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Poetry & Writing
Gate of Lilacs: A Verse Commentary on Proust

Gate of Lilacs: A Verse Commentary on Proust

Clive James

$29.99

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ABBEY'S CHOICE MAY 2016 ----- Over a period of fifteen years Clive James learned French by almost no other method than reading À la recherche du temps perdu. Then he spent half a century trying to get up to speed with Proust's great novel in two different languages. Gate of Lilacs is the unique product of James's love and engagement with Proust's eternal masterpiece.

With À la recherche du temps perdu, Proust, in James's words, 'followed his creative instinct all the way until his breath gave out', and now James has done the same. In Gate of Lilacs, James, a brilliant critical essayist and poet, has blended the two forms into one.

I had always thought the critical essay and the poem were closely related forms... If I wanted to talk about Proust's poetry beyond the basic level of talking about his language - if I wanted to talk about the poetry of his thought - then the best way to do it might be to write a poem. There is nothing like a poem for transmitting a mental flavour. Instead of trying to describe it, you can evoke it.

In the end, if À la recherche du temps perdu is a book devoted almost entirely to its author's gratitude for life, for love, and for art, this much smaller book is devoted to its author's gratitude for Proust.
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A Classical Primer: Ancient Knowledge for Modern Minds

A Classical Primer: Ancient Knowledge for Modern Minds

Dan Crompton

$14.99

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The essential introduction to the culture of the ancient Greeks and Romans. Didn't take Classics at school? Or maybe you've forgotten most of what you once knew? This handy, informative and enjoyable book is the perfect primer for people of all ages on this fascinating subject. The study of the culture of the ancient Greeks and Romans, Classics takes in all aspects of their life and learning, from the languages and literature, philosophy, art and much more besides. A Classical Primer is an accessible and enjoyable look back at Classical civilization, how they lived, and how many aspects of our own daily lives have been directly influenced by theirs, from roads and concrete, to central heating, the twelve-month calendar, cranes and even the modern-day favourite, pizza! This small but authoritative book will take you on a journey through this lost world, showing you that even a basic knowledge of Classics is not only essential, but also incredibly fascinating.
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Upstairs at the Strand: Writers in Conversation at the Legendary Bookstore

Upstairs at the Strand: Writers in Conversation at the Legendary Bookstore

Jessica Strand ,  Andrea Aguilar

$22.95

Based on a series of talks pairing writers of note at NYC's beloved bookstore, Upstairs at the Strand offers candid and behind-the-scenes accounts of the ways leading writers work, think, and live. The book features such celebrated novelists, playwrights, and poets as Martin Amis, Paul Auster, Renata Adler, Charles Simic, Patti Smith, and Mark Strand, as well as contemporary stars such as Hilton Als, Alison Bechdel, Junot Diaz, Rachel Kushner, and Tea Obreht. Here are Diaz and Als riffing on masculinity, Auster telling the story of meeting Samuel Beckett (and Edward Albee responding with an account of his own), Bechdel detailing the differences between writing about her father and writing about her mother, and George Saunders cheerfully describing to Deborah Eisenberg what he calls his Hemingway boner and how it prevented him from writing in his own voice.
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The Wicked Wit of Jane Austen

The Wicked Wit of Jane Austen

Dominique Enright

$17.99

A delightful collection of Jane Austen's wittiest insights, taken from her celebrated novels and letters. Lauded for her eloquence, observation and wry humour, Jane Austen was a novelist who was highly regarded and greatly celebrated in her own time. However, her appeal is as great as ever, and her insights remain as fresh and relevant today as when they were first published. This delightful volume offers thematic extracts from her fiction and correspondence, featuring quotes from such novels as Emma, Northanger Abbey, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park and Persuasion, alongside extracts from Austen's letters to her sister and confidante, Cassandra. Containing a host of quotations displaying Austen's sharp - indeed, often wicked - wit, this wonderful treasury will be enjoyed by fans of the author as well as readers who are new to her writing.
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The Violet Hour: Great Writers at the End

The Violet Hour: Great Writers at the End

Katie Roiphe

$32.99

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From one of our most perceptive and provocative voices comes a deeply researched account of the last days of Susan Sontag, Sigmund Freud, John Updike, Dylan Thomas, and Maurice Sendak - an arresting and wholly original meditation on mortality.

In The Violet Hour, Katie Roiphe takes an unexpected and liberating approach to the most unavoidable of subjects. She investigates the last days of six great thinkers, writers and artists as they come to terms with the reality of approaching death.

Roiphe draws on her own extraordinary research and access to the family, friends and caretakers of her subjects. Here is Susan Sontag, the consummate public intellectual, who finds her commitment to rational thinking tested during her third bout with cancer. Roiphe takes us to the hospital room where, after receiving the worst possible diagnosis, seventy-six-year-old John Updike begins writing a poem. She vividly re-creates the fortnight of almost suicidal excess that culminated in Dylan Thomas's fatal collapse on the floor of a Greenwich Village tavern. She gives us a bracing portrait of Sigmund Freud fleeing Nazi-occupied Vienna only to continue in his London exile the compulsive cigar smoking that he knows will hasten his decline. She shows us how Maurice Sendak's beloved books for children are infused with his lifelong obsession with death, if you know where to look. And from James Salter she learns that 'we make our own comfort.'

The Violet Hour is a book filled with intimate and surprising revelations. In the final acts of each of these creative geniuses are examples of courage, passion, self-delusion, pointless suffering and superb devotion. There are also moments of sublime insight and understanding where the mind creates its own comfort. As the author writes, 'If it's nearly impossible to capture the approach of death in words, who would have the most hope of doing it?' By bringing these great writers' final days to urgent, unsentimental life, Katie Roiphe helps us to look boldly in the face of death and be less afraid.
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Collected Poems: 1958 - 2015

Collected Poems: 1958 - 2015

Clive James

$49.99

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Clive James's reputation as a poet has become impossible to ignore. His recent poems looking back over his extraordinarily rich life with a clear-eyed and unflinching honesty, such as 'Japanese Maple' (first published in the New Yorker in 2014), became global news events upon their publication. His most recent collection, Sentenced to Life, was a phenomenal bestseller in the UK and in Australia, and his translation of Dante's The Divine Comedy was a Sunday Times top ten bestseller in 2013. In this book, James makes his own rich selection from over fifty years' work in verse: from his early satires to these heart-stopping valedictory poems, he proves himself to be as well suited to the intense demands of the tight lyric as he is to the longer mock-epic. Collected Poems displays James's fluency and apparently effortless style, his technical skill and thematic scope, his lightly worn erudition and his emotional power; it will undoubtedly cement his reputation as one of the most versatile and accomplished of contemporary writers.
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Horrible Words: A Guide to the Misuse of English

Horrible Words: A Guide to the Misuse of English

Rebecca Gowers

$30.00

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Nothing inflames the language gripers like a misplaced disinterested, an illogical irregardless, a hideous operationalisation. To purists these are 'howlers' and 'non-words', fit only for scorn. But in their rush to condemn such terms, are the naysayers missing something? In this provocative and hugely entertaining book, Rebecca Gowers throws light on a great array of horrible words, and shows how the diktats of the pedants are repeatedly based on misinformation, false reasoning and straight-up snobbery. The result is a brilliant work of history, a surreptitious introduction to linguistics, and a mischievous salute to the misusers of the language. It is also a bold manifesto asserting our common rights over English, even as it questions the true nature of style.
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Shakespeare's First Folio: Four Centuries of an Iconic Book

Shakespeare's First Folio: Four Centuries of an Iconic Book

Emma Smith

$40.95

This is a biography of a book: the first collected edition of Shakespeare's plays printed in 1623 and known as the First Folio. It begins with the story of its first purchaser in London in December 1623, and goes on to explore the ways people have interacted with this iconic book over the four hundred years of its history. Throughout the stress is on what we can learn from individual copies now spread around the world about their eventful lives. From ink blots to pet paws, from annotations to wineglass rings, First Folios teem with evidence of its place in different contexts with different priorities.

This study offers new ways to understand Shakespeare's reception and the history of the book. Unlike previous scholarly investigations of the First Folio, it is not concerned with the discussions of how the book came into being, the provenance of its texts, or the technicalities of its production. Instead, it reanimates, in narrative style, the histories of this book, paying close attention to the details of individual copies now located around the world - their bindings, marginalia, general condition, sales history, and location - to discuss five major themes: owning, reading, decoding, performing, and perfecting.

This is a history of the book that consolidated Shakespeare's posthumous reputation: a reception history and a study of interactions between owners, readers, forgers, collectors, actors, scholars, booksellers, and the book through which we understand and recognise Shakespeare.
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Civil War

Civil War

Caesar ,  Cynthia Damon

$68.00

Caesar (C. Iulius, 102-44 BC), statesman and soldier, defied the dictator Sulla; served in the Mithridatic wars and in Spain; entered Roman politics as a "democrat" against the senatorial government; was the real leader of the coalition with Pompey and Crassus; conquered all Gaul for Rome; attacked Britain twice; was forced into civil war; became master of the Roman world; and achieved wide-reaching reforms until his murder. We have his books ofcommentarii (notes): eight on his wars in Gaul from 58-52 BC, including the two expeditions to Britain in 55-54, and three on the civil war of 49-48. They are records of his own campaigns (with occasional digressions) in vigorous, direct, clear, unemotional style and in the third person, the account of the civil war being somewhat more impassioned.

This edition of the Civil War replaces the earlier Loeb Classical Library edition by A. G. Peskett (1914) with updated text, translation, introduction, and bibliography. In the Loeb Classical Library edition of Caesar, Volume I is hisGallic War; Volume III consists of Alexandrian War, African War, andSpanish War, commonly ascribed to Caesar by our manuscripts but of uncertain authorship.
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Confessions, Volume II: Books 9-13

Confessions, Volume II: Books 9-13

Augustine ,  Caroline J.B. Hammond ,  Caroline J.B. Hammond

$72.00

Aurelius Augustine (AD 354 430), one of the most important figures in western Christianity and philosophy, was the son of a pagan, Patricius of Tagaste, and his Christian wife, Monnica. While studying to become a rhetorician, he plunged into a turmoil of philosophical and psychological doubts, leading him to Manichaeism. In 383 he moved to Rome and then Milan to teach rhetoric. Despite exploring classical philosophical systems, especially skepticism and neoplatonism, his studies of Paul s letters with his friend Alypius, and the preaching of Bishop Ambrose, led in 386 to his momentous conversion from mixed beliefs to Christianity. He soon returned to Tagaste and founded a religious community, and in 395 or 396 became Bishop of Hippo. Confessions, composed ca. 397, is a spiritual autobiography of Augustine s early life, family, personal and intellectual associations, and explorations of alternative religious and theological viewpoints as he moved toward his conversion. Cast as a prayer addressed to God, though always conscious of its readers, Confessions offers a gripping personal story and a philosophical exploration destined to have broad and lasting impact, delivered with Augustine s characteristic brilliance as a stylist.This edition replaces the earlier Loeb Classical Library edition of Confessions by William Watts.
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Charles Dickens and His Circle

Charles Dickens and His Circle

Lucinda Hawksley

$21.99

In this new volume, historian and award-winning author Lucinda Hawksley explores the life of her great-great-great-grandfather, Charles Dickens (1812-70)-one of the first people to whom the term "celebrity" in its modern sense was applied, and whose extensive circle of friends and associates included many of the most eminent and influential figures of the Victorian age.

The ninth title in The National Portrait Gallery Companions series, Charles Dickens and His Circle is a compact, fully illustrated historical guide to a literary personality and the movement that surrounded him. Illustrated with works from the National Portrait Gallery's collection, including both familiar and less well-known portraits of Dickens and his contemporaries, this is a unique and accessible reader on the beloved English novelist and social critic.
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B & Me: A True Story of Literary Arousal

B & Me: A True Story of Literary Arousal

J. C. Hallman

$22.99

Nearly twenty-five years ago, Nicholson Baker wrote U and I, the fretful and handwringing-but also groundbreaking-tale of his literary relationship with John Updike.U and I inspired a whole sub-genre of engaging writing about reading, but what no story of this type has ever done is tell its tale from the moment of conception, that moment when you realize that there is writer out there in the world that you must read. B & Me is that story, the story of J.C. Hallman discovering and reading Nicholson Bakerand discovering himself in the process.

Our relationship to books in the digital age, the role of art in an increasingly commodified world, the power great writing has to change us, these are at the core of Hallman's investigation of Baker-questions he's grappled with, values he's come to doubt. But in reading Baker's work, Hallman discovers the key to overcoming the malaise that had been plaguing him, through the books themselves and what he finds and contemplates in his attempts to understand them and their enigmatic author.
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Better Living Through Criticism: How to Think About Art, Pleasure, Beauty and Truth

Better Living Through Criticism: How to Think About Art, Pleasure, Beauty and Truth

A. O. Scott

$35.00

Few could explain, let alone seek out, a career in criticism. Yet what A. O. Scott shows in Better Living Through Criticism is that we are, in fact, all critics: because critical thinking informs almost every aspect of artistic creation, of civil action, of interpersonal life. With penetrating insight and humour, Scott shows that while individual critics - himself included - can make mistakes and find flaws where they shouldn't, criticism as a discipline is one of the noblest, most creative and urgent activities. Using his own film criticism as a starting point - everything from an infamous dismissal of the international blockbuster The Avengers to his intense affection for Pixar's animated Ratatouille - Scott expands outwards, easily guiding readers through the complexities of Rilke and Shelley, the origins of Chuck Berry and the Rolling Stones, the power of Marina Abramovic and 'Ode on a Grecian Urn.' Scott shows that real criticism was and always will be the breath of fresh air that allows true creativity to thrive. As he puts it: 'The time for criticism is always now, because the imperative to think clearly, never goes away.'
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English Voices: Lives, Landscapes, Laments

English Voices: Lives, Landscapes, Laments

Ferdinand Mount

$59.99

Ferdinand Mount has spent many years writing articles, columns and reviews for prestigious magazines, newspapers and journals. Whether reviewing great published works by some of England's finest authors and poets (both alive and dead) including Kingsley Amis, John Osborne, John le Carre, Rudyard Kipling, E.M. Forster and Alan Bennett. He also analysed the works of a variety of our Masters covering the past four hundred years such as, of course, William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, John Keats, Thomas Hardy, Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Samuel Pepys. Whether it be holding up to account the writings of Winston Churchill, or celebrating the much-loved poems of Siegfried Sassoon, each essay reproduced in full here has been carefully chosen by Mount to weave a unique tapestry of the wealth of writings that have helped shape his own respected career as an author and political commentator. For anyone interested and passionate about writing and poetry across the centuries in the British Isles, this book will be a very welcome guide to the best one can pick up and read.
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Burnt Umber

Burnt Umber

Paul Hetherington

$22.99

In this expansive and exciting collection Hetherington moves with power and grace through an impressive range of form and content. The poems burst with tense and detailed images shot through with meditations on grief absence and hope. The work in Burnt Umber is always controlled and full of colour. Here is a poet at the height of his powers singing what it means to be alive. - Professor Nigel McLoughlin, University of Gloucestershire Somehow this collection landed seamlessly each section each page each poem aligned perfectly. Burnt Umber is a collection of precision and clarity and handstitched joy. - Professor Andrew Melrose, Winchester University
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False Nostalgia

False Nostalgia

Aden Rolfe

$24.00

False Nostalgia is rare among poetry collections, a work which is both lyrical and philosophical. It explores the way memory works, and the role memory plays in our sense of identity, and what we take to be the significant moments in our lives - the relationship between what we remember and the stories we tell about ourselves. Through stand-alone poems, exploratory poetic sequences, and essays which read like extended prose poems, Rolfe considers the complex connections between experience and recollection, the drive to document the moment, the fear of forgetting, the power of nostalgia, and the creative unreliability of memory itself. He approaches his subjects from oblique angles, evoking feelings of connection and disconnection, the experience of never quite grasping your own understanding of things. The poems place the reader in half-remembered places - on beaches walked during holidays, in festival gatherings and forests, film screenings and auction houses - asking not only what it means to look back fondly on a second-rate experience, but what it means to look forward to looking back on a moment while you're still living through it.
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Jack and Mollie (and Her)

Jack and Mollie (and Her)

Jordie Albiston

$24.95

...up here I have the high eyes to identify my all-around of course

I must go the way below some often as I have the depend on the sniff to comprehend the every but her shoulder is of the significant special on account of my near-near to Her & we

are of the similar see which from a philosophical brings us much close there is more to life than feet feet feet I have the assure...

Vibrantly playful and formally extraordinary, Albistion's exuberant long poem captures the voices of two very likeable dogs and their unlikely 'ownee', offering a gloriously oblique portrait of the canine adventures that map a household. Jack and Mollie's observant commentary of 'Her' give the book its emotional compass, while the syllabic structure and dynamic rhythms lend it muscle and pulse.
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The Last Days of Troy

The Last Days of Troy

Simon Armitage

$24.99

Simon Armitage is rightly celebrated as one of the country's most original and engaging poets; but he is also an adaptor and translator of some of our most important epics, such as Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, The Death of King Arthur and Homer's Odyssey. The latter, originally a commission for BBC Radio, rendered the classical tale with all the flare, wit and engagement that we have come to expect from this most distinctive of contemporary authors, and in so doing brought Odysseus' return from the Trojan War memorably to life.
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Shakespeare and Me: Great Writers, Actors and Directors on What the Bard Means to Them - and Us

Shakespeare and Me: Great Writers, Actors and Directors on What the Bard Means to Them - and Us

Susannah Carson ,  Prof. Harold Bloom

$21.99

Why Shakespeare? What explains our continued fascination with his poems and plays? In Shakespeare and Me, Susannah Carson invites 38 actors, directors, scholars and writers to share stories of their own personal relationship with Shakespeare. We hear from Ralph Fiennes on interpreting Coriolanus for a modern filmic audience, James Earl Jones on reclaiming Othello as a tragic hero, Sir Ben Kingsley on communicating Shakespeare's ideas through performance, Julie Taymor on turning Prospero into Prospera, Brian Cox on social conflict in Shakespeare's time and ours, Germaine Greer on the playwright's home life, Dame Harriet Walter on the complexity of his heroines, and Sir Antony Sher on feeling at home in Shakespeare's language. Together they provide a fresh appreciation of Shakespeare's works as a living legacy to be read, seen, performed, adapted, revised, wrestled with, and embraced.
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A Smidgen of Shakespeare: Brush Up on the Bard with Quotations, Trivia and Frolics

A Smidgen of Shakespeare: Brush Up on the Bard with Quotations, Trivia and Frolics

Geoff Spiteri

$17.99

If the mere mention of Shakespeare fills you with dread, evoking memories of arduous afternoons spent in stuffy classrooms with eccentric English teachers, it is time to reconsider that far from being three-hour marathons of unintelligible boring rubbish, Shakespeare's plays are in fact exciting, tragic, funny and often downright rude - full of memorable plots, great insults, filthy jokes and eccentric characters.

'Shakespeare Matters' lets you know the essentials, as well as providing you with a wealth of facts and trivia to amuse, impress and entertain (at school, in a seminar or down the pub). Succinct, pithy entries cover everything from Shakespeare's greatest villains to his most cutting insult (hint: it involves your mum). As a playwright, he is truly a global figure - his work has been translated into more than 70 of the world's languages, including Latin, ancient Greek and even Klingon. Did you know, however, that Shakespeare's influence even extends into the outer reaches of our solar system? 24 of Uranus' 27 moons are named after Shakespeare characters.

The hundreds of entries range from the truly enlightening to the utterly obscure in this comprehensive guide that will re-introduce you to the fascinating world of Shakespeare's work.
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Elsie Piddock Skips in Her Sleep

Elsie Piddock Skips in Her Sleep

Eleanor Farjeon ,  Charlotte Voake

$17.99

Hop, skip and jump your way through this timeless tale of courage and community-spirit, with charming watercolour illustrations by Charlotte Voake.

Elsie Piddock is a born skipper. By the age of seven, news of her skipping talents has reached the fairies and they invite her to Mount Caburn for lessons. The High Skip, the Slow Skip, the Skip Double-Double, the Long Skip, the Strong Skip, the Skip Against Trouble... Elsie Piddock learns them all, and soon there's not a mortal or fairy to touch her. Many, many years later, a greedy Lord buys Mount Caburn and threatens to build factories on its land. Can Elsie Piddock save the skipping ground for the next generation? Sparkling with charm and a liberal sprinkling of fairy dust, Elsie Piddock's story is one to be cherished.
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War and Peace

War and Peace

Leo Tolstoy

$49.99

This beautiful Penguin Classics clothbound edition of Tolstoy's great novel is translated with an introduction and notes by Anthony Briggs, and with an afterword by Orlando Figes. At a glittering society party in St Petersburg in 1805, conversations are dominated by the prospect of war. Terror swiftly engulfs the country as Napoleon's army marches on Russia, and the lives of three young people are changed forever. The stories of quixotic Pierre, cynical Andrey and impetuous Natasha interweave with a huge cast, from aristocrats and peasants to soldiers and Napoleon himself. In War and Peace, Tolstoy entwines grand themes - conflict and love, birth and death, free will and faith - with unforgettable scenes of nineteenth-century Russia, to create a magnificent epic of human life in all its imperfection and grandeur. Anthony Briggs' superb translation combines stirring, accessible prose with fidelity to Tolstoy's original, while Orlando Figes' afterword discusses the novel's vast scope and depiction of Russian identity. This edition also contains appendices, notes, a list of prominent characters and maps.
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All Passion Spent

All Passion Spent

Vita Sackville-West

$24.99

When the great statesman Lord Slane dies, everyone assumes his dutiful wife will slowly fade away, the paying guest of each of her six children. But Lady Slane surprises everyone by escaping to a rented house in Hampstead where she revels in her new freedom, revives youthful ambitions and gathers some very unsuitable companions. Irreverent, entertaining and insightful, this is a tale of the unexpected joys of growing older.
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Billy Budd, Bartleby, and Other Stories

Billy Budd, Bartleby, and Other Stories

Herman Melville ,  Peter M Coviello

$17.99

Though best-known for his epic masterpiece Moby-Dick, Herman Melville also left a body of short stories arguably unmatched in American fiction. In the sorrowful tragedy of Billy Budd, Sailor; the controlled rage of Benito Cereno; and the tantalizing enigma of Bartleby, the Scrivener; Melville reveals himself as a singular storyteller of tremendous range and compelling power. In these stories, Melville cuts to the heart of race, class, capitalism, and globalism in America, deftly navigating political and social issues that resonate as clearly in our time as they did in Melville's. Also including The Piazza Tales in full, this collection demonstrates why Melville stands not only among the greatest writers of the nineteenth century, but also as one of our greatest contemporaries.

This Penguin Classics edition features the Reading Text of Billy Budd, Sailor,, as edited from a genetic study of the manuscript by Harrison Hayford and Merton M. Sealts, Jr., and the authoritative Northwestern-Newberry text of The Piazza Tales.

For more than sixty-five years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,500 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
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The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge

The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge

Rainer Maria Rilke ,  Robert Vilain

$20.95

The young Danish aristocrat Malte Laurids Brigge has been left rootless by the early death of his parents. Now living in Paris, Malte begins to record his life in a series of loosely connected notes, diary entries, prose poems, parables and stories, ostensibly collected by a fictional editor to form the Notebooks. Focusing on Malte's observations and experiences in the present, recollections of his childhood and family, and his reflections on historical events, these notes in highly crafted poetic prose explore the themes of life in the metropolis, poverty, sickness and death, love, memory and time, and perception and language.

The only extended prose work by the German poet Rainer Maria Rilke, The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge is a landmark in the development of the twentieth-century novel. It marks a radical departure from nineteenth-century realism, transcending conventions of linear narrative to reflect a consciousness in crisis, and an archetypal confrontation with the modern.
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The Portrait of a Lady

The Portrait of a Lady

Henry James

$11.99

Having travelled from her native New York to London to meet her relatives, Isabel Archer, a young, independently minded young woman, rejects the marriage proposals of two suitors in her determination to stay in control of her destiny. When she suddenly comes into a large legacy, Isabel believes that this windfall will finally ensure the freedom that she yearns for and embarks on an exhilarating journey through France and Italy, only to find her endeavours thwarted by the sinister plotting of some of her acquaintances.Considered by many to be Henry James's finest novel, The Portrait of a Lady is a subtle examination of Victorian society and power relations, providing a groundbreaking psychological study of its protagonist. This volume is based on the authoritative New York Edition, and includes the author's seminal preface.
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The Tale of Tales

The Tale of Tales

Giambattista Basile

$32.99

Giambattista Basile was a seventeenth-century Italian poet whom the Grimms credit with recording the first national collection of fairy tales. The Tale of Tales opens with Princess Zoza, unable to laugh no matter how funny the joke. Her father, the king, attempts to make her smile; instead he leaves her cursed whereupon the prince she is destined to marry is snatched up by another woman. To expose this impostor and win back her rightful husband, Zosa contrives a storytelling extravaganza: fifty fairy tales to be told by ten sharp-tongued women (including Zoza in disguise) over five days. Funny and scary, romantic and gruesome, and featuring kings and queens, dragons and seduction, The Tale of Tales is a fairy-tale treasure that prefigures Game of Thrones and other touchstones of worldwide fantasy literature.
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Wuthering Heights

Wuthering Heights

Emily Bronte

$24.99

The perfect gift for Valentine's Day. Wuthering Heights is the tale of two families both joined and riven by love and hate. Cathy is a beautiful and wilful young woman torn between her soft-hearted husband and Heathcliff, the passionate and resentful man who has loved her since childhood. The power of their bond creates a maelstrom of cruelty and violence which will leave one of them dead and cast a shadow over the lives of their children. Emily Bronte's novel is a stunningly original and shocking exploration of obsessive passion.
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A Cabinet of Philosophical Curiosities: A Collection of Puzzles, Oddities, Riddles and Dilemmas

A Cabinet of Philosophical Curiosities: A Collection of Puzzles, Oddities, Riddles and Dilemmas

Roy Sorensen ,  John Davey

$32.99

If you want to learn how to conform to confound, raze hopes, succeed your successor, order absence in the absence of order, win by losing and think contrapositively, look no further. Here you can unlock the secrets of Plato's void, Wittgenstein's investigations, Schopenhauer's intelligence test, Voltaire's big bet, Russell's slip of the pen and lobster logic. Among your discoveries will be why the egg came before the chicken, what the dishwasher missed, and just what it was that made Descartes disappear. Experience the unbearable lightness of logical conclusions in Professor Sorensen's intriguing cabinet of riddles, problems, paradoxes, puzzles and the anomalies of human utterance. As you accompany him on investigations into the mysteries of truth, falsehood, reason and delusion, prepare to be surprised, enlightened, mystified and, above all, entertained.
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My Grammar and I (Or Should That Be 'Me'?) Activity Book

My Grammar and I (Or Should That Be 'Me'?) Activity Book

Daniel Smith

$22.99

Packed full of quizzes and challenges, this fun and practical workbook will help you iron out any grammatical errors and communicate more clearly. English can be a complicated language; with its myriad influences its grammar can seem full of exceptions and irregularities. This activity book takes you through the basics of grammar, punctuation and spelling, providing clear and concise explanations of each concept followed by exercises to test how much you've remembered and consolidate your knowledge. With multiple-choice questions, fill-in-the-blanks, crosswords, pictograms, 'Spot-the-Mistake' quizzes, check boxes and similar tests, which increase in difficulty, this is the perfect primer for anyone learning English or who would like to brush up on their skills and test their knowledge. You will never be caught out by misplaced apostrophes, dangling participles or poor spelling again!
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TED Talks: The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking

TED Talks: The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking

Chris Anderson

$32.99

In Ted Talks Chris Anderson, head of TED, reveals the inside secrets of how to give a first-class presentation. Where books like Talk Like TED and TED Talks Storytelling whetted the appetite, here is the official TED guide to public speaking from the man who put TED talks on the world's stage. 'Nobody in the world better understands the art and science of public speaking than Chris Anderson. He is absolutely the best person to have written this book' Elizabeth Gilbert. Anderson shares his five key techniques to presentation success: Connection, Narration, Explanation, Persuasion and Revelation (plus the three to avoid). He also answers the most frequently asked questions about giving a talk, from 'What should I wear?' to 'How do I handle my nerves?'. Ted Talks is also full of presentation tips from such TED notable speakers as Sir Ken Robinson, Bill Gates, Mary Roach, Amy Cuddy, Elizabeth Gilbert, Dan Gilbert, Amanda Palmer, Matt Ridley and many more. This is a lively, fun read with great practical application from the man who knows what goes into a truly memorable speech. In Ted Talks Anderson pulls back the TED curtain for anyone who wants to learn how to prepare an exceptional presentation.
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100 Years: Wisdom from Famous Writers on Every Year of Your Life

100 Years: Wisdom from Famous Writers on Every Year of Your Life

Joshua Prager ,  Milton Glaser

$24.95

An extraordinary literary journey, 100 Years traces the passages of life from age one to one hundred through quotations from the world's greatest writers. Moving year by year, with surprising and illuminating juxtapositions of quotations from figures as diverse as Plato and Woolf, Tolstoy and Barth, this wise, beautiful and moving portrait of the human experience will delight readers of all backgrounds. Other authors include Edith Wharton, Herman Melville, Maya Angelou, Gunter Grass, Gertrude Stein, Norman Mailer, Anne Frank, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Agatha Christie, F. Scott Fitzgerald and dozens of others. Milton Glaser, the renowned graphic designer and creator of the iconic I ? NY logo, has created a design that uses colour and typography to enhance the experience and narrative of the project.
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Use Your Words: A Myth-Busting, No-Fear Approach to Writing

Use Your Words: A Myth-Busting, No-Fear Approach to Writing

Catherine Deveny

$27.99

Want to write? Got a memoir, novel, blog idea or screenplay in your back drawer? Need to get 'unstuck'? This is the magic pill you've been looking for. In Use Your Words writer and comedian Catherine Deveny reveals the secrets that have made her 'Gunnas' writing masterclasses sell-out successes around the country. With humour and passion, she explains the struggles all writers face and reveals how to overcome them. Whether you're already published or just starting out, writing for others or purely for self-expression, Use Your Words has the tips, tricks, techniques and honest truths to get you writing. You'll learn how creativity is a like a vending machine, how writing is like a magnet and how not to die with your light inside you. Wait no longer - smash through procrastination and fear and get those words on the page.
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Get Started in Writing Historical Fiction

Get Started in Writing Historical Fiction

Emma Darwin

$24.99

Do you have a compelling vision for a story set in the past? Are you inspired by novelists such as Hilary Mantel and Philippa Gregory? Get Started in Writing Historical Fiction is designed for anyone who wants to write in this genre of fiction, whatever their preoccupation or 'era'. Designed to build confidence and help fire up creativity, it is also an essential guide to mastering the practicalities of writing historical fiction, from where to start with research to how to capture the voices of the past. It carries the distinctive learning features of the flagship Teach Yourself Creative Writing series, with Snapshots designed to get you writing quickly, Key Idea to help crystallize thought, and a wealth of supplementary material, including a plotting grid, which will be indispensable for aspiring novelists.
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How to Write a Children's Picture Book and Get it Published

How to Write a Children's Picture Book and Get it Published

Andrea Shavick

$24.99

This book provides comprehensive advice on what to write about for children, how to write it, and how to present the work professionally for publication. It includes an easy-to-use picture book layout plan and tried and tested examples of title sheets and covering letters. It also includes everything a writer needs to know about the international picture book market and how to sell to agents and publishers. This new edition contains advice on enhancing your text for the ebook market.
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The Writer's Diet: A Guide to Fit Prose

The Writer's Diet: A Guide to Fit Prose

Helen Sword

$28.95

Do your sentences sag? Could your paragraphs use a pick-me-up? If so,  The Writer's Diet  is for you! It's a short, sharp introduction to great writing that will help you energize your prose and boost your verbal fitness. 

Helen Sword dispenses with excessive explanations and overwrought analysis. Instead, she offers an easy-to-follow set of writing principles: use active verbs whenever possible; favor concrete language over vague abstractions; avoid long strings of prepositional phrases; employ adjectives and adverbs only when they contribute something new to the meaning of a sentence; and reduce your dependence on four pernicious waste words: it, this, that, and there. 

Sword then shows the rules in action through examples from William Shakespeare, Emily Dickinson, Martin Luther King Jr., John McPhee, A. S. Byatt, Richard Dawkins, Alison Gopnik, and many more. A writing fitness test encourages you to assess your own writing and get immediate advice on addressing problem areas. While  The Writer's Diet  is as sleek and concise as the writing ideals contained within, this slim volume packs a powerful punch. 

With Sword's coaching writers of all levels can strengthen and tone their sentences with the stroke of a pen or the click of a mouse. As with any fitness routine, adhering to the rules requires energy and vigilance. The results, however, will speak for themselves.
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