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Books in the series: Picador Classic

India An Area Of Darkness, India: A Wounded Civilization & India: A Million Mutinies Now

India An Area Of Darkness, India: A Wounded Civilization & India: A Million Mutinies Now

Author: V. S. Naipaul Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 09/07/2020

With an introduction from Paul Theroux, author of The Great Railway Bazaar. V.S. Naipaul first visited India in 1962 at twenty-nine. He returned in 2015 at eighty-two. The intervening years and visits sparked by an inquisitiveness about a country he had never seen but had been a dream of his since childhood have resulted in three books: India: An Area of Darkness, A Wounded Civilization and A Million Mutinies Now. India is the collection of all three, introduced by fellow traveller and writer Paul Theroux. An Area of Darkness is V. S. Naipaul's semi-autobiographical account - at once painful and hilarious, but always thoughtful and considered - of his first visit to India, the land of his forebears. From the moment of his inauspicious arrival he experienced a cultural estrangement from the subcontinent. India was land of myths, an area of darkness closing up behind him as he travelled. What emerged was a masterful work of literature that provides a revelation both of India and of himself: a displaced person who paradoxically possesses a stronger sense of place than almost anyone. India: A Wounded Civilization casts a more analytical eye than before over Indian attitudes, while recapitulating and further probing the feelings aroused in him by this vast, mysterious, and agonized country. A work of fierce candour and precision, it is also a generous description of one man's complicated relationship with the country of his ancestors. India: A Million Mutinies Now is the fascinating account of Naipaul's return journey to India and offers a kaleidoscopic, layered travelogue, encompassing a wide collage of religions, castes, and classes at a time when the percolating ideas of freedom threatened to shake loose the old ways. The brilliance of the book lies in Naipaul's approach to a shifting, changing land from a variety of perspectives. India: A Million Mutinies Now is a truly perceptive work whose insights continue to inform travellers of all generations to India.

The Master

The Master

Author: Colm Toibin Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/03/2019

With an introduction by award-winning novelist Tessa Hadley In January 1895 Henry James anticipates the opening of his first play, Guy Domville, in London. The production fails, and he returns, chastened and humiliated, to his writing desk. The result is a string of masterpieces, but they are produced at a high personal cost. In The Master Colm Toibin captures the exquisite anguish of a man who circulated in the grand parlours and palazzos of Europe, who was astonishingly vibrant and alive in his art, and yet whose attempts at intimacy inevitably failed him and those he tried to love. It is a powerful account of the hazards of putting the life of the mind before affairs of the heart.

Lucky

Lucky

Author: Alice Sebold, Madeline Miller Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/03/2019

With an introduction by the author of Circe and The Song of Achilles, Madeline Miller In Lucky, a memoir long-hailed for its blistering honesty and wit, Alice Sebold reveals how her life was irrevocably changed when, as an eighteen-year-old college freshman, she was raped and beaten inside a tunnel near her campus. In this same tunnel, a girl had been raped and dismembered. By comparison, Alice was told by police, she was lucky. Though Alice's friends and family try their best to offer understanding and support, in the end it is Alice's formidable spirit which resonates most in these pages. In a narrative both painful and inspiring, Alice Sebold shines a light on the true experience of violent trauma. Sebold's redemption turns out to be as hard-won as it is real.

Less Than Zero

Less Than Zero

Author: Bret Easton Ellis, Ottessa Moshfegh Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/03/2019

With an introduction by novelist Ottessa Moshfegh Eighteen-year-old college student Clay is back in his hometown of Los Angeles for Christmas break. Clay is three things: rich, bored and looking to get high. As he reacquaints himself with a familiarly limitless world of privilege, along with his best friend and his ex, his shocking, stunning and disturbing adventure is filled with non-stop drinking in glamorous nightclubs, drug-fuelled parties, and endless sexual encounters. Published in 1985, when Bret Easton Ellis was just twenty-one, Less Than Zero is a fierce coming-of-age story which quickly defined a genre. A cult classic beloved for its dogged portrayal of hedonistic youth and the morally depraved, this extraordinary and instantly famous novel is a landmark in modern fiction: an inventive, precocious and invigorating story of getting what you want when you want it.

The Master and Margarita

The Master and Margarita

Author: Mikhail Bulgakov Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/03/2019

With an introduction by the writer and critic Viv Groskop. In this imaginative extravaganza the devil, disguised as a magician, descends upon Moscow, along with a talking cat and an expert assassin. This riotous band succeed in fooling an entire population of people who persistently deny the devil's existence, even as they are confronted with the diabolic results of a magic act gone wrong. The devil's project soon becomes involved with The Master, a man who has turned his back on his former life and sought sanctuary in a lunatic asylum, and his former lover, Margarita. A literary sensation from its first publication, The Master and Margarita has been translated into more than twenty languages. Mikhail Bulgakov's novel is now considered one of the seminal works of twentieth-century Russian literature. By turns acidly satiric, fantastic and ironically philosophical, this story constantly surprises and entertains.

The Road

The Road

Author: Cormac Mccarthy Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/03/2019

With an introduction by novelist John Banville. In a burned-out America, a father and his young son walk under a darkened sky, heading slowly for the coast. They have no idea what, if anything, awaits them there. The landscape is destroyed, nothing moves save the ash on the wind and cruel, lawless men stalk the roadside, lying in wait. Attempting to survive in this brave new world, the young boy and his protector have nothing but a pistol to defend themselves. They must keep walking. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, The Road is an incandescent novel, the story of a remarkable and profoundly moving journey. In this unflinching study of the best and worst of humankind, Cormac McCarthy boldly divines a future without hope, but one in which, miraculously, this young family finds tenderness. An exemplar of post-apocalyptic writing, The Road is a true modern classic, a masterful, moving and increasingly prescient novel.

How Proust Can Change Your Life

How Proust Can Change Your Life

Author: Alain de Botton Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/03/2019

With an introduction by comedian and novelist David Baddiel A novel in seven volumes, Marcel Proust's In Search of Lost Time is considered a major literary work of the twentieth century. And even more crucially, one that you should have read by now. However, as one of its most distinguishing features is its staggering length, many of us feel intimidated and perhaps, even, fatigued at the thought of diving in. Alain de Botton's hilarious and unexpected Proustian manual, is then, the perfect antidote to this problem. In How Proust Can Change Your Life, de Botton masterfully distils what Proust says about friendship, reading, being alive and taking your time, and mixes it with his own, no less nourishing commentary. As de Botton rereads Proust for our collective benefit, we see the continued relevance of his work and the rich and varied insights he can offer us, from how to reinvigorate your relationship to being a good host. This is Proust as you've never seen him before. He may even change your life.

The Sculptress

The Sculptress

Author: Minette Walters, Stephanie Merritt Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/03/2019

This Picador Classic edition of Minette Walters' The Sculptress features an introduction by Stephanie Merritt, journalist and author of While You Sleep. `It was a slaughterhouse, the most horrific scene I have ever witnessed . . . Olive Martin is a dangerous woman. I advise you to be extremely wary in your dealings with her.' The facts of the case were simple: Olive Martin had pleaded guilty to killing and dismembering her sister and mother, earning herself the chilling nickname `The Sculptress'. Journalist Rosalind Leigh knew this much before her first meeting with Olive, currently serving a life sentence. How could Roz have foreseen that the encounter was destined to change her life - for ever?

King Leopold's Ghost A Story of Greed, Terror and Heroism in Colonial Africa

King Leopold's Ghost A Story of Greed, Terror and Heroism in Colonial Africa

Author: Adam Hochschild, Barbara Kingsolver Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/03/2019

With an introduction by award-winning novelist Barbara Kingsolver In the late nineteenth century, when the great powers in Europe were tearing Africa apart and seizing ownership of land for themselves, King Leopold of Belgium took hold of the vast and mostly unexplored territory surrounding the Congo River. In his devastatingly barbarous colonization of this area, Leopold stole its rubber and ivory, pummelled its people and set up a ruthless regime that would reduce the population by half. . While he did all this, he carefully constructed an image of himself as a deeply feeling humanitarian. Winner of the Duff Cooper Prize in 1999, King Leopold's Ghost is the true and haunting account of this man's brutal regime and its lasting effect on a ruined nation. It is also the inspiring and deeply moving account of a handful of missionaries and other idealists who travelled to Africa and unwittingly found themselves in the middle of a gruesome holocaust. Instead of turning away, these brave few chose to stand up against Leopold. Adam Hochschild brings life to this largely untold story and, crucially, casts blame on those responsible for this atrocity.

Gomorrah

Gomorrah

Author: Roberto Saviano, Misha Glenny Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 28/01/2019

With an introduction by Misha Glenny. Since Gomorrah was first published in Italy in 2006, Roberto Saviano has received so many death threats that he has been assigned police protection in his native Naples. A groundbreaking study and a searing expose, Gomorrah is the astonishing true story of the renowned crime organization the Camorra, known by insiders as `the System'. With a global reach, large stakes in construction, high fashion, illegal drugs and toxic waste disposal, the Camorra exerts a malign grip on cities and villages along the Neapolitan coast. Now an international sensation, it is at once a bold and gripping piece of investigative journalism as well as the story of one brave young man, his life in Naples and his contempt for the murderous organization who destroyed the place he calls home.

The Border Trilogy Picador Classic

The Border Trilogy Picador Classic

Author: Cormac Mccarthy Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 28/06/2018

With an introduction by novelist Rachel Kushner In the vanishing world of the Old West, two cowboys begin an epic adventure, and their own coming-of-age stories. In All the Pretty Horses, John Grady Cole's search for a future takes him across the Mexican border to a job as a ranch hand and an ill-fated romance. The Crossing is the story of sixteen-year-old Billy Parham, who sets off on a perilous journey across the mountains of Mexico, accompanied only by a lone wolf. Eventually the two come together in Cities of the Plain, in a stunning tale of loyalty and love. A true classic of American literature, The Border Trilogy is Cormac McCarthy's award-winning requiem for the American frontier. Beautiful and brutal, filled equally with sorrow and humour, it is a powerful story of two friends growing up in a world where blood and violence are conditions of life.

I Heard the Owl Call My Name

I Heard the Owl Call My Name

Author: Margaret Craven Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 28/06/2018

With an introduction by author Cynan Jones When Mark Brian, a young priest, is sent to the Indian village of Kingcome in British Columbia, he finds himself in an astonishing place of salmon runs and ancient totems. Yet amidst the beauty, the old culture is under attack, slowly being replaced by prefab houses and alcoholism. Mark has not long to live, and so he sets about sharing the hunting and fishing, the festivals and funerals, the joys and sorrows of a once proud tribe. Perhaps here he will learn enough of life to be ready to die. With all the qualities of a legend or fable, I Heard the Owl Call My Name is a journey of discovery, and a story about the transforming power of love. Exploring the clash of old and new, it is an outstanding modern classic, both wise and tragic.

The Flower Beneath the Foot Being a Record of the Early Life of St. Laura de Nazianzi

The Flower Beneath the Foot Being a Record of the Early Life of St. Laura de Nazianzi

Author: Ronald Firbank Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 28/06/2018

With an introduction by Alan Hollinghurst At the fantastical court of King Willie and Her Dreaminess the Queen of Pisuerga, maid of honour Laura de Nazianzi and His Weariness Prince Yousef whisper promises to each other in the palace gardens. But Laura is destined for disappointment. The King and Queen have plans for a royal wedding for their Prince, and the young woman in their sights is none other than Princess Elsie of England. The court is all aflutter . . . First published in 1923, Ronald Firbank's The Flower Beneath the Foot is a flamboyant court satire and lyrical tour de force of innuendo and eccentricity. Read by many as a subversive celebration of homosexuality, this is a classic of modernist literature from a stylist like no other.

Musicophilia Tales of Music and the Brain

Musicophilia Tales of Music and the Brain

Author: Oliver Sacks Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 28/06/2018

With an introduction by neuroscientist Daniel Glaser With his trademark compassion and erudition, Dr Oliver Sacks examines the power of music through the individual experiences of patients, musicians, and everyday people. Among them: a surgeon who is struck by lightning and suddenly becomes obsessed with Chopin; people with 'amusia', to whom a symphony sounds like the clattering of poets and pans; and a man whose memory spans only seven seconds - for everything but music. Dr Sacks describes how music can animate people with Parkinson's disease who cannot otherwise move, give words to stroke patients who cannot otherwise speak, and calm and organize people who are deeply disoriented b Alzheimer's or schizophrenia. This classic of neurology is a book that alters our conception of who we are and how we function, and shows us an essential part of what it is to be human.

The Dead Girls

The Dead Girls

Author: Jorge Ibarguengoitia, Colm Toibin Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 28/06/2018

With an introduction by award-winning novelist Colm Toibin Opening with a crime of passion after a years-long love affair has soured, The Dead Girls soon plunges into an investigation of something even darker: Serafina Baladro and her sister run a successful brothel business in a small town, so successful that they begin to expand. But when business starts to falter, life in the brothel turns ugly, and slowly, girls start disappearing . . . Based on real events, the story of serial-killing brothel owners Delfina and Maria de Jesus Gonzalez, whose crimes were uncovered in 1964, The Dead Girls is a deliciously satirical black comedy - a potent blend of sex and mayhem. Written in the laconic tones of a police report, it cleverly uncovers the hopeless pedantry of a broken justice system, and the dark world of prostitution.

Oreo

Oreo

Author: Fran Ross Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 28/06/2018

With an introduction by the Man Booker Prize-winning author of A Brief History of Seven Killings, Marlon James 'Oreo's satire on racial identity reads like a story for our times . . . Could Oreo be this year's Stoner? Observer `A rollicking little masterpiece . . . one of the most delightful, hilarious, intelligent novels I've stumbled across in recent years' Paul Auster Oreo has been raised by her maternal grandparents in Philadelphia. Her black mother tours with a theatrical troupe, and her Jewish deadbeat dad disappeared when she was an infant, leaving behind a mysterious note. Oreo's quest is to find her father, and discover the secret of her birth. What ensues in Fran Ross's opus is a playful, modernized parody of the classical odyssey of Theseus with a feminist twist, immersed in seventies pop culture, and mixing standard English, black vernacular, and Yiddish with wisecracking aplomb. Oreo, our young hero, navigates the labyrinth of sound studios and brothels and subway tunnels in Manhattan, seeking to claim her birthright while unwittingly experiencing and triggering a mythic journey of self-discovery like no other.

Into the Wild

Into the Wild

Author: Jon Krakauer Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 28/06/2018

With an introduction by novelist David Vann In April 1992, Chris McCandless set off alone into the Alaskan wild. He had given his savings to charity, abandoned his car and his possessions, and burnt the money in his wallet, determined to live a life of independence. Just four months later, Chris was found dead. An SOS note was taped to his makeshift home, an abandoned bus. In piecing together the final travels of this extraordinary young man's life, Jon Krakauer writes about the heart of the wilderness, its terribly beauty and its relentless harshness. Into the Wild is a modern classic of travel writing, and a riveting exploration of what drives some of us to risk more than we can afford to lose.

The Light Years

The Light Years

Author: Elizabeth Jane Howard Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 28/06/2018

With an introduction by Joanna Lumley. Elegantly constructed and told with exceptional grace, The Light Years is a modern classic of contemporary English life and the beginning of an extraordinary family saga. Every summer, the Cazalet brothers, Hugh, Edward and Rupert, return to the family home in the heart of the Sussex countryside with their wives and children. There, they are joined by their parents and unmarried sister Rachel to enjoy two blissful months of picnics and childish games. But despite the idyllic setting, nothing can be done to soothe the siblings' heartache: Hugh is haunted by the ravages of war, Edward by his latest infidelity and Rupert by his inability to please his demanding wife. Meanwhile, Rachel risks losing her only chance at happiness because of her unflinching loyalty to the family.

Soft City Picador Classic

Soft City Picador Classic

Author: Jonathan Raban Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 19/10/2017

With an introduction by Iain Sinclair In the city we can live deliberately: inventing and renewing ourselves, carving out journeys, creating private spaces. But in the city we are also afraid of being alone, clinging to the structures of daily life to ward off the chaos around us. How is it that the noisy, jostling, overwhelming metropolis leaves us at once so energized and so fragile? In Soft City, Jonathan Raban, one of our most acclaimed novelists and travel writers seeks to find out. First published in the 1970s, his account is a compelling exploration of urban life: a classic in the literature of the city, more relevant to today's overcrowded planet than ever.

The Idea of Perfection Picador Classic

The Idea of Perfection Picador Classic

Author: Kate Grenville Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 19/10/2017

With an introduction by Evie Wyld The Idea of Perfection by Kate Grenville is a funny and touching romance between two people who've given up on love. Set in the eccentric little backwater of Karakarook, New South Wales, pop. 1374, it tells the story of Douglas Cheeseman, a gawky engineer with jug-handle ears, and Harley Savage, a woman altogether too big and too abrupt for comfort. Harley is in Karakarook to foster 'Heritage', and Douglas is there to pull down the quaint old Bent Bridge. From day one, they're on a collision course. But out of this unpromising conjunction of opposites, something unexpected happens: sometimes even better than perfection.

Red Dust Road Picador Classic

Red Dust Road Picador Classic

Author: Jackie Kay Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 19/10/2017

With an introduction by the First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon 'Like the best memoirs, this one is written with novelistic and poetic flair. Red Dust Road is a fantastic, probing and heart-warming read' Independent From the moment when, as a little girl, she realizes that her skin is a different colour from that of her beloved mum and dad, to the tracing and finding of her birth parents, her Highland mother and Nigerian father, Jackie Kay's journey in Red Dust Road is one of unexpected twists, turns and deep emotions. In a book remarkable for its warmth and candour, she discovers that inheritance is about much more than genes: that we are shaped by songs as much as by cells, and that what triumphs, ultimately, is love.

The Stranger's Child Picador Classic

The Stranger's Child Picador Classic

Author: Alan Hollinghurst Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 27/06/2017

With an introduction by Anthony Quinn. The Stranger's Child was Sunday Times Novel of the Year in 2011. In the late summer of 1913, George Sawle brings his Cambridge friend Cecil Valance, a charismatic young poet, to visit his family home. The weekend will be one of excitements and confusions for everyone, but it is on George's sixteen-year-old sister Daphne that it will have the most lasting impact. As the decades pass, Daphne and those around her endure startling changes in fortune and circumstance and, as reputations rise and fall, the events of that long-ago summer become part of a legendary story. Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, The Stranger's Child is Hollinghurst's masterly exploration of English culture, taste and attitudes. Epic in sweep, it intimately portrays a luminous but changing world and the ways memory - and myth - can be built and broken. It is a powerful and utterly absorbing modern classic.

The History Man Picador Classic

The History Man Picador Classic

Author: Malcolm Bradbury Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 30/05/2017

With an introduction by James Naughtie Take a Valium. Have a party. Go on a demo. Shoot a soldier. Make a bang. Bed a friend. That's your problem-solving system . . . But haven't we tried all that? Howard Kirk, product of the Swinging Sixties, radical university lecturer, and one half of a very modern marriage, is throwing a party. The night will have all sorts of repercussions: for Henry Beamish, Howard's desperate and easily neglected friend, and for Howard's wife Barbara, promiscuous '70s liberal and exhausted victim of motherhood. The History Man is Malcolm Bradbury's masterpiece, the definitive campus novel and one of the most influential novels of the 1970s. Funny, disconcerting and provocative, Bradbury brilliantly satirizes a world of academic power struggles as his anti-hero seduces his away around campus. But beneath the surface is an altogether more affecting portrait: it reveals a marriage in crisis and demonstrates the fragility of the human heart.

In the Skin of a Lion Picador Classic

In the Skin of a Lion Picador Classic

Author: Michael Ondaatje Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 30/05/2017

With an introduction by Anne Enright Before the real city could be seen it had to be imagined, the way rumours and tall tales were a kind of charting. It is the 1920s, and Patrick Lewis has arrived in the bustling city of Toronto, leaving behind his Canadian wilderness home. Immersed in the lives of the people who surround him - the immigrants building the city, as well as those who dreamed it into being - Patrick begins to learn, from their stories, the history of the city itself. And he has his own adventures: searching for a missing millionaire, tunnelling beneath Lake Ontario, falling in love. In the Skin of a Lion is Michael Ondaatje's sparkling predecessor to his Booker Prize-winning The English Patient. Here we encounter Hana the orphaned girl and Caravaggio the thief for the first time, as well as a large cast of other characters, all lovingly and intimately portrayed. Exquisite and musical, In the Skin of a Lion is a novel that challenges the boundary between history and myth. It is a stunning modern classic.

India An Area Of Darkness, India: A Wounded Civilization & India: A Million Mutinies Now

India An Area Of Darkness, India: A Wounded Civilization & India: A Million Mutinies Now

Author: V. S. Naipaul Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 30/05/2017

With an introduction from Paul Theroux, author of The Great Railway Bazaar. V.S. Naipaul first visited India in 1962 at twenty-nine. He returned in 2015 at eighty-two. The intervening years and visits sparked by an inquisitiveness about a country he had never seen but had been a dream of his since childhood have resulted in three books: India: An Area of Darkness, A Wounded Civilization and A Million Mutinies Now. India is the collection of all three, introduced by fellow traveller and writer Paul Theroux. An Area of Darkness is V. S. Naipaul's semi-autobiographical account - at once painful and hilarious, but always thoughtful and considered - of his first visit to India, the land of his forebears. From the moment of his inauspicious arrival he experienced a cultural estrangement from the subcontinent. India was land of myths, an area of darkness closing up behind him as he travelled. What emerged was a masterful work of literature that provides a revelation both of India and of himself: a displaced person who paradoxically possesses a stronger sense of place than almost anyone. India: A Wounded Civilization casts a more analytical eye than before over Indian attitudes, while recapitulating and further probing the feelings aroused in him by this vast, mysterious, and agonized country. A work of fierce candour and precision, it is also a generous description of one man's complicated relationship with the country of his ancestors. India: A Million Mutinies Now is the fascinating account of Naipaul's return journey to India and offers a kaleidoscopic, layered travelogue, encompassing a wide collage of religions, castes, and classes at a time when the percolating ideas of freedom threatened to shake loose the old ways. The brilliance of the book lies in Naipaul's approach to a shifting, changing land from a variety of perspectives. India: A Million Mutinies Now is a truly perceptive work whose insights continue to inform travellers of all generations to India.

A Sport and a Pastime Picador Classic

A Sport and a Pastime Picador Classic

Author: James Salter Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 23/02/2017

With an introduction by Sarah Hall The 1960s. Philip Dean, a footloose Yale dropout, is touring provincial France and sometimes Paris in a borrowed, once elegant car. He begins a mismatched affair with a young shop girl named Anne-Marie. Together they burn in an everyday but stunningly sensual paradise. A Sport and A Pastime is a seductive classic that established James Salter's reputation as one of the finest writers of our time. It is remarkable for its eroticism, its luminous prose and its ability to explore the boundaries between what is dreamt and what is lived, between body and soul.

The Man Without Qualities Picador Classic

The Man Without Qualities Picador Classic

Author: Robert Musil Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 23/02/2017

With an introduction by Jonathan Lethem It is 1913, and Viennese high society is determined to find an appropriate way of celebrating the seventieth jubilee of the accession of Emperor Franz Josef. But as the aristocracy tries to salvage something illustrious out of the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the ordinary Viennese world is beginning to show signs of more serious rebellion. Caught in the middle of this social labyrinth is Ulrich: youngish, rich, an ex-soldier, seducer and scientist. Unable to deceive himself that the jumble of attributes and values that his world has bestowed on him amounts to anything so innate as a 'character', he is effectively a man 'without qualities', a brilliant, detached observer of the spinning, racing society around him. Part satire, part visionary epic, part intellectual tour de force, The Man Without Qualities by Robert Musil is a work of immeasurable importance.

The Hiding Place Picador Classic

The Hiding Place Picador Classic

Author: Trezza Azzopardi Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 23/02/2017

With an introduction by D J Taylor My father would have flipped a coin and watched his fate come twirling down to earth. Dolores is the youngest of six daughters. Growing up in the 1960s in Cardiff's poverty stricken Tiger Bay, her life is cursed from the start when, on the day of her birth, her father gambles and loses everything on a bet that Delores will be a boy. As Dolores grows older, we see this strange underworld through her eyes: Tiger Bay is a place of gaming rooms and cafes, of crumbling houses and burning secrets, and for Dolores and her sisters, their home is a dangerous place, filled equally by fear and love. Thirty years later, the estranged sisters return to Tiger Bay for their mother's funeral. It is a time of consolation, of memories and nightmares, and a chance for Dolores to understand the tragedy that has shaped her existence. The Hiding Place by Trezza Azzopardi is a deeply moving and intensely lyrical novel about love and betrayal. Shortlisted for the 2000 Booker Prize, it portrays the life of a child condemned forever to bear the mark of a disintegrating family.

Bridget Jones's Diary Picador Classic

Bridget Jones's Diary Picador Classic

Author: Helen Fielding Format: Paperback Release Date: 11/08/2016

With an introduction by Caitlin Moran. A dazzling urban satire of modern relationships? An ironic, tragic insight into the demise of the nuclear family? Or the confused ramblings of a pissed thirty-something? Bridget Jones's Diary was first published in 1996 and applauded by critics from Salman Rushdie to Jilly Cooper. A number-one bestseller, Helen Fielding's book has sold over fifteen million copies worldwide and has been turned into an Academy Award-nominated film starring Renee Zellweger, Colin Firth and Hugh Grant. Bridget Jones's Diary is followed by Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason and Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy.

The Psalm Killer

The Psalm Killer

Author: Chris Petit Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 16/06/2016

With an introduction by Alan Moore It was always the same nightmare. Cross saw them lined up in rows, in stretches of city wasteland - those derelict spaces once described to him by a child as the blank bits where things had been before they'd got blown up. It is 1985 and a killer moves through Belfast's blighted streets. In a time and place ruled and divided by political and religious differences, this series of crimes cuts across all those boundaries. Detective Inspector Cross, together with Westerby, a young policewoman, enters a maze of conspiracy and paranoia, and, as the investigation draws closer to the truth, they find themselves in a nightmare world, with little hope of escape. The Psalm Killer is Chris Petit's epic thriller set during the Irish Troubles. Masterfully written, disturbing and exciting, it is a book of immense intelligence and a real classic of its genre.

2666

2666

Author: Roberto Bolano Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 16/06/2016

With an introduction by Ben Lerner The truth is we never stop being children, terrible children covered in sores and knotty veins and tumors and age spots, but ultimately children, in other words we never stop clinging to life because we are life. Santa Teresa, on the Mexico-US border: an urban sprawl, a vortex for lost souls. Convicts and academics find themselves here, as does an American sportswriter, a teenage student with her widowed father, and a reclusive, 'missing' author. But there is a darker side to the town: girls and women are disappearing at an alarming rate and it is fast becoming the scene of a series of horrifying crimes. As 2666 progresses, the sense of conspiracy grows, and the shadow of the apocalypse is drawing closer. Written with burning intensity in the last years of Roberto Bolano's life, 2666 became a sensation on publication and has been hailed across the world as Bolano's masterpiece. Terrifying, awe-inspiring and beautiful, it is the classic novel that has come to define one of Latin America's greatest writers.

A Boy's Own Story

A Boy's Own Story

Author: Edmund White Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 16/06/2016

With an introduction by Alan Hollinghurst. It was his power that stupefied me and made me regard my knowledge as nothing more than hired cleverness he might choose to show off at a dinner party. A Boy's Own Story traces an unnamed narrator's coming-of-age during the 1950s. Beset by aloof parents, a cruel sister, and relentless mocking from his peers, the boy struggles with his sexuality, seeking consolation in art and literature, and in his own fantastic imagination as he fills his head with romantic expectations. The result is a book of exquisite poignancy and humour that moves towards a conclusion which will allow the boy to leave behind his childhood forever. Originally published in 1982 as the first of Edmund White's trilogy of autobiographical novels, A Boy's Own Story became an instant classic for its pioneering portrayal of homosexuality. Lyrical and powerfully evocative, this is an American literary treasure.

The Patrick Melrose Novels

The Patrick Melrose Novels

Author: Edward St Aubyn Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 16/06/2016

Filmed for Sky Atlantic, starring Benedict Cumberbatch, The Patrick Melrose Novels is the complete collection of Edward St Aubyn's award-winning novels of childhood trauma and aristocratic decadence. This Picador Classics edition features an introduction by author Zadie Smith. Patrick slid back down in his chair and sprawled in front of the view. He noticed how his tears cooled as they ran down his cheeks. Washed eyes and a tired and empty feeling. Was that what other people meant by peaceful? Collected here together in a single volume are the complete Patrick Melrose Novels by Edward St Aubyn, Never Mind, Bad News, Some Hope, Mother's Milk, and At Last. Acclaimed for their searing wit and their deep humanity, this magnificent cycle of novels - in which Patrick Melrose battles to survive the savageries of his childhood and lead a self-determined life - is one of the major achievements in English fiction.

The Genius of Shakespeare

The Genius of Shakespeare

Author: Jonathan Bate Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/04/2016

With an introduction by Simon Callow Judgements about the quality of works of art begin in opinion. But for the last two hundred years only the wilfully perverse (and Tolstoy) have denied the validity of the opinion that Shakespeare was a genius. Who was Shakespeare? Why has his writing endured? And what makes it so endlessly adaptable to different times and cultures? Exploring Shakespeare's life, including questions of authorship and autobiography, and charting how his legacy has grown over the centuries, this extraordinary book asks how Shakespeare has come to be such a powerful symbol of genius. Written with lively passion and wit, The Genius of Shakespeare is a fascinating biography of the life - and afterlife - of our greatest poet. Jonathan Bate, one of the world's leading Shakespearean scholars, has shown how the legend of Shakespeare's genius was created and sustained, and how the man himself became a truly global phenomenon. 'The best modern book on Shakespeare' Sir Peter Hall

A House for Mr Biswas

A House for Mr Biswas

Author: V. S. Naipaul Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 25/02/2016

With an introduction by author Teju Cole, A House for Mr Biswas is Nobel Prize in Literature winner V. S. Naipaul's unforgettable masterpiece. Heart-rending and darkly comic, it has been hailed as one of the twentieth century's finest novels, a classic that evokes a man's quest for autonomy against the backdrop of post-colonial Trinidad. He was struck again and again by the wonder of being in his own house, the audacity of it: to walk in through his own front gate, to bar entry to whoever he wished, to close his doors and windows every night. Mr. Biswas has been told since the day of his birth that misfortune will follow him - and so it has. Meaning only to avoid punishment, he causes the death of his father and the dissolution of his family. Wanting simply to flirt with a beautiful woman, he ends up marrying her, and reluctantly relying on her domineering family for support. But in spite of endless setbacks, Mr. Biswas is determined to achieve independence, and so he begins his gruelling struggle to buy a home of his own.

The Long View

The Long View

Author: Elizabeth Jane Howard Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 25/02/2016

With an introduction by Hilary Mantel. Originally published in 1956, The Long View is Elizabeth Jane Howard's uncannily authentic portrait of one marriage and one woman. Observant and heartbreaking, written with exhilarating wit, it is a gut-wrenching account of the birth and death of a relationship - as extraordinary as it is timeless. One of his secret pleasures was the loading of social dice against himself. He did not seem for one moment to consider the efforts made by kind or sensitive people to even things up: or if such notions ever occurred to him, he would have observed them with detached amusement, and reloaded more dice. In 1950s London, Antonia Fleming faces the prospect of a life lived alone. Her children are now adults; her husband Conrad, a domineering and emotionally complex man, is a stranger. As Antonia looks towards her future, the novel steadily moves backwards in time, tracing Antonia's relationship with Conrad to its beginning in the 1920s, through years of mistake and motherhood, dreams and war.

The Discovery of France

The Discovery of France

Author: Graham Robb Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 25/02/2016

With an introduction by Colm Toibin. Ten years ago, I began to explore the country on which I was supposed to be an authority . . . France is a country famous for its intellectuals, its philosophers and writers, its fashion, food and wine. And yet the notion of 'the French' as one nation is relatively recent and - historically speaking - quite misleading. In order to discover the 'real' past of France, Graham Robb realized it was not only necessary to go back in time, but also to go at a slower pace than modern life generally allows. The Discovery of France, illuminating, engrossing and full of surprises, is the result of Robb's 14,000 mile journey across France on a bicycle. Winner of both the Duff Cooper and the Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje prizes, The Discovery of France is a modern non-fiction classic, a literary exploration of a remarkable nation. From maps and migration to magic, language and landscape, it reveals a France few will recognize. 'An extraordinary journey of discovery' Daily Telegraph 'Robb's concise and fast-paced writing pedals along with never a dull paragraph . . . dazzling' Sunday Times

Trumpet

Trumpet

Author: Jackie Kay Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 25/02/2016

With an introduction by Ali Smith. When the love of your life dies, the problem is not that some part of you dies too, which it does, but that some part of you is still alive. The death of legendary jazz trumpeter Joss Moody exposes an extraordinary secret. Unbeknown to all but his wife Millie, Joss was a woman living as a man. The discovery is most devastating for their adopted son, Colman, whose bewildered fury brings the press to the doorstep and sends his grieving mother to the sanctuary of a remote Scottish village. Winner of the Guardian Fiction Prize, Trumpet by Jackie Kay is a starkly beautiful modern classic about the lengths to which people will go for love. It is a moving story of a shared life founded on an intricate lie, of loving deception and lasting devotion, and of the intimate workings of the human heart.

Quartet in Autumn

Quartet in Autumn

Author: Barbara Pym, Alexander McCall Smith Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 08/10/2015

With an introduction by Alexander McCall Smith, author of The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series. One did not drink sherry before the evening, just as one did not read a novel in the morning. In 1970s London Edwin, Norman, Letty and Marcia work in the same office and suffer the same problem - loneliness. Lovingly and with delightful humour, Barbara Pym conducts us through their day-to-day existence: their preoccupations, their irritations, their judgements, and - perhaps most keenly felt - their worries about having somehow missed out on life as post-war Britain shifted around them. Deliciously, blackly funny and full of obstinate optimism, Quartet in Autumn shows Barbara Pym's sensitive artistry at its most sparkling. Its world is both extraordinary and familiar, revealing the eccentricities of everyday life.

With Nails

With Nails

Author: Richard E. Grant, Steve Martin Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 08/10/2015

With an introduction by Steve Martin Two pages into the script and an ache has developed in my gonads - I am both laughing out loud and agonized by the fact that the Withnail part is such a corker that not in a billion bank holidays will they ever seriously consider me. When, in the summer of 1986, Richard E. Grant was cast as the lead in Withnail and I, his whole world shifted and he was set firmly on the path to international stardom. With Nails is his outrageous, irreverent and brutally funny account of that time and the years afterwards, of his self-doubt and anxiety on the route to Hollywood, and of all the extraordinary, mad, brilliant people in the film business. From drinking himself incoherent so he could film Withnail and I to a night spent in Paris's red light district with a world-famous couple, to working with Hollywood's biggest actors and directors, Richard E. Grant - always eloquent, always honest - has documented, in his own inimitable style, what it is to become a film star. A rare classic, there is no book quite like it.

King of the World Muhammad Ali and the Rise of an American Hero

King of the World Muhammad Ali and the Rise of an American Hero

Author: David Remnick, Salman Rushdie, Salman Rushdie Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 08/10/2015

With an introduction by Salman Rushdie and an afterword by the author. It was the night of February 25, 1964. A cloud of cigar smoke drifted through the ring lights. Cassius Clay threw punches into the gray floating haze and waited for the bell. When Cassius Clay burst onto the sports scene in the 1950s, he broke the mould. He changed the world of sports and went on to change the world itself: from his early fights as Cassius Clay, the young, wiry man from Louisville, unwilling to play the noble and grateful warrior in a white world, to becoming Muhammad Ali, the voice of black America and the most recognized face on the planet. King of the World is the story of an incredible rise to power, a book of battles fought inside the ring and out. With grace and power, Pulitzer Prize-winning writer David Remnick tells of a transcendent athlete and entertainer, a rapper before rap was born. Ali was a mirror of his era, a dynamic figure in the racial and cultural clashes of his time and King of the World is a classic piece of non-fiction and a book worthy of America's most dynamic modern hero.

The Little Prince

The Little Prince

Author: Antoine de Saint-Exupery Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 08/10/2015

With an introduction by Kate Mosse Translated by Ros Schwartz All grown-ups were children once (but most of them have forgotten). A pilot who has crash landed in the desert awakes to see an extraordinary little boy. 'Please,' asks the stranger, 'will you draw me a little lamb!' Baffled by the little prince's incessant questioning, the pilot pulls out his pencil, and starts to draw. As the little prince's curiosity takes them further on their journey together, the pilot is able to piece together an understanding of the tiny planet from which the prince has come and of his incredible travels across the universe. First published in 1943, The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery has been translated into more than 250 languages, becoming a global phenomenon. Heart-breaking, funny and thought-provoking, it is an enchanting and endlessly wise fable about the human condition and the power of imagination. A book about both childhood and adulthood, it can be read as a parable, a war story, a classic children's fairy-tale, and many more things besides: The Little Prince is a book for everyone; after all, all grown-ups were children once. 'The Little Prince moves from asteroid to desert, from fable and comedy to enigmatic tragedy, in order to make one recurrent point: You can't love roses. You can only love a rose' Adam Gopnik, New Yorker

The Liars' Club

The Liars' Club

Author: Mary Karr Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 27/08/2015

My father comes into focus for me on a Liars' Club afternoon. He sits at a wobbly card table weighed down by a bottle. Even now the scene seems so real to me that I can't but write it in the present tense. Mary Karr grew up in a swampy East Texas refinery town in a volatile and defiantly loving family. In this funny, devastating, haunting memoir and with a raw and often painful honesty, she looks back at life with a painter mother, seven times married, whose outlaw spirit could tip over into psychosis, and a hard-drinking, fist-swinging father who liked nothing better than to spin tales with his cronies at the Liars' Club. When it was published in 1995, The Liars' Club raised the art of memoir to a new level and brought about a dramatic revival of the form. It is a classic that paints a harsh world redeemed by Karr's warmth, intelligent humour and finely spun prose; The Liars' Club is both heart-stopping and heart-felt.

Blood Meridian

Blood Meridian

Author: Cormac McCarthy, Philipp Meyer Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 13/08/2015

With an introduction by Philipp Meyer. The wrath of God lies sleeping. It was hid a million years before men were and only men have power to wake it. Hell aint half full. Set in the anarchic world opened up by America's westward expansion, Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy is an epic and potent account of the barbarous violence that man visits upon man. Through the hostile landscape of the Texas-Mexico border wanders the Kid, a fourteen year-old Tennessean who is quickly swept-up in the relentless tide of blood. But the apparent chaos is not without its order: while Americans hunt Indians - collecting scalps as their bloody trophies - they too are stalked as prey. Since its first publication in 1985, Blood Meridian has been read as both a brilliant subversion of the Western novel and a blazing example of that form. Powerful and savagely beautiful, it has emerged as one of the most important works in American fiction of the last century. A truly mesmerizing classic.

Underworld

Underworld

Author: Don DeLillo, Rachel Kushner Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 13/08/2015

With an introduction by Rachel Kushner He speaks in your voice, American, and there's a shine in his eye that's halfway hopeful. It's a vast and sprawling crowd that comes together to watch the Dodgers-Giants 1951 National League Final, and when Bobby Thomson hits the Shot Heard Round the World and wins the pennant race for the Giants, ripples are formed in the heavy undercurrent of time. Meanwhile, on the other side of the planet, another historic shot is fired: the USSR's second atomic detonation. And so Underworld follows the threads that link a symphonic cast of characters: men and women, together and apart, whose search for meaning, survival and connection will spill out over decades. Underworld is Don DeLillo's masterpiece, a novel of intense ambition and soaring architecture, and a panoramic vision of America set against the overarching conflict of the Cold War. It is awe-inspiring storytelling and an undisputed modern classic.

The Emperor's Children

The Emperor's Children

Author: Claire Messud, Neel Mukherjee Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 13/08/2015

With an introduction by Neel Mukherjee. In Manhattan, just after the century's turn, three thirty-year-old friends, Danielle, Marina and Julius, are seeking their fortunes. But the arrival of Marina's young cousin Bootie - fresh from the provinces and keen, too, to make his mark - forces them to confront their own desires and expectations. The Emperor's Children by Claire Messud is an American classic: a sweeping portrait of one of the most fascinating cities in the world, and a haunting illustration of how the events of a single day can change everything, for ever.

Silence Picador Classic

Silence Picador Classic

Author: Shusaku Endo, Martin Scorsese Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 13/08/2015

With an introduction by Martin Scorsese, director of the film starring Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver Beneath the light of the candle I am sitting with my hands on my knees, staring in front of me. And I keep turning over in my mind the thought that I am at the end of the earth, in a place which you do not know and which your whole lives through you will never visit. It is 1640 and Father Sebastian Rodrigues, an idealistic Jesuit priest, sets sale for Japan determined to help the brutally oppressed Christians there. He is also desperate to discover the truth about his former mentor, rumoured to have renounced his faith under torture. Rodrigues cannot believe the stories about a man he so revered, but as his journey takes him deeper into Japan and then into the hands of those who would crush his faith, he finds himself forced to make an impossible choice: whether to abandon his flock or his God. The recipient of the 1966 Tanizaki Prize, Silence is Shusaku Endo's most highly acclaimed work and has been called one of the twentieth century's finest novels. As empathetic as it is powerful, it is an astonishing exploration of faith and suffering and an award-winning classic. 'One of the finest historical novels written by anyone, anywhere . . . flawless' David Mitchell 'A masterpiece. There can be no higher praise' Daily Telegraph

My Year Off Rediscovering Life After a Stroke

My Year Off Rediscovering Life After a Stroke

Author: Robert McCrum, Henry Marsh Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 18/06/2015

With an introduction by Henry Marsh, author of Do No Harm My brain, which had just let me down so badly, was perhaps never so active. The paramedics' question was a fundamental one. Who are you? Yes indeed. Who am I? Robert McCrum was forty-two when he suffered a massive stroke which left one side of his body totally paralysed, his speech drastically impaired, and his sense of himself radically altered. What followed was a prolonged period of recovery, full of heart ache and frustration, as he gradually regained sensation, movement and self-esteem and as his family pulled together in the extraordinary effort necessary to make him well again. My Year Off is a moving story of determination, courage and love that sings with wit and honesty. An invaluable insight into the reality of life after stroke, the moments of hope, the anger and despair, this is a touching classic that gives voice to millions.

The Drowned Book

The Drowned Book

Author: Sean O'Brien, Helen Dunmore Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 18/06/2015

With an introduction by Helen Dunmore Come for a walk down the river road, For though you're all a long time dead The waters part to let us pass The way we'd go on summer nights In the times we were children And thought we were lovers. The Drowned Book is a work of memory, commemoration and loss, dominated by elegies for those the author has loved and admired. Sean O'Brien's exquisite collection is powerfully affecting, sad and often deeply funny; but it is also a dramatically compelling book - disquieting, even - and full of warnings. As the book unfolds, O'Brien's verse occupies an increasingly dark, subterranean territory - where the waters are rising, threatening to overwhelm and ruin the world above. Winner of both the T. S. Eliot and Forward prizes, The Drowned Book is an extraordinary collection, a classic from one of the leading poets of our time.

Quarantine

Quarantine

Author: Jim Crace, Stuart Evers Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 18/06/2015

With an introduction by Stuart Evers So this is happiness, she thought. Or this, at least, is what adds up to happiness. The prospect of never running after men and camels any more, of being Miri without shame or hesitation, of letting drop her headscarf for a change so that nothing intervened between her and the sky. Five travellers venture into the Judean wilderness in search of redemption. Instead, amidst the barren rocks, they are met by a dangerous man, Musa, and fall under his dark influence. As the unforgiving days and bitter nights erode their resolve, it becomes clear that one among them will go further than the rest: a fervent, solitary figure, he denies the temptations of his neighbours, and, ultimately, the needs of his own body. Quarantine, Jim Crace's provocative retelling of Jesus' forty day fast in the desert, won the Whitbread novel of the year and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. Moving and fascinating in equal measure, this is a classic that tampers with tradition, a stunningly realised novel from one of the great writers of our time.

If The Spirit Moves You Life and Love After Death

If The Spirit Moves You Life and Love After Death

Author: Justine Picardie, Andrew O'Hagan Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 18/06/2015

With an introduction by Andrew O'Hagan When I think about her now, which is most of the time, it's like rewinding a silent film in my head: I see the crucial scenes in our lives together. But what I can't hear is her voice in my head, and that silence is driving me crazy. After her sister Ruth's death from breast cancer in September 1997, Justine Picardie was desperate to speak to her again, to hear her voice, to find something - anything - that might fill the space she had left behind. Over the course of the next year, Justine's search for Ruth lead her into the underworld of spiritualism, through a series of encounters with mediums and psychics who believe that we can communicate with those we have lost. If the Spirit Moves You is Justine's remarkable story about her search for the afterlife in an age of reason, scepticism and science. Powerfully moving, both heart-breaking and funny, it is an extraordinary classic about the exhausting journey of grief and the enduring power of love.

We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families

We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families

Author: Philip Gourevitch, Rory Stewart Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 28/01/2015

With an introduction by Rory Stewart Winner of the Guardian First Book award, a first-hand account one of the defining outrages of modern history. All at once, as it seemed, something we could have only imagined was upon us - and we could still only imagine it. This is what fascinates me most in existence: the peculiar necessity of imagining what is, in fact, real. In 1994, the Rwandan government orchestrated a campaign of extermination, in which everyone in the Hutu majority was called upon to murder everyone in the Tutsi minority. Close to a million people were slaughtered in a hundred days, and the rest of the world did nothing to stop it. A year later, Philip Gourevitch went to Rwanda to investigate the most unambiguous genocide since Hitler's war against the Jews. Hailed by the Guardian as one of the hundred greatest nonfiction books of all time, We Wish To Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families is a first-hand account one of the defining outrages of modern history, an unforgettable anatomy of Rwanda's decimation. As riveting as it is moving, it is a profound reckoning with humanity's betrayal and its perseverance.

The World's Wife

The World's Wife

Author: Carol Ann Duffy, Jeanette Winterson Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/01/2015

With an introduction by Jeanette Winterson This unique collection of poems from the Poet Laureate, filled with her characteristic wit, is a feminist classic and a modern take on age-old mythology. Who? Him. The Husband. Hero. Hunk. The Boy Next Door. The Paramour. The Je t'adore. Behind every famous man is a great woman - and from the quick-tongued Mrs Darwin to the lascivious Frau Freud, from the adoring Queen Kong to the long-suffering wife of the Devil himself, each one steps from her counterpart's shadow to tell her side of the story in this irresistible collection. Original, subversive, full of imagination and quicksilver wit, The World's Wife is Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy at her beguiling best.

Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight

Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight

Author: Alexandra Fuller, Anne Enright Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/01/2015

With an introduction by Anne Enright Shortlisted for the Guardian First Book award, a story of civil war and a family's unbreakable bond. How you see a country depends on whether you are driving through it, or live in it. How you see a country depends on whether or not you can leave it, if you have to. As the daughter of white settlers in war-torn 1970s Rhodesia, Alexandra Fuller remembers a time when a schoolgirl was as likely to carry a shotgun as a satchel. This is her story - of a civil war, of a quixotic battle with nature and loss, and of a family's unbreakable bond with the continent that came to define, scar and heal them. Shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award in 2002, Alexandra Fuller's classic memoir of an African childhood is suffused with laughter and warmth even amid disaster. Unsentimental and unflinching, but always enchanting, Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight is the story of an extraordinary family in an extraordinary time.

The Woman Warrior

The Woman Warrior

Author: Maxine Hong Kingston, Xiaolu Guo Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/01/2015

With an introduction by Xiaolu Guo A classic memoir set during the Chinese revolution of the 1940s and inspired by folklore, providing a unique insight into the life of an immigrant in America. When we Chinese girls listened to the adults talking-story, we learned that we failed if we grew up to be but wives or slaves. We could be heroines, swordswomen. Throughout her childhood, Maxine Hong Kingston listened to her mother's mesmerizing tales of a China where girls are worthless, tradition is exalted and only a strong, wily woman can scratch her way upwards. Growing up in a changing America, surrounded by Chinese myth and memory, this is her story of two cultures and one trenchant, lyrical journey into womanhood. Complex and beautiful, angry and adoring, Maxine Hong Kingston's The Woman Warrior is a seminal piece of writing about emigration and identity. It won the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1976 and is widely hailed as a feminist classic.

Them: Adventures with Extremists

Them: Adventures with Extremists

Author: Jon Ronson, Russell Brand Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/01/2015

With an introduction by Russell Brand. What if a tiny, shadow elite rule the world from a secret room? My worryingly paradoxical thought process could be summarized thus: Thank God I don't believe in the secret rulers of the world. Imagine what the secret rulers of the world might do to me if I did. What if a tiny, shadow elite rule the world from a secret room? In Them Jon Ronson sets out to find this room, with the help of the extremists - Islamic fundamentalists, neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klansmen - that believe in it. Along the way, he is chased by men in dark glasses, unmasked as a Jew in the middle of a Jihad training camp, and witnesses international CEOs and politicians participate in a bizarre pagan ritual in the forests of northern California. A Sunday Times bestseller and the book that launched Jon Ronson's inimitable career, Them is an eye-opening, outrageously funny exploration of extremism, which makes both author and reader think twice about the looking-glass world of 'us' and 'them' . . .

The Butcher Boy

The Butcher Boy

Author: Patrick McCabe, Ross Raisin Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/01/2015

With an introduction by Ross Raisin. A modern classic of Irish fiction, shortlisted for the 1992 Booker prize. When I was a young lad twenty or thirty or forty years ago I lived in a small town where they were all after me on account of what I done on Mrs Nugent. Francie Brady is a small-town rascal who spends his days turning a blind eye to the troubles at home and getting up to mischief with his best friend Joe - hiding in the chicken-house, shouting abuse at fish in the local stream. But after a disagreement with his neighbour Mrs Nugent over her son's missing comic books, Francie's reckless streak spirals out of control and gives rise to a monstrous obsession . . . Fearless, shocking and blackly funny, Patrick McCabe's The Butcher Boy won the 1992 Irish Times Literature Prize and was shortlisted for the 1992 Booker Prize. It is a modern classic of Irish fiction, a portrait of the insidious violence latent in small town life and of a frenzied young man lashing out at everyone, even himself.

The South

The South

Author: Colm Toibin, Roy Foster Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/01/2015

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

Four Letters Of Love

Four Letters Of Love

Author: Niall Williams, John Hurt Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/01/2015

With an introduction by John Hurt A classic love story and a seminal work of Irish literature that is a testament to romance, magic and the power of true love. In love everything changes, and continues changing all the time. There is no stillness, no stopped clock of the heart in which the moment of happiness holds forever, but only the constant whirring forward motion of desire and need. . . Nicholas Coughlan and Isabel Gore are meant for each other - they just don't know it yet. Though each has found both heartache and joy in the wild Irish landscape, their paths are yet to cross. But as God, ghosts, fate and the sheer power of true love pull Nicholas and Isabel together, so too does life threaten to tear them apart. . . Magical, lyrical and deeply romantic, Niall Williams' Four Letters of Love moved readers the world over and became an international bestseller. It is a life-affirming paean to human folly, to fate, and to the miracle of love.

The Debt To Pleasure

The Debt To Pleasure

Author: John Lanchester Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/01/2015

With an introduction by John Banville Winner of the Whitbread First Novel Award 1996. To like something is to want to ingest it and, in that sense, is to submit to the world; to like something is to succumb, in a small but contentful way, to death. Tarquin Winot - hedonist, food obsessive, ironist and snob - travels a circuitous route from the Hotel Splendide in Portsmouth to his cottage in Provence. Along the way he tells the story of his childhood and beyond through a series of delectable menus, organized by season. But this is no ordinary cookbook, and as we are drawn into Tarquin's world, a far more sinister mission slowly reveals itself . . . Winner of the 1996 Whitbread First Novel Award, John Lanchester's The Debt to Pleasure is a wickedly funny ode to food; an erotic and sensual culinary journey. Its elegant, intelligent and unhinged narrator is nothing less than a work of art himself.

Essays In Love

Essays In Love

Author: Alain de Botton Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/01/2015

With an introduction by Sheila Heti A unique love story and a classic work of philosophy, rooted in the mysterious workings of the human heart and mind. Perhaps it is true that we do not really exist until there is someone there to see us existing, we cannot properly speak until there is someone who can understand what we are saying in essence, we are not wholly alive until we are loved. A man and a woman meet over casual conversation on a flight from Paris to London, and so begins a love story - from first kiss to first argument, elation to heartbreak, and everything in between. Each stage of the relationship is illuminated with startling clarity, as de Botton explores emotions often felt but rarely understood. With the verve of a novelist and the insight of a philosopher, Alain de Botton uncovers the mysteries of the human heart. Essays In Love is an iconic book - one that should be read by anyone who has ever fallen in love.

ebook of the month
The Snow Geese

The Snow Geese

Author: William Fiennes, Robert Macfarlane Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/01/2015

With an introduction by Robert Macfarlane Shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize and winner of the Hawthornden Prize. I had attached myself to the birds. I couldn't move on until the birds moved on, and the birds couldn't move on without the spring. One winter, after an enforced period of recuperation, William Fiennes finds himself restless and yearning for adventure. He travels to Texas, where he begins a quest to trace the million-strong flocks of snow geese making their spring flight thousands of miles north to the Arctic tundra. On his epic journey he meets people from every walk of life, from ex-nuns to train fanatics, and their stories resound with the longing to arrive at the right place in the world. Shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize and winner of the Hawthornden Prize, The Snow Geese is a poignant and lyrical paean to the richness and wonder of the world around us. A unique blend of autobiography, travel and nature writing, this is a classic tale of belonging and the inescapable lure of home.

American Psycho

American Psycho

Author: Bret Easton Ellis Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/01/2015

With an introduction by Irvine Welsh A cult classic, adapted into an award-winning film starring Christian Bale Is evil something you are? Or is it something you do? Patrick Bateman has it all: good looks, youth, charm, a job on Wall Street, reservations at every new restaurant in town and a line of girls around the block. He is also a psychopath. A man addicted to his superficial, perfect life, he pulls us into a dark underworld where the American Dream becomes a nightmare ...American Psycho is one of the most controversial and talked-about novels of all time. A multimillion-copy bestseller hailed as a modern classic, it is a violent black comedy about the darkest side of human nature.

ebook of the month
Cloudstreet

Cloudstreet

Author: Tim Winton, Philip Hensher Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/01/2015

Cloudstreet is Tim Winton's Miles Franklin award-winning masterpiece. With an introduction by Philip Hensher. Will you look at us by the river! The whole restless mob of us on spread blankets in the dreamy briny sunshine skylarking and chiacking about for one day, one clear, clean, sweet day in a good world in the midst of our living. No. 1 Cloudstreet: a broken-down house on the wrong side of the tracks, a place teeming with memories, with shudders and shadows and spirits. From separate catastrophes, two families - the Pickles and Lambs - flee to the city and find themselves thrown together, forced to start their lives afresh. As they roister and rankle, the place that began as a roof over their heads becomes a home for their hearts. Winner of Australia's prestigious Miles Franklin Award, Cloudstreet is Tim Winton's great family drama, a twenty-year story of life and love, full of boisterous energy, joy and heartbreak. His visceral evocation of the Australian landscape is nowhere more extraordinary than in this classic.

Once in a House on Fire

Once in a House on Fire

Author: Andrea Ashworth Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/01/2015

With an introduction by Eimear McBride A devastatingly powerful, moving and uplifting memoir - now a classic of its genre - that inspired others to tell their own true life stories. When our stepfather staggered home reeking of whisky, ceramic hit the wall. We got used to the smash and the next-day stain, but eventually the wallpaper began to fade . . . For Andrea Ashworth, home is not a place of comfort and solace, but of violence and fear. Her father died when she was five, leaving her close-knit, loving family to battle with poverty, abuse and the long shadow of depression. But from the ashes of 1970s Manchester and the hardships of her coming-of-age in the late 1980s, Andrea finds the courage to rise . . . Written with eye-opening honesty, rare beauty and intense power, Once in a House on Fire is a ground-breaking memoir, endearing in its humour and compassion, and life-affirming in its portrait of terrible circumstances triumphantly overcome.

The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat

The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat

Author: Oliver Sacks, Will Self Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/01/2015

With an introduction by Will Self. A classic work of psychology, this international bestseller provides a groundbreaking insight into the human mind. If a man has lost a leg or an eye, he knows he has lost a leg or an eye; but if he has lost a self - himself - he cannot know it, because he is no longer there to know it. In this extraordinary book, Dr. Oliver Sacks recounts the stories of patients struggling to adapt to often bizarre worlds of neurological disorder. Here are people who can no longer recognize everyday objects or those they love; who are stricken with violent tics or shout involuntary obscenities; who have been dismissed as autistic or retarded, yet are gifted with uncanny artistic or mathematical talents. If inconceivably strange, these brilliant tales illuminate what it means to be human. A provocative exploration of the mysteries of the human mind, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat is a million-copy bestseller by the twentieth century's greatest neurologist.

Dispatches

Dispatches

Author: Michael Herr, Kevin Powers Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/01/2015

With an introduction by Kevin Powers. A groundbreaking piece of journalism which inspired Stanley Kubrick's classic Vietnam War film Full Metal Jacket. We took space back quickly, expensively, with total panic and close to maximum brutality. Our machine was devastating. And versatile. It could do everything but stop. Michael Herr went to Vietnam as a war correspondent for Esquire. He returned to tell the real story in all its hallucinatory madness and brutality, cutting to the quick of the conflict and its seductive, devastating impact on a generation of young men. His unflinching account is haunting in its violence, but even more so in its honesty. First published in 1977, Dispatches was a revolutionary piece of new journalism that evoked the experiences of soldiers in Vietnam and has forever shaped our understanding of the conflict. It is now a seminal classic of war reportage.

The Piano Tuner

The Piano Tuner

Author: Daniel Mason, Sadie Jones Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/01/2015

With an introduction by Sadie Jones. 'Engrossing . . . the reader falls under the spell that the author is weaving, surrendering to the story's exotic magic.' - The Times White. Like a clean piece of paper, like uncarved ivory, all is white when the story begins. One misty London afternoon in 1886, piano tuner Edgar Drake receives an unusual request from the War Office: he must leave his quiet life and travel to the jungles of Burma to repair a rare grand piano owned by an enigmatic army surgeon. So begins an extraordinary journey across Europe, the Red Sea, India and onwards, accompanied by an enchanting yet elusive woman. Edgar is at first captivated, then unnerved, as he begins to question the true motive behind his summons and whether he will return home unchanged to the wife who awaits him. . . An instant bestseller, Daniel Mason's The Piano Tuner has been published in twenty-seven countries. Exquisitely told, this classic is a richly sensuous story of adventure, discovery, and how we confront our most deeply held fears and desires.

Scottsboro

Scottsboro

Author: Ellen Feldman, Jayne Anne Phillips Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/01/2015

With an introduction by Jayne Anne Phillips Shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction, a novel inspired by the shocking true story of the Scottsboro boys. Even after all these years, the injustice still stuns. Innocent boys sentenced to die, not for a crime they did not commit, but for a crime that never occurred. Lives splintered as casually as wood being hacked for kindling. Alabama, 1931. A freight train is stopped in Scottsboro, nine black youths are brutally arrested and, within minutes, the cry of rape goes up from two white girls. In the shocking aftermath, one sticks to her story whilst the other keeps changing her mind, and an impassioned young journalist must try to save nine boys from the electric chair, one girl from a lie and herself from the clutches of the past . . . Stirring racism, sexism and the politics of a divided America into an explosive brew, Scottsboro gives voice to the victims - black and white - of this infamous case. Shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction in 2009, Ellen Feldman's classic charts a fight for justice during the burgeoning civil-rights movement.

The Lovely Bones

The Lovely Bones

Author: Alice Sebold, Karen Thompson Walker Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/01/2015

With an introduction by Karen Thompson Walker. The internationally bestselling novel that inspired the acclaimed film directed by Peter Jackson. My name was Salmon, like the fish; first name, Susie. I was fourteen when I was murdered on December 6, 1973. In heaven, Susie Salmon can have whatever she wishes for - except what she most wants, which is to be back with the people she loved on earth. In the wake of her murder, Susie watches as her happy suburban family is torn apart by grief; as her friends grow up, fall in love, and do all the things she never had the chance to do herself. But as Susie will come to realize, even in death, life is not quite out of reach . . . A luminous, astonishing novel about life and death, memory and forgetting, and finding light in the darkest places, Alice Sebold's The Lovely Bones became an instant classic when it was first published. There are now over ten million copies in print. It inspired the film starring Mark Wahlberg, Rachel Weisz, Susan Sarandon and Saoirse Ronan.

The Book of Evidence

The Book of Evidence

Author: John Banville, Colm Toibin Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 09/10/2014

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

An Unquiet Mind A Memoir of Moods and Madness

An Unquiet Mind A Memoir of Moods and Madness

Author: Kay Redfield Jamison, Andrew Solomon Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 29/09/2014

With an introduction by Andrew Solomon 'It stands alone in the literature of manic depression for its bravery, brilliance and beauty.' Oliver Sacks I was used to my mind being my best friend. Now, all of a sudden, my mind had turned on me: it mocked me for my vapid enthusiasms; it laughed at all of my foolish plans; it no longer found anything interesting or enjoyable or worthwhile. Dr Kay Redfield Jamison is one of the foremost authorities on manic depression (bipolar disorder) - and has experienced its terrors and cruel allure first-hand. While pursuing her career in medicine, she was affected by the same exhilarating highs and catastrophic lows that afflicted many of her patients. From her jubilant childhood to the disquiet that has dominated her adult life, she charts a journey through her own mind, and those of others. An Unquiet Mind is a definitive examination of manic depression from both sides: doctor and patient, the healer and the healed. A classic memoir of enormous candour and courage, it teems with the wit and wisdom of its creator.

The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat

The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat

Author: Oliver Sacks Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/09/2011

'Oliver Sacks has become the world's best-known neurologist. His case studies of broken minds offer brilliant insight into the mysteries of consciousness' Guardian In his most extraordinary book, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, Oliver Sacks recounts the stories of patients lost in the bizarre, apparently inescapable world of neurological disorders. These are case studies of people who have lost their memories and with them the greater part of their pasts; who are no longer able to recognize people or common objects; whose limbs have become alien; who are afflicted and yet are gifted with uncanny artistic or mathematical talents. In Dr Sacks's splendid and sympathetic telling, each tale is a unique and deeply human study of life struggling against incredible adversity.

Waterland

Waterland

Author: Graham Swift Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/04/2010

'Perfectly controlled, superbly written. Waterland is original, compelling and narration of the highest order' Guardian In the years since its first publication, in 1983, Waterland has established itself as one of the classics of twentieth-century British literature: a visionary tale of England's Fen country; a sinuous meditation on the workings of history; and a family story startling in its detail and universal in its reach. This edition includes an introduction, by the author, written to celebrate the book's 25th anniversary. 'Graham Swift has mapped his Waterland like a new Wessex. He appropriates the Fens as Moby Dick did whaling or Wuthering Heights the moors. This is a beautiful, serious and intelligent novel, admirably ambitious and original' Observer 'A 300-page tour de force . . . A burst of exuberant fictive energy' Evening Standard 'Waterland is a formidably intelligent book, animated by an impressive, angry pity at what human creatures are capable of doing to one another in the name of love and need. The most powerful novel I have read for some time' New York Review of Books

Lucky

Lucky

Author: Alice Sebold, Madeline Miller Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/12/2002

In Lucky, a memoir hailed for its searing candour and wit, Alice Sebold reveals how her life was utterly transformed when, as an eighteen-year-old college freshman, she was brutally raped and beaten in a park near campus. What propels this chronicle of her recovery is Sebold's indomitable spirit - as she struggles for understanding ('After telling the hard facts to anyone, from lover to friend, I have changed in their eyes'); as her dazed family and friends sometimes bungle their efforts to provide comfort and support; and as, ultimately, she triumphs, managing through grit and coincidence to help secure her attacker's arrest and conviction. In a narrative by turns disturbing, thrilling, and inspiring, Alice Sebold illuminates the experience of trauma victims even as she imparts wisdom profoundly hard-won: 'You save yourself or you remain unsaved.'

Into the Wild

Into the Wild

Author: Jon Krakauer Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/10/1997

Jon Krakauer's Into the Wild examines true story of Chris McCandless, a young man, who in 1992 walked deep into the Alaskan wilderness and whose SOS note and emaciated corpse were found four months later, internationally bestselling author Jon Krakauer explores the obsession which leads some people to explore the outer limits of self, leave civilization behind and seek enlightenment through solitude and contact with nature. A 2007 film adaptation of Into the Wild was directed by Sean Penn and starred Emile Hirsch and Kristen Stewart.