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Books in the series: Penguin Essentials

Beautiful Ruins

Beautiful Ruins

Author: Jess Walter Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/06/2019

'A monument to crazy love. Magic' New York Times 'The actress arrived in his village the only way one could come directly . . .' In spring 1962 American actress Dee Moray's boat motors into an Italian bay and the life of hotelier Pasquale Tursi. Dee - fleeing a film set, claiming to be dying and desperately awaiting her lover - throws herself on Pasquale's generous mercy. Fifty years later Pasquale lands in Hollywood, sporting a fedora and seeking a long-forgotten actress. Why he's come, what happened to Dee in Italy and, later, LA, are questions that Beautiful Ruins answers in the most surprising and wonderfully entertaining manner. 'Exhilarating. Very, very funny' The Times

The Photograph

The Photograph

Author: Penelope Lively Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/06/2019

'DO NOT OPEN - DESTROY.' The words on the envelope he has found are written in Kath's hand, but Glyn ignores his wife's instruction and breaks the seal. His life unwinds. For he finds a photograph showing Kath holding hands with another man. Unable to forget this long-ago act of betrayal he recklessly excavates the past, seeking out who knew what, tearing apart other lives as he tries to dig up the roots of his wife's infidelity. But what is the truth about Kath? What is the truth about their love? And can it survive this? 'Remarkable' Sunday Telegraph

Life Class

Life Class

Author: Pat Barker Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/06/2019

From the Booker Prize-winning and Women's Prize-shortlisted author of The Silence of the Girls The first novel in Pat Barker's acclaimed 'Life Class' trilogy - an unforgettable story of art and war, from one of our greatest writers on war and the human heart 'Triumphant, inspiring, shattering' The Times 'Barker writes as brilliantly as ever... With great tenderness and insight she conveys a wartime world turned upside down' Independent on Sunday 'Masterly, gripping' Penelope Lively 'Extraordinarily powerful' Sunday Telegraph Spring, 1914. The students at the Slade School of Art gather in Henry Tonks's studio for his life-drawing class. But for Paul Tarrant the class is troubling, underscoring his own uncertainty about making a mark on the world. When war breaks out and the army won't take Paul, he enlists in the Belgian Red Cross just as he and fellow student Elinor Brooke admit their feelings for one another. Amidst the devastation in Ypres, Paul comes to see the world anew - but have his experiences changed him completely? The Life Class trilogy: Life Class Toby's Room Noonday

Ancient Light

Ancient Light

Author: John Banville Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/06/2019

'Billy Gray was my best friend and I fell in love with his mother.' Alexander Cleave, an actor who thinks his best days are behind him, remembers his first unlikely affair as a teenage boy in a small town in 1950s Ireland: the illicit meetings in a rundown cottage outside town; assignations in the back of his lover's car on sunny mornings and rain-soaked afternoons. And with these early memories comes something sharper and much darker - the more recent recollection of the actor's own daughter's suicide ten years before. Ancient Light is the story of a life rendered brilliantly vivid: the obsession and selfishness of young love and the terrifying shock of grief. It is a dazzling novel, funny, utterly pleasurable and devastatingly moving in the same moment. 'Illuminating, funny, devastating. A meditation of breathtaking beauty and profundity on love and loss and death' Financial Times 'Banville perfectly captures the spirit of adolescence. A luminous, breathtaking work' Independent on Sunday 'Startlingly brilliant. Terrific - full of sadness and yearning' Sunday Telegraph

Swallowing Geography

Swallowing Geography

Author: Deborah Levy Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/06/2019

'An exciting writer, sharp and shocking as the knives her characters wield' Sunday Times Like her namesake Jack Kerouac, J.K. is always on the road, travelling Europe with her typewriter in a pillowcase. From J.K.'s irreverent, ironic perspective, Levy charts a new, dizzying, end-of-the-century world of shifting boundaries and displaced peoples. 'Levy is a brilliant writer' Telegraph 'Levy's strength is her originality of thought and expression' Jeanette Winterson

The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes

The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes

Author: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/06/2019

'Come at once if convenient - if inconvenient come all the same . . .' The note from Sherlock Holmes to Dr Watson cannot be ignored and soon the pair find themselves investigating the curious case of an aged professor whose sudden strange alteration in behaviour terrifies everyone from his daughter and her fiance to the family dog. This and eleven other cases which confound clients or perplex the police are tackled by Holmes and Watson in the final collection of the duo's detecting adventures. 'Time and time again generations have shown that they need Holmes' Stephen Fry

Three Novels by Cesar Aira

Three Novels by Cesar Aira

Author: Cesar Aira Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/06/2018

Three novels by Cesar Aira combines three short novels by the cult Argentinian writer in one beautifully designed box set. Irreverent, playful, provocative and prolific, Argentinian author Cesar Aira has written over seventy books and has been acknowledged internationally to be one of the most original and provocative authors in world literature. Collected here are three of his novellas, to be published for the very first time in the UK. In Ghosts, an immigrant worker's family are squatting on the haunted construction site of a luxury condominium building. All of the workmen and their families see the ghosts which float around the place, but one teenage girl's interest in them becomes so intense that her mother realizes her life is in the balance. An Episode in the Life of a Landscape Painter tells of a point in the life of German painter Johann Moritz Rugendas, when he visits Latin America to paint its spectacular landscapes. There, a strange episode interrupts his trip and irreversibly marks him for life. And in The Literary Conference, a young translator called Cesar Aira travels to a literary conference, intent on world domination . . . Praise for Cesar Aira: 'Once you've started reading Aira, you don't want to stop' Roberto Bolano 'Aira is firmly in the tradition of Jorge Luis Borges and W. G. Sebald' Los Angeles Times

The Hound of the Baskervilles

The Hound of the Baskervilles

Author: Arthur Conan Doyle Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/06/2018

One of the BBC's '100 Novels that Shaped the World' 'Mr. Holmes, they were the footprints of a gigantic hound!' The death, quite suddenly, of Sir Charles Baskerville in mysterious circumstances is the trigger for one of the most extraordinary cases ever to challenge the brilliant analytical mind of Sherlock Holmes. As rumours of a legendary hound said to haunt the Baskerville family circulate, Holmes and Watson are asked to ensure the protection of Sir Charles' only heir, Sir Henry - who has travelled all the way from America to reside at Baskerville Hall in Devon. And it is there, in an isolated mansion surrounded by mile after mile of wild moor, that Holmes and Watson come face to face with a terrifying evil that reaches out from centuries past . . .

Brooklyn

Brooklyn

Author: Colm Toibin Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/06/2018

Colm Toibin's Brooklyn is a devastating story of love, loss and one woman's terrible choice between duty and personal freedom. It is Ireland in the early 1950s and for Eilis Lacey, as for so many young Irish girls, opportunities are scarce. So when her sister arranges for her to emigrate to New York, Eilis knows she must go, leaving behind her family and her home for the first time. Arriving in a crowded lodging house in Brooklyn, Eilis can only be reminded of what she has sacrificed. She is far from home - and homesick. And just as she takes tentative steps towards friendship, and perhaps something more, Eilis receives news which sends her back to Ireland. There she will be confronted by a terrible dilemma - a devastating choice between duty and one great love. 'With this elating and humane novel, Colm Toibin has produced a masterwork' Sunday Times 'The most compelling and moving portrait of a young woman I have read in a long time' Zoe Heller Guardian, Books of the Year 'A work of such skill, understatement and sly jewelled merriment could haunt your life' Ali Smith TLS, Books of the Year

Villages

Villages

Author: John Updike Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/06/2018

Owen Mackenzie's life story abounds with sin and seduction, domesticity and debauchery. His marriage to his college sweetheart is quickly followed by his first betrayal and he embarks upon a series of affairs. His pursuit of happiness, in a succession of small towns from Pennsylvania to Massachusetts, brings him to the edge of chaos, from which he is saved by a rescue that carries its own fatal price.

Austerlitz

Austerlitz

Author: W. G. Sebald Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/06/2018

Austerlitz is W. G. Sebald's haunting novel of post-war Europe. In 1939, five-year-old Jacques Austerlitz is sent to England on a Kindertransport and placed with foster parents. This childless couple promptly erase from the boy all knowledge of his identity and he grows up ignorant of his past. Later in life, after a career as an architectural historian, Austerlitz - having avoided all clues that might point to his origin - finds the past returning to haunt him and he is forced to explore what happened fifty years before. Austerlitz is W.G. Sebald's melancholic masterpiece. 'Mesmeric, haunting and heartbreakingly tragic. Simply no other writer is writing or thinking on the same level as Sebald' Eileen Battersby, Irish Times 'Greatness in literature is still possible' John Banville, Irish Times, Books of the Year 'A work of obvious genius' Literary Review 'A fusion of the mystical and the solid ... His art is a form of justice - there can be, I think, no higher aim' Evening Standard 'Spellbindingly accomplished; a work of art' The Times Literary Supplement 'I have never read a book that provides such a powerful account of the devastation wrought by the dispersal of the Jews from Prague and their treatment by the Nazis' Observer 'A great book by a great writer' Boyd Tonkin, Independent W . G. Sebald was born in Wertach im Allgau, Germany, in 1944 and died in December 2001. He studied German language and literature in Freiburg, Switzerland and Manchester. In 1996 he took up a position as an assistant lecturer at the University of Manchester and settled permanently in England in 1970. He was Professor of European Literature at the University of East Anglia and is the author of The Emigrants, The Rings of Saturn, Vertigo, Austerlitz, After Nature, On the Natural History of Destruction, Campo Santo, Unrecounted, A Place in the Country. His selected poetry is published in a volume called Across the Land and the Water.

White Teeth

White Teeth

Author: Zadie Smith Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/06/2017

A Guardian Best Book of the 21st Century From the MAN BOOKER PRIZE- and WOMEN'S PRIZE-SHORTLISTED author of Swing Time, On Beauty and Grand Union 'BELIEVE THE HYPE' The Times 'The almost preposterous talent was clear from the first pages' Julian Barnes, Guardian 'Street-smart and learned, sassy and philosophical all at the same time' New York Times 'Outstanding' Sunday Telegraph The international bestseller and modern classic of multicultural Britain - an unforgettable portrait of London One of the most talked about debut novels of all time, White Teeth is a funny, generous, big-hearted novel, adored by critics and readers alike. Dealing - among many other things - with friendship, love, war, three cultures and three families over three generations, one brown mouse, and the tricky way the past has of coming back and biting you on the ankle, it is a life-affirming, riotous must-read of a book.

Any Human Heart

Any Human Heart

Author: William Boyd Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/06/2017

Any Human Heart is William's Boyd's classic, bestselling novel, now available as a Penguin Essential for the first time. Every life is both ordinary and extraordinary, but Logan Mountstuart's - lived from the beginning to the end of the twentieth century - contains more than its fair share of both. As a writer who finds inspiration with Hemingway in Paris and Virginia Woolf in London, as a spy recruited by Ian Fleming and betrayed in the war and as an art-dealer in '60s New York, Logan mixes with the movers and shakers of his times. But as a son, friend, lover and husband, he makes the same mistakes we all do in our search for happiness. Here, then, is the story of a life lived to the full - and a journey deep into a very human heart. Any Human Heart will be enjoyed by readers of Sebastian Faulks, Nick Hornby and Hilary Mantel, as well as lovers of the finest British and historical fiction around the world. It was recently adapted for a major Channel 4 four-part drama series scripted by William Boyd and starring Kim Cattrall, Gillian Anderson, Jim Broadbent and Tom Hollander. This edition features beautiful cover artwork from the television series. 'Astonishing, touching, extremely funny. A brilliant evocation of a past era and an immensely readable story' Sunday Telegraph 'Superb, wonderful, enjoyable' Guardian 'A terrific journey through the twentieth century. Thoroughly entertaining and enjoyable' Jeremy Paxman

A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian

A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian

Author: Marina Lewycka Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/06/2017

A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian is bestselling author Marina Lewycka's hilarious and award winning debut novel, now available as a Penguin Essential for the first time. 'Two years after my mother died, my father fell in love with a glamorous blonde Ukrainian divorcee. He was eighty-four and she was thirty-six. She exploded into our lives like a fluffy pink grenade, churning up the murky water, bringing to the surface a sludge of sloughed-off memories, giving the family ghosts a kick up the backside.' Sisters Vera and Nadezhda must aside a lifetime of feuding to save their emigre engineer father from voluptuous gold-digger Valentina. With her proclivity for green satin underwear and boil-in-the-bag cuisine, she will stop at nothing in her pursuit of Western wealth. But the sisters' campaign to oust Valentina unearths family secrets, uncovers fifty years of Europe's darkest history and sends them back to roots they'd much rather forget . . . 'It's rare to find a first novel that gets so much right . . . Lewycka is a seriously talented comic writer' Time Out 'Hugely enjoyable . . . yields a golden harvest of family truths' Daily Telegraph 'Delightful, funny, touching' Spectator

Twilight

Twilight

Author: Elie Wiesel Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/06/2017

Twilight is the haunting novel by Nobel Peace prize-winning author Elie Wiesel, available as a Penguin Essential for the first time. Raphael Lipkin hears voices and talks to ghosts. Spending the summer at the Mountain Clinic, a New York psychiatric hospital, he is not a patient but rather a visiting professional with a secret, highly personal quest. A Holocaust survivor who has painstakingly rebuilt his life, he has watched, horrified and helpless, as it all started coming apart. He longs for Pedro, the man who rescued him in postwar Poland - who became his mentor, hero, saviour and friend - and taught him truth from falsehood. But Pedro vanished into Stalin's gulags . . . Desperate to explain his own survival, Raphael now seeks among the delusional patients the answers to the mysteries of good, evil and madness. Elie Wiesel was born in 1928 in Sighet, Transylvania, which is now part of Romania. He was fifteen years old when he and his family were deported by the Nazis to Auschwitz. After the war, Elie Wiesel studied in Paris and later became a journalist. During an interview with the distinguished French writer, Francois Mauriac, he was persuaded to write about his experiences in the death camps. The result was his internationally acclaimed memoir, La Nuit or Night, which has since been translated into more than thirty languages.

My Family and Other Animals

My Family and Other Animals

Author: Gerald Durrell Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/04/2017

My Family and Other Animals is the bewitching account of a rare and magical childhood on the island of Corfu by treasured British conservationist Gerald Durrell. Escaping the ills of the British climate, the Durrell family - acne-ridden Margo, gun-toting Leslie, bookworm Lawrence and budding naturalist Gerry, along with their long-suffering mother and Roger the dog - take off for the island of Corfu. But the Durrells find that, reluctantly, they must share their various villas with a menagerie of local fauna - among them scorpions, geckos, toads, bats and butterflies. Recounted with immense humour and charm My Family and Other Animals is a wonderful account of a rare, magical childhood. 'Durrell has an uncanny knack of discovering human as well as animal eccentricities' Sunday Telegraph 'A bewitching book' Sunday Times

The Lady in the Lake

The Lady in the Lake

Author: Raymond Chandler Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 04/08/2016

The Lady in the Lake is a classic detective novel by the master of hard-boiled crime, available as a Penguin Essential for the first time. Derace Kingsley's wife ran away to Mexico to get a quickie divorce and marry a Casanova-wannabe named Chris Lavery. Or so the note she left her husband insisted. Trouble is, when Philip Marlowe asks Lavery about it he denies everything and sends the private investigator packing with a flea lodged firmly in his ear. But when Marlowe next encounters Lavery, he's denying nothing - on account of the two bullet holes in his heart. Now Marlowe's on the trail of a killer, who leads him out of smoggy LA all the way to a murky mountain lake . . . 'Anything Chandler writes about grips the mind from the first sentence' Daily Telegraph 'One of the greatest crime writers, who set standards others still try to attain' Sunday Times 'Chandler is an original stylist, creator of a character as immortal as Sherlock Holmes' Anthony Burgess

The Millstone

The Millstone

Author: Margaret Drabble Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 04/08/2016

A celebration of the drama and intensity of the mother-child relationship, published as a Penguin Essential for the first time. It is the Swinging Sixties, and Rosamund Stacey is young and inexperienced at a time when sexual liberation is well on its way. She conceals her ignorance beneath a show of independence, and becomes pregnant as a result of a one night stand. Although single parenthood is still not socially acceptable, she chooses to have the baby rather than to seek an illegal abortion, and finds her life transformed by motherhood. 'Rosamund is marvellous, a true Drabble heroine . . . what spirit is here' Sunday Times 'One of our foremost women writers' Guardian 'The novelist who will have done for late twentieth-century London what Dickens did for Victorian London' The New York Times

Everything is Illuminated

Everything is Illuminated

Author: Jonathan Safran Foer Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 04/08/2016

THE INTERNATIONALLY BESTSELLING NOVEL ADAPTED INTO A FEATURE FILM WITH ELIJAH WOOD From the bestselling author of Here I Am, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and We are the Weather - a hilarious, life-affirming and utterly original novel about the search for truth - now available as a pocket-sized Penguin Essential 'Gripping, hilariously funny and deeply serious. An astonishing feat of writing' The Times 'One of the most impressive novel debuts of recent years' Joyce Carol Oates, Times Literary Supplement 'A first novel of startling originality' Jay McInerney, Observer 'It seems hard to believe that such a young writer can have such a deep understanding of both comedy and tragedy' Erica Wagner, The Times A young man arrives in the Ukraine, clutching in his hand a tattered photograph. He is searching for the woman who fifty years ago saved his grandfather from the Nazis. Unfortunately, he is aided in his quest by Alex, a translator with an uncanny ability to mangle English into bizarre new forms; a blind old man haunted by memories of the war; and an undersexed guide dog named Sammy Davis Jr, Jr. What they are looking for seems elusive -- a truth hidden behind veils of time, language and the horrors of war. What they find turns all their worlds upside down...

Embers

Embers

Author: Sandor Marai Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 04/08/2016

The Sunday Times Top Ten Bestseller, available as a Penguin Essential for the first time. A castle at the foot of the Carpathian mountains in the 1930s. Two men, inseparable in their youth, meet for the first time in forty-one years. They have spent their lives waiting for this moment. Four decades earlier a murky, traumatic event - something to do with a betrayal, and a woman - led to their sudden separation. Now, as their lives draw to a close, the devastating truth about that moment will be revealed. Embers is a masterpiece - an unforgettable story of passion, fidelity, truth and deception.

Mrs Dalloway

Mrs Dalloway

Author: Virginia Woolf Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 26/05/2016

'Sally stopped; picked a flower; kissed her on the lips.' On a June morning in 1923, Clarissa Dalloway is preparing for a party and remembering her past. Elsewhere in London, Septimus Smith is suffering from shell-shock and on the brink of madness. Their days interweave and their lives converge as the party reaches its glittering climax in Woolf's great novel of time, memory, war and the city. A new series of twenty distinctive, unforgettable Penguin Classics in a beautiful new design and pocket-sized format, with coloured jackets echoing Penguin's original covers.

The Mosquito Coast

The Mosquito Coast

Author: Paul Theroux Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/08/2015

The Mosquito Coast - winner of the James Tait Black Memorial Prize - is a breathtaking novel about fanaticism and a futile search for utopia from bestseller Paul Theroux. Published as a Penguin Essential for the first time. Allie Fox is going to re-create the world. Abominating the cops, crooks, junkies and scavengers of modern America, he abandons civilisation and takes the family to live in the Honduran jungle. There his tortured, messianic genius keeps them alive, his hoarse tirades harrying them through a diseased and dirty Eden towards unimaginable darkness. 'Stunning. . . exciting, intelligent, meticulously realised, artful' Victoria Glendinning, Sunday Times 'An epic of paranoid obsession that swirls the reader headlong to deposit him on a black mudbank of horror' Christopher Wordsworth, Guardian 'Magnificently stimulating and exciting' Anthony Burgess

In the Country of Men

In the Country of Men

Author: Hisham Matar Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/08/2015

Shortlisted for both the Man Booker Prize and the Guardian First Book Award, and published here as a Penguin Essential for the first time. Nine-year-old Suleiman is just awakening to the wider world beyond the games on the hot pavement outside his home and beyond the loving embrace of his parents. He becomes the man of the house when his father goes away on business, but then he sees his father, standing in the market square in a pair of dark glasses. Suddenly the wider world becomes a frightening place where parents lie and questions go unanswered. Suleiman turns to his mother, who, under the cover of night, entrusts him with the secret story of her childhood.

The History of Love

The History of Love

Author: Nicole Krauss Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/08/2015

Shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction 2006 and winner of the 2006 Prix du Meilleur Livre Etranger, The History of Love explores the lasting power of the written word and the lasting power of love. Published as a Penguin Essential for the first time. 'When I was born my mother named me after every girl in a book my father gave her called The History of Love. . . ' Fourteen-year-old Alma Singer is trying to find a cure for her mother's loneliness. Believing she might discover it in an old book her mother is lovingly translating, she sets out in search of its author. Across New York an old man called Leo Gursky is trying to survive a little bit longer. He spends his days dreaming of the love lost that sixty years ago in Poland inspired him to write a book. And although he doesn't know it yet, that book also survived: crossing oceans and generations, and changing lives. . . 'Wonderfully affecting...brilliant, touching and remarkably poised' Sunday Telegraph 'A tender tribute to human valiance. Who could be unmoved by a cast of characters whose daily battles are etched on out mind in such diamond-cut prose?' Independent on Sunday 'Devastating...one of the most passionate vindications of the written word in recent fiction. It takes one's breath away' Spectator

Moon Tiger

Moon Tiger

Author: Penelope Lively Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/08/2015

Penelope Lively's Booker Prize winning classic, Moon Tiger is a haunting story of loss and desire, published here as a Penguin Essential for the first time. Claudia Hampton - beautiful, famous, independent, dying. But she remains defiant to the last, telling her nurses that she will write a 'history of the world . . . and in the process, my own'. And it is her story from a childhood just after the First World War through the Second and beyond. But Claudia's life is entwined with others and she must allow those who knew her, loved her, the chance to speak, to put across their point of view. There is Gordon, brother and adversary; Jasper, her untrustworthy lover and father of Lisa, her cool conventional daughter; and then there is Tom, her one great love, found and lost in wartime Egypt. 'Leaves its traces in the air long after you've put it away' Anne Tyler 'A complex tapestry of great subtlety. Lively writes so well, savouring the words as she goes' Daily Telegraph 'Very clever: evocative, thought-provoking and hangs on the mind long after it is finished' Literary Review

Perfume The Story of a Murderer

Perfume The Story of a Murderer

Author: Patrick Suskind Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/08/2015

Patrick Suskind's Perfume is a classic novel of death and sensuality in Paris, published as a Penguin Essential for the first time. 'In eighteenth-century France there lived a man who was one of the most gifted and abominable personages in an era that knew no lack of gifted and abominable personages. His name was Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, and if his name has been forgotten today, it is certainly not because Grenouille fell short of those more famous blackguards when it came to arrogance, misanthropy, immorality, or, more succinctly, wickedness, but because his gifts and his sole ambition were restricted to a domain that leaves no traces in history: to the fleeting realm of scent . . .' 'An astonishing tour de force both in concept and execution' Guardian 'A fantastic tale of murder and twisted eroticism controlled by a disgusted loathing of humanity ... Clever, stylish, absorbing and well worth reading' Literary Review 'A meditation on the nature of death, desire and decay ... a remarkable debut' Peter Ackroyd, The New York Times Book Review 'Unlike anything else one has read. A phenomenon ... Everyone seems to want to get a whiff of this strange perfume, which will remain unique in contemporary literature' Figaro 'An ingenious and totally absorbing fantasy' Daily Telegraph 'Witty, stylish and ferociously absorbing' Observer

Hideous Kinky

Hideous Kinky

Author: Esther Freud Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/08/2015

Esther Freud's best-known novel, which inspired the Kate Winslet film, published as Penguin Essential for the first time. Two little girls are taken by their mother to Morocco on a 1960s pilgrimage of self-discovery. For Mum it is not just an escape from the grinding conventions of English life but a quest for personal fulfilment; her children, however, seek something more solid and stable amidst the shifting desert sands. 'Just open the book and begin, and instantly you will be first of all charmed, then intrigued and finally moved by this fascinating story' Spectator.

Three Novels by Cesar Aira

Three Novels by Cesar Aira

Author: Cesar Aira Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/05/2015

Three novels by Cesar Aira combines three short novels by the cult Argentinian writer in one beautifully designed box set. Irreverent, playful, provocative and prolific, Argentinian author Cesar Aira has written over seventy books and has been acknowledged internationally to be one of the most original and provocative authors in world literature. Collected here are three of his novellas, to be published for the very first time in the UK. In Ghosts, an immigrant worker's family are squatting on the haunted construction site of a luxury condominium building. All of the workmen and their families see the ghosts which float around the place, but one teenage girl's interest in them becomes so intense that her mother realizes her life is in the balance. An Episode in the Life of a Landscape Painter tells of a point in the life of German painter Johann Moritz Rugendas, when he visits Latin America to paint its spectacular landscapes. There, a strange episode interrupts his trip and irreversibly marks him for life. And in The Literary Conference, a young translator called Cesar Aira travels to a literary conference, intent on world domination . . . Praise for Cesar Aira: 'Once you've started reading Aira, you don't want to stop' Roberto Bolano 'Aira is firmly in the tradition of Jorge Luis Borges and W. G. Sebald' Los Angeles Times

A Handful of Dust

A Handful of Dust

Author: Evelyn Waugh Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 14/08/2014

'A whole Gothic world had come to grief . . .' Beautiful Lady Brenda Last lives at Hetton Abbey, a crumbling Gothic monstrosity that is her husband Tony's pride and joy. Bored and restless after seven years of marriage, she drifts into an affair with a worthless young socialite. Abandoning the country for the glamorous yet shallow London scene, Brenda imagines divorce will bring happiness. Instead she and Tony feel lost and isolated - victims of the wreckless times in which they live . . .

A Month in the Country

A Month in the Country

Author: J. L. Carr Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 14/08/2014

A haunting novel about art and its power to heal, J. L. Carr's A Month in the Country published as a Penguin Essential for the first time. 'That night, for the first time during many months, I slept like the dead and, next morning, awoke very early.' One summer, just after the Great War, Tom Birkin, a demobbed soldier, arrives in the village of Oxgodby. He has been invited to uncover and restore a medieval wall painting in the local church. At the same time, Charles Moon - a fellow damaged survivor of the war - has been asked to locate the grave of a village ancestor. As these two outsiders go about their work of recovery, they form a bond, but they also stir up long dormant passions within the village. What Berkin discovers here will stay with him for the rest of his life . . .

The Big Sleep

The Big Sleep

Author: Raymond Chandler Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 14/08/2014

Hard-boiled detective fiction at its best: Raymond Chandler's best loved novel, The Big Sleep, published as a Penguin Essential for the first time. 'I was neat, clean, shaved and sober, and I didn't care who knew it. I was everything the well-dressed private detective ought to be. I was calling on four million dollars.' Los Angeles PI Philip Marlowe is hired by wheelchair-bound General Sternwood to discover who is indulging in some petty blackmail. A weary, old man, Sternwood just wants the problem to go away. But Marlowe finds he has his work cut out just keeping Sternwood's wild, devil-may-care daughters out of trouble as they prowl LA's dirtiest and darkest streets. And pretty soon, he's up to his neck in hoodlums and corpses . . .

Invisible Man

Invisible Man

Author: Ralph Ellison Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 14/08/2014

New Penguin Essentials edition of Ralph Ellison's blistering, impassioned novel of African-American lives in 1940s America, Invisible Man. 'I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me.' Defeated and embittered by a country which treats him as a non-being, the 'invisible man' retreats into an underground cell, where he smokes, drinks, listens to jazz and recounts his search for identity in white society: as an optimistic student in the Deep South, in the north with the black activist group the Brotherhood, and in the Harlem race riots. And explains how he came to be living underground . . .

Three Novels by Cesar Aira

Three Novels by Cesar Aira

Author: Cesar Aira Format: Mixed media product Release Date: 01/08/2013

Three novels by Cesar Aira combines three short novels by the cult Argentinian writer in one beautifully designed box set. Irreverent, playful, provocative and prolific, Argentinian author Cesar Aira has written over seventy books and has been acknowledged internationally to be one of the most original and provocative authors in world literature. Collected here are three of his novellas, to be published for the very first time in the UK. In Ghosts, an immigrant worker's family are squatting on the haunted construction site of a luxury condominium building. All of the workmen and their families see the ghosts which float around the place, but one teenage girl's interest in them becomes so intense that her mother realizes her life is in the balance. An Episode in the Life of a Landscape Painter tells of a point in the life of German painter Johann Moritz Rugendas, when he visits Latin America to paint its spectacular landscapes. There, a strange episode interrupts his trip and irreversibly marks him for life. And in The Literary Conference, a young translator called Cesar Aira travels to a literary conference, intent on world domination . . . Praise for Cesar Aira: 'Once you've started reading Aira, you don't want to stop' Roberto Bolano 'Aira is firmly in the tradition of Jorge Luis Borges and W. G. Sebald' Los Angeles Times Cesar Aira was born in Coronel Pringles, Argentina, in 1949, and has lived in Buenos Aires since 1967. One of the most prolific writers in Argentina, Aira has published more than seventy books.

Beautiful Ruins

Beautiful Ruins

Author: Jess Walter Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/05/2013

The No. 1 New York Times Bestseller Jess Walter's Beautiful Ruins is a gorgeous, glamorous novel set in 1960s Italy and a modern Hollywood studio. The story begins in 1962. Somewhere on a rocky patch of the sun-drenched Italian coastline a young innkeeper, chest-deep in daydreams, looks out over the incandescent waters of the Ligurian Sea and views an apparition: a beautiful woman, a vision in white, approaching him on a boat. She is an American starlet, he soon learns, and she is dying. And the story begins again today, half a world away in Hollywood, when an elderly Italian man shows up on a movie studio's back lot searching for the woman he last saw at his hotel fifty years before. Gloriously inventive, funny, tender and constantly surprising, Beautiful Ruins is a novel full of fabulous and yet very flawed people, all of them striving towards another sort of life, a future that is both delightful and yet, tantalizingly, seems just out of reach. 'Magic...A monument to crazy love with a deeply romantic heart' New York Times 'A novel shot in sparkly Technicolor' Booklist 'Hilarious and compelling' Esquire 'Beautiful Ruins is a novel unlike any other you're likely to read this year' Nick Hornby, The Believer

Twilight

Twilight

Author: Elie Wiesel Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/05/2013

Twilight is a haunting novel by Nobel Peace prize-winning author Elie Wiesel. Raphael Lipkin hears voices and talks to ghosts. Spending the summer at the Mountain Clinic, a New York psychiatric hospital, he is not a patient but rather a visiting professional with a secret, highly personal quest. A Holocaust survivor who has painstakingly rebuilt his life, he has watched, horrified and helpless, as it all started coming apart. He longs for Pedro, the man who rescued him in postwar Poland - who became his mentor, hero, saviour and friend - and taught him truth from falsehood. But Pedro vanished into Stalin's gulags . . . Desperate to explain his own survival, Raphael now seeks among the delusional patients the answers to the mysteries of good, evil and madness. Elie Wiesel was born in 1928 in Sighet, Transylvania, which is now part of Romania. He was fifteen years old when he and his family were deported by the Nazis to Auschwitz. After the war, Elie Wiesel studied in Paris and later became a journalist. During an interview with the distinguished French writer, Francois Mauriac, he was persuaded to write about his experiences in the death camps. The result was his internationally acclaimed memoir, La Nuit or Night, which has since been translated into more than thirty languages.

Ancient Light

Ancient Light

Author: John Banville Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 28/03/2013

John Banville's Ancient Light is a story of obsessive young love and the power of grief 'Billy Gray was my best friend and I fell in love with his mother.' In a small town in 1950s Ireland a fifteen-year-old boy has illicit meetings with a thirty-five-year-old woman - in the back of her car on sunny mornings, and in a rundown cottage in the country on rain-soaked afternoons. Unsure why she has chosen him, he becomes obsessed and tormented by this first love. Half a century later, actor Alexander Cleave - grieving for the recent loss of his daughter - recalls these trysts, trying to make sense of the boy he was and of the needs and frailties of the human heart. Praise for Ancient Light: 'Startlingly brilliant. Terrific - full of sadness and yearning' Sunday Telegraph 'Dazzling . . . captures a long-lost adolescent world of passion and desire', Independent 'Illuminating, funny, devastating. A meditation of breathtaking beauty and profundity on love and loss and death' Financial Times John Banville was born in Wexford, Ireland, in 1945. He is the author of fourteen previous novels including The Sea, which won the 2005 Man Booker Prize. He was recently awarded the Franz Kafka Prize. He lives in Dublin.

Heart of Darkness

Heart of Darkness

Author: Joseph Conrad Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 27/09/2012

The Penguin English Library Edition of Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad 'The mind of man is capable of anything - because everything is in it, all the past as well as all the future. What was there after all? Joy, fear, sorrow, devotion, rage - who can tell? - but truth - truth stripped of its cloak of time. Let the fool gape and shudder - the man knows, and can look on without a wink' Marlow, a seaman, tells of a journey up the Congo. His goal is the troubled European and ivory trader Kurtz. Worshipped and feared by invaders as well as natives, Kurtz has become a godlike figure, his presence pervading the jungle like a thick, obscuring mist. As his boat labours further upstream, closer and closer to Kurtz's extraordinary and terrible domain, so Marlow finds his faith in himself and civilization crumbling. Conrad's Heart of Darkness has been considered the most important indictment of the evils of imperialism written to date. The Penguin English Library - 100 editions of the best fiction in English, from the eighteenth century and the very first novels to the beginning of the First World War.

Lucky Jim

Lucky Jim

Author: Kingsley Amis Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/04/2012

'His mouth had been used as a latrine by some small creature of the night, and then as a mausoleum. During the night, too, he'd somehow been on a cross-country run and then been expertly beaten up by secret police. He felt bad.' Jix Dixon has a terrible job at a second-rate university. His life is full of things he could happily do without: the tedious and ridiculous Professor Welch, a neurotic and unstable girlfriend, Margaret, burnt sheets, medieval recorder music and over-enthusiastic students. If he can just deliver a lecture on 'Merrie England', a moderately successful career surely awaits him. But without luck, life is never simple . . .

Junky

Junky

Author: William S. Burroughs Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/04/2012

'Junk is not, like alcohol or weed, a means to increased enjoyment of life. Junk is not a kick. It is a way of life' William Burroughs, legendary drug addict, founder member of the Beats and author of Naked Lunch, relates with unflinching realism the addict's life: from initial heroin bliss to an unabated hunger for the needle, and the horrors of cold turkey and back again.

Heart of Darkness

Heart of Darkness

Author: Joseph Conrad Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/04/2012

'Hunters for gold or pursuers of fame, they all had gone out on that stream, bearing the sword, and often the torch, messengers of the might within the land, bearers of a spark from the sacred fire.' Marlow, a seaman, tells of a journey up the Congo. His goal is the troubled European and ivory trader Kurtz. Worshipped and feared by invaders as well as natives, Kurtz has become a godlike figure, his presence pervading the jungle like a thick, obscuring mist. As his boat labours further upstream, closer and closer to Kurtz's extraordinary and terrible domain, so Marlow finds his faith in himself and civilization crumbling.

The Diary of a Nobody

The Diary of a Nobody

Author: George Grossmith, Weedon Grossmith Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/04/2012

'I fail to see - because I do not happen to be a Somebody - why my diary should be not be interesting' Mr Pooter is a man of modest ambition, content with his clerkly lot. So why is he always in trouble with disagreeable tradesmen, impudent young clerks and wayward friends? And what is he to do about his son Lupin's distinctly unsuitable choice of bride? However hard he tries, life piles its little mishaps on his head - but he's not about to give up.

In Cold Blood A True Account of a Multiple Murder and its Consequences

In Cold Blood A True Account of a Multiple Murder and its Consequences

Author: Truman Capote Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/04/2012

In Cold Blood: A True Account of a Multiple Murder and its Consequences is considered by many to be the first work of the true crime genre. In this groundbreaking book, Truman Capote reconstructs the murder of the Clutter family from information provided by newspaper articles and interviews. 'Dick became convinced that Perry was that rarity, a natural killer - absolutely sane, but conscienceless, and capable of dealing, with or without motive, the coldest-blooded deathblows' On 15 November 1959, the small town of Holcomb, Kansas, a wealthy farmer, his wife and their two young children were found brutally murdered. Blood all over the walls, the telephone lines cut, and only a few dollars stolen. Heading up the investigation is Agent Al Dewey, but all he has are two footprints, four bodies, and a whole lot of questions. Truman Capote's detailed reconstruction of the events and consequences of that fateful night, In Cold Blood is a chilling, gripping mix of journalistic skill and imaginative power. 'The American dream turning into the American nightmare. A remarkable book' Spectator 'One of the most stupendous books of the decade' Sunday Express Truman Capote was one of the most significant American authors of the twentieth century, known for his highly acclaimed books, including: Breakfast at Tiffany's, A Tree of Night and Other Stories and The Grass Harp. In Cold Blood and Breakfast at Tiffany's have been selected for the Penguin Essentials series of books considered some of the twentieth century's most important reads.

Mrs Dalloway

Mrs Dalloway

Author: Virginia Woolf Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/04/2012

In Mrs Dalloway, Virginia Woolf explores the events of one day, impression by impression, minute by minute, as Clarissa Dalloway's and Septimus Smith's worlds look set to collide - this classic novel is beautifully repackaged as part of the Penguin Essentials range. 'She had a perpetual sense, as she watched the taxi cabs, of being out, out, far out to sea and alone; she always had the feeling that it was very, very dangerous to live even one day.' On a June morning in 1923, Clarissa Dalloway, the glittering wife of a Member of Parliament, is preparing for a party she is giving that evening. As she walks through London, buying flowers, observing life, her thoughts are of the past and she remembers the time when she was as young as her own daughter Elizabeth, her romance with Peter Walsh, now recently returned from India; and the friends of her youth. Elsewhere in London Septimus Smith is being driven mad by shell shock. As the day draws to its end, his world and Clarissa's collide in unexpected ways. In Mrs Dalloway Virginia Woolf explored the events of one day, impression by impression, minute by minute, and recorded the feel of life itself. 'One of the most moving, revolutionary artworks of the twentieth century' Michael Cunningham 'Woolf is Modern. She feels close to us.' Jeanette Winterson Born in 1882, Virginia Woolf was the daughter of the editor and critic Leslie Stephen, and suffered a traumatic adolescence after the deaths of her mother, in 1895, and her step-sister Stella, in 1897, leaving her subject to breakdowns for the rest of her life. With her sister, the painter Vanessa Bell, she was drawn into the company of writers and artists such as Lytton Strachey and Roger Fry, later known as the Bloomsbury Group. Among them she met Leonard Woolf, whom she married in 1912, and together they founded the Hogarth Press in 1917. Her first novel, The Voyage Out, appeared in 1915, and her major novels include Mrs Dalloway (1925), the historical fantasy Orlando (1928), written for Vita Sackville-West, the extraordinarily poetic vision of The Waves (1931), and Between the Acts (1941). Woolf lived an energetic life, reviewing and writing and dividing her time between London and the Sussex Downs. In 1941, fearing another attack of mental illness, she drowned herself.

The Periodic Table

The Periodic Table

Author: Primo Levi Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/04/2012

'So it happens, therefore, that every element says something to someone' Inspired by the rhythms of the Periodic Table, Primo Levi assesses his life in terms of the chemical elements he associates with his past. From his birth into an Italian Jewish family through his training as a chemist, to the pain and darkness of the Holocaust and its aftermath, Levi reflects on the difficult course of his life in this heartfelt and deeply moving book.

Three Men in a Boat To Say Nothing of the Dog!

Three Men in a Boat To Say Nothing of the Dog!

Author: Jerome Jerome Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/04/2012

'Let your boat of life be light, packed with only what you need - a homely home and simple pleasures, one or two friends, worth the name, someone to love and someone to love you, a cat, a dog, and a pipe or two, enough to eat and enough to wear, and a little more than enough to drink; for thirst is a dangerous thing.' Suffering from every malady in the book except housemaid's knee, three men and a dog decide to head for a restful vacation on the Thames. Anticipating peace and leisure, they encounter, in fact, the joys of roughing it, of getting their boat stuck in locks, of being towed by amateurs, of having to eat their own cooking and, of course, of coping with the glorious English weather.

A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian

A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian

Author: Marina Lewycka Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/03/2012

The hilarious and award winning debut novel from bestselling author Marina Lewycka 'Two years after my mother died, my father fell in love with a glamorous blonde Ukrainian divorcee. He was eighty-four and she was thirty-six. She exploded into our lives like a fluffy pink grenade, churning up the murky water, bringing to the surface a sludge of sloughed-off memories, giving the family ghosts a kick up the backside.' Sisters Vera and Nadezhda must aside a lifetime of feuding to save their emigre engineer father from voluptuous gold-digger Valentina. With her proclivity for green satin underwear and boil-in-the-bag cuisine, she will stop at nothing in her pursuit of Western wealth. But the sisters' campaign to oust Valentina unearths family secrets, uncovers fifty years of Europe's darkest history and sends them back to roots they'd much rather forget . . . 'It's rare to find a first novel that gets so much right . . . Lewycka is a seriously talented comic writer' Time Out 'Hugely enjoyable . . . yields a golden harvest of family truths' Daily Telegraph 'Delightful, funny, touching' Spectator Bestselling author Marina Lewkyca has received great critical acclaim since the publication of her hilarious first novel A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian in 2005, which was the winner of the Bollinger Everyman Prize for Comic Fiction 2005, winner of the Saga Award for Wit 2005, shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction 2005 and longlisted for the Booker prize 2005. Her other humorous novels Two Caravans (published as Strawberry Fields in the USA and Canada), We Are All Made of Glue and Various Pets Alive and Dead are also available from Penguin.

In the Country of Men

In the Country of Men

Author: Hisham Matar Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 22/12/2011

Nine-year-old Suleiman is just awakening to the wider world beyond the games on the hot pavement outside his home and beyond the loving embrace of his parents. He becomes the man of the house when his father goes away on business, but then he sees his father, standing in the market square in a pair of dark glasses. Suddenly the wider world becomes a frightening place where parents lie and questions go unanswered. Suleiman turns to his mother, who, under the cover of night, entrusts him with the secret story of her childhood.

Austerlitz

Austerlitz

Author: W. G. Sebald Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/11/2011

A classic novel of post-war Europe, haunting and timelessly beautiful 'The greatest writer of our time' Peter Carey In 1939, five-year-old Jacques Austerlitz is sent to England on a Kindertransport and placed with foster parents. This childless couple promptly erase from the boy all knowledge of his identity and he grows up ignorant of his past. Later in life, after a career as an architectural historian, Austerlitz - having avoided all clues that might point to his origin - finds the past returning to haunt him and he is forced to explore what happened fifty years before. Austerlitz is W.G. Sebald's melancholic masterpiece. 'Mesmeric, haunting and heartbreakingly tragic. Simply no other writer is writing or thinking on the same level as Sebald' Eileen Battersby, Irish Times 'Greatness in literature is still possible' John Banville, Irish Times, Books of the Year 'A work of obvious genius' Literary Review 'A fusion of the mystical and the solid ... His art is a form of justice - there can be, I think, no higher aim' Evening Standard 'Spellbindingly accomplished; a work of art' The Times Literary Supplement 'I have never read a book that provides such a powerful account of the devastation wrought by the dispersal of the Jews from Prague and their treatment by the Nazis' Observer 'A great book by a great writer' Boyd Tonkin, Independent W . G. Sebald was born in Wertach im Allgau, Germany, in 1944 and died in December 2001. He studied German language and literature in Freiburg, Switzerland and Manchester. In 1996 he took up a position as an assistant lecturer at the University of Manchester and settled permanently in England in 1970. He was Professor of European Literature at the University of East Anglia and is the author of The Emigrants, The Rings of Saturn, Vertigo, Austerlitz, After Nature, On the Natural History of Destruction, Campo Santo, Unrecounted, A Place in the Country. His selected poetry is published in a volume called Across the Land and the Water.

The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes

The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes

Author: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/09/2011

'When you have eliminated all which is impossible, then whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.' In this, the final collection of Sherlock Holmes adventures, the intrepid detective and his faithful companion Dr Watson examine and solve twelve cases that puzzle clients, baffle the police and provide readers with the thrill of the chase. These mysteries - involving an illustrious client and a Sussex vampire; the problems of Thor Bridge and of the Lions Mane; a creeping man and the three-gabled house - all test the bravery of Dr Watson and the brilliant mind of Mr Sherlock Homes, the greatest detective we have ever known.

White Teeth

White Teeth

Author: Zadie Smith Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 04/08/2011

Published in the first month of the first year of the new century, Zadie Smith's debut novel White Teeth - winner of the Guardian First Book Award and the Whitbread First Novel Award - was an immediate bestseller and stunningly acclaimed. One of the most talked about fictional debuts of ever, White Teeth is a funny, generous, big-hearted novel, adored by critics and readers alike. Dealing - among many other things - with friendship, love, war, three cultures and three families over three generations, one brown mouse, and the tricky way the past has of coming back and biting you on the ankle, it is a life-affirming, riotous must-read of a book. 'Funny, clever ... and a rollicking good read' Independent 'An astonishingly assured debut, funny and serious ... I was delighted' Salman Rushdie 'The almost preposterous talent was clear from the first pages' Julian Barnes, Guardian 'Quirky, sassy and wise ... a big, splashy, populous production reminiscent of books by Dickens and Salman Rushdie ... demonstrates both an instinctive storytelling talent and a fully fashioned voice that's street-smart and learned, sassy and philosophical all at the same time' New York Times 'Smith writes like an old hand, and, sometimes, like a dream' New Yorker 'Outstanding ... A strikingly clever and funny book with a passion for ideas, for language and for the rich tragic-comedy of life' Sunday Telegraph 'Do believe the hype' The Times 'Relentlessly funny ... idiosyncratic, and deeply felt' Guardian Zadie Smith was born in north-west London in 1975. Her debut novel, White Teeth, won the Whitbread First Novel Award, the Guardian First Book Award, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction, and the Commonwealth Writers' First Book Prize, and was included in TIME 100 Best English-language Novels from 1923 to 2005. Her second novel, On Beauty, was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and won the Orange Prize for Fiction. She has written two further novels, The Autograph Man and NW, a collection of essays Changing My Mind, and also edited short story anthology The Book of Other People. Zadie Smith was chosen by Granta as one of its twenty best young British novelists in 2003, and as well as to Granta has contributed writing to the New Yorker and the Guardian. Zadie Smith's new novel, NW, is available from September 2012.

A Clockwork Orange

A Clockwork Orange

Author: Anthony Burgess Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 31/03/2011

A Clockwork Orange is the daring and electrifying book by Anthony Burgess that inspired one of the most notorious films ever made, beautifully repackaged as part of the Penguin Essentials range. 'What's it going to be then, eh?' In this nightmare vision of youth in revolt, fifteen-year-old Alex and his friends set out on a diabolical orgy of robbery, rape, torture and murder. Alex is jailed for his teenage delinquency and the State tries to reform him - but at what cost? Social prophecy? Black comedy? Study of freewill? A Clockwork Orange is all of these. It is also a dazzling experiment in language, as Burgess creates a new language - 'nadsat', the teenage slang of a not-too-distant future. 'Every generation should discover this book' Time Out 'A gruesomely witty cautionary tale' Time 'Not only about man's violent nature and his capacity to choose between good and evil. It is about the excitements and intoxicating effects of language' Daily Telegraph 'I do not know of any other writer who has done as much with language...a very funny book' William S. Burroughs 'One of the cleverest and most original writers of his generation' The Times Anthony Burgess was born in Manchester in 1917. He studied English at Manchester University and joined the army in 1940 where he spent six years in the Education Corps. After demobilization, he worked first as a college lecturer in Speech and Drama and then as a grammar-school master before becoming an education officer in the Colonial Service, stationed in Malay and Borneo. In 1959 Burgess was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour and decided to become a full-time writer. Despite being given less than a year to live, Burgess went on to write at least a book a year - including A Clockwork Orange (1962), M/F (1971), Man of Nazareth (1979), Earthly Powers (1980) and The Kingdom of the Wicked (1985) - and hundreds of book reviews right up until his death. He was also a prolific composer and produced many full-scale works for orchestra and other media during his lifetime. Anthony Burgess died in 1993.

Lolita

Lolita

Author: Vladimir Nabokov Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 31/03/2011

'Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of my tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta.' Humbert Humbert is a middle-aged, frustrated college professor. In love with his landlady's twelve-year-old daughter Lolita, he'll do anything to possess her. Unable and unwilling to stop himself, he is prepared to commit any crime to get what he wants. Is he in love or insane? A silver-tongued poet or a pervert? A tortured soul or a monster? Or is he all of these?

My Family and Other Animals

My Family and Other Animals

11+ readers

Author: Gerald Durrell Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/04/2011

Chosen by July 2012 Guest Editor Caroline Lawrence: "I discovered this as a University student but fell for it as hard as any eleven-year-old. When I came to England to study Classics at Cambridge I bought the unabridged audiobook read by one of my favourite British actors, Nigel Davenport. Listening to him read about sun-drenched Corfu in the 1930s was almost better than my first Greek holiday."

ebook of the month
Eva Luna

Eva Luna

Author: Isabel Allende Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 31/03/2011

'My name is Eva, which means life , according to a book of names my mother consulted. I was born in the back room of a shadowy house, and grew up amidst ancient furniture, books in Latin, and human mummies, but none of those things made me melancholy, because I came into the world with a breath of the jungle in my memory.' Isabel Allende tells the sweet and sinister story of an orphan who beguiles the world with her astonishing visions, triumphing over the worst of adversity and bringing light to a dark place.

Breakfast at Tiffany's

Breakfast at Tiffany's

Author: Truman Capote Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 31/03/2011

Truman Capote's dazzling New York novel Breakfast at Tiffany's that inspired the classic 1961 film starring Audrey Hepburn is beautifully repackaged as part of the Penguin Essentials range. 'What I've found does the most good is just to get into a taxi and go to Tiffany's. It calms me down right away, the quietness and the proud look of it; nothing very bad could happen to you there, not with those kind men in their nice suits...' Meet Holly Golightly - a free spirited, lop-sided romantic girl about town. With her tousled blond hair and upturned nose, dark glasses and chic black dresses, Holly is a style sensation wherever she goes. Her apartment rocks to Martini-soaked parties and she plays hostess to millionaires and gangsters alike. Yet Holly never loses sight of her ultimate dream - to find a real life place like Tiffany's that makes her feel at home. Full of sharp wit and exuberant, larger-than-life characters which vividly capture the restless, madcap era of 1940s New York, Breakfast at Tiffany's will make you fall in love, perhaps for the first time, with a book. 'A master writer ... makes the heart sing and the narrative fly' The New York Times 'The most romantic story ever written' Alex James, Guardian 'One of the century's greatest storytellers' Independent on Sunday Truman Capote was born in New Orleans in 1925. By the age of fourteen he had already started writing short stories, some of which were published. After leaving school at fifteen he worked for the New Yorker, his first - and last - regular job. Following this Capote spent two years on a Louisiana farm where he wrote Other Voices, Other Rooms (1948). He lived, at one time or another, in Greece, Italy, Africa and the West Indies, and travelled in Russia and the Orient. Capote is the author of many highly acclaimed books, including A Tree of Night and Other Stories (1949), The Grass Harp (1951), Breakfast at Tiffany's (1958), In Cold Blood (1965), which immediately became the centre of a storm of controversy on its publication, Music for Chameleons (1980) and Answered Prayers (1986). Truman Capote died in 1984.

Brideshead Revisited The Sacred And Profane Memories Of Captain Charles Ryder

Brideshead Revisited The Sacred And Profane Memories Of Captain Charles Ryder

Author: Evelyn Waugh Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 31/03/2011

'I knew Sebastian by sight long before I met him. That was unavoidable for, from his first week, he was the most conspicuous man of his year by reason of his beauty, which was arresting, and his eccentricities of behaviour, which seemed to know no bounds.' Charles Ryder, a lonely student at Oxford, is captivated by the outrageous and exquisitely beautiful Sebastian Flyte. Invited to Brideshead, Sebastian's magnificent family home, Charles welcomes the attentions of its eccentric, aristocratic inhabitants. But he also discovers a world where duty and desire, faith and earthly happiness are in conflict; a world which threatens to destroy his beloved Sebastian. A scintillating depiction of the decadent, privileged aristocracy prior to the Second World War, Brideshead Revisited is widely regarded as Evelyn Waugh's finest work.

Steppenwolf

Steppenwolf

Author: Hermann Hesse Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 31/03/2011

'The unhappiness that I need and long for . . . is of the kind that will let me suffer with eagerness and die with lust. That is the unhappiness, or happiness, that I am waiting for.' Alienated from society, Harry Haller is the Steppenwolf, wild, strange and shy. His despair and desire for death draw him into an enchanted, Faust-like underworld. Through a series of shadowy encounters, romantic, freakish and savage by turn, Haller begins to rediscover the lost dreams of his youth. Adopted by the Sixties counterculture, Steppenwolf captured the mood of a disaffected generation that was beginning to question everything.

Cold Comfort Farm

Cold Comfort Farm

Author: Stella Gibbons Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 31/03/2011

One of the BBC's '100 Novels that Shaped the World' A Hay Festival and The Poole VOTE 100 BOOKS for Women Selection A hilarious and merciless parody of rural melodramas and one of the best-loved comic novels of all time, Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons is beautifully repackaged as part of the Penguin Essentials range. 'We are not like other folk, maybe, but there have always been Starkadders at Cold Comfort Farm...' Sensible, sophisticated Flora Poste has been expensively educated to do everything but earn a living. When she is orphaned at twenty, she decides her only option is to descend on relatives - the doomed Starkadders at the aptly named Cold Comfort Farm. There is Judith in a scarlet shawl, heaving with remorse for an unspoken wickedness; raving old Ada Doom, who once saw something nasty in the woodshed; lustful Seth and despairing Reuben, Judith's two sons; and there is Amos, preaching fire and damnation to one and all. As the sukebind flowers, Flora takes each of the family in hand and brings order to their chaos. Cold Comfort Farm is a sharp and clever parody of the melodramatic and rural novel. 'Very probably the funniest book ever written' Sunday Times 'Screamingly funny and wildly subversive' Marian Keyes, Guardian 'Delicious ... Cold Comfort Farm has the sunniness of a P. G. Wodehouse and the comic aplomb of Evelyn Waugh's Scoop' Independent 'One of the finest parodies written in English...a wickedly brilliant skit' Robert Macfarlane, Guardian Stella Gibbons was born in London in 1902. She went to North London Collegiate School and studied journalism at University College, London. She then worked for ten years on various papers, including the Evening Standard. Her first publication was a book of poems, The Mountain Beast (1930), and her first novel, Cold Comfort Farm (1932), won the Femina Vie Heureuse Prize. Amongst her other novels are Miss Linsey and Pa (1936), Nightingale Wood (1938), Westwood (1946), Conference at Cold Comfort Farm (1949) and Beside the Pearly Water (1954). Stella Gibbons died in 1989.

On the Road

On the Road

Author: Jack Kerouac Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 31/03/2011

On the Road by Jack Kerouac is the exhilarating novel that defined the Beat Generation and is a 2012 major motion picture starring Kristen Stewart, Kirsten Dunst and Sam Riley, beautifully repackaged as part of the Penguin Essentials range. 'What's your road, man? - holyboy road, madman road, rainbow road, guppy road, any road. It's an anywhere road for anybody anyhow.' Sal Paradise, young and innocent, joins the slightly crazed Dean Moriarty on a breathless, exuberant ride back and forth across the United States. Their hedonistic search for release or fulfilment through drink, sex, drugs and jazz becomes an exploration of personal freedom, a test of the limits of the American Dream. A brilliant blend of fiction and autobiography, Jack Kerouac's exhilarating novel defined the new 'Beat' generation and became the bible of the counter culture. 'On the Road sold a trillion Levis and a million espresso machines, and also sent countless kids on the road. The alienation, the restlessness, the dissatisfaction were already there waiting when Kerouac pointed out the road' William Burroughs 'Pop writing at its best. It changed the way I saw the world, making me yearn for fresh experience' Hanif Kureishi, Independent on Sunday Jack Kerouac was born in Lowell, Massachusetts, in 1922. Educated by Jesuit brothers in Lowell, he decided to become a writer at age seventeen and developed his own writing style, which he called 'spontaneous prose'. He used this technique to record the life of the American 'traveler' and the experiences of the Beat Generation, most memorably in On the Road and also in The Subterraneans and The Dharma Bums. His other works include Big Sur, Desolation Angels, Lonesome Traveler, Visions of Gerard, Tristessa, and a book of poetry called Mexico City Blues. Jack Kerouac died in 1969.

Cat's Cradle

Cat's Cradle

Author: Kurt Vonnegut, Benjamin Kunkel Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 31/03/2011

Kurt Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle is an irreverent and highly entertaining fantasy about the playful irresponsibility of nuclear scientists, beautifully repackaged as part of the Penguin Essentials range. 'All of the true things I am about to tell you are shameless lies.' Dr Felix Hoenikker, one of the founding fathers of the atomic bomb, has left a deadly legacy to the world. For he is the inventor of Ice-nine, a lethal chemical capable of freezing the entire planet. The search for its whereabouts leads to Hoenikker's three eccentric children, to a crazed dictator in the Caribbean, to madness. Will Felix Hoenikker's death wish come true? Will his last, fatal gift to humankind bring about the end that, for all of us, is nigh? Told with deadpan humour and bitter irony, Kurt Vonnegut's cult tale of global apocalypse preys on our deepest fears of witnessing the end and, worse still, surviving it . . . 'The time to read Vonnegut is just when you begin to suspect that the world is not what it appears to be. He is not only entertaining, he is electrocuting. You read him with enormous pleasure because he makes your hair stand on end' New York Times 'One of the warmest, wisest, funniest voices to be found anywhere in fiction' Daily Telegraph 'Vonnegut has looked the world straight in the eye and never flinched' J. G. Ballard Kurt Vonnegut was born in Indianapolis in 1922. He studied at the universities of Chicago and Tennessee and later began to write short stories for magazines. His first novel, Player Piano, was published in 1951 and was followed by The Sirens of Titan (1959), Mother Night (1961), Cat's Cradle (1963), God Bless You Mr Rosewater (1964), Welcome to the Monkey House (1968); a collection of short stories, Slaughterhouse Five (1969), Breakfast of Champions (1973), Slapstick, or Lonesome No More (1976), Jailbird (1979), Deadeye Dick (1982), Galapagos (1985), Bluebeard (1988), Hocus Pocus (1990) and Timequake (1997). He is also the author of a number of collections of short stories and essays. Kurt Vonnegut died in 2007.

Wide Sargasso Sea

Wide Sargasso Sea

Author: Jean Rhys Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 31/03/2011

One of the BBC's '100 Novels that Shaped the World' Jean Rhys's spell-binding novel Wide Sargasso Sea, inspired by Jane Eyre and winner the Royal Society of Literature Award is beautifully repackaged as part of the Penguin Essentials range. 'There is no looking glass here and I don't know what I am like now... Now they have taken everything away. What am I doing in this place and who am I?' If Antoinette Cosway, a spirited Creole heiress, could have foreseen the terrible future that awaited her, she would not have married the young Englishman. Initially drawn to her beauty and sensuality, he becomes increasingly frustrated by his inability to reach into her soul. He forces Antoinette to conform to his rigid Victorian ideals, unaware that in taking away her identity he is destroying a part of himself as well as pushing her towards madness. Set against the lush backdrop of 1830s Jamaica, Jean Rhys's powerful, haunting masterpiece was inspired by her fascination with the first Mrs Rochester, the mad wife in Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre. 'Compelling, painful and exquisite' Guardian 'Brilliant. A tale of dislocation and dispossession, which Rhys writes with a kind of romantic cynicism, desperate and pungent' The Times 'Rhys turns a menacing cipher into a grieving, plausible young woman, and one whose story says whole worlds about global mixtures, about the misunderstandings between the colonized, the colonizers and the people who can't easily say which they are' Time Jean Rhys was born in Dominica in 1890, the daughter of a Welsh doctor and a white Creole mother, and came to England when she was sixteen. Her first book, a collection of stories called The Left Bank, was published in 1927. This was followed by Quartet (originally Postures, 1928), After Leaving Mr Mackenzie (1930), Voyage in the Dark (1934) and Good Morning, Midnight (1939). None of these books was particularly successful and with the outbreak of war they went out of print. Jean Rhys dropped from sight until nearly twenty years later she was discovered living reclusively in Cornwall. During those years she had accumulated the stories collected in Tigers are Better-Looking. In 1966 she made a sensational reappearance with Wide Sargasso Sea, which won the Royal Society of Literature Award and the W. H. Smith Award. Her final collection of stories, Sleep It Off Lady, appeared in 1976 and Smile Please, her unfinished autobiography, was published posthumously in 1979. Jean Rhys died in 1979.

Any Human Heart

Any Human Heart

Author: William Boyd Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 11/11/2010

Logan Mountstuart's long life is both ordinary and extraordinary. A writer, a spy and later an art dealer, Logan mixes with the men and women who shaped the twentieth century. But he's also a son, a husband and a lover, and he makes the same mistakes we all do in his search for happiness. William Boyd's bestselling novel, a rich, intriguing and entertaining account of a life lived to the full, comes to the tv screen in a major new series scripted by the author himself.

The Plague

The Plague

Author: Albert Camus, Tony Judt Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/07/2010

The Plague by Albert Camus is an extraordinary odyssey into the darkness and absurdity of human existence. 'On the morning of April 16, Dr Rieux emerged from his consulting-room and came across a dead rat in the middle of the landing.' It starts with the rats. Vomiting blood, they die in their hundreds, then in their thousands. When the rats are all gone, the citizens begin to fall sick. Like the rats, they too die in ever greater numbers. The authorities quarantine the town. Cut off, the terrified townspeople must face this horror alone. Some resign themselves to death or the whims of fate. Others seek someone to blame or dream of revenge. One is determined to escape. But a few, like stoic Dr Rieux, stand together to fight the terror. A monstrous evil has entered their lives but they will never surrender to it. They will resist the plague. 'A matchless fable of fear, courage and cowardice' Independent Albert Camus was born in Algeria in 1913. He studied philosophy in Algiers and then worked in Paris as a journalist. He was one of the intellectual leaders of the Resistance movement and, after the War, established his international reputation as a writer. His books include The Plague, The Just and The Fall, and he won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1957. Camus was killed in a road accident in 1960.

Moon Tiger

Moon Tiger

Author: Penelope Lively Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/05/2010

**SHORTLISTED FOR THE GOLDEN MAN BOOKER PRIZE** Claudia Hampton - beautiful, famous, independent, dying. But she remains defiant to the last, telling her nurses that she will write a 'history of the world . . . and in the process, my own'. And it is her story from a childhood just after the First World War through the Second and beyond. But Claudia's life is entwined with others and she must allow those who knew her, loved her, the chance to speak, to put across their point of view. There is Gordon, brother and adversary; Jasper, her untrustworthy lover and father of Lisa, her cool conventional daughter; and then there is Tom, her one great love, found and lost in wartime Egypt. Moon Tiger is a haunting story of loss and desire. 'Leaves its traces in the air long after you've put it away' Anne Tyler 'A complex tapestry of great subtlety. Lively writes so well, savouring the words as she goes' Daily Telegraph 'Lively's ability to bring her character and the world she inhabits into full technicolour is beautiful. This is a unique book about a fascinating unpredictable woman way ahead of her time and yet absolutely of her time' Lemn Sissay

Perfume The Story of a Murderer

Perfume The Story of a Murderer

Author: Patrick Suskind Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/04/2010

An erotic masterpiece of twentieth century fiction - a tale of sensual obsession and bloodlust in eighteenth century Paris 'An astonishing tour de force both in concept and execution' Guardian In eighteenth-century France there lived a man who was one of the most gifted and abominable personages in an era that knew no lack of gifted and abominable personages. His name was Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, and if his name has been forgotten today, it is certainly not because Grenouille fell short of those more famous blackguards when it came to arrogance, misanthropy, immorality, or, more succinctly, wickedness, but because his gifts and his sole ambition were restricted to a domain that leaves no traces in history: to the fleeting realm of scent . . . 'A fantastic tale of murder and twisted eroticism controlled by a disgusted loathing of humanity ... Clever, stylish, absorbing and well worth reading' Literary Review 'A meditation on the nature of death, desire and decay ... A remarkable debut' Peter Ackroyd, The New York Times Book Review 'Unlike anything else one has read. A phenomenon ... [It] will remain unique in contemporary literature' Figaro 'An ingenious and totally absorbing fantasy' Daily Telegraph 'Witty, stylish and ferociously absorbing' Observer

The Millstone

The Millstone

Author: Margaret Drabble Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/04/2010

A celebration of the drama and intensity of the mother-child relationship, Margaret Drabble'sThe Millstone won the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize in 1965. It is the Swinging Sixties, and Rosamund Stacey is young and inexperienced at a time when sexual liberation is well on its way. She conceals her ignorance beneath a show of independence, and becomes pregnant as a result of a one night stand. Although single parenthood is still not socially acceptable, she chooses to have the baby rather than to seek an illegal abortion, and finds her life transformed by motherhood. Penguin Decades bring you the novels that helped shape modern Britain. When they were published, some were bestsellers, some were considered scandalous, and others were simply misunderstood. All represent their time and helped define their generation, while today each is considered a landmark work of storytelling. 'Rosamund is marvellous, a true Drabble heroine . . . what spirit is here' Sunday Times 'One of our foremost women writers' Guardian 'The novelist who will have done for late twentieth-century London what Dickens did for Victorian London' The New York Times Margaret Drabble was born in 1939 in Sheffield, Yorkshire, the daughter of barrister and novelist John F. Drabble, and sister of novelist A.S. Byatt. She is the author of eighteen novels and eight works of non-fiction, including biographies of Arnold Bennett and Angus Wilson. Her many novels include The Radiant Way (1987), A Natural Curiosity (1989), The Gates of Ivory (1991), The Peppered Moth (2000), The Seven Sisters (2002) and The Red Queen (2004) all of which are published by Penguin. In 1980, Margaret Drabble was made a CBE and in 2008 she was made DBE. She is married to the biographer Michael Holroyd, and lives in London and Somerset.

Any Human Heart

Any Human Heart

Author: William Boyd Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 29/09/2009

'Superb, wonderful, enjoyable' Guardian 'Full of delights' The Times _____________________________ Every life is both ordinary and extraordinary, and Logan Mountstuart's - stretching across the twentieth century - is a rich tapestry of both. As a writer who finds inspiration with Hemingway in Paris and Virginia Woolf in London, as a spy recruited by Ian Fleming and betrayed in the war, and as an art-dealer in '60s New York, Logan mixes with the men and women who shape his times. But as a son, friend, lover and husband, he makes the same mistakes we all do in our search for happiness. Here, then, is the story of a life lived to the full - and a journey deep into a very human heart. ____________________________ 'A work of astonishing ventriloquistic virtuosity... brilliant' Sunday Telegraph 'Wise, profound and moving' William Sutcliffe, Independent on Sunday 'A terrific journey through the 20th century. Thoroughly entertaining and enjoyable' Guardian 'Astounding. One of Boyd's greatest achievements... A pleasure' Mail on Sunday 'Generous, witty, sneakily profound' Evening Standard 'The pleasures are endless... Supremely entertaining' Washington Post 'A fabulous book all about life. I think of Any Human Heart often - the sign of a truly great book' Fi Glover, New Statesman

Down and Out in Paris and London

Down and Out in Paris and London

Author: George Orwell Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 29/06/2009

Renowned urban artist Shepard Fairey's new look for Orwell's classic account of life on the streets To be poor and destitute in 1920s Paris and London was to experience life at its lowest ebb. George Orwell, penniless and with nowhere to go, found himself experiencing just this as he wandered the streets of both capitals in search of a job. By day, he tramped the streets, often passing time with 'screevers' or street artists, drunks and other hobos. At night, he stood in line for a bed in a 'spike' or doss house, where a cup of sugary tea, a hunk of stale bread and a blanket were the only sustenance and comfort on offer. Down and Out in Paris and London is George Orwell's haunting account of the streets and those who have no choice but to live on them.

In Cold Blood A True Account of a Multiple Murder and its Consequences

In Cold Blood A True Account of a Multiple Murder and its Consequences

Author: Truman Capote Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/05/2009

Controversial and compelling, In Cold Blood reconstructs the murder in 1959 of a Kansas farmer, his wife and children. Truman Capote's comprehensive study of the killings and subsequent investigation explores the circumstances surrounding this terrible crime and the effect it had on those involved. At the centre of his study are the amoral young killers Perry Smith and Dick Hickcock, who, vividly drawn by Capote, are shown to be reprehensible, yet entirely and frighteningly human. The book that made Capote's name, In Cold Blood is a seminal work of modern prose, a remarkable synthesis of journalistic skill and powerfully evocative narrative.

Life Class

Life Class

Author: Pat Barker Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/08/2008

From the Booker Prize-winning and Women's Prize-shortlisted author of The Silence of the Girls The first novel in Pat Barker's acclaimed 'Life Class' trilogy - an unforgettable story of art and war, from one of our greatest writers on war and the human heart 'Triumphant, inspiring, shattering' The Times 'Barker writes as brilliantly as ever... With great tenderness and insight she conveys a wartime world turned upside down' Independent on Sunday 'Masterly, gripping' Penelope Lively 'Extraordinarily powerful' Sunday Telegraph Spring, 1914. The students at the Slade School of Art gather in Henry Tonks's studio for his life-drawing class. But for Paul Tarrant the class is troubling, underscoring his own uncertainty about making a mark on the world. When war breaks out and the army won't take Paul, he enlists in the Belgian Red Cross just as he and fellow student Elinor Brooke admit their feelings for one another. Amidst the devastation in Ypres, Paul comes to see the world anew - but have his experiences changed him completely? The Life Class trilogy: Life Class Toby's Room Noonday

1984

1984

Author: George Orwell Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/07/2008

Renowned urban artist Shepard Fairey's new look for Orwell's dystopian masterpiece Winston Smith works for the Ministry of Truth in London, chief city of Airstrip One. Big Brother stares out from every poster, the Thought Police uncover every act of betrayal. When Winston finds love with Julia, he discovers that life does not have to be dull and deadening, and awakens to new possibilities. Despite the police helicopters that hover and circle overhead, Winston and Julia begin to question the Party; they are drawn towards conspiracy. Yet Big Brother will not tolerate dissent - even in the mind. For those with original thoughts they invented Room 101. . . 1984 is George Orwell's terrifying vision of a totalitarian future in which everything and everyone is slave to a tyrannical regime. 'Right up there among my favourite books ... I read it again and again' Margaret Atwood 'More relevant to today than almost any other book that you can think of' Jo Brand

In the Country of Men

In the Country of Men

Author: Hisham Matar Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/03/2007

On a white-hot day in Tripoli, Libya, in the summer of 1979, nine-year-old Suleiman is shopping in the market square with his mother. His father is away on business - but Suleiman is sure he has just seen him, standing across the street... From a breathtaking new talent comes an utterly gripping, emotional novel told from the point of view of a young boy growing up in a terrifying and bewildering world where his best friend's father disappears and is next seen on state television at a public execution; where a mysterious man sits outside the house all day and asks strange questions; and where it seems his father has finally disappeared for good. Soon the whispers and fears, secrets and lies will become so intense that Suleiman can bear them no longer and in his terrified efforts to save his family may end up betraying his friends, his parents and ultimately himself.

My Family and Other Animals

My Family and Other Animals

Author: Gerald Durrell Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/08/2006

Sometimes it's pretty hard to tell them apart... my family and the animals, that is. I don't know why my brothers and sisters complain so much. With snakes in the bath and scorpions on the lunch table, our house, on the island of Corfu, is a bit like a circus. So they should feel right at home...

A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian

A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian

Author: Marina Lewycka Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/03/2006

A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainianis bestselling author Marina Lewycka's hilarious and award winning debut novel. 'Two years after my mother died, my father fell in love with a glamorous blonde Ukrainian divorcee. He was eighty-four and she was thirty-six. She exploded into our lives like a fluffy pink grenade, churning up the murky water, bringing to the surface a sludge of sloughed-off memories, giving the family ghosts a kick up the backside.' Sisters Vera and Nadezhda must aside a lifetime of feuding to save their emigre engineer father from voluptuous gold-digger Valentina. With her proclivity for green satin underwear and boil-in-the-bag cuisine, she will stop at nothing in her pursuit of Western wealth. But the sisters' campaign to oust Valentina unearths family secrets, uncovers fifty years of Europe's darkest history and sends them back to roots they'd much rather forget . . . 'It's rare to find a first novel that gets so much right . . . Lewycka is a seriously talented comic writer' Time Out 'Hugely enjoyable...yields a golden harvest of family truths' Daily Telegraph 'Delightful, funny, touching' Spectator Bestselling author Marina Lewkyca has received great critical acclaim since the publication of her hilarious first novelA Short History of Tractors in Ukrainianin 2005, which was the winner of the Bollinger Everyman Prize for Comic Fiction 2005, winner of the Saga Award for Wit 2005, shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction 2005 and longlisted for the Booker prize 2005. Her other humorous novels Two Caravans(published asStrawberry Fieldsin the USA and Canada),We Are All Made of Glueand Various Pets Alive and Deadare also available from Penguin.

The History of Love

The History of Love

Author: Nicole Krauss Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/01/2006

Shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction 2006 and winner of the 2006 Prix du Meilleur Livre Etranger, The History of Love by bestselling author Nicole Krauss explores the lasting power of the written word and the lasting power of love. 'When I was born my mother named me after every girl in a book my father gave her called The History of Love. . . ' Fourteen-year-old Alma Singer is trying to find a cure for her mother's loneliness. Believing she might discover it in an old book her mother is lovingly translating, she sets out in search of its author. Across New York an old man called Leo Gursky is trying to survive a little bit longer. He spends his days dreaming of the love lost that sixty years ago in Poland inspired him to write a book. And although he doesn't know it yet, that book also survived: crossing oceans and generations, and changing lives. . . 'Wonderfully affecting...brilliant, touching and remarkably poised' Sunday Telegraph 'A tender tribute to human valiance. Who could be unmoved by a cast of characters whose daily battles are etched on out mind in such diamond-cut prose?' Independent on Sunday 'Devastating...one of the most passionate vindications of the written word in recent fiction. It takes one's breath away' Spectator Nicole Krauss is an American bestselling author who has received international critical acclaim for her first three novels: Great House (shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction 2011), The History of Love and Man Walks into a Room (shortlisted for the LA Times Book Award), all of which are available in Penguin paperback.

The Photograph

The Photograph

Author: Penelope Lively Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 29/01/2004

A seductive and hugely suspenseful novel about what can happen when you look too closely into the past; The Photograph is the thirteenth novel by Booker Prize winning author Penelope Lively. Searching through a little-used cupboard at home, Glyn Peters chances upon a photograph he has never seen before. Taken in high summer, many years earlier, it shows his wife, Kath, holding hands with another man. Glyn's work as a historian should have inured him to unexpected findings and reversals, but he is ill-prepared for this radical shift in perception. His mind fills with questions. Who was the man? Who took the photograph? Where was it taken? When? Had Kath planned for him to find out all along? As Glyn begins to search for answers, he, and those around him, find the certainties of the past and present slip away, and the picture of the beautiful woman they all thought they knew distort. 'One of Britain's most talented and experienced writers. The closer you look the more mystery you see' The Times Penelope Lively is the author of many prize-winning novels and short-story collections for both adults and children. She has twice been shortlisted for the Booker Prize: once in 1977 for her first novel, The Road to Lichfield, and again in 1984 for According to Mark. She later won the 1987 Booker Prize for her highly acclaimed novel Moon Tiger. Her other books include Going Back; Judgement Day; Next to Nature, Art; Perfect Happiness; Passing On; City of the Mind; Cleopatra's Sister; Heat Wave; Beyond the Blue Mountains, a collection of short stories; Oleander, Jacaranda, a memoir of her childhood days in Egypt; Spiderweb; her autobiographical work, A House Unlocked; The Photograph; Making It Up; Consequences; Family Album, which was shortlisted for the 2009 Costa Novel Award, and How It All Began. She is a popular writer for children and has won both the Carnegie Medal and the Whitbread Award. She was appointed CBE in the 2001 New Year's Honours List, and DBE in 2012. Penelope Lively lives in London.

Austerlitz

Austerlitz

Author: W. G. Sebald Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 04/07/2002

In the summer of 1939, five-year-old Jacques Austerlitz is sent to England on one of the Kindertransports and placed with foster parents in Wales. For reasons of their own, the childless Calvinist couple erase from the boy all knowledge of his identity. Throughout his life Austerlitz is haunted by feelings of otherness, but it is not until retirement that he embarks on a journey to make sense of his curious early memories and explores what happened to him half a century ago.

Down and Out in Paris and London

Down and Out in Paris and London

Author: George Orwell Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 13/03/2001

George Orwell's vivid memoir of his time living among the desperately poor and destitute, Down and Out in Paris and London is a moving tour of the underworld of society. 'You have talked so often of going to the dogs - and well, here are the dogs, and you have reached them.' Written when Orwell was a struggling writer in his twenties, it documents his 'first contact with poverty'. Here, he painstakingly documents a world of unrelenting drudgery and squalor - sleeping in bug-infested hostels and doss houses of last resort, working as a dishwasher in Paris's vile 'Hotel X', surviving on scraps and cigarette butts, living alongside tramps, a star-gazing pavement artist and a starving Russian ex-army captain. Exposing a shocking, previously-hidden world to his readers, Orwell gave a human face to the statistics of poverty for the first time - and in doing so, found his voice as a writer.

The Snow Goose and The Small Miracle

The Snow Goose and The Small Miracle

Author: Paul Gallico Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 22/02/2001

Classic storytelling from a bestselling author. Gallico's most famous story, THE SNOW GOOSE, is set in the wild, desolate Essex marshes and is an intense and moving tale about the relationship between a hunchback and a young girl. THE SMALL MIRACLE is a contemporary fable about a young boy's love for his dangerously ill donkey.

White Teeth

White Teeth

Author: Zadie Smith Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 25/01/2001

From the MAN BOOKER PRIZE- and WOMEN'S PRIZE-SHORTLISTED author of Swing Time, On Beauty and Grand Union 'BELIEVE THE HYPE' The Times 'The almost preposterous talent was clear from the first pages' Julian Barnes, Guardian 'Street-smart and learned, sassy and philosophical all at the same time' New York Times 'Outstanding' Sunday Telegraph The international bestseller and modern classic of multicultural Britain - an unforgettable portrait of London One of the most talked about debut novels of all time, White Teeth is a funny, generous, big-hearted novel, adored by critics and readers alike. Dealing - among many other things - with friendship, love, war, three cultures and three families over three generations, one brown mouse, and the tricky way the past has of coming back and biting you on the ankle, it is a life-affirming, riotous must-read of a book.

In Cold Blood A True Account of a Multiple Murder and its Consequences

In Cold Blood A True Account of a Multiple Murder and its Consequences

Author: Truman Capote Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/02/2000

The chilling true crime 'non-fiction novel' that made Truman Capote's name, In Cold Blood is a seminal work of modern prose, a remarkable synthesis of journalistic skill and powerfully evocative narrative published in Penguin Modern Classics. Controversial and compelling, In Cold Blood reconstructs the murder in 1959 of a Kansas farmer, his wife and both their children. Truman Capote's comprehensive study of the killings and subsequent investigation explores the circumstances surrounding this terrible crime and the effect it had on those involved. At the centre of his study are the amoral young killers Perry Smith and Dick Hickcock, who, vividly drawn by Capote, are shown to be reprehensible yet entirely and frighteningly human. Truman Capote (1924-84) was born in New Orleans. He left school when he was fifteen and subsequently worked for The New Yorker, which provided his first - and last - regular job. He wrote both fiction and non-fiction - short stories, novels and novellas, travel writing, profiles, reportage, memoirs, plays and films; his other works include In Cold Blood (1965), Music for Chameleons (1980) and Answered Prayers (1986), all of which are published in Penguin Modern Classics. If you enjoyed In Cold Blood, you might like Jack Kerouac and William S. Burroughs' And the Hippos were Boiled in their Tanks, also available in Penguin Modern Classics. 'It is the American dream turning into the American nightmare ... By juxtaposing and dovetailing the lives and values of the Clutters and those of the killers, Capote produces a stark image of the deep doubleness of American life ... a remarkable book' Spectator

Down and Out in Paris and London

Down and Out in Paris and London

Author: George Orwell Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 25/02/1999

Orwell's record of a period in the late Twenties when he lived among the tramps, dregs and plongeurs of London and Paris. 'It is the white-hot reaction of a sensitive observant, compassionate young man to poverty, injustice and the callousness ofthe rich ... It offers insights rather than solutions; but always insights have to precded solutions .... No one has ever claimed Down and Out is its author's best book, yet many of his admirers describe it as their favourite Orwell. Its flaws are numerous, but oddly endearing.'

The Go-Between

The Go-Between

Author: L. P. Hartley Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 25/02/1999

LP Hartley's great classic, THE GO-BETWEEN is a gripping evocation of a summer of hope and betrayal. An invitation to a friend's house changes a boy's life. Discovering an old diary, Leo, now in his sixties, is drawn back to the hot summer of 1900 and his visit to Brandham Hall. The past comes to life as Leo recalls the events and devastating outcome that destroyed his beliefs and future hopes.

Tender is the Night

Tender is the Night

Author: F. Scott Fitzgerald Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 25/02/1999

New Penguin Essentials edition of the heartbreaking classic of the roaring twenties, Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald. 'I don't ask you to love me always like this, but I ask you to remember. Somewhere inside me there'll always be the person I am tonight.' American psychoanalyst Dick Diver and his wife Nicole live in a villa on the French Riviera, surrounded by a circle of glamorous friends. When beautiful film star Rosemary Hoyt arrives she is drawn to the couple - Dick contemplates an affair, while Nicole believes she's found a new best friend. But a dark secret lies at the centre of the Divers' marriage. A secret which could destroy Dick and Nicole and those close to them . . .

Wide Sargasso Sea

Wide Sargasso Sea

Author: Jean Rhys Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/09/1998

Set against the lush backdrop of 1830s Jamaica, Jean Rhys's powerful, haunting story was inspired by the first Mrs. Rochester, in Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre . Born into an oppressive, colonialist society, Creole heiress Antoinette Cosway meets a young Englishman who is drawn to her innocent sensuality and beauty. But soon after their marriage, rumors of madness in her family poison his mind against her. He forces Antoinette to conform to his rigid Victorian ideals, unaware that he is pushing her towards madness, and towards a terrible conclusion amongst the leaping flames at Thornfield Hall...

Breakfast at Tiffany's

Breakfast at Tiffany's

Author: Truman Capote Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/09/1998

With her tousled blond hair and upturned nose, dark glasses and chic black dresses, Holly Golightly is top notch in style and a sensation wherever she goes. Her brownstone apartment vibrates with martini-soaked parties as she plays hostess to millionaires and gangsters alike. Yet Holly never loses sight of her ultimate goal - to find a real life place like Tiffany's that makes her feel at home. Immortalized in a film starring Audrey Hepburn, Truman Capote's Breakfast at Tiffany's is full of sharp wit and in its exuberant cast of characters vividly captures the restless, slightly madcap era of early 1940s New York.

1984

1984

Author: George Orwell Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/09/1998

Newspeak, Doublethink, Big Brother, the Thought Police - the language of 1984 has passed into the English Language as a symbol of the horrors of totalitarianism. George Orwell's story of Winston Smith's fight against the all-pervading party has become a classic, not the least because of its intellectual coherence.

Hideous Kinky

Hideous Kinky

Author: Esther Freud Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 25/02/1993

Two little girls are taken by their mother to Morocco on a 1960s pilgrimage of self-discovery. For Mum it is not just an escape from the grinding conventions of English life but a quest for personal fulfilment; her children, however, seek something more solid and stable amidst the shifting desert sands. 'Just open the book and begin, and instantly you will be first of all charmed, then intrigued and finally moved by this fascinating story' Spectator.

The Mosquito Coast

The Mosquito Coast

Author: Paul Theroux Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 30/09/1982

The Mosquito Coast - winner of the James Tait Black Memorial Prize - is a breathtaking novel about fanaticism and a futile search for utopia from bestseller Paul Theroux. Allie Fox is going to re-create the world. Abominating the cops, crooks, junkies and scavengers of modern America, he abandons civilisation and takes the family to live in the Honduran jungle. There his tortured, messianic genius keeps them alive, his hoarse tirades harrying them through a diseased and dirty Eden towards unimaginable darkness. 'Stunning. . . exciting, intelligent, meticulously realised, artful' Victoria Glendinning, Sunday Times 'An epic of paranoid obsession that swirls the reader headlong to deposit him on a black mudbank of horror' Christopher Wordsworth, Guardian 'Magnificently stimulating and exciting' Anthony Burgess American travel writer Paul Theroux is known for the rich descriptions of people and places that is often streaked with his distinctive sense of irony; his novels and collected short stories, My Other Life, The Collected Stories, My Secret History, The Lower River, The Stranger at the Palazzo d'Oro, A Dead Hand, Millroy the Magician, The Elephanta Suite, Saint Jack, The Consul's File, The Family Arsenal, and his works of non-fiction, including the iconic The Great Railway Bazaar are available from Penguin.

The Millstone

The Millstone

Author: Margaret Drabble Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 25/10/1973

It is the Swinging Sixties, and Rosamund Stacey is young and inexperienced at a time when sexual liberation is well on its way. She conceals her ignorance beneath a show of independence, and becomes pregnant as a result of a one night stand. Although single parenthood is still not socially acceptable, she chooses to have the baby rather than to seek an illegal abortion, and finds her life transformed by motherhood. The Millstone is a celebration of the drama and intensity of the mother-child relationship.

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