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Paris, 1928. Avant-garde Paris is buzzing with the latest ideas in art, music and literature from artists such as Ford Madox Ford and Zelda Fitzgerald. Lucia, the talented and ambitious daughter of controversial genius James Joyce, is making her name as a dancer. But when Lucia falls passionately in love with budding writer (and fellow Irish expat) Samuel Beckett he is banned from the Joyce family home. 1934. Her life in tatters, Lucia is sent to pioneering psychoanalyst Carl Jung. For years she has kept quiet. Now she decides to speak. Profoundly moving and stunningly written, The Joyce Girl brings to light the untold tale of Lucia Joyce. It will entrance and educate you. You will fall in love with this compelling woman, but she will break your heart too.
Manjunath Kumar is fourteen. He knows he is good at cricket - if not as good as his elder brother Radha. He knows that he fears and resents his domineering and cricket-obsessed father, admires his brilliantly talented sibling and is fascinated by the world of CSI and by curious and interesting scientific facts. But there are many things, about himself and about the world, that he doesn't know... Sometimes it seems as though everyone around him has a clear idea of who Manju should be, except Manju himself. When Manju begins to get to know Radha's great rival, a boy as privileged and confident as Manju is not, everything in Manju's world begins to change and he is faced with decisions that will challenge both his sense of self and of the world around him...
Destined to be a book club favourite - an utterly charming and entirely delicious novel of love, art and food, with a dash of French Riviera sunshine. Juan-les-Pins, the French Riviera, 1936: Ondine is a sixteen-year old girl working at her family's cafe when she is called upon to cook for Picasso, who has secretly rented a nearby villa. Picasso is successful, powerful, virile - yet he is also a man beset by his own demons, and he's at a great crossroads in his personal and professional life.
The spirited Ondine is just beginning to discover her own talents and appetites, and she quickly blossoms in many ways from her encounter with Picasso - each inspires the other. New York, 2016: Celine, Ondine's American granddaughter, decides to embark on a journey to the French Riviera in a quixotic quest to do what her fragile mother Julie is no longer able to do - that is, to find out what really happened when her grandmother Ondine crossed paths with the great Picasso ... and possibly recover a lost family treasure.
To carry out her quest, Celine takes her mother's place in a cooking class at an elegant Provencal farmhouse, run by Gil, a mercurial English master chef who is wildly talented but doesn't suffer fools and has demons of his own. Set against the sensual sun-infused Cote d'Azur, Cooking for Picasso is a captivating, wise and entirely delicious novel of desire, trust, art and food - and the important choices that we all face in our journey towards love, success and joie de vivre.
A monumental new novel about modern family lives from the bestselling author of Everything Is Illuminated and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close God asked Abraham to sacrifice his beloved son Isaac, and Abraham replied obediently, Here I am. This is the story of a fracturing family in a moment of crisis. Over the course of three weeks in present-day Washington DC, three sons watch their parents' marriage falter and their family home fall apart. Meanwhile, a larger catastrophe is engulfing another part of the world: a massive earthquake devastates the Middle East, sparking a pan-Arab invasion of Israel. With global upheaval in the background and domestic collapse in the foreground, Jonathan Safran Foer ask us - what is the true meaning of home? Can one man ever reconcile the conflicting duties of his many roles - husband, father, son? And how much of life can a person bear?
Pip Tyler doesn't know who she is. She knows that her real name is Purity, that she's saddled with student debt and a reclusive mother, but there are few clues as to who her father is or how she'll ever have a normal life. Then she meets Andreas Wolf - internet outlaw, charismatic provocateur, a man who deals in secrets and might just be able to help her solve the mystery of her origins.
'Another year and I still don't like old people. Me? I am 83 years old.'
Hendrik Groen may be old, but he is far from dead and isn't planning to be buried any time soon. Granted, his daily strolls are getting shorter because his legs are no longer willing and he had to visit his doctor more than he'd like. Technically speaking he is ... elderly. But surely there is more to life at his age than weak tea and potted geraniums?
Hendrik sets out to write an exposé: a year in the life of his care home in Amsterdam, revealing all its ups and downs - not least his new endeavour the anarchic Old-But-Not Dead Club. And when Eefje moves in - the woman Hendrik has always longed for - he polishes his shoes (and his teeth), grooms what's left of his hair and attempts to make something of the life he has left, with hilarious, tender and devastating consequences.
The indomitable Hendrik Groen - Holland's unlikeliest hero - has become a cultural phenomenon in his native Netherlands and now he and his famously anonymous creator are conquering the globe. A major Dutch bestseller, The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen will not only delight older readers with its wit and relevance, but will charm and inspire those who have years to go before their own expiry date.
A powerful and timely story of marriage, class, race and the pursuit of the American Dream. Behold the Dreamers is a dazzling debut novel about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness - and of what we're prepared to sacrifice to hold on to each of them. New York, 2007: a city of dreamers and strivers, where the newly-arrived and the long-established jostle alike for a place on the ladder of success. And Jende Jonga, who has come from Cameroon, has just set his foot on the first rung. Clark Edwards is a senior partner at Lehman Brothers bank. In need of a discrete and reliable chauffeur, he is too preoccupied to closely check the paperwork of his latest employee. Jende's new job draws him, his wife Neni and their young son into the privileged orbit of the city's financial elite. And when Clark's wife Cindy offers Neni work and takes her into her confidence, the couple begin to believe that the land of opportunity might finally be opening up for them. But there are troubling cracks in their employers' facades, and when the deep fault lines running beneath the financial world are exposed, the Edwards' secrets threaten to spill out into the Jonga's lives. Faced with the loss of all they have worked for, each couple must decide how far they will go in pursuit of their dreams - and what they are prepared to sacrifice along the way.
Nutshell is a classic story of murder and deceit, told by a narrator with a perspective and voice unlike any in recent literature. A bravura performance, it is the finest recent work from a true master.
Trudy has betrayed her husband, John. She's still in the marital home – a dilapidated, priceless London townhouse – but not with John. Instead, she's with his brother, the profoundly banal Claude, and the two of them have a plan. But there is a witness to their plot: the inquisitive, nine-month-old resident of Trudy's womb.
Told from a perspective unlike any other, Nutshell is a classic tale of murder and deceit from one of the world’s master storytellers.
It's 2008 and Russell and Corrine Calloway have spent half their lives in the bright lights of New York. Obama and Clinton are fighting for leadership and the collapse of Lehman Brothers looms. Meanwhile, Russell is running his own publishing company, and clinging to their downtown loft; Corrine manages a charity, and is desperate to move somewhere with more space for their twins. Although they try to forget each other's past indiscretions, when Jeff Pierce's posthumous novel garners a new cult following, the memory of their friend begins to haunt the couple, and their increasingly unstable marriage is not helped by the unexpected reappearance of Corrine's former lover. Acutely observed and brilliantly told, Bright, Precious Days dissects the moral complexities of relationships - the mistakes we make and love's ability to adapt and survive them - confirming McInerney as a great chronicler of our life and times.
Rescued from unscrupulous breeders who plan to destroy him because of his floppy ear, when the Queen's littlest corgi arrives at Windsor Castle, he finds himself in a world of red carpets, gilded chambers u and not a pile of dirty laundry to be seen. Charming his way into the affections of the royal household, Nelson offers a dog's-eye view of life with the Queen. He eavesdrops on her encounters with celebrities, philanthropists and advisers, catching rare insights into the secrets of a purposeful life. Through one of Her Majesty's most mysterious advisers, he discovers how the ancient ways and powerful symbols continue to exert a transformative presence. He also becomes familiar with the Queen's most surprising quality: her gentle but firm expectation that everyone she encounters is striving to be the best that they can be. The Queen's Corgi bursts with zest, humour and adventure. Romping through the litany of Nelson's misdemeanours are a warm-heartedness and deep wisdom sure to delight anyone who has known the smiling face and warm tongue of a dog. It is not by chance that you hold this book in your hands.
Turn down Slade Alley - narrow, dank and easy to miss, even when you're looking for it. Find the small black iron door set into the right-hand wall. No handle, no keyhole, but at your touch it swings open. Enter the sunlit garden of an old house that doesn't quite make sense; too grand for the shabby neighbourhood, too large for the space it occupies. A stranger greets you and invites you inside. At first, you won't want to leave. Later, you'll find that you can't. This unnerving, taut and intricately woven tale by one of our most original and bewitching writers begins in 1979 and comes to its turbulent conclusion around Hallowe'en, 2015. Because every nine years, on the last Saturday of October, a 'guest' is summoned to Slade House. But why has that person been chosen, by whom and for what purpose? The answers lie waiting in the long attic, at the top of the stairs ...
Amos Oz's first major novel in a decade - since A Tale of Love and Darkness, which sold over 100,000 copies. Shmuel, a young, idealistic student, is drawn to a mysterious handwritten note on a campus noticeboard. This takes him to a strange house, where an elderly invalid man requires a paid companion, to argue with and read to him. But there is someone else in the house, too...A woman, who is trailed by ghosts from her past. Shmuel is captivated by her, a sexual obsession which evolves into gentle love and devotion; and he is pulled to the old man, an intellectual obsession which also evolves into gentle love and devotion. Shmuel begins to uncover the house's tangled history and, in doing so, reaches an understanding that harks back not only to the beginning of the Jewish-Arab conflict, but also the beginning of Jerusalem itself - to Christianity, to Judaism, to Judas. Set in the still-divided Jerusalem of 1959-60, Judas is an exquisite love story and coming-of-age tale, and a radical rethinking of the concept of treason. It is a novel steeped in desire and curiosity from one of Israel's greatest living writers.
A powerful story of two families brought together by beauty and torn apart by tragedy, the new novel by the Orange Prize-winning author of Bel Canto and State of Wonder is her most astonishing yet It is 1964: Bert Cousins shows up at Franny Keating's christening party uninvited and notices a heart-stoppingly beautiful woman. When he kisses Beverly Keating, his host's wife, he sets in motion the joining of two families whose shared fate will be defined on a day seven years later. In 1988, Franny Keating, now twenty-four, has dropped out of law school and is working as a cocktail waitress in Chicago. When she meets the famous author Leon Posen one night at the bar, and tells him about her family, she unwittingly relinquishes control over their story. Told with equal measures of humour and heartbreak, Commonwealth is a powerful tale of a family's far-reaching bonds of love and responsibility - and a meditation on inspiration, interpretation and the ownership of stories.
Nicholas Shakespeare's collected stories take us around the globe and into the intimate lives of his characters and the dilemmas and temptations they face. The opening novella, 'Oddfellows', tells the little-known history of the only enemy attack on Australian soil during the Great War, when, in January 1915, the outback town of Broken Hill was rocked by horrifying events. From this dramatic First World War encounter, we are taken to the faded glamour of 1960s Bombay, to a Bolivian mining town in 1908 where civic folly is running amok, and to an Argentinian farm presided over by a former air stewardess and her husband. Across ocean and continents, these are stories of connection and disconnection, misunderstanding and missed opportunities, identity and displacement.
It is 1947, and Beit Daras, a rural Palestinian village, is home to the Baraka family - oldest daughter Nazmiyeh, brother Mamdouh, beautiful, dreamy Mariam and their widowed mother. When Israeli forces descend, sending the village up in flames, the family must take the long road to Gaza, in a walk that will test them to their limits. Sixty years later, in America, Mamdouh's granddaughter Nur falls in love with a doctor. Following him to his work in Gaza, she meets Alwan, who will help Nur discover the ties of kinship that transcend distance - and even death. Told with raw humanity, The Blue Between Sky and Water is a lyrical, devastatingly beautiful story of a family's relocation, separation, survival and love.
SHORTLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER INTERNATIONAL 2016. The brilliant new novel from the winner of the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize. On the eve of Angolan independence, Ludo bricks herself into her apartment, where she will remain for the next thirty years. She lives off vegetables and pigeons, burns her furniture and books to stay alive and keeps herself busy by writing her story on the walls of her home. The outside world slowly seeps into Ludo's life through snippets on the radio, voices from next door, glimpses of a man fleeing his pursuers and a note attached to a bird's foot. Until one day she meets Sabalu, a young boy from the street who climbs up to her terrace.
Cometh the Hour opens with the reading of a suicide note, which has devastating consequences for Harry and Emma Clifton, Giles Barrington and Lady Virginia. Giles must decide if he should withdraw from politics and try to rescue the woman he loves from behind the Iron Curtain. Lady Virginia is facing bankruptcy, and can see no way out, until she is introduced to the hapless Cyrus T. Grant III at Royal Ascot. Sebastian Clifton is now the Chief Executive of Farthings Bank; his personal life is thrown into disarray when he falls for a beautiful Indian girl. Harry Clifton remains determined to get Anatoly Babakov released from a gulag in Siberia. But then something unexpected happens that none of them could have anticipated.
What if you learn something as an adult that makes you question your entire childhood? This is the scenario the Rockwell sisters are faced with. Esme: eldest child, control-freak, perfect wife and mother. In fact, her husband has run off with his dentist and their teenage daughter is live-tweeting the entire mess to her 3,000 followers. Liv: middle child, fiance stealer, squatter. Holed up in her ex-husband's apartment with her acupuncturist and a bottle of whiskey. Ru: youngest child, writer, runaway. Hopes to find inspiration for her second novel by studying the behaviour of elephants - and fleeing her fiance. One-by-one the siblings return to the family home, where an even bigger drama unfolds. A box of old letters is delivered to the house containing the answer to the mystery they have all lived with, until now: who was their father, and why the hell did he disappear? In the spirit of Wes Anderson's The Royal Tenenbaums film, this novel is a colourful, spirited and darkly humorous celebration of the impossibility of families.
Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She has only one function: to breed. If she deviates, she will, like dissenters, be hanged at the wall or sent out to die slowly of radiation sickness. But even a repressive state cannot obliterate desire - neither Offred's nor that of the two men on which her future hangs.
Vermilion Sands is a fully automated desert-resort designed to fulfil the most exotic whims of the idle rich, but now languishes in uneasy decay, populated only by forgotten movie queens, solitary impresarios and the remittance men of the artistic and literary world. It is a lair for beachcombers, hangers-on and malignant obsessions - a place where sensitive pigments paint portraits of their mistresses in a grotesque parody of art; where prima donna plants are programmed to sing operatic arias; where dial-a-poem computers have replaced poets; where psychosensitive houses are driven to murder by their owners' neuroses; and where love and lust, in the hands of jewel-eyed Jezebels, pall before the stronger pull of evil.
Highly awkward teenager Stanley Owens meets his match in beautiful, brainy Vera Baxter when they tie for first place in the annual National Spelling Bee-and the two form a bond that will change both of their lives. Though their mothers have big plans for them-Stanley will become a senator, Vera a mathematics professor-neither wants to follow these pre-determined paths. So Stanley hatches a scheme to marry Vera in a sham wedding for the cash gifts, hoping they will enable him to pursue his one true love: crossword puzzle construction. In enlisting Vera to marry him, though, he neglects one variable: she's secretly in love with him, which makes their counterfeit ceremony an exercise in misery for her. Realizing the truth only after she's moved away and cut him out of her life, Stanley tries to atone for his mistakes and win her back. But he's unable to find her, until one day he comes across a puzzle whose clues make him think it could only have been created by Vera. Intrigued, he plays along, communicating back to her via his own gridded clues. But will they connect again before it's all too late?
One of fiction's greatest chancers - the story of Denry Machin and his unceasing, ingenious efforts to become a great man Set in the raw, Victorian world of the 'Five Towns', The Card tells the extremely funny and tangled story of Denry Machin's rise from mediocrity to fame through a series of ludicrous and yet perversely successful schemes. He dances, pleads, cheats and inspires his way through life in a series of set-pieces which wonderfully evoke a now long-gone world of civic balls, seaside excursions, newspaper boys and patent chocolate remedies. As everybody said after one of his most stylish coups, Denry 'was not simply a card; he was the card.'
On 27 October 1949, a Lockheed Constellation passenger plane left Paris for New York. Hours later, it disappeared on approach to its scheduled stopover in the Azores. It was found on a mountainside five miles from its intended landing zone. There were no survivors. Among those lost in the accident were heavyweight boxer Marcel Cerdan flying to New York for a world title fight; 30-year-old virtuoso violinist Ginette Neveu; Kay Kamen, Walt Disney's merchandising tsar; five Basque shepherds emigrating to America; a pilot who ran missions for the Free French during the war. Constellation tells the untold true stories of the forty-eight men and women who died on board, and paints a moving portrait of their place in the changing post-war world and of their hopes and dreams for the life awaiting them across the Atlantic. Adrien Bosc's magnetic debut novel is a memorial to an air disaster that happened half a century ago. But it is also a love song to the forgotten lives that every tragedy scatters around it like so much debris, and a poignant investigation into the nature of collective tragedy.
Clover Quinn was a surprise. She used to imagine she was the good kind, now she's not sure. She'd like to ask Dad about it, but growing up in the saddest chapter of someone else's story is difficult. She tries not to skate on the thin ice of his memories. Darren has done his best. He's studied his daughter like a seismologist on the lookout for waves and surrounded her with everything she might want - everything he can think of, at least - to be happy. What Clover wants is answers. This summer, she thinks she can find them in the second bedroom, which is full of her mother's belongings. Volume isn't important, what she is looking for is essence; the undiluted bits: a collection of things that will tell the full story of her mother, her father and who she is going to be. But what you find depends on what you're searching for.
Written in startlingly beautiful prose, this novel is set across New York, Berlin and Connecticut, following the stories of Yuki Oyama, a Japanese girl fighting to make it as an artist, and Yuki's son Jay who, as an adult in the present day, is forced to confront his mother who abandoned him when he was only two years old. An unforgettable novel about the complexities of identity, art, adolescent friendships and familial bonds, offering a unique exploration of love, loneliness and reconciliation.
This bestselling collection of stories extols the female virtues of discontent, sexual disruptiveness and bad manners Here are subversive tales - by Ama Ata Aidoo, Jane Bowles, Angela Carter, Colette, Bessie Head, Jamaica Kincaid and Katherine Mansfield among others - all have one thing in common: the wish to restore adventuresses and revolutionaries to their rightful position as models for all women Reflecting the wide-ranging intelligence and deliciously anarchic taste of Angela Carter, some of these stories celebrate toughness and resilience, some of them low cunning: all of them are about not being nice.
This book of dark secrets opens with a blaze. On the morning of her daughter's wedding, June Reid's house goes up in flames, destroying her entire family - her present, her past and her future. Fleeing from the carnage, stricken and alone, June finds herself in a motel room by the ocean, hundreds of miles from her Connecticut home, held captive by memories and the mistakes she has made with her only child, Lolly, and her partner, Luke. In the turbulence of grief and gossip left in June's wake we slowly make sense of the unimaginable. The novel is a gathering of voices, and each testimony has a new revelation about what led to the catastrophe - Luke's alienated mother Lydia, the watchful motel owners, their cleaner Cissy, the teenage pothead who lives nearby - everyone touched by the tragedy finds themselves caught in the undertow, as their secret histories finally come to light. Lit by the clarity of understanding that true sadness brings, Did You Ever Have a Family is an elegant, unforgettable story that reveals humanity at its worst and best, through loss and love, fracture and forgiveness. At the book's heart is the idea of family - the ones we are born with and the ones we create - and the desire, in the face of everything, to go on living.
In Jilly Cooper's latest, raciest novel, Rupert Campbell-Black takes centre stage in the cut-throat world of flat racing. Rupert is consumed by one obsession: that Love Rat, his adored grey horse, be proclaimed champion stallion. He longs to trounce Roberto's Revenge, the stallion owned by his detested rival Cosmo Rannaldini, which means abandoning his racing empire at Penscombe and his darling wife Taggie, and chasing winners in the richest races worldwide, from Dubai to Los Angeles to Melbourne. Luckily, the fort at home is held by Rupert's assistant Gav, a genius with horses, fancied by every stable lass, but damaged by alcoholism and a vile wife. When Gala, a grieving but ravishing Zimbabwean widow moves to Penscombe as carer for Rupert's wayward father, it is not just Gav who is attracted to her: a returning Rupert finds himself dangerously tempted. Gala adores horses, and when she switches to working in the yard, her carer's job is taken by a devastatingly handsome South African man who claims to be gay but seems far keener on caring for the angelic Taggie. And as increasingly sinister acts of sabotage strike at Penscombe, the game of musical loose boxes gathers apace...
"I was living in even greater circles of gangsterdom than I had dreamed, latitudes and longitudes of gangsterdom."
It's 1930s New York and Billy Bathgate, a fifteen-year-old high-school-dropout, has captured the attention of the infamous gangster Dutch Schultz. The product of an East Bronx upbringing by a dysfunctional Catholic mother and an absent Jewish father, Billy is captivated by the world of money, sex, and high society that the charismatic Schultz has to offer. Yet after being lured into a world of extortion, brutality, and murder, Billy finds he must either adapt to his role in a spiralling criminal enterprise, or remain still and face the consequences.
Written in breath-taking prose and peopled with characters from across the human spectrum, Billy Bathgate is a cornerstone of historical fiction by one of the most important American novelists of the twentieth century.
The Island Will Sink is set decades from now - a not-too-distant future which is not so different. The energy crisis has come and gone. Cities have been rethought and redesigned, and Ecolaw(TM) is enforced by insidious cartoon Pandas and their armies of viral-marketing children. Max Galleon is a filmmaker of immersive cinema, a father to two children distressed by the world around, a distant husband, a brother to a comatose mystery man, and falling rapidly in love with a doctor who is not what she seems. The Island Will Sink is a terrific postmodern science fiction novel in the vein of Michel Houellebecq and Phillip K. Dick, and marks the official breakthrough of a compelling literary talent.
From the bestselling author of If I Stay and I Was Here comes a stunning new novel for Forman’s adult readers, an unflinching portrait of a woman confronting the joys and sorrows of marriage, motherhood and friendship. Meet Maribeth Klein, a harried working mother who is so busy taking care of her husband and twins that she doesn’t even realise, working late one evening, that she has had a heart attack.
Afterwards, surprised to discover that her recuperation seems to be an imposition on those who rely on her, Maribeth does the unthinkable – she packs a bag and leaves. Far from the demands of family and career, and with the help of new friendships, she is finally able to own up to the secrets she has been keeping from herself and those she loves.
With bighearted characters who stumble and trip, grow and forgive, Leave Me is about facing the fears we are all running from. Gayle Forman has written an irresistible novel that confronts the ambivalence of modern motherhood head on and asks, what happens when a grown woman runs away from home?
Ginger is forty-seven and a recovering alcoholic when she meets and marries Paul. It's too late for her to have a baby of her own, so she tries to persuade him to consider adoption, but he already has a child and doesn't share her longing to be a parent. As a compromise, they sign up to an organisation that sends poor inner-city kids to stay with country families for a few weeks in the summer, so one hot July day Velveteen Vargas arrives in their lives, and Ginger is instantly besotted. Velvet is an eleven-year-old Dominican girl from one of Brooklyn's toughest neighbourhoods. Bemused by her gentle middle-aged hosts, but deeply intuitive in the way of clever children, Velvet quickly senses the longing behind Ginger's affection for her. Although she can't reciprocate, the two of them do forge a bond, but when Ginger begins to entertain fantasies of adopting Velvet, things begin to get complicated. Narrated in turn by Velvet and Ginger, Mary Gaitskill has created a devastating portrait of the unbridgeable gaps between people, and the way we long for fairytale endings even when we know they don't exist. Heartbreakingly honest and utterly convincing, it marks her triumphant return.
When three American men discover a community of women, living in perfect isolation in the Amazon, they decide there simply must be men somewhere. How could these women survive without man's knowledge, experience and strength, not to mention reproductive power? In fact, what they have found is a civilisation free from disease, poverty and the weight of tradition. All alone, the women have created a society of calm and prosperity, a feminist utopia that dares to threaten the very concept of male superiority.
From the cabarets of Weimar Berlin to the dazzling film studios of Hollywood’s golden age, an enthralling novel of a glamorous legend Maria Magdalena Dietrich was born for a life on the stage.
Raised in genteel poverty after the First World War, the willful teenager vows to become an actress and singer, trading her family’s proper, middle-class society for the free-spirited decadence of Weimar Berlin’s cabarets and drag balls. With her sultry beauty, smoky voice, and androgynous tailored suits, Marlene performs to packed houses and becomes entangled in a series of stormy love affairs that push the boundaries of social convention until she finds overnight success in her breakthrough film role as the cabaret singer Lola-Lola in The Blue Angel.
For Marlene, neither fame nor marriage and motherhood can cure her wanderlust. As Hitler rises to power, she sets sail for America. Her image as an erotic temptress captures worldwide attention, and she becomes one of Hollywood’s top leading ladies, starring in one high-profile film and affair after another. Though Hitler tries to lure her back to Germany, Marlene chooses instead to become a citizen of her new nation, even as America enters the war against her fatherland.
But one day, she must return to Germany, escorted by General George Patton himself. In the devastated cities and the concentration camps, she comes face-to-face with how the evils of fascism transformed her country, and the family she thought she knew.
Lushly descriptive, as alluring as the lady herself, Marlene reveals the inner life of a woman of grit, glamour, and ambition who defied convention, seduced the world, and forged a path on her own terms.
'This is a great love story' Edmund White, author of A Boy's Own Story Wendell Wilson, a taxidermist, and Frank Clifton, a veteran, meet after the Second World War. But, in this declining textile town in a southern US state, their love holds real danger. Severing nearly all ties with the rest of the world, they carve out a home for themselves on the outskirts of town. For decades, their routine of self-reliant domesticity - Wendell's cooking, Frank's care for a yard no one sees, and the vicarious drama of courtroom TV - seems to protect them. But when Wendell finds Frank lying motionless outside at the age of eighty-three, their carefully crafted life together begins to unravel. As Frank's memory and physical strength deteriorate, Wendell struggles in vain to hold on to the man he once knew. Faced with giving care beyond his capacity, he must come to terms with the consequences of half a century in seclusion: the different lives they might have lived - and the impending, inexorable loss of the one they had.
We all make mistakes, but for Meghann Dontess the terrible choice she made some years ago cost her everything, including the love of her sister, Claire. Meghann is now a highly successful attorney, and has put all thoughts of love completely behind her - until she meets the one man who believes he can change her mind. Claire has fallen in love for the first time in her life, and as her wedding day approaches she prepares to face her strong-willed older sister. Reunited after two decades, these two women who believe they have nothing in common will try to become what they never were: a family.
ABBEY’S BOOKSELLER PICK —— “It’s hard work, being a modern Indian” says a central character in this gently-paced and thoughtful novel - which is also a concise summary of the broad themes explored here. Qayenaat (like Cher, she only goes by the one name) is one of the cosmopolitans - city-dwellers enjoying art, food and a comfortable life - although for Qayennaat, cracks are appearing in her financial stability. With a tragic turn, Qayenaat’s life is up-ended and taking refuge in the country, she encounters another India, where tradition holds fast. At first there is charm... Craig Kirchner
Qayenaat is a middle-aged editor and critic who hovers at the edge of the Bangalore art scene. Her old friend and former protege, Baban Reddy, has become a hugely successful artist on the international stage and his return to Bangalore brings back memories and experiences Qayenaat had carefully repressed. In a swirl of heightened emotion, Qayenaat commits an unforgivable crime and flees to rural India in the hope of avoiding its repercussions. There she forms a relationship with the unlikeliest of men - the local monarch whose palace, like the region, has fallen into disrepair.
Asking questions about art, love, class and the responsibilities of the bourgeoisie, The Cosmopolitans is a rich and engaging novel, by turns tender and satirical. Hasan has a fine voice and an impeccable sense of irony that, coupled with perfect comic timing, makes this an entertaining and highly sophisticated novel.
A vivid, unforgettable story of an unlikely sisterhood an emotionally powerful and haunting tale of friendship that illuminates the plight of women in a traditional culture from the author of the bestselling The Pearl That Broke Its Shell and When the Moon Is Low.
For two decades, Zeba was a loving wife, a patient mother, and a peaceful villager. But her quiet life is shattered when her husband, Kamal, is found brutally murdered with a hatchet in the courtyard of their home. Nearly catatonic with shock, Zeba is unable to account for her whereabouts at the time of his death. Her children swear their mother could not have committed such a heinous act. Kamal’s family is sure she did, and demands justice.
Barely escaping a vengeful mob, Zeba is arrested and jailed. As Zeba awaits trial, she meets a group of women whose own misfortunes have also led them to these bleak cells: thirty-year-old Nafisa, imprisoned to protect her from an honor killing; twenty-five-year-old Latifa, who ran away from home with her teenage sister but now stays in the prison because it is safe shelter; and nineteen-year-old Mezhgan, pregnant and unmarried, waiting for her lover’s family to ask for her hand in marriage. Is Zeba a cold-blooded killer, these young women wonder, or has she been imprisoned, as they have been, for breaking some social rule For these women, the prison is both a haven and a punishment. Removed from the harsh and unforgiving world outside, they form a lively and indelible sisterhood.
Into this closed world comes Yusuf, Zeba’s Afghan-born, American-raised lawyer, whose commitment to human rights and desire to help his motherland have brought him back. With the fate of this seemingly ordinary housewife in his hands, Yusuf discovers that, like Afghanistan itself, his client may not be at all what he imagines.
A moving look at the lives of modern Afghan women, A House Without Windows is astonishing, frightening, and triumphant.
Hanna Casey, local librarian on the West Coast of Ireland's Finfarran Peninsula, is wondering where it all went wrong... As she drives her mobile library van between farms and villages she tries not to think of the sophisticated London lifestyle she abandoned after finding her barrister husband in bed with another woman. Or that she's living in the back bedroom of her mother's retirement bungalow in the small town she walked away from in her teens. Now with her daughter Jazz travelling the world, and her relationship with her mother growing increasingly fraught, Hanna is determined to reclaim her independence. But when the threatened closure of the library puts her plans in jeopardy, she finds herself leading a battle to restore the heart and soul of Finfarran's fragmented community. Hanna's about to discover that the neighbours she's always kept at a distance have come to mean more to her than she ever could have imagined. But will she find the new life she's been searching for?
Not many writers introduce a phrase - let alone a whole idea - into the language. In CATCH-22, Joseph Heller invented a motif for the modern world. For that book alone he is one of the greatest American writers of the twentieth century. But where did the author who was able to create that novel come from? And what happened to those remarkable characters? CATCH AS CATCH CAN for the first time collects early works, previously unpublished stories and lost chapters of CATCH-22 to chart the development of a genius. It also explores the consequences in the later stories of the unforgettable Yossarian, and Heller's non-fiction pieces, in which the author reflects upon his childhood in Coney Island and the novel which shaped everything that was written after it.
Ah Ling: son of a prostitute and a white 'ghost', dispatched from Hong Kong as a boy to make his way alone in 1860s California. Anna Mae Wong: the first Chinese film star in Hollywood, forbidden to kiss a white man on screen. Vincent Chin: killed by a pair of Detroit auto workers in 1982 simply for looking Japanese. John Ling Smith: a half-Chinese writer visiting China for the first time, to adopt a baby girl. Inspired by three figures who lived at pivotal moments in Chinese-American history, and drawing on his own mixed-race experience, Peter Ho Davies plunges us into what it is like to feel, and be treated, like a foreigner in the country you call home. Ranging from the mouth of the Pearl River to the land of golden opportunity, this remarkable novel spans 150 years to tell a tale of familial bonds denied and fragmented, of tenacity and pride, of prejudice and the universal need to belong.
Far in the future, the World Controllers have created the ideal society. Through clever use of genetic engineering, brainwashing and recreational sex and drugs all its members are happy consumers. Bernard Marx seems alone harbouring an ill-defined longing to break free. A visit to one of the few remaining Savage Reservations where the old, imperfect life still continues, may be the cure for his distress... Huxley's ingenious fantasy of the future sheds a blazing light on the present and is considered to be his most enduring masterpiece.
On a frozen January evening in 1944, Nancy Levin, and her three-year-old daughter, Emily, flee their impoverished East London home as an air raid siren sounds. Not far away, 39- year-old Diana Meadows and her own child, three-year-old Abigail, are lost in the black-out as the air raid begins. Finding their way in the jostling crowd to the mouth of the shelter they hurry to the safety of the underground tube station. Mrs Meadows, who has so far sat out the war in the safety of London's outer suburbs, is terrified - as much by the prospect of sheltering in an Eastend tube station as of experiencing a bombing raid first hand... Far away Diana's husband, Gerald Meadows finds himself in a tank regiment in North Africa while Nancy's husband, Joe Levin has narrowly survived a torpedo in the Atlantic and is about to re-join his ship. Both men have their own wars to fight but take comfort in the knowledge that their wives and children, at least, remain safe... But in wartime, ordinary people can find themselves taking extreme action - risking everything to secure their own and their family's survival, even at the expense of others...
It started with a drowning. Deep in the heart of Mexico City, where five houses cluster around a sun-drenched courtyard, lives Ana, a precocious twelve-year-old still coming to terms with the mysterious death of her little sister years earlier. Over the rainy, smoggy summer she decides to plant a vegetable garden in the courtyard, and as she digs the ground and plants her seeds, her neighbors in turn delve into their past. As the ripple effects of grief, childlessness, illness and displacement saturate their stories, secrets seep out and questions emerge - Who was my wife? Why did my mom leave? Can I turn back the clock? And how could a girl who knew how to swim drown? Using five voices to tell the singular story of life in an inner city mews, Umami is a quietly devastating novel of missed encounters, missed opportunities, missed people, and those who are left behind. Compassionate, surprising, funny and inventive, it deftly unpicks their stories to offer a darkly comic portrait of contemporary Mexico, as whimsical as it is heart-wrenching.
When Hitomi takes a job on the cash register of a neighbourhood thrift store, she finds herself drawn into a very idiosyncratic community. There is Mr Nakano, an enigmatic ladies' man with several ex-wives; Masayo, Mr Nakano's sister, an artist who has never married; and her fellow employee Takeo, a shy but charming young man. Every day, customers from the neighbourhood pass in and out as curios are bought and sold, each one containing its own surprising story. When Hitomi and Takeo begin to fall for one another, they find themselves in the centre of their own drama - and on the edges of many others. A tender and affecting exploration of the mystery that lurks in the ordinary, this novel traces the seemingly imperceptible threads that weave together a community, and the knots that bind us to one another.
Set before the start of the First World War, this moving fable sees a young English writer set out to Crete to claim a small inheritance. But when he arrives, he meets Alexis Zorba, a middle-aged Greek man with a zest for life. Zorba has had a family and many lovers, has fought in the Balkan wars, has lived and loved - he is a simple but deep man who lives every moment fully and without shame. As their friendship develops, the Englishman is gradually won over, transformed and inspired along with the reader. Zorba the Greek, Nikos Kazantzakis' most popular and enduring novel, has its origins in the author's own experiences in the Peleponnesus in the 1920s. His swashbuckling hero has legions of fans across the world and his adventures are as exhilarating now as they were on first publication in the 1950s.
Murdo, a teenager obsessed with music, dreams of a life beyond his Scottish island home. His dad Tom has recently lost his wife and stumbles towards the future, terrified of losing control of what remains of his family life Both are in search of something as they set out on an expedition into the American South. As they travel they encounter a new world and we discover whether the hopes of youth can conquer the fears of age. Dirt Road is a major novel exploring the brevity of life, the agonising demands of love and the lure of the open road. It is also a beautiful book about the power of music and all that it can offer.
The oath-brothers Thorgeir and Thormod raid for treasure and seduce women against the backdrop of a new cult of Christianity. Eventually, Thormod must avenge Thorgeir's death, demonstrating the senselessness of violence and the endlessly cyclical nature of obsession.
Yongju is an accomplished student from one of North Korea's most prominent families. Jangmi, on the other hand, has had to fend for herself since childhood, most recently by smuggling goods across the border.families. Danny is a Chinese-American teenager of Korean descent whose parents left China when he was nine; his quirks and precocious intelligence have long marked him as an outcast among his peers, and he yearns for the China of his youth. These three disparate lives converge when each of them travels to the region where China borders North Korea - Danny to visit his mother, who is working as a missionary there; Yongju to escape persecution after his father is killed at the hands of the Dear Leader himself; and Jangmi to protect her unborn child. As they struggle to survive in a place where danger seems to close in on all sides, in the form of government informants, husbands, thieves, abductors, and even missionaries, they come to form a kind of adopted family. The novel transports the reader to one of the most complex and threatening environments in the world, and explores how humanity persists even in the most dire of circumstances.
The first collection of short stories from one of Britain's finest novelists and critics. A nameless man, who has fallen out of love with life, refuses to get out of bed, with unexpected consequences. A sociologist recalls how he learned his first and formative lesson about the oppressive power of capitalism selling newspapers and magazines up and down the platforms of Waterloo station. Some years before the era of the Pill and the Permissive Society, four university friends travel to the Mediterranean for their first holiday together, where the climate is sultry and sex is on everyone's mind. And a strong-willed young woman defies adverse circumstances to pursue the perfect wedding at all costs. These are some of the characters that populate David Lodge's shrewd, funny and delightfully entertaining short stories, collected here for the very first time. What prompted their publication in this form is a short story in itself, told by the author in his Foreword.
One ordinary morning, Norah Wells walked out of her house on Willoughby Street and never looked back. Six years later, she returns to the home she left only to find another woman in her place. Fay held Norah's family together after she disappeared, she shares a bed with Norah's husband and Norah's youngest daughter calls Fay 'Mummy'. Now that Norah has returned, everyone has questions. Where has she been? Why did she leave? And why is she back? As each member of the family tries to find the answers they need, they must also face up to the most pressing question of all - what happens to The Mother Who Stayed when The Mother Who Left comes back? Powerful, emotional and perceptive, The Return of Norah Wells is a novel about what it takes to hold a family together and what you're willing to sacrifice for the ones you love. *Originally published with the title The Astonishing Return of Norah Wells*
A luminous debut novel of modern alienation, of the sinister beauty of the human body and of the enduring splendour of the natural world. During a sweltering South American summer, a family convenes for dinner at a restaurant. Midway through the meal, Carlos disappears. An experienced, semi-retired inspector takes the case, but what should be a routine investigation becomes something strange, intangible, even sinister. The corporation for which Carlos worked seems to serve no purpose; the staff talk of their missing colleague's alarming, shifting physical symptoms; a forensic scientist uncovers evidence of curious abnormalities in the thriving microorganisms that shared Carlos's body. As the inspector relives and retraces the missing man's footsteps, the trail leads him away from the city sprawl and deep into the country's rainforest interior, where he encounters both horror and wonder.
An eighteen-year-old girl, recently arrived in London from Ireland, is enrolled in drama school. Innocent, nervous, the youngest in her class, she is eager to make an impression, to do well. She meets a man:older, a well-regarded actor in his own right:and falls for him. But he's haunted by more than a few demons:and their tumultuous relationship might be the undoing of them both. Set across the bedsits and squats of mid-nineties north London, The Lesser Bohemians is a story of love and innocence, joy and discovery, the grip of the past and the struggle to be new again.
Corrine Calloway is a young stockbroker on Wall Street, her husband Russell an underpaid but ambitious publishing editor. The happily married couple head into New York's 1980s gold rush, awash with prospects and promise, where the best and brightest vie with the worst and most craven for riches, fame and the love of beautiful people. But the Calloways soon discover that what goes up must come crashing down, both on Wall Street and at home. Brightness Falls captures lives-in-the-making: men and women confronting adulthood with wit and low behaviour, fear and confusion, and, just occasionally, a little honesty and decency.
Ten years on from Brightness Falls, Russell Calloway is still a literary editor; his wife Corrine has sacrificed her career to watch anxiously over their children. Across town Luke McGavock, a wealthy ex-investment banker, is taking a sabbatical from moneymaking, struggling to reconnect with his socially resplendent wife Sasha and their angst-ridden teenage daughter, Ashley. These two Manhattan families are teetering on the brink of change when 9/11 happens. Through the lens of catastrophe, The Good Life explores that territory between hope and despair, love and loss, regret and fulfilment. This is Jay McInerney doing what he does best, presenting us with life in New York City, in all its moral complexity.
As a young girl, Beryl Markham was brought to Kenya from Britain by parents dreaming of a new life. For her mother, the dream quickly turned sour, and she returned home; Beryl was brought up by her father, who switched between indulgence and heavy-handed authority, allowing her first to run wild on their farm, then incarcerating her in the classroom. The scourge of governesses and serial absconder from boarding school, by the age of sixteen Beryl had been catapulted into a disastrous marriage - but it was in facing up to this reality that she took charge of her own destiny. Scandalizing high society with her errant behaviour, she left her husband and became the first woman ever to hold a professional racehorse trainer's licence. After falling in with the notoriously hedonistic and gin-soaked Happy Valley set, Beryl soon became embroiled in a complex love triangle with the writer Karen Blixen and big game-hunter Denys Finch Hatton (immortalized in Blixen's memoir Out of Africa). It was this unhappy affair which set tragedy in motion, while awakening Beryl to her truest self, and to her fate: to fly.
She is sailing. She is alone. Ahead of her is the world's curve and beyond that, everything else. The known, the imagined, the imagined known. Who else has entered Tim's life the way Maud did? This young woman who fell past him, lay seemingly dead on the ground, then stood and walked. That was where it all began. As magnetic as she is inscrutable, Maud defies expectations and evades explanation - a daughter, girlfriend and mother who, in the wake of a tragedy, embarks on a dangerous voyage across the Atlantic, not knowing where it will lead... By the Costa Award-winning author of Pure, this is a viscerally honest, hypnotic portrait of modern love and motherhood, the lure of the sea and the ultimate unknowability of others. This pitch-perfect novel confirms Andrew Miller's position as one of the finest writers of his generation.
Meet Ella and her mother Fabia Moreno who arrive in York, one cold January day, to set up their vintage dress shop. The flamboyant Fabia wants to sell beautiful dresses to nice people and move on from her difficult past. Ella just wants to fit in. But not everyone is on their side. Will Fabia overcome the prejudices she encounters? What's the dark secret she's hiding? And do the silk linings and concealed seams of her dresses contain real spells or is this all just 'everyday magic'? Among the leopard-print shoes, tea-gowns and costume jewellery in Fabia's shop are many different stories - and the story of one particular dress.
'If The Girl on the Train was the woman of 2015, then Sophie Stark is this year's model. Anna North's new novel, The Life and Death of Sophie Stark, has been a hit in America, with Lena Dunham describing its protagonist as a totally unforgettable female antihero . Out now - soon every girl on every train will be reading it' Sunday Times Who is the real Sophie Stark? The Life and Death of Sophie Stark is the story of an enigmatic film director, told by the six people who loved her most. Brilliant, infuriating, all-seeing and unknowable, Sophie Stark makes films said to be 'more like life than life itself'. But her genius comes at a terrible cost: to her husband, to the brother she left behind, and to an actress who knows too much. With shades of We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, A Visit from the Goon Squad and Where'd You Go, Bernadette, it combines a uniquely appealing sensibility with a compulsively page-turning plot.
Ten years on from her last novel, Edna O'Brien reminds us why she is thought to be one of the great Irish writers of this and any generation. When a wanted war criminal from the Balkans, masquerading as a faith healer, settles in a small west coast Irish village, the community are in thrall. One woman, Fidelma McBride, falls under his spell and in this astonishing novel, Edna O'Brien charts the consequences of that fatal attraction. The Little Red Chairs is a story about love, the artifice of evil, and the terrible necessity of accountability in our shattered, damaged world. This is a narrative which dares to travel deep into the darkness has produced a book of enormous emotional intelligence and courage. Written with a fierce lyricism and sensibility, the Little Red Chairs dares to suggest there is a way back to redemption and hope when great evil is done. Almost six decades on from her debut, Edna O'Brien has produced what may be her masterpiece in the novel form.
These ten classic stories are masterful depictions of the underside of life, deep in the American South. On receiving an early copy, Evelyn Waugh remarked 'If these stories are in fact the work of a young lady, they are indeed remarkable.
"She's horrifyingly funny... It's that cool, removed style combined with very black stories." (Donna Tartt).
"No one has written better about the reality of evil. Few have written as well, with such sharp-edged compassion, about the weaknesses and follies of humanity, about the operation of grace in our lives and about the necessity of humility. Her stories - her intelligence and passion - can restore reason to minds unhinged by our fame-obsessed, technology-obsessed culture." (Dean Koontz, New York Times).
THE NEW NOVEL FROM BOOKER LONGLISTED ED O'LOUGHLIN, IN WHICH A MEETING BETWEEN TWO STRANGERS SHEDS LIGHT ON THE GREATEST UNSOLVED MYSTERY OF POLAR EXPLORATION. It begins with a chance encounter at the top of the world. Fay Morgan and Nelson Nilsson have each arrived in Inuvik, Canada - 120 miles north of the Arctic Circle - searching for answers about a family member: Nelson for his estranged older brother, Fay for her disappeared grandfather. They soon learn that these two men have an unexpected link - a hidden share in one of the greatest enduring mysteries of polar exploration. In a feat of extraordinary scope and ambition, Ed O'Loughlin moves between a frozen present and an-ever thawing past, and from the minds of two present-day wanderers to the lives some of polar history's most enigmatic figures. Minds of Winter is a novel about ice and time and their ability to preserve or destroy, of mortality and loss and our dreams of transcending them.
Platonov's dystopian novel describes the lives of a group of Soviet workers who believe they are laying the foundations for a radiant future. As they work harder and dig deeper, their optimism turns to violence and it becomes clear that what is being dug is not a foundation pit but an immense grave.
When Charlotte regains consciousness after an accident, she finds herself living a stranger’s life. The previous five years are a blank, and her husband, Henri, and daughter, Ada, are strangers. Arriving at their family chateau in southern France, she hopes to regain her memories. Instead she feels isolated and unsettled. Strange events hint at underlying darkness and menace. Charlotte doesn’t know who to trust.
Did she really have an affair with their charming Irish neighbour, as her enigmatic mother-in-law suggests? And what of Henri? He seems loving and kind, a good parent, but Charlotte is wary. Then there is Ada, a little girl who just wants her mother back.
With the help of her friend and fellow Australian Susannah, Charlotte starts to piece together events, but her newfound confidence is shaken with news that puts a deadline on her quest…
Le Chateau is a suspenseful gothic tale that will appeal to readers of Daphne du Maurier and Kate Morton.
'If this was a dream, then he wanted to know when it would end. Maybe it would end if he went to see Lydia. But it was the one thing he was not allowed to do.' Arky Swann is a film composer in New York separated from his wife, who has made him promise to keep a terrible secret. One day he finds his way to The Atrium at MOMA and sees Marina Abramovic in her performance The Artist is Present. The performance continues for seventy-five days and, as it unfolds, so does Arky as he considers marriage, art and the nature of commitment and love over a long-term union. The Museum of Modern Love is the story of one of the world's greatest art events and a man in search of connection.
When the renowned aviation hero and rabid isolationist Charles A. Lindbergh defeated Franklin Roosevelt by a landslide in the 1940 presidential election, fear invaded every Jewish household in America. Not only had Lindbergh publicly blamed the Jews for pushing America towards a pointless war with Nazi Germany, but, upon taking office as the 33rd president of the United States, he negotiated a cordial 'understanding' with Adolf Hitler. What then followed in America is the historical setting for this startling new novel by Pulitzer-prize winner Philip Roth, who recounts what it was like for his Newark family during the menacing years of the Lindbergh presidency, when American citizens who happened to be Jews had every reason to expect the worst.
The pain woke him up. He was grateful for it. The train had stopped and somewhere, up above them, the drone of aircraft engines filled the night sky. He could almost remember her smile... It must be the morphine... He had managed not to think about her for months now. 1944. Paul Brandt, a soldier in the German army, returns wounded and ashamed from the bloody chaos of the Eastern front to find his village home much changed and existing in the dark shadow of an SS rest hut - a luxurious retreat for those who manage the concentration camps, run with the help of a small group of female prisoners who - against all odds - have so far survived the war. When, by chance, Brandt glimpses one of these prisoners, he realizes that he must find a way to access the hut. For inside is the woman to whom his fate has been tied since their arrest five years before, and now he must do all he can to protect her. But as the Russian offensive moves ever closer, the days of this rest hut and its SS inhabitants are numbered. And while hope - for Brandt and the female prisoners - grows tantalizingly close, the danger too is now greater than ever. And, in a forest to the east, a young female Soviet tank driver awaits her orders to advance...
Under the pressure of his boss, the intransigent Riviere, the airmail pilot Fabien attempts a perilous flight during a heavy night-time thunderstorm in Argentina. As conditions get worse and the radio communication with Fabien becomes increasingly difficult, Riviere begins to question his uncompromising methods, and his distress turns to guilt when the pilot's wife comes to find him in search of answers.Based on Saint-Exupery's own experiences as a commercial pilot, Night Flight is a haunting and lyrical examination of duty, destiny and the individual, as well as an authentic and tragic portrayal of the intrepid early days of human air travel.
Finalist for the Herralde Novel Prize Two sisters return to the small parish of Tierra de ChB in Galicia after a long absence, to the former home of their grandfather, from which they fled when they were just children. At Tierra de ChB, nothing and everything has changed: the people, the distant little house in the rain, the acrid smell of gorse, the flowers, the crops, the customs. Yet the return of the sisters disrupts the placid existence of the villagers, stirring up memories best left alone. When news arrives that the famous American actress Ava Gardner will be shooting a movie in Spain and that lookalikes are wanted, the sisters have a chance to make their dreams come true. But the past is catching up with the present, and the family secrets that led to the The Winterlings' return won't stay buried for long. Translated by Samuel Rutter
We all have our secrets. Eleanor Rathmall has kept one her whole life. But when her husband dies and a stranger arrives at her door, her safe life in the idyllic English village she's chosen as her home begins to topple. Everyone is suspicious of this stranger, except for Eleanor. But her trust in him will put her life in danger, because nothing is as it seems; not her dead husband, the man who claims to love her, or the inscrutable outsider to whom she's opened her home and her heart. In a devastating love story full of intrigue and dark secrets we find that it is those who are closest to us that can sometimes pose the biggest threat of all.
Emma and Adam are doctors at the top of their fields and so when they are offered the chance to take their three children to Africa for a year for a research placement it seems like the opportunity of a lifetime. It's going to be an experience they'll never forget. But for all the wrong reasons. When Emma arrives home one night to the sickening sight of an empty cot, their family's dream adventure turns into their worst nightmare. Thousands of miles from home and from anyone who can help, they must discover the truth. Is this a random abduction, a tragic accident or something far more sinister?
Stalled on the precipice of adulthood, Iris doesn't know where her life post-college will lead and, to be honest, it's not a primary concern. She's tried applying for jobs, she's dipped her toes into dating, and she's become Manhattan's resident expert at finding ways to distract herself from what she really wants to do. When she does sit down to write, what emerges are meditations on small talk, family, arctic exploration, cannibalism, quantum physics, literary immortality, etiquette guides, memory, dreams, loneliness, growing up, and growing old. A refreshing blend of Proust and Holly Golightly, Iris covers it all. Evoking the screwball heroines of a bygone age as she finds herself often a little lost in her own, Iris relates hilarious and heart-breaking episodes. A mature book about immaturity, Dating Tips for the Unemployed is a wistful, melancholic, madcap, and erudite picaresque about the miserable fun of trying to find a career, love, and yourself at home and abroad.
From the grimly gothic Not to Disturb to the razor-sharp dissection of manners The Takeover and the mordantly brilliant The Only Problem, in a panoramic sweep taking in the shores of the Italian lakes to the castles of Geneva, Muriel Spark casts her unflinching gaze over the continent and onto some of the odder specimens of human nature abounding there. By turns savage, witty and profound, Spark's Europe reaffirms Muriel Spark as one of the most important novelists of the twentieth century.
From a fraudulent psychiatrist grappling with two equally fraudulent clients in Aiding and Abetting, to the dirty dealings of The Abbess of Crewe's band of corrupt nuns, to the three plane crash survivors of Robinson eking out an existence on an Atlantic island after its resident mystic disappears, these three satires probe the recesses of human fallibility with formidable precision. Spanning five decades, the glittering, sharp and sinister works of Spark's Satire confirm their author as one of our most incisive and wickedly funny satirists.
Manhattan has become the Island of Death. The former President of the United States stands barefoot in a purple toga around a cooking fire in the lobby of the Empire State Building. He is Dr Wilbur Daffodil-II Swain and Slapstick or Lonesome No More! is his story - one of monstrous twins, orgies, revenge, golf, utopian schemes, and very little tooth brushing. In this post-apocalyptic black comedy - dedicated to Laurel and Hardy - Vonnegut is at his most hilarious, grotesque, and personal.
A model of efficiency and order, the aerodrome stands on the hill looking down on the village below. Roy, coming of age in the messy, violent and adulterous world of the villagers, is simultaneously attracted and repelled by this strange place and by the powerful figure of the Air Vice-Marshal. Soon he is led to leave his family, his friends and his love in order to join the aerodrome and confront the secrets of this mysterious and sinister place...
A schoolgirl catches the eye of the future leader of Nazi Germany. An aspiring playwright writes to a convicted serial killer, seeking inspiration. A pair of childhood sweethearts reunite to commit rape and murder. A devoted Mormon wife follows her husband into the wilderness after he declares himself a prophet. The twelve stories in The Love of a Bad Man imagine the lives of real women, all of whom were the lovers, wives, or mistresses of various 'bad' men in history. Beautifully observed, fascinating, and at times horrifying, the stories interrogate power, the nature of obsession, and the lengths some women will go to for the men they love.
Venya is more interested in how much he and his colleagues can drink during the working day than in his job. Once he is fired, he spends the last of his money on booze and sets off on a train journey to visit beautiful, picturesque, utopian Petushki, where his beloved and child are waiting for him. But Venya's drinking gets out of control on the train, and Petushki seems to lie increasingly beyond his grasp. Funny and sad, Yerofeev's alcohol-soaked story of a man on a train perfectly captures Soviet society on the brink of doom: exhausted, corrupt and heading into the night in sodden dignity.
The citizens of the One State live in a condition of 'mathematically infallible happiness'. D-503 decides to keep a diary of his days working for the collective good in this clean, blue city state where nature, privacy and individual liberty have been eradicated. But over the course of his journal D-503 suddenly finds himself caught up in unthinkable and illegal activities - love and rebellion. Banned on its publication in Russia in 1921, We is the first modern dystopian novel and a satire on state control that has once again become chillingly relevant.