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About Penguin Random House UK
Authors in this collection include Catherine McGabe, Georgina Brown and Maria Lloyd.
BBC Books is the publisher of choice for titles relating to BBC programmes and personalities. One of the UK's leading non-fiction imprints, BBC Books has had particular success in the food and drink, gardening, history, natural history and travel genres. Amongst our authors are some of Britain's best-known and best-loved TV personalities including Mary Berry, David Attenborough, Alan Titchmarsh and Rick Stein. We are also the official publisher of some of the BBC's biggest global brands, including Doctor Who, Top Gear, Sherlock, Good Food and Strictly Come Dancing.
Joyce Dunbar is a widely respected author of more than fifty books for children including Tell Me Something Happy Before I Go To Sleep. Her Mouse and Mole series has been very popularly adapted for television and her lyrical re-telling of the Nativity story, This Is The Star, received widespread critical acclaim. Susan Varley is a prize-winning artist who has illustrated many books for Andersen Press. Her picture book Badger's Parting Gifts is one of the most enduring of all time, winning many prizes, including the Mother Goose Award in 1985.
A member of the Indian Foreign Service, Pavan K. Varma has served in Moscow, in New York and in Cyprus. He has been Press Secretary to the President of India and is currently director of the Nehru Centre in London.
Ozan Varol is the highest-rated professor at Lewis & Clark Law School. Varol's articles have appeared in outlets such as the Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, BBC, TIME, CNN, Washington Post, Slate, and Foreign Policy. He blogs weekly on his website, ozanvarol.com and his articles reach millions of readers each month. A sought-after public speaker, Varol has given countless radio and television interviews, and delivered keynote speeches both to small and large crowds at major corporations, nonprofits, and government institutions. Before becoming a Law Professor, he served on the operations team for the 2003 Mars Exploration Rovers and the Cassini-Huygens mission that sent a probe to Saturn.
Rosita Varón is a new author for Nexus.
Yanis Varoufakis is the former finance minister of Greece and the author of a memoir, Adults in the Room, and a history, And the Weak Suffer What They Must?, which reveal and explain the catastrophic mishandling of Europe since the financial crisis. Both were number one bestsellers. His latest bestseller is Talking To My Daughter About the Economy: A Brief History of Capitalism. Born in Athens in 1961, Yanis Varoufakis was for many years a professor of economics in Britain, Australia and the USA before he entered government and is currently Professor of Economics at the University of Athens. Since resigning from Greece's finance ministry he has co-founded an international grassroots movement, DiEM25, campaigning for the revival of democracy in Europe and speaks to audiences of thousands worldwide. yanisvaroufakis.eu / @yanisvaroufakis
Giorgio Vasari (1511-74) was an accomplished painter and architect, but it is for his illuminating biographies that he is best remembered. George Bull translated widely from the Italian, including for Penguin Classics including Cellini's 'Autobiography' and Machiavelli's 'The Prince'. He is also the author of a number of books on the Renaissance.
Gretel Killeen started writing comedy by accident when she stood up to perform a very serious poem and everybody laughed. From here she moved to writing and performing comedy in a variety of theatres and clubs across her home country, Australia, and for a number of major radio stations. Gretel's comedy writing then led to television and in 2001 Gretel hosted Australia's Big Brother - a phenomenal success. Gretel has published a number of best-selling books that will split your sides and make your head explode. After you read them, you'll never be the same again . . . She lives in Sydney's famous Bondi with her two children, Zeke and Eppie, the stars of the My Sister books.
In Russia, all volumes of the Night Watch series have sold over two million hardcovers between them. The Night Watch has been adapted into an internationally successful film, which has been distributed round the world. Sergei Lukyanenko lives in Moscow.
Marie 'Missie' Vassiltchikov - later Mrs Peter Harnden - was born in St Petersburg in 1917, the fourth child of Prince and Princess Illarion Vassiltchikov. The family left Russia in 1919, and Missie grew up in Germany, France and Lithuanian, where her father's family had owned property before the Revolution. After the war she lived in France, Spain and England. She died in London in 1978.
Janey was born in Edinburgh and grew up by the seaside just outside the city. Janey published the first two Princess Poppy books herself (with her own illustrations) and the books were so popular that Random House Children's Books soon bought the series and re-packaged the books. The series is now going from strength to strength, including picture books, novels for young readers, activity books and sumptuous gift books. Janey read English at Edinburgh University specializing in the Victorian novel. Following this she became a teacher - a career that she absolutely adored - and then, with her husband, set up The Jelly Club, which has become an extremely successful chain of children's activity centres in Scotland. She still very much enjoys visiting schools and talking to children to find out what they like doing and what makes them laugh. Janey and her husband live in Edinburgh with their three sons. Veronica gained a BA in Graphic Design at Bradford and Liverpool Polytechnic which led her into the world of greetings card design and then book illustration. Veronica says that her favourite thing about illustrating picture books is inventing characters and bringing them to life through her illustrations. Veronica lives and works in the small market town of Otley in West Yorkshire, and in her spare time she enjoys long-distance cycling in the Yorkshire Dales with her partner.
Born in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1928, Hal Vaughan has been a news reporter, foreign correspondent and documentary film producer working in Europe, the Middle East and Southeast Asia since 1957. He served in the US military during the Second World War and Korea and was involved in CIA operations as a US Foreign Service officer. Vaughan is the author of Doctor to the Resistance, the story of an American surgeon and his family in occupied Paris, and FDR's Twelve Apostles: the spies who paved the way for the invasion of North Africa. He has spent years piecing together the Chanel story and its cover-up for Sleeping with the Enemy, combing through wartime intelligence archives - public and private, and many newly released - as well as letters and police and court documents in America and Europe. He lives in Paris.
Camoens, Luiz, 1524-1580, Portuguese poet born in Lisbon. He travelled to the Red Sea, Persia and Mozambique and spent some years in Goa, India. After his return to Lisbon in 1572, he published 'The Lusiads' recalling the voyages of Vasco da Gama - a work that became the national epic of Portugal.
Thorstein Bunde Veblen (1857-1929) was an American economist and sociologist. Educated at Carleton College, Johns Hopkins University and Yale University, his most famous work, The Theory of the Leisure Class (1899), from which this selection is taken, is a satiric look at American society. He coined the widely used phrases "conspicuous consumption" and "pecuniary emulation".
Marcus Veda (Author) Marcus Veda is a yoga teacher and DJ. He is renowned for breaking down difficult poses an pushing people to their edge – with a good dose of fun. Hannah Whittingham (Author) Hannah Whittingham is a yoga teacher, writer and magician’s assistant who can be found strengthening limbs of yogis across London, or bending her own into magic boxes.
After the war Edith married, had twin daughters and eventually emigrated to the USA, though she returns frequently to Europe. One of the daughters lives in west London with her husband and children - Edith's grandchildren.
Born in The Hague in 1923, Max Velthuijs is now considered to have been one of Holland's most important creators of children's books, alongside Dick Bruna. Max won many awards, including the highly prestigious Hans Christian Andersen Medal in 2004. He died in 2005, aged 81.
Stephen Venables is best known as the mountaineer who in 1988 became the first Briton to climb Everest without oxygen - one of many pioneering expeditions around the world. He began climbing while at Oxford in the early seventies, and has written eight books about his mountain travels, winning the Boardman Tasker Prize, the King Albert Medal and the Grand Award at Banff International Mountain Literature Festival. He has also appeared in several television documentaries and the IMAX movie, Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure. He lives in Bath with his wife Rosie and Ollie's brother Edmond.
THE PROGRAMMES: Commissioned in 1973 by Doctor Who’s outgoing series producer and script editor, Barry Letts and Terrance Dicks respectively, Genesis of the Daleks was one of the first stories to be developed by Philip Hinchcliffe and Robert Holmes. Both favoured a bold and gritty approach to the programme, and the story which emerged bore the hallmarks of their new regime. Encouraged to break new ground with his latest script, Terry Nation took the opportunity to explore the raison d’etre for the ruthless mechanical creatures he had originated in 1963. It had long been realised that their unique speech patterns didn’t lend themselves easily to lengthy scenes of dialogue, and so Nation invented the character of Davros - a crippled humanoid whose blind ambition for supremacy would be passed on to his creations. The six-part serial was filmed on location at Betchworth Quarry in Surrey and at Ealing Studios in January 1975, with studio interiors then being recorded at BBC Television Centre. Its strong material, which in part explored the ethics of racial purity and war, drew criticism from the National Viewers and Listeners’ Association which believed it to be unsuitable for teatime audiences. Such was the popularity of Davros, due in no small part to Michael Wisher’s compelling portrayal, that the character appeared in every subsequent Dalek story – albeit played by different actors. The serial has been repeated on television many times, both in full and as a compilation. Exploration Earth: The Time Machine, the third instalment of a BBC schools radio series exploring the geography of our planet, was recorded in half a day on 27 April 1976. The overriding educational brief meant that the key elements of Doctor Who were being used as tools with which to demonstrate the creation of Earth and so, with studio time at a premium and minimal rehearsals allocated, the cast were allowed little input into the script or their characterisations. The episode was broadcast on 4 October 1976, two days after Episode One of The Hand of Fear was transmitted on BBC1. With teachers encouraged to utilise such programmes as part of their lessons, it provided a unique opportunity for Ron Grainer’s familiarly eerie theme tune to echo around school corridors.
Mariolina Venezia was born in 1961 in Matera and now lives in Rome. She has published three books of poetry, writes for various literary magazines and is a screenwriter for television and cinema.
Over the past two decades, Linda Venis has guided the growth of the UCLA Extension Writers' Programme into the nation's largest creative writing and screenwriting program. She lives in Los Angeles, California, with her husband and their daughter.
Sudhir Venkatesh spent a decade living with the Black Kings gang in Chicago's south side. His research later became famous in Freakonomics (Why do drug dealers still live with their moms?) He is now Professor of Sociology and African-American studies at Columbia University.
Harry Venning (Author) 'Clare in the Community began as a strip cartoon in the social work magazine Care Weekly. Six weeks later Care Weekly ceased publication, but no link was ever established between the two events. After this less than auspicious start she transferred to The Guardian, where she has been ever since. In 2004 Clare made the leap from a printed page to the airwaves of Radio 4 as a sitcom, which demanded her character be fleshed out considerably. We decided that she should be white, middle class and heterosexual - all of which are causes of discomfort to her - and that her obsessive involvement in other people's lives was the way she avoided addressing the problems of her own. At first we had a bit of a dilemma regarding Clare's professional competence. Although we were keen to avoid joining in with the national pastime of denigrating social workers, as popularised by certain right-leaning newspapers, Clare was funnier the more insensitive, oblivious, self-absorbed and generally useless she was. Ultimately, we went for the funny option and so far no social workers have complained of misrepresentation. In fact, quite the opposite. Social workers often compliment us on how accurate the shows are, and are surprised that we have no background in the profession. This is particularly flattering, since we have always prided ourselves on writing the shows from a position of profound ignorance. We have our moles on the inside who feed us workplace jargon and steer us away from glaring inaccuracies, but apart from that we have studiously avoided any kind of research. First, because for the show to have mass appeal it has to be accessible to an audience without any specialist knowledge, and secondly because we are too lazy. People often think it's the actors who make comedies funny, but it isn't. It's the writing. Having said that, Clare in the Community has been particularly lucky in its cast. So, grudging thanks to them. And since we're thanking people we really should mention our infinitely patient, endlessly resourceful, multi-talented producer Katie Tyrell.' Harry Venning & David Ramsden, writers of Clare in the Community, June 2007 David Ramsden (Author) David Ramsden is a teacher and freelance writer, best known for co-writing (along with Harry Venning) the scripts for the BBC Radio 4 comedy series Clare in the Community.
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