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.
* ''Stunning'' Claire Lombardo * ''Hypnotic'' Catherine Cho * ''Unlike anything else'' Naomi Booth * A FIERCE, DARK FABLE ABOUT MOTHERHOOD THAT WILL GRIP YOU IN ITS TALONS AND NEVER LET GO Tiny is pregnant. Her husband is delighted. ''It''s not yours,'' she tells him. ''This baby will be an owl-baby.'' Tiny''s always been an outsider, and she knows her child will be different. When Chouette is born, Tiny''s husband and family are devastated by her condition and strange appearance. Doctors tell them to expect the worst. Chouette won''t learn to walk; she never speaks; she lashes out when frightened and causes chaos in public. Tiny''s husband wants to make her better: ''Don''t you want our daughter to have a normal life?'' But Tiny thinks Chouette is perfect the way she is. As Tiny and her husband fight over what''s right for their child, Chouette herself is growing. In her fierce self-possession, her untameable will, she teaches Tiny to break free of expectations - no matter what it takes. Savage, startling, possessed of a biting humour and wild love, Chouette is a dark modern fable about mothering an unusual child. It will grip you in its talons and never let go.
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
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.
'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.
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.
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".
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.
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.
The first new novel in a decade from the bestselling, Booker Prize-shortlisted author of BRICK LANE ''Bold, compassionate, big-hearted, pitch-perfectly written, and utterly unputdownable'' Neel Mukherjee, Booker Prize shortlisted author of THE LIVES OF OTHERS Yasmin Ghorami has a lot to be grateful for: a loving family, a fledgling career in medicine, and a charming, handsome fiancee, fellow doctor Joe Sangster. But as the wedding day draws closer and Yasmin''s parents get to know Joe''s firebrand feminist mother, both families must confront the unravelling of long-held secrets, lies and betrayals. As Yasmin dismantles her own assumptions about the people she holds most dear, she''s also forced to ask herself what she really wants in a relationship and what a ''love marriage'' actually means. Love Marriage is a story about who we are and how we love today - with all the complications and contradictions of life, desire, marriage and family. What starts as a captivating social comedy develops into a heart-breaking and gripping story of two cultures, two families and two people trying to understand one another.
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.
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
A brilliant collection of acerbic, wisecracking and hilarious essays from New York icon Fran Lebowitz, star of Martin Scorsese''s hit Netflix series, Pretend It''s a City Fran Lebowitz is a New York legend. Arriving in the city over fifty years ago, she made her name as a columnist on Andy Warhol''s Interview magazine, before publishing two bestselling collections of essays. She''s one of America''s most insightful social commentators, a sought-after public speaker, a style icon, wit and flaneur. In these essays, Lebowitz turns her trademark caustic wit to everything from children (''rarely in the position to lend one a truly interesting sum of money''), to novelty ice cubes (''flowers belong in one''s lapel, not in one''s bourbon'') and landlords (''it is the solemn duty of every landlord to maintain an adequate supply of roaches''). And her attitude to work is the perfect antidote to our exhausting culture of self-betterment (''3.40pm. I consider getting out of bed. I reject the notion as being unduly vigorous. I read and smoke a bit more''). *''Great people talk about ideas, average people talk about things and small people talk about wine'' *''Think before you speak. Read before you think'' *''All God''s children are not beautiful. Most of God''s children are, in fact, barely presentable.'' *''My favourite animal is steak''
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
Dedicated to the daughter she never had but sees all around her, Letter to My Daughter reveals Maya Angelou s path to living well and living a life with meaning. Here in short spellbinding essays are glimpses of the tumultuous life that taught Angelou lessons in compassion and fortitude: how she was brought up by her indomitable grandmother in segregated Arkansas, taken in at thirteen by her more worldly and less religious mother, and grew to be an awkward six-foot-tall teenager whose first experience of loveless sex paradoxically left her with her greatest gift, a son. Whether she is recalling lost friends such as Coretta Scott King and Ossie Davis, extolling honesty, decrying vulgarity, explaining why becoming a Christian is a lifelong endeavor, or simply singing the praises of a meal of red rice, Maya Angelou writes from the heart to millions of women she considers her extended family."
Palmares hails the return of a major voice in literature - ''the best American novelist whose name you may not know'' ( Atlantic ). Gayl Jones was first discovered and edited by Toni Morrison, and her talent was praised by writers including Maya Angelou, James Baldwin and John Updike. After a handful of acclaimed novels, she withdrew from the publishing world. Now Jones returns with her first new novel in over two decades. AN EPIC TALE OF LOVE AND LIBERATION SET IN SEVENTEENTH-CENTURY COLONIAL BRAZIL From plantation to plantation, Almeyda, a young slave girl, hears whispers, rumours of Palmares, a hidden settlement where fugitive slaves live free. But can this promised land exist? And what price is paid for ''freedom''? In Palmares, Gayl Jones brings to life a world full of unforgettable characters, reimagining extraordinary historical events and combining them with mythology and magic. The result is a sweeping saga spanning a quarter of a century. Of Gayl Jones, the New Yorker noted, ''[Her] great achievement is to reckon with both history and interiority, and to collapse the boundary between them.'' Like nothing else before it, Palmares embodies this gift.
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?
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.
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.