Forced by the sudden death of her father to act as paid companion to the comical - and tiresome - Mrs Van Hopper, our herione meets handsome widower Maxim de Winter on a trip to Monaco and accepts his sudden marriage proposal. But she is unprepared for the shadows cast by his past.
From fat girl to thin, from red hair to mud brown, from London to Toronto, from Polish count to radical husband - Joan Foster is confused by her life of multiple identities. She decides to escape to an Italian seaside resort to take stock of her life. But first she must plan her death.
This book is the very simple story of the love affair between Miss Helene Hanff of New York and Messrs Marks and Co, sellers of rare and secondhand books, at 84 Charing Cross Road, London'. DAILY TELEGRAPH Told in a series of letters in 84 CHARING CROSS ROAD and then in diary form in the second part THE DUCHESS OF BLOOMSBURY STREET, this true story has touched the hearts of thousands.
This is the first of Maya Angelou's five volumes of autobiography, in which she evokes her childhood with her grandmother in the American south of the 1930s. She learns the power of a white skin and suffers the trauma of rape by her mother's lover.
WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY A. S. BYATT 'During that burning day when we were crossing Iowa, our talk kept returning to a central figure, a Bohemian girl whom we had both known long ago. More than any other person we remembered, this girl seemed to mean to us the country, the conditions, the whole adventure of our childhood . . . His mind was full of her that day. He made me see her again, feel her presence, revived all my old affection for her.' My Antonia is the unforgettable story of an immigrant woman's life on the Nebraska plains, seen through the eyes of her childhood friend, Jim Burden. The beautiful, free-spirited, wild-eyed girl captured Jim's imagination long ago and haunts him still, embodying for him the elemental spirit of the American frontier. In this powerful and astonishing novel, Willa Cather created one of the most winning yet thoroughly convincing heroines in American fiction.
This tale of a woman's quest for fulfilment and self-discovery follows the story of Janie whose experiences make her recognize that husbands are just "things to drape her dreams over".
Dr Maya Angelou was one of the world's most important writers and activists. Born 4 April 1928, she lived and chronicled an extraordinary life: rising from poverty, violence and racism, she became a renowned author, poet, playwright, civil rights' activist - working with Malcolm X and Martin Luther King - and memoirist. She wrote and performed a poem, 'On the Pulse of Morning', for President Clinton on his inauguration; she was given the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Obama and was honoured by more than seventy universities throughout the world. She first thrilled the world with I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969). This was followed by six volumes of autobiography, the seventh and final volume, Mom & Me & Mom, published in 2013. She wrote three collections of essays; many volumes of poetry, including His Day is Done, a tribute to Nelson Mandela; and two cookbooks. She had a lifetime appointment as Reynolds Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University of North Carolina. Dr Angelou died on 28 May 2014.
By the author of The Handmaid's Tale and Alias Grace Stan and Charmaine are a married couple trying to stay afloat in the midst of economic and social collapse. Living in their car, surviving on tips from Charmaine's job at a dive bar, they're increasingly vulnerable to roving gangs and in a rather desperate state. So when they see an advertisement for the Positron Project in the town of Consilience - a 'social experiment' offering stable jobs and a home of their own - they sign up immediately. All they have to do in return for this suburban paradise is give up their freedom every second month, swapping their home for a prison cell. At first, all is well. But slowly, unknown to the other, Stan and Charmaine develop a passionate obsession with their counterparts, the couple that occupy their home when they are in prison. Soon the pressures of conformity, mistrust, guilt and sexual desire take over, and Positron looks less like a prayer answered and more like a chilling prophecy fulfilled.
Philip Ashley is orphaned at an early age and raised by his bachelor uncle Ambrose, who falls in love and marries while travelling in Italy and dies there in suspicious circumstances. When Ambrose's widow turns up in England, Philip is drawn to her, but might she have had a hand in Ambrose's death.
In the bawdy music halls of the late-19th century, Nan is captivated by Kitty Butler, a male impersonator. She manages to meet her heroine and soon after becomes her dresser. Heading for the bright lights of London they form a double act while privately, a love affair begins. A Virago "V".
Now a major motion picture starring Domhnall Gleeson, Ruth Wilson, Will Poulter and Charlotte Rampling, and directed by Lenny Abrahamson. Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 'Sarah Waters's masterly novel is . . . gripping, confident, unnerving and supremely entertaining' Hilary Mantel In a dusty post-war summer in rural Warwickshire, a doctor is called to a patient at lonely Hundreds Hall. Home to the Ayres family for over two centuries, the Georgian house, once grand and handsome, is now in decline, its masonry crumbling, its gardens choked with weeds, its owners - mother, son and daughter - struggling to keep pace. But are the Ayreses haunted by something more sinister than a dying way of life? Little does Dr Faraday know how closely, and how terrifyingly, their story is about to become entwined with his.
Hundreds of thousands of readers were enthralled and delighted by the luminous, tender voice of John Ames in Gilead, Marilynne Robinson's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. Now comes HOME, a deeply affecting novel that takes place in the same period and same Iowa town of Gilead. This is Jack's story. Jack - prodigal son of the Boughton family, godson and namesake of John Ames, gone twenty years - has come home looking for refuge and to try to make peace with a past littered with trouble and pain. A bad boy from childhood, an alcoholic who cannot hold down a job, Jack is perpetually at odds with his surroundings and with his traditionalist father, though he remains Boughton's most beloved child. His sister Glory has also returned to Gilead, fleeing her own mistakes, to care for their dying father. Brilliant, loveable, wayward, Jack forges an intense new bond with Glory and engages painfully with his father and his father's old friend John Ames.
Elaine, a painter, returns to Toronto and finds herself overwhelmed by her past - memories of her childhood, betrayals and cruelties surface relentlessly. She must face the spectre of Cordelia who has been her best friend and her tormentor, and who has haunted her for 40 years.
'Walls has carved a story with precision and grace out of one of the most chaotic, heart-breaking childhoods... This deeply affecting memoir is a triumph in every possible way, and it does what all good books should: it affirms our faith in the human spir
'One of the funniest books I've ever read' - Gore Vidal * The Dud Avocado gained instant cult status on first publication and remains a timeless portrait of a woman hellbent on living. It is, as the Guardian observes, 'one of the best novels about growing up fast'. Sally Jay Gorce is a woman with a mission. It's the 1950s, she's young, and she's in Paris. Having dyed her hair pink, she wears evening dresses in the daytime and vows to go native in a way not even the natives can manage. Embarking on an educational programme that includes an affair with a married man (which fizzles out when she realises he's single and wants to marry her); nights in cabarets and jazz clubs in the company of assorted "citizens of the world"; an entanglement with a charming psychopath; and a bit part in a film financed by a famous matador. But an education like this doesn't come cheap. Will our heroine be forced back to the States to fulfill her destiny as a librarian, or can she keep up her whirlwind Parisian existence? * A champagne cocktail ... Rich, invigorating, and deceptively simple to the taste ... One falls for Sally Jay Gorce from a great height from the first sentence - Observer As delightful and delicate an examination of how it is to be twenty and in love and in Paris as I've ever read - Sunday Times I had to tell someone how much I enjoyed The Dud Avocado. It made me laugh, scream, and guffaw (which, incidentally, is a great name for a law firm). - Groucho Marx Books included in the VMC 40th anniversary series include: Frost in May by Antonia White; The Collected Stories of Grace Paley ; Fire from Heaven by Mary Renault; The Magic Toyshop by Angela Carter; The Weather in the Streets by Rosamond Lehmann; Deep Water by Patricia Highsmith; The Return of the Soldier by Rebecca West; Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston; Heartburn by Nora Ephron; Memento Mori by Muriel Spark; A View of the Harbour by Elizabeth Taylor; and Faces in the Water by Janet Frame