Seasoned historical writer Robert Twigger connects the comprehensive history of the Nile with his personal experience of living in Egypt while researching the Nile's historical origins. Twigger covers the entirety of the river, charting the length of the Nile from its disputed origins through Africa on a whirlwind tour of the rulers, explorers, conquerors, generals, and novelists who painted the Nile "red." Both comprehensive and intimate, this narrative guides readers through history by way of the mighty river known across the world.
The result of this meticulously researched book is an all-inclusive history of this epic river and the incredible connections throughout history. The stories of excess, love, passion, splendor, and violence are what make the Nile so engaging, even after centuries of change.
Every man has faced that emergency where a car needs to be broken into and hot-wired; just as every man needs to be able to mix the perfect dry Martini. The world is a dangerous and unpredictable place; a man never knows when he might be called upon to start a fire with just a coke can, win at croquet or drive a T34 tank.
Twigger has plenty of experience of facing down bears, building coracles, swimming with sharks - now he shows every man how to cook a hedgehog, commit hara-kiri and land a Boeing 747.
Jackie Kay's 'Sonata' will be one of the first Picador Shots and comes from her new collection, WISH I WAS HERE.
In 'Sonata', Two strangers meet on a train and connect in a way that one only can when you know that you only have a few hours together, and that anything you do or say will never be held against you. One is a good listener and one is a good talker – they are the perfect combination. One tells the other about her recent loss of love whilst the other watches on, falling, secretly, in love. What will become of them? Will this journey be the sum of their relationship?
When Sir Malcolm Bradbury died in 2000, he left behind a lifetime's work; some of it published and some of it not; fiction and non-fiction; short stories and novels; completed work, work in progress, work barely begun; plans, sketches, notes, titles. Given shape and coherence by his son, Dominic, that work has now become Liar's Landscape, a book about books, about writing and writers, about being a writer and, of course, about being Malcolm Bradbury.
'Liar's Landscape is essential reading for all admirers of Malcolm Bradbury and, for those who don't know his work, an invaluable sampler of his worldly-wise humour and satirical wit' Tom Rosenthal, Independent
A boy and his grandfather try to cope with the arrival of a new man in the household and his effect on the woman who is their mother and daughter. The boy dreams of violence and the grandfather retreats to the only sanctuary he knows.
Learning to Swim
On a beach in Cornwall, the nuances and memories of a stagnant marriage are explored by a man, a woman – and ultimately their son, as he finally learns to float in the sea and strikes out for a more independent emotional life.
After spending a year teaching in an American university in the 1950s, Malcolm Bradbury returned to England only to realize that his native country had become nearly as mystifying to him as the American Midwest. As Britain marched toward a new decade, much of the country was changing inexorably, its agrarian past paved over by suburban developers, its quiet traditionalism replaced by beehive hairdos and shiny, glass-walled office buildings. And so, to confront this curious moment in British history, Bradbury turned to the sharpest tool in his arsenal: humor. In All Dressed Up and Nowhere to Go, he writes of a country balancing precariously on the boundary of two worlds, with the wry wit and keenly observant eye that have made him one of the twentieth century’s greatest satirists.
So speaks Jeronimus Cornelisz, a thirty-year-old apothecary who transforms before our eyes into a murderous madman.
The Company is a novel based on the 1629 voyage of the Dutch East India Company flagship Batavia, bound for the colonies with a cargo of untold riches. Among the passengers is Cornelisz, a man ousted from polite society by sordid rumors of necromancy. Corrupt to the very marrow of his soul, Cornelisz considers himself God's equal, the rightful heir to gold, silver -- even another man's wife. So twisted is he by lust and greed that he incites a mutiny, running the ship aground on a reef.
All is lost -- the ship is wrecked, its passengers dying, the treasure trashed at the bottom of the sea. "The apothecary will heal us," the survivors pray, believing themselves lucky to be alive. In the name of benevolence, Cornelisz seizes command of their island refuge. The brave castaways stir with hope -- until the killing begins. For forty frenzied days, Cornelisz decides who shall live and who shall die, leaving his victims with just one wish -- that they had gone down with the ship.
Soaked with the blood of the innocent and the wicked, The Company plunges, with the weight of history, deep into the heart of darkness.
Years later, Isabel returns to her home town in the north of England for Owen’s funeral. She hadn’t seen him since they recklessly burned down the local supermarket together; he was sent to prison and she, just shy of her 18th birthday, to a young offenders’ centre. Isabel suspects that Owen was responsible for Julia’s murder, and she’s hoping finally to find some kind of resolution.
Feeling cut off from her husband and child in Turkey, and awash with unexpected memories, Isabel ventures further into the murky depths of her past. But nothing is as it seems – either past or present – and as Isabel’s world unravels we finally realise the stunning, shattering truth . . .
'Exquisitely written yet utterly chilling, this will keep you gripped from start to finish; a potential book-group classic' Elle magazine
New York Times Editors’ Choice, the breathtaking third novel from Booker Prize finalist and national best-selling author Trezza Azzopardi is at once a powerful love story and an intricately plotted mystery that explores the staying power of family and memory, and the pull of unlikely but destined romance. For twenty years Lewis has been haunted by his brother’s death. Try as he might to escape this tragedy, the ghost of Wayne confronts him at every turn. When he meets Anna, a young woman who is also haunted—by her loud and carefree mother, Rita, who just so happens to be very much alive—Lewis is pulled into a world of carousing, music hall turns, and cocktails as he searches for the person he believes responsible for the death of his brother. Against the backdrop of the Norfolk coast with its massive skies and relentless seas, Anna and Lewis slowly learn to trust each other and accept that an uncertain future can be as wild and alluring as the landscape they have grown to love.
On the eve of her eighteenth birthday, Katherine wants only three things: a smidge of social grace, the body of Courteney Cox, and two parents. What she has instead is an almost complete lack of friends, a pudgy figure, and one extremely eccentric, nearly blind grandmother named Poll. Since Katherine’s father died and her mother disappeared, Poll is her only family. And not only does Poll buy all of Katherine’s clothes, but she forbids her to leave the house unless it’s absolutely necessary. Would a chance to go to Oxford count? But the bigger question is: How can she abandon her grandma?
Just when Katherine has resigned herself to a lifetime of watching daytime television, sparring with Poll, and visiting the town library for “fun,” along comes a handsome, magnetic young man named Collum, who claims to be Katherine’s long-lost cousin. But as Katherine is about to learn, when it comes to family, things aren’t always as they seem.
Praise for Kate Long’s The Bad Mother’s Handbook
“Kate Long manages to brilliantly balance equal parts heartbreak and hilarity in a novel that you will love unconditionally.”
–Sarah Bird, author of The Flamenco Academy
“There is a lovely sweetness to this heartbreaking/heartwarming story.”
–The Seattle Times
“Funny, touching and utterly winning.”
From the Trade Paperback edition.
He was a Booker Prize finalist for The Butcher Boy, which won the Irish Times Aer Lingus/Irish Literature Prize for Fiction and was made into a motion picture directed by Neil Jordan and cowritten by McCabe and Jordan. He was again a Booker Prize finalist for Breakfast on Pluto, which won the Spirit of Life Arts/Sunday Independent Irish Literature Award and was a number one international bestseller.
McCabe has been described as "the lodestone of new Irish fiction" (Wall Street Journal), "a dark. genius of incongruity and the grotesque" (Sunday Observer) and "one of Ireland's finest living writers" (New York Times Book Review).
The Minneapolis Star-Tribune commented on McCabe's "remarkable...ability to induce compassion for the unlikeliest people," and in Mondo Desperado: A Serial Novel, that ability and the full range of his "grotesque genius" (Marie Claire) combine to produce a brilliant, macabre' dementedly funny and surreally imagined fiction of intertwined narratives set in a small Irish town. McCabe himself has described Mondo Desperado as being "like Sherwood Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio -- on drugs."
In his mondo tales of the insular town of Barntrosna, McCabe assembles a distinctly Irish crew of odd and unusual inhabitants who live on and regularly cross, often unconsciously, the border between fantasy and reality. In "Hot Nights at the Go-Go Lounge," Larry Bunyan is certain his demure wife is secretly out at night with deadbeat swingers, shooting drugs and having wild sex, while in "I Ordained the Devil," the Bishop of Barntrosna confesses that his ordination of Father Packie Cooley was really an ordination of His Satanic Majesty.
Another Barntrosna resident, Dr. John Joe Parkes, discovers "The Valley of the Flying Jennets," the secret place in the mountains created by his Dr. Frankenstein -- type medical ancestor where his horrible, mutated genetic failures live. In the concluding "Forbidden Love of Noreen Tiernan," Noreen escapes Barntrosna, goes to London for nursing school, finds a lesbian lover, and teams up with her to rob and terrorize London until her mother, boyfriend and parish priest bring Noreen back home.
With sly wit, characteristic, brilliant blending of sadness and humor and macabre genius, Mondo Desperado is a wonderfully imagined work of fiction -- McCabe's most dazzling yet -- rom a truly original literary talent.
For the past thirty years, George Grey has been a ship bunker in the fictional west African nation of Montedor, but now he's returning home to England-to a daughter who's a famous author he barely knows, to a peculiar new friend who back in the sixties was one of England's more famous singers, and to the long and empty days of retirement during which he's easy prey to the melancholy of memories, all the more acute since the woman he loves is still back in Africa. Witty, charming and masterly crafted, Foreign Land is an exquisitely moving tale of awkward relationships and quiet redemption.
Thirty-one-year-old Gavin Lamb is a shy hairdresser in London’s West End. Self-educated, he likes Mozart and can quote Tolstoy, but being something of a late bloomer, he still lives at home with his parents. Although he’s a master of the styling chair, he simply can’t work out how to be around women—not least his own mother. And the misguided efforts of his best friend, Harry King, don’t do much to assuage Gavin’s unfulfilled dreams of love.
One night, he reluctantly attends a party where the hostess, Joan, is a grotesque vision in an orange wig and silver lamé. Joan is rich and married, and Gavin soon finds himself opening up to her. That same night, he meets Minerva Munday, who’s taking a nap on one of the guest beds. Minerva crashed the party and claims to hail from a royal bloodline.
Both Joan and Minerva—polar opposites—will transform Gavin’s life in ways a lot more exciting than his nightly fantasies. But true love continues to elude him. Will he ever get it right?
The bestselling author of the Cazalet Chronicles has written a witty and perceptive comic novel that went on to win the Yorkshire Post Novel of the Year Award and inspire the 1989 film starring Jesse Birdsall, Jane Horrocks, and Helena Bonham Carter. A man looking for love in all the wrong places, Gavin may come to realize his soul mate has been in front of him all along.
Now Neil Gordon returns with The Gun Runner's Daughter, an equally compelling tale of moral and psychological suspense, the story of two lawyers who fall in love while they are on opposite sides of an arms-dealing scandal.
For twenty-seven years, Allison Rosenthal has lived the life of the liberal elite, from summers in Martha's Vineyard to her studies at Yale. But when her father is indicted on federal charges and his profession--arms dealing--is exposed to public scrutiny, her placid life changes radically. And when her secret childhood lover is named as her father's prosecuting attorney, she must decide where her loyalties lie in a trial that is rocking the presidential administration.
Does family come before politics? Love before law? Truth before loyalty? These are the questions the gun runner's daughter must face as she tries to negotiate the dangerous and murky world of her father's profession and the ambiguous morality of power politics in America and Israel. In this audaciously entertaining intellectual thriller, Neil Gordon brings the personal and political together with the mastery of a great storyteller.
From the Hardcover edition.
Fourteen years after her death, the ghost of their baby daughter, Sarah, haunts world-famous playwright Emmanuel Joyce and his fragile, embittered wife, Lillian. They have each learned to cope in their own way: Emmanuel seduces his secretaries and Lillian keeps photos of her lost child on the dressing table of every hotel they visit. They’re always on the move as they travel from city to city accompanied by Emmanuel’s orphaned, hero-worshipping manager, Jimmy. But now a minor crisis looms: Emmanuel’s latest secretary has taken a near-lethal dose of drugs on the eve of the Joyces’ departure for New York to cast his new play. They need to hire a replacement immediately. Enter stage right: Alberta Young.
A clergyman’s daughter from Dorset, Alberta arrives for the interview clutching a copy of Middlemarch. She is unlike anyone Emmanuel, Lillian, or Jimmy has ever known. And little by little, she will transform all their lives.
Narrated by four main characters, A Sea Change moves from London to New York to Athens and, finally, to the Greek island of Hydra. The bestselling author of the Cazalet Chronicles delivers a novel about learning to move beyond the past without giving up our memories, and how we can change and grow.
Schulze skillfully intercuts an assortment of moving and comic vignettes about seemingly unconnected people, gradually linking them into an exhilarating whole of tidal unity and emotional force, until we see that all the time we have been reading a novel in glittering fragments, spun by a master. With a piercing eye for detail and a magical ear for dialogue, Schulze portrays the tragi-comedy of ordinary people caught up in the last great historical upheaval of the century.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
"Swift proves throughout this ambitious collection that he is a master of his language and the construction of provocative situations."--Houston Chronicle
Born attached at the chest, Chang and Eng were considered a marvel, an act of God. By any standard, theirs is a history of epic variety and drama. Mark Slouka recounts their tumultuous story, from the docks of Vietnam to American fame, with intimacy and compassion.
A Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, and Dallas Morning News Best Book of the Year.
But when Grace secretly applies to Candlin, a women’s college filled with intelligent, like-minded women, she finally feels her ambitions beginning to be take shape. There she forms an Antarctic Exploration Society with the gregarious suffragette Locke, the reserved and studious Hooper and the strange, enigmatic Parr, and before long the group are defying their times and their families by climbing the peaks of Snowdonia and planning an ambitious trip to the perilous Alps.
Fifteen years later, trapped in her Dulwich home, Grace is haunted by the terrible events that took place out on the mountains. She is the society’s only survivor and for years people have demanded the truth of what happened, the group’s horrible legacy a millstone around her neck. Now, as the eve of the Second World War approaches, Grace is finally ready to remember and to confess . . .
From one of the finest writers of the psychological thriller comes this beautifully woven, deeply unsettling historical novel; powerfully atmospheric, shivering with menace and reminiscent of the very best of Sarah Waters.
Harmony is a Las Vegas showgirl. At night she's a lead dancer in a gambling casino; during the day she raises peacocks. She's one of a dying breed of dancers, faced with fewer and fewer jobs and an even bleaker future. Yet she maintains a calm cheerfulness in that arid neon landscape of supermarkets, drive-in wedding chapels, and all-night casinos. While Harmony's star is fading, her beautiful, cynical daughter Pepper's is on the rise. But Harmony remains wistful and optimistic through it all. She is the unexpected blossom in the wasteland, the tough and tender desert rose. Hers is a loving portrait that only Larry McMurtry could render.
Bazlo Criminale is one of Europe’s most legendary living men. A mysterious novelist and thinker known for his extreme elusiveness, the beloved Criminale is a cultural icon of the highest order. Seeking to find the man behind the myth, a London television-news station hires Francis Jay, an enterprising young reporter, to find Criminale. From Vienna to Budapest to the picturesque lakeshores of Italy, Jay journeys across the continent—and even briefly to Brazil—interviewing the man’s biographer, his publisher, and his former lover, all of whom have their own interests at stake. Through literary award dinners and other examples of “culture as spectacle,” Jay must navigate the chaotic world of post–Cold War Europe as he chases the specter of a literary legend.
For readers of The Elegance of the Hedgehog and The Yacoubian Building, this is an atmospheric and unforgettable novel about the ties that bind.
"A Simple Tale" is the moving account of Maria Poniatowski, an aging Ukrainian woman who was taken by the Germans for slave labor and eventually relocated to Canada as a displaced person. She struggles to provide her son Radek with every opportunity, but his eventual success increases the gulf between him and his mother. What of the past is she to preserve, and how to avoid letting the weight of that past burden the present? Maria's story is about the moments of connection and isolation that are common to us all.
"The Hunters," the second novella, is narrated by an American academic spending a summer in London who grows obsessed by the neighbors downstairs. Ridley Wandor, a plump and insipid caretaker of the elderly, lives with her ever-unseen mother and a horde of pet rabbits she calls "the hunters." While the narrator researches a book about death, all of Ridley Wandor's patients are dying. Loneliness breeds an active imagination. Is having such an imagination always destructive? Or can it be strong enough to create a new reality?
In this dazzling collection, author Elizabeth Jane Howard mines the rich terrain of the heart with her trademark wit and style, as well as a Hitchcockian dose of spine-tingling suspense.
In “Pont du Gard,” a man on holiday with his sixteen-year-old daughter and her best friend gets his comeuppance when he confesses his infidelities to his long-suffering wife, and in Howard’s masterly hands, the seduction of the naïve, betrothed Englishwoman of “Toutes Directions” by a worldly Frenchman is fresh, tender, and liberating.
In another story, a twelve-year-old child star plots how to get the “Whip Hand” over her monstrous mother, while the effects of a family patriarch dying on Christmas day are shown through the shifting perspectives of his loved ones, including a loyal servant, in “The Devoted.” And in the hair-raising, hallucinatory title story, a young woman moves to London to satisfy her mother’s desire for her to meet her soul mate—only to encounter a menacing stranger who gives terrifying new meaning to the finding of Mr. Right.
In these and other tales, Howard proves once again that she is a master of the subtle, revealing domestic detail. Featuring wronged spouses, stalkers, and men and women falling in and out of love, the nine stories in this haunting collection skew our perceptions and reality while brimming with emotion that is at once unique and universal.
English author James Walker has three books to his name, each greeted with middling success and then promptly forgotten. But his résumé is significant enough to earn him a yearlong appointment at Benedict Arnold University as the American college’s writer in residence.
At Benedict Arnold, Walker is something of a celebrity—a firebrand of 1960s British literary culture whose work, though perhaps met with shrugs at home, is the subject of vibrant scholarly criticism among American academics. Walker, of course, is not quite what some were expecting, and culture clashes abound as he encounters the tropes of American academia in the sixties. Fusty, buttoned-up professors, spirited advocates of free love, and aggressively ambitious colleagues collide to ensure that Walker’s year in America will be anything but ordinary.
What if the thing you most longed for was resting on a two week wait? From the author of the international bestselling One Moment, One Morning, comes a moving portrait about what it truly means to be a family.
After a health scare, Brighton-based Lou is forced to confront the fact that her time to have a baby is running out. She can't imagine a future without children, but her partner doesn't seem to feel the same way, and she's not sure whether she could go it alone.
Meanwhile, in Yorkshire, Cath is longing to start a family with her husband, Rich. No one would be happier to have children than Rich, but Cath is infertile.
Could these strangers help one another?
With her deft exploration of raw emotions and her celebration of the joy and resilience of friendship, The Two Week Wait is Sarah Rayner at her best.
Meet Pat McNab, forty-five years old, and about to embark on a homicidal rampage sparked by matricide. Or is he?
Pat spent endless hours chain-smoking and propping up the counter of Sullivan's Select Bar (not that Mrs. McNab knew anything about it—she and Timmy the barman didn't get along at all) or sitting on his mother's knee singing away together like some ridiculous two-headed human jukebox. But that was all before the story really began—Emerald Germs of Ireland is in essence Pat McNab's post-matricide year.
Pat, who now spends many of his waking hours sitting by the window in his old dark house, watching videos and nibbling abstractedly on pieces of toast, reflects on those long-gone days with Mommy, while fending off the persistent interferences of his small-town neighbors: the puritanical Mrs. Tubridy; that irascible seller of turf, the Turf Man; Sgt. "Kojak" Foley, and other unwanted snoops who could soon come to regret their inquisitive, nose-poking ways.
This is Patrick McCabe at his fiendish best. Dark, emotionally powerful, and surreal, Emerald Germs of Ireland is also his funniest work to date, masterfully displaying the anarchic twists and turns that are the hallmarks of his comic genius.
Bartholomew Fortuno, the World's Thinnest Man, believes that his unusual body is a gift. Hired by none other than P. T. Barnum to work at his spectacular American Museum—a modern marvel of macabre displays, breathtaking theatrical performances, and live shows by Barnum's cast of freaks and oddities—Fortuno has reached the pinnacle of his career. But after a decade of constant work, he finds his sense of self, and his contentment within the walls of the museum, flagging. When a carriage pulls up outside the museum in the dead of night, bearing Barnum and a mysterious veiled woman—rumored to be a new performer—Fortuno's curiosity is piqued. And when Barnum asks Fortuno to follow her and report back on her whereabouts, his world is turned upside down. Why is Barnum so obsessed with this woman? Who is she, really? And why has she taken such a hold on the hearts of those around her?
Set in the New York of 1865, a time when carriages rattled down cobblestone streets, raucous bordellos near the docks thrived, and the country was mourning the death of President Lincoln, The Transformation of Bartholomew Fortuno is a moving novel about human appetites and longings. With pitch-perfect prose, Ellen Bryson explores what it means to be profoundly unique—and how the power of love can transcend even the greatest divisions.
Here Kazuo Ishiguro advises on how to choose a guitar; Salman Rushdie arrives for Christmas under guard; Caryl Phillips shares a beer with the author at a nightclub in Toronto. There are private moments with Swift’s father and with his own younger self, as well as musings—on history, memory, and imagination—that illuminate his work. As generous in its scope as it is acute in its observations, Making an Elephant brings together a richly varied selection of essays, portraits, poetry and interviews, full of insights into Swift’s passions and motivations, and wise about the friends, family and other writers who have mattered to him over the years.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Col. Herbert Brown-Lacy’s daughter, Alice, is getting married—more to escape her father than anything else. Though in truth Alice’s stepmother May has been nicer than her previous stepmother—and even her own mother. But May’s grown children, Oliver and Elizabeth, are certain their mother made a terrible mistake in her marriage to the dull-as-dishwater Herbert. May clearly didn’t marry him for his money or intellectual prowess—and at her age sex appeal was out of the question—so why did she marry him? That’s something May, whose first marriage ended in tragedy when her husband, Clifford, was killed during the war, is starting to wonder herself. Maybe she’s a woman who needs to be married.
With Oliver and Elizabeth in London discovering life on their own terms, Alice is also questioning her impulsive marriage to Leslie Mount. As crisis draws the disparate members of this patchwork family together—and apart—from the English countryside to the Cote d'Azur to Jamaica, a shocking occurrence will shatter lives.
From the bestselling author of the Cazalet Chronicles, Something in Disguise is a story about familial love, married love, love at first sight, and love that isn’t love at all.
At the height of World War II, while her husband, Julius, was away at the front, Esme, the mother of two young children, fell in love for the first time. Her lover, a poet named Felix, was fourteen years her junior. After Julius was killed during the evacuation from Dunkirk, Esme hoped that she and Felix would marry. Instead, Felix enlisted, and Esme never saw him again. Now, nearly twenty years later, they’re about to be reunited. But not in the way Esme imagined.
Past and present converge at Esme’s country house in Sussex where, during the course of one revelatory weekend, the far-reaching influence of the dead Julius begins to emerge. Narrated in turn by Esme; Felix; Esme’s daughters, Cressy and Emma; and Emma’s boyfriend, Daniel, the story moves seamlessly from one generation to the next as they all attempt to move on with their lives.
In the tradition of Jean Rhys and Rosamond Lehmann, Elizabeth Jane Howard’s wit, sensitivity, and unerring powers of observation are on dazzling display in this novel that explores the lingering impact of a heroic action on a soldier’s loved ones. With its timeless themes of courage, love, and loss, After Julius is a towering work of fiction from the bestselling author of the Cazalet Chronicles.
On a bright November day in 1963, President Kennedy is shot. That same day, Nell Benjamin receives a phone call with news about her husband, the influential young editor of a literary magazine. As the nation mourns its public loss, Nell has her private grief to reckon with, as well as a revelation about Charlie that turns her understanding of her marriage on its head, along with the world she thought she knew.
With the Cold War looming ominously over the lives of American citizens in a battle of the Free World against the Communist powers, the blurry lines between what is true, what is good, and what is right tangle with issues of loyalty and love. As the truths Nell discovers about her beloved husband upend the narrative of her life, she must question her own allegiance: to her career as a journalist, to her country, but most of all to the people she loves.
Set in the literary Manhattan of the 1950s, at a journal much like the Paris Review, The Unwitting evokes a bygone era of burgeoning sexual awareness and intrigue and an exuberance of ideas that had the power to change the world. Resonant, illuminating, and utterly absorbing, The Unwitting is about the lies we tell, the secrets we keep, and the power of love in the face of both.
Praise for The Unwitting
“Much of the fun comes from the literary cameos (think: Mary McCarthy, Richard Wright and Robert Lowell), but it’s [Ellen Feldman’s] haunting portrait of a marriage that make this Cold War novel so resonant for readers of any time period, including our own.”—O: The Oprah Magazine
“The first notable thing about this book is the narrator’s voice: it is snappish, confident, argumentative, literate. I fell for it from the beginning. . . . The Unwitting is vibrant, sassy, informative, a page-turner, absorbing, and swift. I am a woman, so maybe it is a women’s book, but I seriously doubt it, and hope that male readers will give it a shot. Surely they too will appreciate the research that went into it. Surely they too will be fascinated by its bold and thorough review of the American twentieth century.”—Kelly Cherry, The Los Angeles Review of Books
“Compelling enough to take its place with the best of crime fiction, Feldman’s language is loving, bright and sharp while her storytelling abilities are unquestionable. . . . The Unwitting cuts us into an interesting time, then ramps things up. . . . Feldman is clearly a writer who is going places, [and] The Unwitting brings that home: it’s a terrific book.”—January Magazine
“A story of love and intrigue during the Cold War, The Unwitting plumbs not only the secrets of spies, but those of the human heart. Moving, witty, and thoroughly intelligent, it is an absorbing and deeply satisfying read.”—Kevin Baker, author of The Big Crowd
“Unforgettable . . . The Unwitting compelled me from the first page and through every unexpected twist and turn. This look into the dark places in human nature cries out to be read, re-ead, and discussed.”—Lynn Cullen, author of the national bestseller Mrs. Poe
“Through the lens of a passionate, complex marriage, Ellen Feldman brings the Cold War back to life. The Unwitting is a wise and irresistible portrait of fascinating people in a tumultuous time.”—Roger Straus III, former managing director, Farrar, Straus and Giroux
From the Hardcover edition.
BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from James Salter's All That Is.
For seventeen-year-old Charlotte Cooper, it’s too late. Despite her best efforts to finish school, tune out her angry, slightly hysterical mother, and cope with her loving but dotty grandmother, she is unexpectedly (now that’s an understatement) pregnant. And don’t even mention the jerk who knocked her up.
Charlotte’s mother, Karen, is trying to convince herself that there are worse things than becoming a grandmother at thirty-three. For instance, there’s wanting to kill Charlotte for the mess she’s made of her life. Between struggling to pay the bills and halfheartedly filling out questionnaires on Internet dating sites, Karen uncovers a scandalous family secret involving her own birth, and then falls back into bed with her sexy ex-husband. So much for perfect timing.
In the meantime, Karen’s mother, Nan, is having a wee bit of trouble with names (sometimes her own). But that doesn’t keep her from retaining a few things she’d rather forget. Of course, Nan knows that everything will work out fine for Charlotte and the baby–these things usually do. Now, if only she could put the pieces of her own fragmented memory together, she might have an interesting tale or two to share.
In this wickedly funny, disarmingly moving novel, three generations of mothers learn that it’s the simplest mistakes that can change your life forever. With wit and wisdom, Kate Long proves that there are as many kinds of mothers as there are daughters, but the love that binds them all is what truly matters.
From the Hardcover edition.
When journalist 'MS' interviews the mysterious 'XX' for a job at her Paris magazine, she hires him straight away – because he's gorgeous.
As one date leads to another, her obsession spirals. MS finds herself writing letters to Facebook (to see if XX can tell how many times she views his page), to her phone company (can they delete messages she regrets sending?) and to XX's favourite author (who is dead), whilst the object of her affection remains aloof, a moodily seductive Vespa-riding urbanite.
All This Has Nothing To Do With Me by Monica Sabolo is an exposé of a broken heart. With full access to MS's photos, diary extracts and emails, it documents MS and XX's relationship from jubilant start to painful finish, and lays out her life – and past – for our scrutiny.
Highly original, extremely funny, and darkly moving, this is an unputdownable glimpse into the depths of one woman's psyche.
Stuart Evers writes with uncanny psychological acuity. The inventive, elegant stories in Your Father Sends His Love illuminate the precarious and electrifying connections between parents and children. Evers’s unforgettable characters long to repair relationships that have faltered or that never quite began. A single father goes to jail for avenging a hate crime perpetrated against his gay son; a mother returns home to her husband and children after an affair; an aging grandfather mediates between his quarreling son and granddaughter; a man waits at the pub, frantically listing things he might say to a suffering friend.
With wit, subtlety, and uncommon sensitivity, Evers captures those pivotal moments between parents and children when emotions are urgently felt yet impossible to express. In this, he explores new realms of passion and estrangement. With his precise, energetic prose, Evers crafts a group of stories that explore familial love in all of its forms.
On the island of Tobago, Cliff, a young man from the poor town of Plymouth, watches the arrival of a foreign couple and their child to a luxurious house overlooking the ocean. The couple invites Cliff into their home and lives, and a relationship develops that tests sexual boundaries while unexpectedly revealing the depth of their racial and cultural differences. Things begin to go wrong--money is missing, the couple's car disappears. Feelings of suspicion and guilt arise, raising unsettling questions of wealth and responsibility, brilliantly portrayed against the lush backdrop of Tobago and the harsh, brittle world of Plymouth.
Oonya Kempadoo's second novel compellingly brings to life the characters of the contemporary Caribbean and captures the predicament of a young society looking to America for its fantasies and its heroes. Kempadoo's language is utterly captivating, making her one of the most original writers of contemporary fiction.
Peter arrives in America, the land of self-creation; he flourishes in business, marries, and raises a family. He thrives in the present, plans for the future, and has no past. But when The Diary of a Young Girl is published to worldwide acclaim and gives rise to bitter infighting, he realizes the cost of forgetting.
Based on extensive research of Peter van Pels and the strange and disturbing life Anne Frank's diary took on after her death, this is a novel about the memory of death, the death of memory, and the inescapability of the past. Reading group guide included.
The Suffrage of Elvira is Naipaul’s hilarious take on an electoral campaign in the back country of Trinidad, where the candidates’ tactics include blatant vote-buying and supernatural sabotage. The eponymous protagonist of Mr. Stone and the Knights Companion is an aging Englishman of ponderously regular habits whose life is thrown into upheaval by a sudden marriage and unanticipated professional advancement. And the stories in A Flag on the Island take us from a Chinese bakery in Trinidad–whose black proprietor faces bankruptcy until he takes a Chinese name–to a rooming house in London–where the genteel landlady plays a nasty Darwinian game with her budgerigars. Unfailingly stylish, filled with intelligence and feeling, here is the work of a writer who can do just about anything that can be done with language.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Davidson's stories are small monuments to the telling detail. The hostility of his fictional universe is tempered by the humanity he invests in his characters and by his subtle and very moving observations of their motivations. He shares with Chuck Palahniuk the uncanny ability to compel our attention, time and time again, to the most difficult subject matter.
There's Karen, about to lose her father; Abby, whose son has autism and needs constant care, and Michael, a family man on the verge of bankruptcy. As each sinks under the strain, they're brought together at Moreland's Clinic.Here, behind closed doors, they reveal their deepest secrets, confront and console one another, and share plenty of laughs. But how will they cope when a new crisis strikes? From the international bestselling author, Sarah Rayner, Another Night, Another Day is the emotional story of a group of strangers who come together to heal, creating lifelong friendships along the way.
Shortly after his plane first grazes the tarmac in the eastern European nation of Slaka, Dr. Angus Petworth is beset by a cavalcade of misadventures. A university lecturer and seasoned international traveler, Petworth is nevertheless unprepared for the oddities of culture and circumstance that await him on the other side of the iron curtain. In two eventful weeks, Petworth gives an incendiary interview, is seduced by a femme fatale, and becomes embroiled in a plot of international intrigue, all of which conspire to give the mild, unassuming professor way more than he bargained for.
Satirizing everything from critics and diplomats to Marxism and academia, Malcolm Bradbury’s Rates of Exchange is a witty and lighthearted novel of cultural interchange at the height of the Cold War.
Charlie Fairburn, successful screenwriter, ex-husband, and absent father, has been given six months to live. He resolves to stake half his fortune on a couple of turns of the roulette wheel and, to his agent's disgust, to write a novel-about death. In the casino he meets his muse. Charlie grows as addicted to writing fiction as she is to gambling.
His novel is set on a train and involves a group of characters (familiar to readers of St. Aubyn's earlier work) who are locked in a debate about the nature of consciousness. As this train gets stuck at Didcot, and Charlie gets more passionately entangled with the dangerous Angelique, A Clue to the Exit comes to its startling climax. Exquisitely crafted, witty, and thoughtful, Edward St. Aubyn's dazzling novel probes the very heart of being.
Dwight B. Wilmerding is only twenty-eight, but he’s having a midlife crisis. Of course, living a dissolute, dorm like existence in a tiny apartment and working in tech support at the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer are not especially conducive to wisdom.
And a few sessions of psychoanalysis conducted by his sister have distinctly failed to help with his biggest problem: a chronic inability to make up his mind.
Encouraged by one of his roommates to try an experimental pharmaceutical meant to banish indecision, Dwight jumps at the chance (not without some meditation on the hazards of jumping) and swallows the first fateful pill. And when all at once he is “pfired” from Pfizer and invited to a rendezvous in exotic Ecuador with the girl of his long-ago prep-school dreams, he finds himself on the brink of a new life.
The trouble–well, one of the troubles–is that Dwight can’t decide if the pills are working. Deep in the jungles of the Amazon, in the foreign country of a changed outlook, his would-be romantic escape becomes a hilarious journey into unbidden responsibility and unwelcome knowledge.
How to affirm happiness without living in constant denial of the ways of the world? How to commit, and to what? At once funny and poignant, gentle and outrageous, finely intelligent and proudly silly, Indecision rings with a voice of great energy and originality, while its deeper inquiries reflect the concerns and style of a generation.
"Here’s what Indecision gives you: sustained social and intellectual comedy, possibly the last but certainly the funniest Superfluous Man in modern literature, drive-by satire, plus detailed set-piece send-ups of Young Adult colgrads at work and play. The mockery is
humane. The tale of Dwight Wilmerding is told with style and care. And there’s a surprising ending. Benjamin Kunkel, welcome!"
–Norman Rush, author of Mating
From the Hardcover edition.
Three people gather to determine the fate of the man who sits in a straight-backed chair saying nothing. He is Alex Macklin, who gave up easel painting to do land art in the southwestern desert, and he is seventy now, helpless in the wake of a second stroke. The people around him are the bearers of a complicated love, his son, his young wife, the older woman -- his wife of years past -- who feels the emotional tenacity of a love long-ended.
It is their question to answer. When does life end, and when should it end? In this remote setting, without seeking medical or legal guidance, they move unsteadily toward last things.
Luminous, spare, unnervingly comic and always deeply moving, Love-Lies-Bleeding explores a number of perilous questions about the value of life and how we measure it.
With exceptional poise and beguiling simplicity, Khair introduces a range of voices, thoughts, ideas and identities, allowing each individual’s story to unfold gradually.
‘A novel that reflects deeply into the nature and circumstances of human mobility in our modern, unforgiving world’ Siddhartha Deb, Outlook
‘There is much to enjoy here . . . The twist at the end is hilarious. Khair’s talent is as a miniaturist’ Fiona Hook, The Times
‘It’s a fine work: short, sweet and brutal’ James Smart, Sunday Herald
‘A lyrical journey through small-town India’ Independent
‘[The Bus Stopped] allows stories to emerge with immediacy and leisure, with abrupt shafts of humour’ Guardian
The fourth child born to a struggling musician and a mother who’s an incurable romantic, Lavinia lives an unremarkable existence. But a visit to a sprawling country estate transforms her world and becomes the touchstone for the rest of her life.
Lavinia is sixteen when she’s invited to a house party given by distant acquaintances. It’s her first trip away from home, and she’s instantly mesmerized by her beautiful and lush new surroundings. Days are filled with delectable meals and skating and riding lessons; nights with parties and dancing. Lavinia adores her hosts, Lucy and Gerald Lancing, and their boisterous extended family—and the mysterious, conceited Rupert Laing, with whom she shares her first kiss. But the visit can’t last forever. Soon after she returns home, the First World War breaks out. As Lavinia matures, and other people pass through her life—including Ian Graham, the soldier who loves her yet doesn’t expect her love in return—she continues to view things through the prism of that unforgettable Christmas with the Lancings.
Elizabeth Jane Howard’s debut novel about a young girl’s spiritual and emotional awakening, the painful pride of youth, and female emancipation, The Beautiful Visit is a moving montage of English life at the beginning of the last century.
Inspector Montalbano has charmed readers in nineteen popular novels, and now in Montalbano’s First Case and Other Stories, Andrea Camilleri has selected twenty-one short stories, written with his trademark wit and humor, that follow Italy’s famous detective through highlight cases of his career. From the title story, featuring a young deputy Montalbano newly assigned to Vigàta, to “Montalbano Says No,” in which the inspector makes a late-night call to Camilleri himself to refuse an outlandish case, this collection is an essential addition to any Inspector Montalbano fan’s bookshelf and a wonderful way to introduce readers to the internationally bestselling series.
On an autumn day in 2006, on the Isle of Wight, Jack Luxton--once a farmer, now the proprietor of a seaside caravan park--receives the news that his brother Tom, not seen for years, has been killed in combat in Iraq. The news will have its far-reaching effects for Jack and his wife, Ellie, and compel Jack to make a crucial journey: to receive his brother's remains, but also to return to the land of his past and of his most secret, troubling memories. A gripping, hauntingly intimate, and compassionate story that moves toward a fiercely suspenseful climax, Wish You Were Here translates the stuff of headlines into heartwrenching personal truth.
This eBook edition includes a Reading Group Guide.
John Glass's life in New York should be plenty comfortable. He's given up his career as a journalist to write an authorized biography of his father-in-law, communications magnate and former CIA agent Big Bill Mulholland. He works in a big office in Mulholland Tower, rent-free, and goes home (most nights) to his wealthy and well-preserved wife, Wild Bill's daughter. He misses his old life sometimes, but all in all things have turned out well.
But when his shifty young researcher--a man he calls "The Lemur"--turns up some unflattering information about the family, Glass's whole easy existence is threatened. Then the young man is murdered, and it's up to Glass to find out what The Lemur knew, and who killed him, before any secrets come out--and before any other bodies appear.Shifting from 1950s Dublin to contemporary New York, the masterful crime writer Benjamin Black returns in this standalone thriller--a story of family secrets so deep, and so dangerous, that anyone might kill to keep them hidden.
Described by John Fowles as "remarkable, almost a coming-of-age of the Indian novel," this powerful, penetrating debut by a young New Delhi journalist has already been recognized as an international literary event. In prose that is breathtaking and precise, Raj Kamal Jha discovers the hidden violence and twisted eroticism of an exotic, overcrowded old city. Unlike the India captured in the exotic prose of Salman Rushdie and Arundhati Roy, Jha writes in a spare, straightforward style that has prompted comparisons to American realists like Raymond Carver and Don DeLillo. The Blue Bedspread is a searingly honest story about the love and hope that can survive in the midst of family violence. It is a first novel of extraordinary power and humanity.
Billowing dust and information, the government "Better Farming Train" slides through the wheat fields and small towns of Australia, bringing advice to the people living on the land. The train is staffed by irresistibly eccentric agricultural and domestic experts, from Sister Crock, the prim head of "women's subjects," to Mr. Ohno, the Japanese chicken specialist, to Robert Pettergree, a scientist with an unusual taste for soil. Amid the swaying cars full of cows, pigs, and wheat, a strange and swift seduction occurs between Robert and Jean. In an atmosphere of heady scientific idealism they settle in the impoverished Mallee farmland with the ambition of transforming the land through science.
In luminous prose, Tiffany writes about the challenges of farming, the character of small towns, the stark and terrifying beauty of the Australian landscape, and the fragile relationships among man, science, and nature. Everyman's Rules for Scientific Living is a passionate and heartbreaking novel from an astonishing new writer.
It’s 1941. Babe throws like a boy, thinks for herself, and never expects to escape the poor section of her quiet Massachusetts town. Then World War II breaks out, and everything changes. Her friend Grace, married to a reporter on the local paper, fears being left alone with her infant daughter when her husband ships out; Millie, the third member of their childhood trio, now weds the boy who always refused to settle down; and Babe wonders if she should marry Claude, who even as a child could never harm a living thing. As the war rages abroad, life on the home front undergoes its own battles and victories; and when the men return, and civilian life resumes, nothing can go back to quite the way it was.
From postwar traumas to women’s rights, racial injustice to anti-Semitism, Babe, Grace, and Millie experience the dislocations, the acute pains, and the exhilaration of a society in flux. Along the way, they will learn what it means to be a wife, a mother, a friend, a fighter, and a survivor. Beautiful, startling, and heartbreaking, Next to Love is a love letter to the brave women who shaped a nation’s destiny.
“Impossible to put down.” —Stacy Schiff
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A North American journalist in Paris is woken at 4 a.m. by a mysterious caller with urgent information. For V. S. Naipaul the prevalence of sodomy in Argentina is a symptom of the nation’s political ills. Daniela de Montecristo (familiar to readers of Nazi Literature in the Americas and 2666) recounts the loss of her virginity. Arturo Belano returns to Mexico City and meets the last disciples of Ulises Lima, who play in a band called The Asshole of Morelos. Belano’s son Gerónimo disappears in Berlin during the Days of Chaos in 2005. Memories of a return to the native land. Argentine writers as gangsters. Zombie schlock as allegory...
The various pieces in the posthumous Secret of Evil extend the intricate, single web that is the work of Roberto Bolano.