friend and the petrification of another; and he must face a legendary monster, the Basilisk, if he is to reveal the secret of the mysterious Chamber before anyone is killed.  

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets