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.
'Like its heroine the book is possessed of such unforgettably vivid charm that one is seduced' L. S. Hilton, author of Maestra In Regency London, the only way for a woman to succeed is to beat men at their own game. So when Mary Anne Clarke seeks an escape from her squalid surroundings in Bowling Inn Alley, she ventures first into the scurrilous world of the pamphleteers. Her personal charms are such, however, that before long she comes to the notice of the Duke of York. With her taste for luxury and power, Mary Anne, now a royal mistress, must aim higher. Her lofty connections allow her to establish a thriving trade in military commissions, provoking a scandal that rocks the government - and brings personal disgrace. A vivid portrait of overweening ambition, Mary Anne is set during the Napoleonic Wars and based on the life of du Maurier's own great-great-grandmother.
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.
Lila, homeless and alone after years of roaming the countryside, steps inside a small-town Iowa church-the only available shelter from the rain-and ignites a romance and a debate that will reshape her life. She becomes the wife of a minister and widower, John Ames, and begins a new existence while trying to make sense of the days of suffering that preceded her newfound security. Neglected as a toddler, Lila was rescued by Doll, a canny young drifter, and brought up by her in a hardscrabble childhood of itinerant work. Together they crafted a life on the run, living hand-to-mouth with nothing but their sisterly bond and a lucky knife to protect them. But despite bouts of petty violence and moments of desperation, their shared life is laced with moments of joy and love. When Lila arrives in Gilead, she struggles to harmonize the life of her makeshift family and their days of hardship with the gentle worldview of her husband which paradoxically judges those she loves. Revisiting the beloved characters and setting of Marilynne Robinson's Pulitzer Prize-winning Gilead and Orange Prize-winning Home , Lila is a moving expression of the mysteries of existence.
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".
**THE BRAND-NEW NOVEL BY THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD WINNER** A woman visits a friend with terminal cancer. Brilliant, strong-willed and alone, the friend, facing death, makes a momentous request. Will she accompany her on a holiday where she will, without warning one day, take a lethal pill to end her life on her own terms? Shaken and grieving, she finds the strength to agree. What follows is an extraordinary story - profound, surprising and often funny - of a lifelong friendship given the ultimate challenge; to witness its end. Utterly of our moment and timeless, What Are You Going Through is a deeply moving affirmation of life in its current existential threat and in its ordinary tragedies - the loss, loneliness, and the love that yet survives.
By the author of THE HANDMAID'S TALE and ALIAS GRACE * Pigs might not fly but they are strangely altered. So, for that matter, are wolves and racoons. A man, once named Jimmy, lives in a tree, wrapped in old bedsheets, now calls himself Snowman. The voice of Oryx, the woman he loved, teasingly haunts him. And the green-eyed Children of Crake are, for some reason, his responsibility. * Praise for Oryx and Crake : 'In Jimmy, Atwood has created a great character: a tragic-comic artist of the future, part buffoon, part Orpheus. An adman who's a sad man; a jealous lover who's in perpetual mourning; a fantasist who can only remember the past' -INDEPENDENT 'Gripping and remarkably imagined' -LONDON REVIEW OF BOOKS
By the author of The Handmaid's Tale Now a major NETFLIX series Sometimes I whisper it over to myself: Murderess. Murderess. It rustles, like a taffeta skirt along the floor.' Grace Marks. Female fiend? Femme fatale? Or weak and unwilling victim? Around the true story of one of the most enigmatic and notorious women of the 1840s, Margaret Atwood has created an extraordinarily potent tale of sexuality, cruelty and mystery. 'Brilliant... Atwood's prose is searching. So intimate it seems to be written on the skin' Hilary Mantel 'The outstanding novelist of our age' Sunday Times 'A sensuous, perplexing book, at once sinister and dignified, grubby and gorgeous, panoramic yet specific...I don't think I have ever been so thrilled' Julie Myerson, Independent on Sunday
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.
Jack Boughton has been present, even when he was painfully absent, throughout Robinson's profound saga and now he steps forward to illuminate the hidden facets of his peripatetic life of lies, thievery, bad luck and dangerous love. Robinson's latest glorious work of metaphysical and moral inquiry, nuanced feelings, intricate imagination and exquisite sensuousness begins at night inside the locked gates of a St. Louis cemetery where Jack, an alcoholic, sarcastic and self-loathing white man living rough, encounters the woman he loves, Della Miles, who is a disciplined, poetry-loving, Black and a devoted high school history teacher . . . Myriad manifestations of pain are evoked, but here, too, are beauty, humour, mystery and joy as Robinson holds us rapt with the exactitude of her perceptions and the exhilaration of her hymnal cadence, and so gracefully elucidates the complex sorrows and wonders of life and spirit
Maya Angelou's poetry - lyrical and dramatic, exuberant and playful - speaks of love, longing, partings; of Saturday night partying, and the smells and sounds of Southern cities; of freedom and shattered dreams. 'The caged bird sings/ with a fearful trill/ of things unknown/ but longed for still/ and his tune is heard/ on the distant hill/ for the caged bird/ sings of freedom.' Of her poetry, KIRKUS REVIEWS has written, 'It is just as much a part of her biography as I KNOW WHY THE CAGED BIRD SINGS, GATHER TOGETHER in MY NAME, SINGIN' AND SWINGIN' AND GETTING MERRY LIKE CHRISTMAS, and HEART OF A WOMAN.
Winner of the Man Booker Prize By the author of The Handmaid's Tale and Alias Grace Laura Chase's older sister Iris, married at eighteen to a politically prominent industrialist but now poor and eighty-two, is living in Port Ticonderoga, a town dominated by their once-prosperous family before the First War. While coping with her unreliable body, Iris reflects on her far from exemplary life, in particular the events surrounding her sister's tragic death. Chief among these was the publication of The Blind Assassin, a novel which earned the dead Laura Chase not only notoriety but also a devoted cult following. Sexually explicit for its time, The Blind Assassin describes a risky affair in the turbulent thirties between a wealthy young woman and a man on the run. During their secret meetings in rented rooms, the lovers concoct a pulp fantasy set on Planet Zycron. As the invented story twists through love and sacrifice and betrayal, so does the real one; while events in both move closer to war and catastrophe. By turns lyrical, outrageous, formidable, compelling and funny, this is a novel filled with deep humour and dark drama.
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.
Maya Angelou's seven volumes of autobiography are a testament to the talents and resilience of this extraordinary writer. Loving the world, she also knows its cruelty. As a black woman she has known discrimination and extreme poverty, but also hope, joy, achievement and celebration. The fourth volume of her enthralling autobiography finds Maya Angelou immersed in the world of black writers and artists in Harlem, working in the civil rights movement with Martin Luther King. 'She has a great capacity for love, to give, and receive it' Margaret Busby
By the author of The Handmaid's Tale and Alias Grace The sun brightens in the east, reddening the blue-grey haze that marks the distant ocean. The vultures roosting on the hydro poles fan out their wings to dry them. the air smells faintly of burning. The waterless flood - a man-made plague - has ended the world. But two young women have survived: Ren, a young dancer trapped where she worked, in an upmarket sex club (the cleanest dirty girls in town); and Toby, who watches and waits from her rooftop garden. Is anyone else out there?
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".