Killing My Own Snakes - Ann Leslie

ANN Leslie is a Fleet Street legend – a journalist who travelled with Margaret Thatcher on the General Election campaign trail, met Russian president Mikhail Gorbachev, watched Nelson Mandela walk to freedom, was there when the Berlin Wall came down, inte

ANN Leslie is a Fleet Street legend - a journalist who travelled with Margaret Thatcher on the General Election campaign trail, met Russian president Mikhail Gorbachev, watched Nelson Mandela walk to freedom, was there when the Berlin Wall came down, interviewed murderers on America's Death Row and dodged bullets and bombs in most of the world's troublespots over the past 40 years.

She met John Lennon, Tom Jones, both George Bushes, Bill Clinton, Imelda Marcos and David Niven.

She shared a flat with actress Janet Suzman, shared drugs with artist Salvador Dali, turned down a marriage proposal from actor James Mason and threw up in Indira Gandhi's toilet.

So a memoir is bound to be a fascinating read.


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And Killing My Own Snakes (�7.99, Pan) is just that.

From her early childhood as a "daughter of the Raj" in India, to being made a Dame at Buckingham Palace for services to journalism, this is, in the words of Paul O'Grady, "a cracking read".

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It is packed with anecdotes about the great, the good and the downright evil.

It is amusing and honest - if Leslie doesn't like someone, she tells us so.

She fell into the newspaper business by accident, but by the age of 22, in the swinging sixties, she was a Fleet Street columnist.

She went on to become a much-admired foreign correspondent, talking to ordinary locals in countries as diverse as Iran, Bosnia, Haiti, South Africa, China, and Israel.

- LINDSAY JONES

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