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Fiction
Vanessa and Her Sister

Vanessa and Her Sister

Priya Parmar

$29.99

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ABBEY'S CHOICE FEBRUARY 2015 ----- London, 1905. The city is alight with change and the Stephen siblings are at the forefront. Vanessa, Virginia, Thoby and Adrian are leaving behind their childhood home and taking a house in the leafy heart of avant-garde Bloomsbury. There they bring together a glittering circle of brilliant, artistic friends who will come to be known as the legendary Bloomsbury Group. And at the centre of the charmed circle are the devoted, gifted sisters: Vanessa, the painter and Virginia, the writer.

Each member of the group will go on to earn fame and success, but so far Vanessa Bell has never sold a painting. Virginia Woolf's book review has just been turned down by The Times. Lytton Strachey has not published anything. E. M. Forster has finished his first novel but does not like the title. Leonard Woolf is still a civil servant in Ceylon, and John Maynard Keynes is looking for a job. Together, this sparkling coterie of artists and intellectuals throw away convention and embrace the wild freedom of being young, single bohemians in London. But the landscape shifts when Vanessa unexpectedly falls in love and her sister feels dangerously abandoned.

Eerily possessive, charismatic, manipulative and brilliant, Virginia has always lived in the shelter of Vanessa's constant attention and encouragement. Without it, she careens toward self-destruction and madness. As tragedy and betrayal threaten to destroy the family, Vanessa must choose whether to protect Virginia's happiness or her own.
Searching for Grace Kelly

Searching for Grace Kelly

M. G. Callahan

$29.99

For a small-town girl with big dreams in 1955, there is no address more desirable than New York's Barbizon Hotel - the place where Grace Kelly lived when she first came to the big city.

Laura is an aristocratic beauty from Connecticut who arrives with a magazine internship and dreams of becoming a writer Dolly is a hopeless romantic working the secretarial pool and looking to be swept off her feet Vivian is a red-headed British bombshell who yearns to make it as a singer while working nights as a cigarette girl.

Perfect for fans of Mad Men, The Best of Everything and The Paris Wife, this is a novel filled to the brim with glamour, following the lives of three women as they are lured into the exhilarating, dazzling world of New York City and embark on a journey that will alter their lives for ever.
Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell (Film Tie-In)

Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell (Film Tie-In)

Susanna Clarke

$21.99

The year is 1806. England is beleaguered by the long war with Napoleon, and centuries have passed since practical magicians faded into the nation's past. But scholars of this glorious history discover that one remains: the reclusive Mr Norrell whose displays of magic send a thrill through the country.

Proceeding to London, he raises a beautiful woman from the dead and summons an army of ghostly ships to terrify the French. Yet the cautious, fussy Norrell is challenged by the emergence of another magician: the brilliant novice Jonathan Strange. Young, handsome and daring, Strange is the very opposite of Norrell.

So begins a dangerous battle between these two great men which overwhelms the one between England and France. And their own obsessions and secret dabblings with the dark arts are going to cause more trouble than they can imagine.
Holy Cow

Holy Cow

David Duchovny

$24.99

Holy Cow by David Duchovny is a comic delight that will thrill fans of Jasper Fforde and Ben Aaronovitch. And anyone who enjoys a witty wisecrack in a novel.

Elsie Bovary is a cow and a pretty happy one at that. Until one night, Elsie sneaks out of the pasture and finds herself drawn to the farmhouse. Through the window, she sees the farmer's family gathered around a bright Box God - and what the Box God reveals about something called an 'industrial meat farm' shakes Elsie's understanding of her world to its core. The only solution? To escape to a better, safer world.

And so a motley crew is formed: Elsie; Shalom, a grumpy pig who's recently converted to Judaism; and Tom, a suave turkey who can't fly, but can work an iPhone with his beak. Toting stolen passports and slapdash human disguises, they head for the airport...

Elsie is a wise-cracking, slyly witty narrator; Tom dispenses psychiatric advice in a fake German accent; and Shalom ends up unexpectedly uniting Israelis and Palestinians. David Duchovny's charismatic creatures point the way toward a mutual understanding and acceptance the world desperately needs.
The Book of Lost and Found

The Book of Lost and Found

Lucy Foley

$29.99

A sweeping and heartrending debut about love and loss, identity and memory, which fans of Kate Morton and Victoria Hislop will love.

Hertfordshire, 1928 - The paths of Tom and Alice collide against a haze of youthful, carefree exuberance. There's champagne and excitement, but above all there's the beginning of a love story that finds its feet by a lake one silvery moonlit evening... It's when love stories didn't have happy endings.

Paris, 1939 - Alice is living in the city of light, but the pain of the last decade has already left its mark. Against the shadow that sweeps across Europe, she and Thomas Stafford - now a world famous artist - meet once more...

London, 1986 - Bestowed with an old charcoal portrait from her grandmother, Kate Darling can't possibly imagine the secrets that have been lost to time. Kate's journey takes her to Corsica, Paris and beyond, and as time melts away she is catapulted into the heart of a love story that's as epic as it is life changing...
Not Forgetting the Whale

Not Forgetting the Whale

John Ironmonger

$29.99

When a young man washes up, naked, on the sands of St Piran in Cornwall, he is quickly rescued by the villagers. From the retired village doctor and the schoolteacher, to the beachcomber and the owner of the local bar, the priest's wife and the romantic novelist, they take this lost soul into their midst.

But what the villagers don't know is that Joe Haak has fled the City of London fearing a worldwide collapse of civilisation, a collapse forecast by Cassie, a computer program he designed. But is the end of the world really nigh? Can Joe convince the village to seal itself off from the outside world? And what of the whale that lurks in the bay?

Intimate, funny and deeply moving, Not Forgetting the Whale is the story of a man on a journey to find a place he can call home.
The Rabbit Back Literature Society

The Rabbit Back Literature Society

Pasi Ilmari Jaaskelainen

$19.99

'She came to realise that under one reality there's always another. And another one under that.'

Only very special people are chosen by children's author Laura White to join 'The Society', an elite group of writers in the small town of Rabbit Back. Now a tenth member has been selected: Ella, literature teacher and possessor of beautifully curving lips.

But soon Ella discovers that the Society is not what it seems. What is its mysterious ritual, 'The Game'? What explains the strange disappearance that occurs at Laura's winter party, in a whirlwind of snow? Why are the words inside books starting to rearrange themselves? Was there once another tenth member, before her? Slowly, disturbing secrets that had been buried come to light...

In this chilling, darkly funny novel, the uncanny brushes up against the everyday in the most beguiling and unexpected of ways.
The First Bad Man

The First Bad Man

Miranda July

$27.99

Here is Cheryl, a tightly wound, vulnerable woman who lives alone, with a perpetual lump in her throat. She is haunted by a baby boy she met when she was six, who sometimes recurs as other peoples' babies.

Cheryl is also obsessed with Phillip, a philandering board member at the women's self-defense nonprofit organisation where she works. She believes they've been making love for many lifetimes, though they have yet to consummate it in this one.

When Cheryl's bosses ask if their twenty-one-year-old daughter, Clee, can move into her house for a while, Cheryl's eccentrically ordered world explodes. And yet it is Clee - the selfish, cruel blond bombshell - who bullies Cheryl into reality and, unexpectedly, provides her the love of a lifetime.

Tender, gripping, slyly hilarious, infused with raging sexual obsession and fierce maternal love, Miranda July's first novel confirms her as a spectacularly original, iconic, and important voice today.
You, Me and Other People

You, Me and Other People

Fionnuala Kearney

$29.99

For Adam and Beth, splitting up wasn't the end - it was just the beginning... Adam knew the deal - he just thought he wouldn't get caught. Beth had forgiven him once, a long time ago, for cheating on her, and he should have known better that to risk it all over again for another woman.

Beth is trying to find out who she is without Adam - until her world fell apart, she had no idea how much she had moulded herself to fit into Adam's life. But as Beth tries to move on, she realises that one lie was only the first in a very long trail. When the secrets come tumbling out, can life ever be the same?

Heart-warming and heart-breaking, You, Me and Other People is perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes, Maggie O'Farrell, Adele Parks and David Nicholls.
The House in Smyrna

The House in Smyrna

Tatiana Salem Levy

$27.99

In Rio de Janeiro, a woman suffering from a mysterious illness, which is eroding her body and mind, decides to accept a challenge from her grandfather: to take the key to the house where he grew up - in the Turkish city of Smyrna - and try to open the door. 

As she embarks on this pilgrimage, she begins to write of her progress. This writing soon becomes an exploration of her family's legacy of displacement in Europe, told in several narrative strands. Sifting through family stories - her grandfather's migration from Turkey to Brazil, her parents' exile in Portugal under the Brazilian military dictatorship, her mother's death, and her own love affair with a violent man - she traces her family's history in a journey to make sense of the past and to understand her place in it. With an epic sweep of time and place - traversing Brazil, Turkey, and Portugal - this is a profoundly moving portrait of a young woman finding her way back into life. 

Spare, heartfelt, and evocative, The House in Smyrna is an unforgettable story from one of the most accomplished and original new voices in Brazil.
He Wants

He Wants

Alison Moore

$23.95  $19.99

Retired teacher Lewis Sullivan always imagined living by the sea. He lives instead in the Midlands village in which he was born. His grown-up daughter visits every day, bringing soup. He does not want soup. He frequents his second-favourite pub, where he can get half a shandy, a speciality sausage and a bit of company. When a childhood friend appears on the scene, Lewis finds his life and comfortable routine shaken up.

In Moore's inimitable, haunting style, this seemingly simple but in fact multi-layered narrative unfolds with compelling assurance. Moving between memories of childhood and Lewis's current life of cosy habit, plot twists thicken and weave with stealthily increasing tension. Always unexpected, sparely written and beautifully crafted, He Wants deftly dissects the themes of loneliness, anxiety, the weight of recollection and the complex nature of friendship and family ties.

A surprising, lingering and intensely moving tale from one of our most exciting novelists.
Before I Go

Before I Go

Colleen Oakley

$29.99

"And suddenly what's clearer to me than the glowing orb on that PET scan is that this is now the number one thing on my to-do list. Jack needs a wife. And I am going to find him one. "

Daisy is 27 years old and has only months to live. And, each day, she's finding her way through her lists of what needs to be done. Her major worry is what her wonderful, charming husband, Jack, will do without her. It's this fear that keeps her up at night, until she stumbles upon the obvious solution. She knows that he won't take care of himself so Daisy has to do it for him: she has to find him another wife.

As she searches with singular determination for the right woman, she begins to realise that her plan to ensure Jack's happiness is much more complicated than she expected. Life-affirming, authentic, funny and heartbreakingly beautiful, Before I Go is all about love.
The Illuminations

The Illuminations

Andrew O'Hagan

$29.99

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How much do we keep from the people we love? Why is the truth so often buried in secrets? Can we learn from the past or must we forget it? Standing one evening at the window of her house by the sea, Anne Quirk sees a rabbit disappearing in the snow. Nobody remembers her now, but this elderly woman was in her youth a pioneer of British documentary photography. Her beloved grandson, Luke, now a captain with the Royal Western Fusiliers, is on a tour of duty in Afghanistan, part of a convoy taking equipment to the electricity plant at Kajaki. Only when Luke returns home to Scotland does Anne's secret story begin to emerge, along with his, and they set out for an old guest house in Blackpool where she once kept a room.
Alice and the Fly

Alice and the Fly

James Rice

$29.99

Greg - or Fly, as his Nan calls him - absolutely hates spiders. He has a proper phobia of Them. They make him have fits. His therapist thinks that one day he'll grow out of his condition (and be able to do PE again or say his S's properly), but for now, he's not the most popular boy at his school.

To make things worse, his older sister has turned into a dance-crazy Vulture, his mother is obsessively redecorating the house, and his dad hasn't been home for three days. His English teacher, Miss Hayes, thinks it might help him to start writing down his thoughts. But it's hard to write to himself, because he already knows everything he has to say. So he starts writing to you, instead.

You are Alice - with red curls and a black eye, sunglasses and a sweet smile.

Alice lives on an estate in the Pitt. Greg has never talked to Alice, but she smiled at him once. He thinks she's way prettier than Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's, and he's worried about her - worried that she's started dating Goose, worried that her dad gave her that black eye. When she saves him from an assault in the Pitt, they form a sort-of friendship. But one bitter winter's night at a house party, things between them start to go very wrong indeed.

With warmth, sensitivity and a generous streak of dark humour, Rice tells a Romeo and Juliet story of two teenagers, star-cross'd in their own fashion, set in striving, middle-class modern Britain.
Mr Bones: Twenty Stories

Mr Bones: Twenty Stories

Paul Theroux

$29.99

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A family watches, horrified, as their patriarch transforms into the wise-cracking lead of an old-timey minstrel show.

An art collector gleefully destroys his most valuable pieces.

A young artist devotes himself to a wealthy, malicious gossip, knowing that it's just a matter of time before she turns on him.

In this new collection of short stories, Paul Theroux explores the tenuous leadership of the elite and the surprising revenge of the overlooked. He shows us humanity possessed, consumed by its own desires, always with his carefully honed eye and the subtle idiosyncrasies that bring his characters to life.
Balancing Act

Balancing Act

Joanna Trollope

$19.99

Four strong women. All working in a family business. But what happens when they begin to want different things? And what about the men - and the children - in their lives? Susie Moran has always been the breadwinner in her family. Her husband was the one who was there for their three girls. But now he wants something of his past back - the life he had before Susie's career took off, before they had children. And those children don't see their mother's business the way she has always seen it, thereby threatening the balance she has worked so hard to achieve. And then, amidst the simmering tensions, someone significant from the past, someone almost forgotten, turns up. The problems of the past, the present, and the future all become challenges to the stability of both family and work. Which relationships - if any - will survive?
A Spool of Blue Thread

A Spool of Blue Thread

Anne Tyler

$32.99

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'It was a beautiful, breezy, yellow-and-green afternoon...' This is the way Abby Whitshank always begins the story of how she and Red fell in love that day in July 1959.

The whole family on the porch, relaxed, half-listening as their mother tells the same tale they have heard so many times before. And yet this gathering is different. Abby and Red are getting older, and decisions must be made about how best to look after them and their beloved family home. They've all come, even Denny, who can usually be relied on only to please himself.

From that porch we spool back through three generations of the Whitshanks, witnessing the events, secrets and unguarded moments that have come to define who and what they are. And while all families like to believe they are special, round that kitchen table over all those years we see played out the hopes and fears, the rivalries and tensions of families everywhere - the essential nature of family life.
Wolf, Wolf

Wolf, Wolf

Eben Venter

$29.99

How should a man be? Mattie Duiker is trying very hard to live up to his dying father's wishes. He is putting aside childish things, starting his first business serving healthy takeaway food to the workers in his district of Cape Town. His Pa is proud.

At the same time, Mattie is pulled towards an altogether other version of masculinity, in which oiled and toned bodies cavort for him at the click of a mouse. His porn addiction both threatens his relationship with his boyfriend Jack and imperils his inheritance.

His peacocking days as a swaggering businessman are done, but even as the cancer shrivels and crisps him, old Pa's ancient authority intensifies as it shrinks, like Mattie's own signature sauce. Pa haltingly prepares his son for life without him and himself for life without a male heir. And, while the family wrestles with matters of entitlement and inheritance, around them a new South Africa is quietly but persistently nudging its way forwards.

Wolf, Wolf is a novel of old rigid states and new unfinished forms, of stiff tolerance and mournful nostalgia.  With uncommon sensitivity to place, time and sex, Eben Venter reveals himself to the world outside his homeland as one of its most astute and acute observers, giving shape in story to some of the sea-changes of our time, in the manner of Coetzee and Roth.
Mobile Library

Mobile Library

David Whitehouse

$29.99

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Twelve-year-old Bobby Nusku is an archivist of his mother. He catalogues traces of her life and waits for her to return home.

Bobby thinks that he's been left to face the world alone until he meets lonely single mother Val and her daughter Rosa. They spend a magical summer together, discovering the books in the mobile library where Val works as a cleaner. But as the summer draws to a close, Bobby finds himself in trouble and Val is in danger of losing her job. There's only one thing to do -- and so they take to the road in the mobile library...

Quirky, dark, magical and full of heart, Mobile Library is both a tragicomic road trip and a celebration of the adventures that books can take us on. It's a love-letter to unlikely families and the stories that shaped us.
The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry

Gabrielle Zevin

$19.99

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Originally published as The Collected Works of A. J. Fikry. A.J. Fikry owns a failing bookshop. His wife has just died, in tragic circumstances. His rare and valuable first edition has been stolen. His life is a wreck. Amelia is a book rep, with a big heart, and a lonely life Maya is the baby who ends up on A.J.'s bookshop floor with a note. What happens in the bookshop that changes the lives of these seemingly normal but extraordinary characters? This is the story of how unexpected love can rescue you and bring you back to real life, in a world that you won't want to leave, with characters that you will come to love.
Dear Reader

Dear Reader

Paul Fournel ,  David Bellos ,  Jean Jullien

$24.99

Old-school publisher meets e-reader: chaos ensues There's a lot of good to be said about publishing, mainly about the food. The books, though - Robert Dubois feels as if he's read the books, but still they keep coming back to him, the same old books just by new authors. Maybe he's ready to settle into the end of his career, like it's a tipsy afternoon after a working lunch. But then he is confronted with a gift: a piece of technology, a gizmo, a reader...Dear Reader takes a wry, affectionate look at the world of publishing, books and authors, and is a very funny, moving story about the passing of the old and the excitement of the new. Paul Fournel was born in 1947. He worked as a publisher with Ramsay & Seghers, and chaired the Societe des gens de lettres. He was head of the Alliance Francaise in San Francisco, and a cultural attache in Cairo and London. He now writes full time and cycles during the rest of the day. As a third full-time job, he is the Provisionally Definitive Secretary and President of the literary collective known as Oulipo, whose members have included George Perec and Italo Calvino, among many others. He is also the author of numerous novels, short stories, plays, memoirs, and poetry. David Bellos is Director of the Program in Translation and Intercultural Communication at Princeton University, where he is also Professor of French and Comparative Literature. He has won many awards for his translations of Georges Perec, Ismail Kadare and others, including the Man Booker Translator Award, and received the Prix Goncourt de la biographie for George Perec: A Life in Words.
In the Light of Morning

In the Light of Morning

Tim Pears

$19.99

May 1944: High above the mountains of occupied Slovenia an aeroplane drops three British parachutists - brash MP Major Jack Farwell, radio operator Sid Dixon, and young academic Lieutenant Tom Freedman. Greeted upon arrival by a group of Partisans, the men are led off into the countryside. Despite the distant crackle of gunfire, the war feels a long way off for Tom. The Partisans, too, are not what he was expecting - courageous, kind, and alluring, especially Jovan, their commander, and the hauntingly beautiful Marija. As the enemy's net begins to tighten, they find evidence of massacres, of a dark and terrible band of men pursuing them. As they stumble their way towards a final, tragic battle, so the relationships within the group begin to fray, with Tom finding himself forced to face up to his deepest, most secret desires.
Larkswood

Larkswood

Valerie Mendes

$19.99

Larkswood House. The very name suggests birdsong, peace and elegance. It is home to the Hamilton children - Edward, Cynthia and Harriet - who enjoy the freedom and excitement of privilege. But in the glorious summer of 1896, with absent parents and a departed governess, disaster strikes the family, leaving it cruelly divided. More than 40 years later, on the eve of the Second World War, Louisa Hamilton, newly presented at court but struck down with glandular fever, is sent to Larkswood to recuperate. There, for the first time, she meets her grandfather, Edward, home after decades in India. But as Louisa begins to fall under the spell of Larkswood, she realises it holds the key to the mystery that shattered her family two generations before. Will she find the courage to unravel the dark secrets of the past? And can Larkswood ever become home to happiness again?
Migratory Animals

Migratory Animals

Mary Helen Specht

$19.99

A powerful debut novel about a group of 30-somethings finding their place in the world, focusing on a young woman torn between love and obligation When Flannery, a young scientist, returns home to Austin from five years of research in Nigeria, she's already feeling stuck - she's left behind her loving fiance, and isn't sure when she'll be able to return. Soon, she sees that her sister, Molly, has begun to show signs - tremors, panic attacks - of the crippling genetic disease that slowly killed their mother. As their close-knit circle of friends struggles with Molly's diagnosis, Flannery most of all must grapple with what her future will hold: a thrilling life of love and pursuing her career in Nigeria, or a quieter, heartbreaking fulfillment of her obligations at the home she's always known - for better and for worse. As the story shifts between the perspectives of each of these friends, we see how life since their college days has brought all of them new challenges to be reckoned with, and painful twists on the lives they'd always planned for themselves. A debut from an exciting young writer, Migratory Animals is a moving, thought-provoking novel about the meaning of home and the responsibilities we give each other and ourselves.
Sylvia Garland's Broken Heart

Sylvia Garland's Broken Heart

Helen Harris

$22.99

When Sylvia Garland returns to England, after the death of her husband and half a lifetime lived abroad, the last thing she expects is to find love again. But when her daughter-in-law Smita announces she is pregnant, and despite her own poor track record as a mother, she finds herself caught up in the excitement. Before Sylvia knows it, she is 65 years old and head over heels in love - with her grandson. Sylvia Garland's Broken Heart is a touching, witty look at family ties across the generations and the plight of grandparents when their children's relationships break down.
The Winter War

The Winter War

Philip Teir ,  Tiina Nunnally

$27.99

On the surface, the Paul family are living the liberal, middle-class Scandinavian dream. Max Paul is a renowned sociologist and his wife Katriina has a well-paid job in the public sector. They live in an airy apartment in the centre of Helsinki. But look closer and the cracks start to show. As he approaches his sixtieth birthday, the certainties of Max's life begin to dissolve. He hasn't produced any work of note for decades. His wife no longer loves him. His grown-up daughters - one in London, one in Helsinki - have problems of their own. So when a former student turned journalist shows up and offers him a seductive lifeline, Max starts down a dangerous path from which he may never find a way back. Funny, sharp, and brilliantly truthful, Teir's debut has the feel of a big, contemporary, humane American novel, but with a distinctly Scandinavian edge.
The Alphabet of Birds

The Alphabet of Birds

S.J. Naude

$24.99

If death comes to a loved one, can we grieve alone? When all around is in ruins, can we confine our lives to one beautiful room constructed out of art, or love, or family ties? And when the words we know prove inadequate, can we turn to the language of birds? In an arty mansion in Milan's industrial zone, two men are shown one of the last remaining Futurist noise machines - an Intonarumore - and a painful old truth surfaces. A musician travels to three continents to see her siblings before returning to Johannesburg; her home is plundered every night around her as she composes a requiem. A man follows his male lover from London to Berlin's clubbing scene and on to a ruined castle in which the lover's family lives. He is looking for an antidote. The protagonists in SJ Naude's South African Literary Award-winning short story collection are listening out for answers that cannot be expressed. Offering fresh perspectives on gay, expat and artistic subcultures and tackling the pain of loss head on, Naude's stories go fearlessly and tenderly to the heart of our experiences of desire, love and death.
Em and the Big Hoom

Em and the Big Hoom

Jerry Pinto

$22.99

Brilliantly comic and almost unbearably moving, Jerry Pinto's Em and the Big Hoom is one of the most powerful and original fiction debuts of recent years. Profoundly moving. I cannot remember when I last read something as touching as this. (Amitav Ghosh). Hilarious, reckless, brilliant. (Kiran Desai). In a tiny flat in Bombay Imelda Mendes - Em to her family - is by turns flamboyant, maniacally affectionate and cruelly candid. Her husband - Augustine, the 'Big Hoom' - and two children must endure her 'microweathers': swings from searing joy to brooding malevolence. And here is the story of how this family of four came to be. Of how Imelda was courted by Augustine - 'Hello, Buttercup' - and of how with the passage of time and the arrival of her children she slowly turned into Em, loving and loathing a world terrified of her extravagant excesses... A near-perfect account of a psychologically troubled mother. Touching and funny. (Irish Times). Delightful. Pinto is quite a genius with dialogue. (Guardian). Jerry Pinto has been a mathematics tutor, school librarian and journalist and is now associated with MelJol, an NGO that works in the sphere of child rights. He has edited several anthologies including, most recently, an anthology on his native city, Mumbai.
The Extra Ordinary Life of Frank Derrick, Age 81

The Extra Ordinary Life of Frank Derrick, Age 81

J. B. Morrison

$19.99

Frank Derrick is eighty-one. And he's just been run over by a milk float. It was tough enough to fill the hours of the day when he was active. But now he's broken his arm and fractured his foot, it looks set to be a very long few weeks ahead. Frank lives with his cat Bill (which made more sense before Ben died) in the typically British town of Fullwind-on-Sea. He watches DVDs, spends his money frivolously at the local charity shop and desperately tries to avoid cold callers continually knocking on his door. Then a breath of fresh air comes into his life in the form of Kelly Christmas, home help. With her little blue car and appalling parking, her cheerful resilience and ability to laugh at his jokes, Kelly changes Frank's extra ordinary life. She reminds him that there is a world beyond the four walls of his flat and that adventures, however small, come to people of all ages. Frank and Kelly's story is sad and funny, moving, familiar, uplifting. It is a small and perfect look at a life neither remarkable nor disastrous, but completely extraordinary nonetheless. For fans of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry this is a quirky, life-affirming story that has enormous appeal. And it's guaranteed to make you laugh.
The Final Testimony of Raphael Ignatius Phoenix

The Final Testimony of Raphael Ignatius Phoenix

Paul Sussman

$19.99

'My name is Raphael Ignatius Phoenix and I am a hundred years old - or will be in ten days' time, in the early hours of January 1st, 2000, when I kill myself...' Raphael Ignatius Phoenix has had enough. Born at the beginning of the 20th century, he is determined to take his own life as the old millennium ends and the new one begins. But before he ends it all, he wants to get his affairs in order and put the record straight. That includes making sense of his own long life - a life that spanned the century. He decides to write it all down and, eschewing the more usual method of pen and paper, begins to record his story on the walls of the isolated castle that is his final home. Beginning with a fateful first adventure with Emily, the childhood friend who would become his constant companion, Raphael remembers the multitude of experiences, the myriad encounters and, of course, the ten murders he committed along the way...And so begins one man's wholly unorthodox account of the twentieth century - or certainly his own riotous, often outrageous, somewhat unreliable and undoubtedly singular interpretation of it.
The Girl in the Photograph

The Girl in the Photograph

Kate Riordan

$29.99

For fans of Kate Mosse and Kate Morton comes a haunting novel about two women separated by decades but entwined by fate. When Alice Eveleigh arrives at Fiercombe Manor during the long, languid summer of 1933, she finds a house steeped in mystery and brimming with secrets. Sadness permeates its empty rooms and the isolated valley seems crowded with ghosts - none more alluring than Elizabeth Stanton, whose only trace remains in a few tantalizingly blurred photographs. Why will no one speak of her? What happened a generation ago to make her vanish? As the sun beats down relentlessly, Alice becomes ever more determined to unearth the truth about the girl in the photograph - and stop her own life from becoming an eerie echo of Elizabeth's . . .
Goodbye, Piccadilly: War at Home, 1914

Goodbye, Piccadilly: War at Home, 1914

Cynthia Harrod-Eagles

$19.99

In 1914, Britain faces a new kind of war. For Edward and Beatrice Hunter, their children, servants and neighbours, life will never be the same again. For David, the eldest, war means a chance to do something noble; but enlisting will break his mother's heart. His sister Diana, nineteen and beautiful, longs for marriage. She has her heart set on Charles Wroughton, son of Earl Wroughton, but Charles will never be allowed to marry a banker's daughter. Below stairs, Cook and Ada, the head housemaid, grow more terrified of German invasion with every newspaper atrocity story. Ethel, under housemaid, can't help herself when it comes to men and now soldiers add to the temptation; yet there's more to this flighty girl than meets the eye. The once-tranquil village of Northcote reels under an influx of khaki volunteers, wounded soldiers and Belgian refugees. The war is becoming more dangerous and everyone must find a way to adapt to this rapidly changing world. Goodbye Piccadilly is the first book in the War at Home series by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles, author of the much-loved Morland Dynasty novels. Set against the real events of 1914, Goodbye Piccadilly is extraordinary in scope and imagination and is a compelling introduction to the Hunter family.
The Islanders

The Islanders

Pascal Garnier ,  Emily Boyce

$19.99

It's a few days before Christmas in Versailles. Olivier has come to bury his mother, but the impending holidays and icy conditions have delayed the funeral. While trapped in limbo at his mother's flat, a chance encounter brings Olivier back in touch with childhood friend Jeanne and her blind brother, Rodolphe. Rodolphe suggests they have dinner together, along with a homeless man he's taken in. As the wine flows, dark secrets are spilled, and there's more than just hangovers to deal with the next morning...
The Lightning Tree

The Lightning Tree

Emily Woof

$27.99

This is a story of two young people who fall in love - and then life gets in the way. Ursula is part dreamer, part radical in the making. Raised in a matriarchal household by a CND-loving activist, she is impatient to begin a life of adventure. But this is Newcastle in the mid-80s where girls are getting permed and their dreams go no further than copping off down the Bigg Market. Then Ursula meets Jerry, a class warrior from the wrong side of town, intellectually hungry, erudite and ambitious. It is a meeting of bodies, souls, minds and ideals. Keen to pursue the road less travelled, Ursula heads to India while Jerry goes to Oxford and the promise of politics and power. As Ursula searches for answers, she is soon drifting - and Jerry loses touch. What happens to young love when it is tested by real life? The Lightning Tree is a lyrical and funny novel for fans of The Line of Beauty and The Marriage Plot.
The Nightingale

The Nightingale

Kristin Hannah

$29.99

Despite their differences, sisters Viann and Isabelle have always been close. Younger, bolder Isabelle lives in Paris while Viann is content with life in the French countryside with her husband Antoine and their daughter. But when the Second World War strikes, Antoine is sent off to fight and Viann finds herself isolated so Isabelle is sent by their father to help her. As the war progresses, the sisters' relationship and strength is tested. With life changing in unbelievably horrific ways, Viann and Isabelle will find themselves facing frightening situations and responding in ways they never thought possible as bravery and resistance take different forms in each of their actions.
Ridley Road

Ridley Road

Jo Bloom

$29.99

Summer, 1962. Twenty-year-old Vivien Epstein, a Jewish hairdresser from Manchester, arrives in London following the death of her father. Alone in the world, she is looking for Jack Fox, a man she had a brief but intense love affair with some months before. But the only address she has for him leads to a dead end. Determined to make a new life for herself, Vivien convinces Barb, the owner of Oscar's hair salon in Soho, to give her a job. There, she is swept into the colourful world of coffee bars and clubs - sixties Soho on the cusp of change. But still, Vivien cannot forget Jack. As she continues to look for him, her search leads her into the fight against resurgent fascism in East London where members of the Jewish community are taking to the streets, in and around Ridley Road. When Vivien finds Jack among the protestors crowds at a rally, her joy quickly turns to shock and the course of her life is altered by her discovery ...
The Sacrifice

The Sacrifice

Joyce Carol Oates

$29.99

Best-selling author Joyce Carol Oates blends sexual violence, racism, brutality, and power in an incendiary novel that explores the persistence of stereotypes, the nature of revenge, and how the complexities of truth are lost in our hunger for sensationalism. Best-selling author Joyce Carol Oates returns with an incendiary novel that illuminates the tragic impact of sexual violence, racism, brutality, and power on innocent lives and probes the persistence of stereotypes, the nature of revenge, the complexities of truth, and our insatiable hunger for sensationalism. When a fourteen-year-old girl is the alleged victim of a terrible act of racial violence, the incident shocks and galvanises her community, exacerbating the racial tension that has been simmering in this New Jersey town for decades. In this magisterial work of fiction, Joyce Carol Oates explores the uneasy fault lines in a racially troubled society. In such a tense, charged atmosphere, Oates reveals that there must always be a sacrifice - of innocence, truth, trust, and, ultimately, of lives. Unfolding in a succession of multiracial voices, in a community transfixed by this alleged crime and the spectacle unfolding around it, this profound novel exposes what - and who - the sacrifice actually is, and what consequences these kind of events hold for us all. Working at the height of her powers, Oates offers a sympathetic portrait of the young girl and her mother, and challenges our expectations and beliefs about our society, our biases, and ourselves. As the chorus of its voices - from the police to the media to the victim and her family - reaches a crescendo, The Sacrifice offers a shocking new understanding of power and oppression, innocence and guilt, truth and sensationalism, justice and retribution. A chilling exploration of complex social, political, and moral themes - the enduring trauma of the past, modern racial and class tensions, the power of secrets, and the primal decisions we all make to protect those we love - The Sacrifice is a major work of fiction from one of our most revered literary masters.
The Scent of Pine

The Scent of Pine

Lara Vapnyar

$19.99

A compelling tale of cultural displacement and yearning ( The Boston Globe ), from award-winning author Lara Vapnyar: a sly and seductive ( The New York Times Book Review ) new novel about sexual awakening and the relentless search for love. Though only thirty-eight, Lena finds herself in the grips of a midlife crisis. She feels lost in her adoptive country, her career is at a dead end, and her marriage has spiraled into apathy and distrust--it seems impossible she will ever find happiness again. But then she strikes up a precarious friendship with Ben, a failed artist turned reluctant academic, who is just as lost as she is. They soon surprise themselves by embarking on an impulsive weekend adventure, uncharacteristically leaving their responsibilities behind. On the way to Ben's remote cabin in Maine, Lena begins to talk, for the first time in her life, about the tumultuous summer she spent as a counselor in a Soviet children's camp twenty years earlier, when she was just discovering romance and her own sexuality. As Lena opens up to Ben about secrets she has long kept hidden, they begin to discover together not only the striking truths buried in her puzzling past, but also more immediate, passionate ones about the urgency of this short, stolen time they have together. Enchanting...vivid and rich ( The New York Times ), filled with Lara Vapnyar's characteristic empathy, deadpan humor, and striking honesty, The Scent of Pine weaves themes of ambition, loneliness, longing, and the fickle nature of desire into a book of elegant writing and propulsive storytelling ( Chicago Tribune ).
The Vegetarian: A Novel

The Vegetarian: A Novel

Han Kang ,  Deborah Smith

$24.99

Yeong-hye and her husband are ordinary people. He is an office worker with moderate ambitions and mild manners; she is an uninspired but dutiful wife. The acceptable flatline of their marriage is interrupted when Yeong-hye, seeking a more 'plant-like' existence, decides to become a vegetarian, prompted by grotesque recurring nightmares. In South Korea, where vegetarianism is almost unheard-of and societal mores are strictly obeyed, Yeong-hye's decision is a shocking act of subversion. Her passive rebellion manifests in ever more bizarre and frightening forms, leading her bland husband to self-justified acts of sexual sadism. His cruelties drive her towards attempted suicide and hospitalisation. She unknowingly captivates her sister's husband, a video artist. She becomes the focus of his increasingly erotic and unhinged artworks, while spiralling further and further into her fantasies of abandoning her fleshly prison and becoming - impossibly, ecstatically - a tree. Fraught, disturbing and beautiful, The Vegetarian is a novel about modern day South Korea, but also a novel about shame, desire and our faltering attempts to understand others, from one imprisoned body to another.
American Psycho

American Psycho

Bret Easton Ellis

$19.99

With an introduction by Irvine Welsh A cult classic, adapted into an award-winning film starring Christian Bale. Is evil something you are? Or is it something you do? Patrick Bateman has it all: good looks, youth, charm, a job on Wall Street, reservations at every new restaurant in town and a line of girls around the block. He is also a psychopath. A man addicted to his superficial, perfect life, he pulls us into a dark underworld where the American Dream becomes a nightmare ...Bret Easton Ellis' American Psycho is one of the most controversial and talked-about novels of all time. A multimillion-copy bestseller hailed as a modern classic, it is a violent black comedy about the darkest side of human nature.
The Boy That Never Was

The Boy That Never Was

Karen Perry

$19.99

For fans of the new BBC1 drama The Missing starring James Nesbitt. The Boy That Never Was is that powerful thing, a beautifully written mystery driven by its exploration of the characters' innermost hearts . (Tana French). Three-year-old Dillon vanished in the middle of the night. His father Harry can't forgive himself for not protecting his only child. Yet Harry isn't blamed by his wife Robin: she bares her own secret guilt. Five years later, thousands of miles away, Harry spots an eight-year-old boy in a crowd - a boy he is convinced is Dillon. Desperate to find his missing son, Harry's obsession tears apart his marriage, exposing shameful secrets and shattering the one thing he and Robin had left - trust. Why won't Robin believe Harry? What is she hiding? Can the boy really be Dillon? And how far will Harry go to find their lost son? The Boy That Never Was is a deeply atmospheric and masterfully crafted tale of love and loss that will chill you to the bone. Fans of Rosamund Lupton and Sophie Hannah will fall in love with this debut from Karen Perry. Praise for The Boy That Never Was: A truly remarkable novel ...Written in a captivating, lyrical style and brilliantly structured, the story grips your heart from the first pages and simply never lets go . (Jeffery Deaver). This is a debut novel that will catch fire . (Nelson DeMille). A beautifully written, tense and twisty tale . (Sunday Mirror).
How To Make A Friend

How To Make A Friend

Fleur Smithwick

$32.99

As a lonely child, Alice found comfort the same way so many others do - she invented a friend. Sam was always there when she needed him, until one day ...he wasn't. Now, Alice's life almost resembles something happy, normal. She has a handful of close friends and a career as a photographer. But when a tragic accident shatters her world Alice has constructed, the sense of isolation that haunted her in childhood returns. And with it, so does Sam. To Alice, he looks and feels like a real person, but how can that be so? And who will decide when it's time for him to leave again?
The Italian Girl

The Italian Girl

Lucinda Riley

$19.99

Nothing sings as sweetly as love, or burns quite like betrayal Rosanna Menici is just a girl when she meets Roberto Rossini, the man who will change her life. In the years to come, their destinies are bound together by their extraordinary talents as opera singers and by their enduring but obsessive love for each other - a love that will ultimately affect the lives of all those closest to them. For, as Rosanna slowly discovers, their unison is haunted by irreversible events from the past ...Rosanna's journey takes her from humble beginnings in the back streets of Naples to the glittering stages of the world's most prestigious opera houses. Set against a memorable backdrop of Lucinda Riley's trademark evocative locations, The Italian Girl unfolds into a poignant and unforgettable tale of love, betrayal and self-discovery. *First published as Aria under the name Lucinda Edmonds, now extensively rewritten*
Spilt Milk

Spilt Milk

Amanda Hodgkinson

$19.99

The new novel from the author of 22 Britannia Road, Amanda Hodgkinson. Hogkinson's second novel is simply but elegantly written, its subtle charms emerging as her gentle, bittersweet story shows history repeating itself over the generations . (Sunday Times). 1913. Unmarried sisters Nellie and Vivian Marsh live an impoverished existence in a tiny cottage on the banks of the Little River in Suffolk. Their life is quiet and predictable, until a sudden flood throws up a strange fish on their doorstep and a travelling man who will change them forever. 1939. Eighteen-year-old Birdie Farr is working as a barmaid in the family pub in London. When she realises she is pregnant she turns to her mother Nellie, who asks her sister to arrange an adoption for Birdie's new born daughter. But as the years pass Birdie discovers she cannot escape the Marsh sisters' shadowy past - and her own troubling obsession with finding her lost daughter will have deep consequences for all of them... This is a story that explores motherhood and sisterhood with great subtlety and power ...with its strong storytelling, haunting characters and beautiful, supple prose, Hodgkinson's fiction deserves a wider audience . (Independent on Sunday). A potent, moving story of mother and sisterhood . (Sainsbury's Magazine). A tale of sisterhood, lies and illegitimate babies . (Good Housekeeping). Amanda Hodgkinson was born in Burnham-on-Sea in Somerset and grew up in Essex and Suffolk. She currently lives in south-west France with her husband and two daughters. Her first novel, 22 Britannia Road, is available in Penguin.
The Book of Evidence

The Book of Evidence

John Banville

$19.99

With an introduction by Colm Toibin 25TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION WITH EXTRA MATERIAL Shortlisted for the 1989 Booker Prize, a dark and unsettling crime classic. Frederick Charles St John Vanderveld Montgomery. Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth? Don't make me laugh. Freddie Montgomery has committed two crimes. He stole a Dutch old-master painting from a wealthy family friend and murdered the chambermaid who caught him in the act. Narcissistic, greedy and reckless, Freddie travels through life apparently without remorse. However, as he narrates his testimony, he realises that the only person to be held responsible for his life, and his crimes, is himself. He just can't quite admit it yet ...Shortlisted for the 1989 Booker Prize, John Banville's The Book of Evidence is a wonderfully dark, insightful and unnerving crime novel that takes us deep into the unreliable mind of an improbable murderer.
Collected Short Stories of Bertolt Brecht

Collected Short Stories of Bertolt Brecht

Bertolt Brecht ,  John Willett ,  Ralph Manheim ,  Marc Silberman

$37.99

Everyone knows that Bertolt Brecht was one of the great 20th-century innovators in theatre - the literary-theatrical equivalent of a Picasso or Stravinsky - and Germany's greatest poet of the last century, but the playwright was also a dazzling writer of stories. Storytelling permeated his art as a dramatist; fundamentally in his plays he was a storyteller. This volume collects the complete short stories written by Brecht, including the prize-winning 'The Monster', and the fragmentary memoir ghost-written by Brecht, 'Life Story of the boxer Samson-K rner'. Brecht scholar Marc Silberman provides an introduction and editorial notes. Fans of Brecht will find in the 37 stories assembled here the same directness, lack of affectation, and wry humour that characterise his plays. Every lover of short stories will discover an unexpected trove of pleasure in this mine for short-story addicts (Observer).
Every Day is for the Thief

Every Day is for the Thief

Teju Cole

$19.99

A young man returns to Nigeria after fifteen years in New York. Like him, his childhood country has grown up quickly: found fast-food restaurants, email cafes, contempt for authority; the all-consuming draw of money for nothing. From the consulate in Manhattan to the dusty streets of Lagos, life in modern Nigeria runs like clockwork - as long as you pay the fee. A bribe for the visa clerk, a 'Christmas gift' at immigration, cash - no receipt - at the unofficial tollbooth. Petrol pumps are rigged to overcharge and internet cafes overflow with career scammers, but the police are too busy doling out bogus fines to care. In a country routinely plundered of its oil and ancient treasures, who is to say who can thieve and who can't? As our narrator makes the difficult journey back to his family house and its memories, he is confronted by the paradox of a country he wants to love, as burdened by its impoverished past as it is blinded by the spoils of the future.
She Will Build Him a City

She Will Build Him a City

Raj Kamal Jha

$29.99

As night falls in Delhi a mother spins tales from her past for her sleeping daughter. Her now grown-up child is a puzzle with a million pieces whom she hopes, through her words and her love, to somehow make whole again. Meanwhile, as the last train from Rajiv Chowk Station pulls away, a young man rides the metro and dreams of murder. In another corner of the city, a newborn wrapped in a blood-red towel lies on the steps of an orphanage as his mother walks away. There are twenty million bodies in this city and this woman, man and child are only three. But their stories - of a secret love that blossoms in the shadows of grief, of a corrosive guilt that taints the soul, and of an orphaned boy who maps out his own destiny - weave in and out of the lives of those around them to form a dazzling kaleidoscope of a novel. Beautiful, beguiling and audacious, this is the story of a city and its people, of love and horror, of belonging and forgiveness: a powerful and unforgettable tale of modern India.
The South

The South

Colm Toibin

$19.99

With an introduction by Roy Foster A classic work of Irish literature, this award-winning novel is an exploration of love, art and identity. This was the night train to Barcelona, some hours before the dawn. This was 1950, late September. I had left my husband. I had left my home. Katherine Proctor has dared to leave her family in Ireland and reach out for a new life. Determined to become an artist, she flees to Spain, where she meets Miguel, a passionate man who has fought for his own freedoms. They retreat to the quiet intensity of the mountains and begin to build a life together. But as Miguel's past catches up with him, Katherine too is forced to re-examine her relationships: with her lover, her painting and the homeland she only thought she knew...The South is the book that introduced readers to the astonishing gifts of Colm Toibin, winning the Irish Times First Fiction Award in 1991. Arrestingly visual and enduringly atmospheric, it is a classic novel of art, sacrifice, and courage.
The Wonders

The Wonders

Paddy O'Reilly ,  P A O'Reilly

$26.25  $23.10

From the author of the funny, irreverent, and highly entertaining (Liane Moriarty, author of The Husband's Secret ) Fine Color of Rust comes a brilliant new novel about a misfit trio who become instant international reality stars, probing the nature of celebrity, disability, and the value of human life. Perhaps every human being was a freak. Hadn't he read somewhere that every person has at least a handful of damaged genes? That all humans embody a myriad of nature's mistakes? Meet Leon (stage name: Clockwork Man), a nervous, introverted thirty-year-old man with a brass heart; Kathryn (stage name: Lady Lamb), a brash, sexy woman covered almost entirely with black, tightly furled wool; and Christos (stage name: Seraphiel), a vain performance artist who plays a winged god with the help of ceramic implants inserted between his shoulder blades. These are The Wonders, three extraordinary people whose medical treatments have tested the limits of the human body. When they are brought together by a canny entrepreneur, their glamorous, genre-defying, twenty-first-century circus act becomes a global sensation. But what makes them objects of fascination also places them in danger. With warmth, humor, and astonishing insight, Paddy O'Reilly has written a wonderful novel that will appeal to fans of Sara Gruen's Ape House, Karen Joy Fowler's We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, and Teddy Wayne's The Love Song of Jonny Valentine --or anyone who's ever questioned the nature of fame, our kinship with the animal kingdom, and the delicate balancing act of life and death.
The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly

The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly

Sun-mi Hwang ,  Kazuko Nomoto ,  Chi-Young Kim

$19.99

This is the story of a hen named Sprout. No longer content to lay eggs on command only to have them carted off to the market, she glimpses her future every morning through the barn doors, where the other animals roam free, and comes up with a plan to escape into the wild-and to hatch an egg of her own. An anthem for individuality and motherhood, The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly has captivated millions of readers in Korea. Now the novel is making its way around the world, where it has the potential to inspire generations of readers the way Jonathan Livingston Seagull or The Alchemist have. And with Nomoco's evocative illustrations throughout, this first English-language edition beautifully captures the journey of an unforgettable character in world literature.
The Zig-Zag Girl

The Zig-Zag Girl

Elly Griffiths

$36.99

Brighton, 1950. When the body of a girl is found, cut into three, Detective Inspector Edgar Stephens is reminded of a magic trick, the Zig Zag Girl. The inventor of the trick, Max Mephisto, is an old friend of Edgar's. They served together in the war as part of a shadowy unit called the Magic Men. Max is still on the circuit, touring seaside towns in the company of ventriloquists, sword-swallowers and dancing girls. Changing times mean that variety is not what it once was, yet Max is reluctant to leave this world to help Edgar investigate. But when the dead girl turns out to be known to him, Max changes his mind. Another death, another magic trick: Edgar and Max become convinced that the answer to the murders lies in their army days. When Edgar receives a letter warning of another 'trick', the Wolf Trap, he knows that they are all in the killer's sights...
Granta 130: India: New Stories, Mainly True

Granta 130: India: New Stories, Mainly True

Ian Jack

$24.99

A powerful curiosity is the hallmark of new kind of Indian writing: important questions about the country's past and present have found their expression in different forms of non-fiction story-telling that twenty years ago tended to be the preserve of writers from the west. Biography, memoir, narrative history, reportage, the travel account: all these forms now have their interesting and original practitioners in India. In this Granta issue they tackle questions ranging from rape in village India to scandal in Mumbai clubs. And there is room, as always, for the best of India's fiction.
Masterpieces of the English Short Novel: Nine Complete Short Novels

Masterpieces of the English Short Novel: Nine Complete Short Novels

Kenneth H. Brown

$21.99

These nine novels are the best of the best --great writing by some of the most brilliant literary minds of the 18th and 19th centuries. Samuel Johnson's biography of Richard Savage raises the life of a scoundrel to the level of great art; George Eliot profoundly influenced Henry James with her horror story, The Lifted Veil; Le Fanu writes a sinister but gracious supernatural Gothic; Nightmare Abbey is Thomas Love Peacock's satire on his friends, the Romantic poets Shelley, Coleridge, and Byron. These, with other short novels in this collection, represent the pinnacle of achievement in their genre.
           
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