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Two devastating short novels adapted for the stage by Steinbeck himself

A Penguin Classic

This Penguin Classics edition celebrates Steinbeck’s dramatic adaptations of his most powerful short novels, Of Mice and Men and The Moon Is Down, featuring a foreword by award-winning actor James Earl Jones.

Of Mice and Men represents an experiment in form – as Steinbeck put it, “a kind of playable novel, written in novel form but so scened and set that it can be played as it stands.” A rarity in American letters, it achieved remarkable success as a novel, a Broadway play, and three acclaimed films. Of Mice and Men received the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best Play in 1937-1938. A number of acclaimed actors have interpreted the iconic roles of George and Lennie for stage and screen, including James Earl Jones, John Malkovich and Gary Sinise.

The Moon Is Down uncovers profound, often unsettling truths about war and human nature. It tells the story of a peaceable town taken by enemy troops, and had an extraordinary impact as Allied propaganda in Nazi-occupied Europe.

This Penguin Classics edition of the theatrical adaptations of Steinbeck’s two classic short novels is essential to actors, playwrights, filmmakers and directors studying the dramatic work of the Nobel Prize winning author of The Grapes of Wrath and East of Eden.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
“Enlightening, compassionate, superb” —John Le Carré

Winner of the 2018 Cundhill History Prize

A New York Times Book Review Notable Book of 2017

One of the New York Times 100 Notable Books of 2017

A visionary exploration of the life and times of Joseph Conrad, his turbulent age of globalization and our own, from one of the most exciting young historians writing today

Migration, terrorism, the tensions between global capitalism and nationalism, and a communications revolution: these forces shaped Joseph Conrad’s destiny at the dawn of the twentieth century. In this brilliant new interpretation of one of the great voices in modern literature, Maya Jasanoff reveals Conrad as a prophet of globalization. As an immigrant from Poland to England, and in travels from Malaya to Congo to the Caribbean, Conrad navigated an interconnected world, and captured it in a literary oeuvre of extraordinary depth. His life story delivers a history of globalization from the inside out, and reflects powerfully on the aspirations and challenges of the modern world.
 
Joseph Conrad was born Józef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski in 1857, to Polish parents in the Russian Empire. At sixteen he left the landlocked heart of Europe to become a sailor, and for the next twenty years travelled the world’s oceans before settling permanently in England as an author. He saw the surging, competitive "new imperialism" that planted a flag in almost every populated part of the globe. He got a close look, too, at the places “beyond the end of telegraph cables and mail-boat lines,” and the hypocrisy of the west’s most cherished ideals.
 
In a compelling blend of history, biography, and travelogue, Maya Jasanoff follows Conrad’s routes and the stories of his four greatest works—The Secret Agent, Lord Jim, Heart of Darkness, and Nostromo. Genre-bending, intellectually thrilling, and deeply humane, The Dawn Watch embarks on a spell-binding expedition into the dark heart of Conrad’s world—and through it to our own.
A fictional recounting of the little-known true story of the first woman to ever set foot on Antarctica, and her extraordinary fight to get there. A fictional recounting of the little-known true story of the first woman to ever set foot on Antarctica, and her extraordinary fight to get there. It's the early 1930s. Antarctic open-sea whaling is booming and a territorial race for the mysterious continent between Norwegian and British-Australian interests is in full swing. Aboard a ship setting sail from Cape town carrying the Norwegian whaling magnate Lars Christensen are three women: Lillemor Rachlew, who tricked her way on to the ship and will stop at nothing to be the first woman to land on Antarctica; Mathilde Wegger, a grieving widow who's been forced to join the trip by her calculating parents-in-law; and Lars's wife, Ingrid Christensen, who has longed to travel to Antarctica since she was a girl and has made a daunting bargain with Lars to convince him to take her. Loyalties shift and melt and conflicts increase as they pass through the Southern Ocean and reach the whaling grounds. None of the women is prepared for the reality of meeting the whaling fleet and experiencing firsthand the brutality of the icy world. As they head for the continent itself, the race is on for the first woman to land on Antarctica. None of them expect the outcome and none of them know how they will be changed by their arrival. Based on the little-known true story of the first woman to ever set foot on Antarctica, Jesse Blackadder has captured the drama, danger and magnetic pull of exploring uncharted places in our world and our minds.
“A fascinating journey . . . The secret of Lovecraft revealed a page at a time. A must read for all true fans of horror.” —Jonny Coffin, owner of Coffin Case
 
In the Mountains of Madness interweaves the biography of the legendary writer with an exploration of Lovecraft as a phenomenon. It aims to explain this reclusive figure while also challenging some of the general views held by Lovecraft devotees, focusing specifically on the large cross-section of horror and science fiction fans who know Lovecraft through films, role-playing games, and video games directly influenced by his work but know little or nothing about him.
 
More than a traditional biography, In The Mountains of Madness places Lovecraft and his work in a cultural context, as an artist more in tune with our time than his own. In his provocative new book, Poole reclaims the true essence of Lovecraft in relation to the comics of Joe Lansdale, the novels of Stephen King, and some of the biggest blockbuster films in contemporary America, proving the undying influence of this rare and significant figure.
 
“H.P. Lovecraft is having one hell of a resurgence. Luckily, the author of the man’s latest biography is the smart, shrewd, and insightful W. Scott Poole . . . What a wonderful testament to the lasting power and influence of H.P. Lovecraft.” —Victor LaValle, author of The Changeling
 
“A deep plunge into the Lovecraft-ian dark side. Poole enthusiastically explores how H.P. Lovecraft influenced modern pop culture . . . thoroughly enjoyable and highly readable.” —Kirkus Reviews
For Andre Dubus, "the quotidian and the spiritual don't exist on different planes, but infuse each other. His is an unapologetically sacramental vision of life in which ordinary things participate in the miraculous, the miraculous in ordinary things. He believes in God, and talks to Him, and doesn't mince words. He believes in ghosts . . . He is open to mystery, and of all mysteries the one that interests him most is the human potential for transcendence."

So wrote Tobias Wolff seven years ago, about Andre Dubus's Broken Vessels, and that insight describes perfectly the twenty-five pieces in this powerfully moving new collection, a continuation of Dubus's candid, intensely personal exploration into matters of morality, religion, and creativity. Since that first book of essays, written after the 1986 accident that cost him his leg and, for a time, the ability to write, Mr. Dubus has published Dancing After Hours, a unanimously heralded book of stories "at once harrowing and exhilarating" (Time).
        Here is Dubus on the rape of his beloved sister, his first real job, a gay naval officer, Hemingway,
the blessing of his first marriage, his dear friend Richard Yates, his own crippling, lost autumnal pleasures, having sons and grandsons, his first books, meeting a woman who witnessed his accident, the Catholic church, and, of course, his faith.
        A writer of immense sensitivity, vulnerability, and thoughtfulness--a master at the height of his talent--whose work "is suffused with grace, bathed in a kind of spiritual glow" (New York Times Book Review).
The fanciful novels of Charles Williams have long fascinated a rather elite reading public—T. S. Eliot, W. H. Auden and C. S. Lewis for example, were among his great admirers. But those books—which include The Place of the Lion, Descent into Hell, and All Hallows' Eve—are also dense and perplexing, and even the writer's fondest devotees have found the meanings of his fiction elusive. Here at last is a clear and informed guide to the complexities and rich rewards of Charles Williams's novels.


As Thomas Howard notes, Williams's tales might best be described as "metaphysical thrillers," in which Williams used occult "machinery" in much the same way that Conrad used exotic locales and Joyce used the subconscious: to vivify human experience and awaken readers to its range and possibilities. One tale might feature a chase for the Holy Grail across Hertfordshire fields, while in another "the picture may switch with no apology at all from a policeman at a crossroad to the Byzantine Emperor." As Howard lucidly demonstrates, the controlling factor behind Williams's work is an essentially Christian worldview in which "heaven and hell seem to lurk under every bush" and the constant theme is order versus disintegration.


Concentrating on Williams's novels, Howard brilliantly illuminates the major concerns that informed all of Williams's thinking. Howard also considers Williams's work in the context of modern fictional practice and assesses its place in the tradition of the English language novel.


"Howard understands the Cloud of Glory through which Williams's works must be seen better than anyone else I know. The wonderful light of paradox and parable is unfolded to us through Thomas Howard's works and he, as he says of Williams, leaves us 'chastened, sobered, even transfigured.' "
— Madeleine L'Engle


Standard narratives of early twentieth-century African American history credit the Great Migration of southern blacks to northern metropolises for the emergence of the New Negro, an educated, upwardly mobile sophisticate very different from his forebears. Yet this conventional history overlooks the cultural accomplishments of an earlier generation, in the black communities that flourished within southern cities immediately after Reconstruction.  
 
In this groundbreaking historical study, Gabriel A. Briggs makes the compelling case that the New Negro first emerged long before the Great Migration to the North. The New Negro in the Old South reconstructs the vibrant black community that developed in Nashville after the Civil War, demonstrating how it played a pivotal role in shaping the economic, intellectual, social, and political lives of African Americans in subsequent decades. Drawing from extensive archival research, Briggs investigates what made Nashville so unique and reveals how it served as a formative environment for major black intellectuals like Sutton Griggs and W.E.B. Du Bois.
 
The New Negro in the Old South makes the past come alive as it vividly recounts little-remembered episodes in black history, from the migration of Colored Infantry veterans in the late 1860s to the Fisk University protests of 1925. Along the way, it gives readers a new appreciation for the sophistication, determination, and bravery of African Americans in the decades between the Civil War and the Harlem Renaissance. 
Alex Engebretson offers the first comprehensive study of Marilynne Robinson’s fiction and essays to date, providing an overview of the author’s life, themes, and literary and religious influences. Understanding Marilynne Robinson examines this author of three highly acclaimed novels and recipient of the National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction, the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, the Orange Prize for fiction, and the National Humanities Medal. Through close readings of the novels and essay collections, Engebretson uncovers the unifying elements of Robinson’s work: a dialogue with liberal Protestantism, an emphasis on regional settings, the marked influence of nineteenth-century American literature, and the theme of home. The study begins with Housekeeping, Robinson’s haunting debut novel, which undertakes a feminist revision of the Western genre. Twenty-four years later Robinson began a literary project that would bring her national recognition, three novels set in a small, rural Iowa town. The first was Gilead, which took up the major American themes of race, the legacy of the Civil War, and the tensions between secular and religious lives. Two more Gilead novels followed, Home and Lila, both of which display Robinson’s gift for capturing the mysterious dynamics of sin and grace. In Understanding Marilynne Robinson, Engebretson also reviews her substantial body of non-fiction, which demonstrates a dazzling intellectual range, from the contemporary science-religion debates, to Shakespeare, to the fate of liberal democracy. Throughout this study Engebretson makes the argument for Marilynne Robinson as an essential, deeply unfashionable, visionary presence within today’s literary scene.
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