New and forthcoming

Beauty and the Beast

Maria Tatar

Perhaps no fairy tale is as widely known as 'Beauty and the Beast' - and perhaps no fairy tale exists in as many variations. Nearly every culture tells the story in one fashion or another - such cultural phenomena as The Fault in Our Stars and Me Before You are recent examples - and it is impossible to find one version that laid the foundation for the rest. From Cupid and Psyche, India's Snake Bride to South Africa's 'Story of Five Heads', the partnering of beast and beauties has beguiled us for thousands of years.

In this fascinating volume preeminent fairy tale scholar Maria Tatar brings together tales from ancient times to the present and from a wide variety of cultures.

Wedding Stories

Diana Secker Tesdell

The stories collected here--including such gems as Stephen Crane's "The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky," O. Henry's "The Marry Month of May," F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Bridal Party," Joy Williams's "The Wedding," and Lorrie Moore's "Thank You For Having Me", encompass comic wedding mishaps, engagements broken and mended, honeymoon adventures, and scenes both heartwarming and heartbreaking. There are glamorous weddings in Paris and New York, and more eccentric ones in the Wild West and on a remote island beach. There are nervous brides, forgetful grooms, meddling guests, interrupted nuptials, second thoughts, and second chances. Above all, there are all kinds of people - young and old, rich and poor, divorced and widowed, with or without children - joining together in the age-old quest for matrimonial happiness.

Rome Stories

Jonathan Keates

During its three-thousand-year history Rome has been an imperial metropolis, the capital of a nation and the spiritual core of a great world religion. For writers from antiquity to the present, however, the place holds an alternative significance as a realm of fantasy, aspiration and desire. Captivating and lethal at one and the same moment, its fatal gift of beauty both transfigures and betrays those in thrall to it. Rome Stories explores the city's fateful impact through the writing of classical historians, a Renaissance sculptor, 18th-century tourists, American, British and French novelists and the authors of modern Rome, each testing and unravelling the city's ageless paradoxes. Gibbon admires the Last of the Tribunes, Goethe decodes the mysteries of the Carnival and Stendhal's subversive aristocrats mingle revolution with a little cross-dressing amid their gilt mirrors and frescoed ceilings From Plutarch to Pasolini, from Hawthorne to Wharton, the city of Caesars and popes, of dreamers, chancers and hustlers confronts the questing imagination with its eternally unflinching gaze.

The Penguin Book of the British Short Story: 1

Philip Hensher

'A bold anthology ... alive with provocations and insights' John Carey, Sunday Times

'The Boy-scouts mistook my signal, and have killed the postman. I've had very little practice in this sort of thing, you see'

The British short story tradition is probably the richest, most varied and historically extensive in the world. This new anthology celebrates the full diversity and energy of its writers, subjects and tones, from the story's origins with Defoe, Swift and Fielding, to the 'golden age' of the fin de siècle and Edwardian period, ending with the First World War. Including the most famous authors as well as some magnificent, little-known stories never republished since their first appearance in magazines and periodicals, these stories are by turns topical and playful, ghostly and theatrical, rumbustious and sublime.

Edited with an introduction by Philip Hensher

The Penguin Book of the British Short Story: 2

Philip Hensher

'Eclectic, entertaining ... almost all British, if not human, life is here' Boyd Tonkin, Independent

'Mind-stretching, heart-breaking, beautifully-crafted fiction' Claire Harman, Evening Standard

'She would tear the house down - shatter the windows, slash the furniture, flood the baths, fire the curtains!'

Hilarious, exuberant, surreal, subtle, tender, brutal, spectacular and above all unexpected: this extraordinary selection celebrates the British short story from the 1920s to the present day. From Angela Carter to V. S. Pritchett, Elizabeth Taylor to J. G. Ballard, Ali Smith to a host of little-known works from magazines and periodicals, and including tales of air-raids, phone sex, snobbery, modern-day slavery, grief, desire, the familiar and the strange, here is the short story in all its limitless possibilities.

Edited and with an introduction by Philip Hensher, the award-winning novelist, critic and journalist.

The Good Immigrant

Nikesh Shukla

How does it feel to be constantly regarded as a potential threat, strip-searched at every airport?

Or be told that, as an actress, the part you’re most fitted to play is ‘wife of a terrorist’? How does it feel to have words from your native language misused, misappropriated and used aggressively towards you? How does it feel to hear a child of colour say in a classroom that stories can only be about white people? How does it feel to go ‘home’ to India when your home is really London? What is it like to feel you always have to be an ambassador for your race? How does it feel to always tick ‘Other’?

Bringing together 21 exciting black, Asian and minority ethnic voices emerging in Britain today, The Good Immigrant explores why immigrants come to the UK, why they stay and what it means to be ‘other’ in a country that doesn’t seem to want you, doesn’t truly accept you – however many generations you’ve been here – but still needs you for its diversity monitoring forms.

Inspired by discussion around why society appears to deem people of colour as bad immigrants – job stealers, benefit scroungers, undeserving refugees – until, by winning Olympic races or baking good cakes, or being conscientious doctors, they cross over and become good immigrants, editor Nikesh Shukla has compiled a collection of essays that are poignant, challenging, angry, humorous, heartbreaking, polemic, weary and – most importantly – real.

Writings from Ancient Egypt

Toby Wilkinson

'Man perishes; his corpse turns to dust; all his relatives pass away. But writings make him remembered'

In ancient Egypt, words had magical power. Inscribed on tombs and temple walls, coffins and statues, or inked onto papyri, hieroglyphs give us a unique insight into the life of the Egyptian mind. For this remarkable new collection, Egyptologist Toby Wilkinson has freshly translated a rich and diverse range of ancient Egyptian writings into modern English, including tales of shipwreck and wonder, first-hand accounts of battles and natural disasters, obelisk inscriptions, mortuary spells, funeral hymns, songs, satires and advice on life from a pharaoh to his son. Spanning over two millennia, with many pieces appearing in a general anthology for the first time, this is the essential guide to a complex, sophisticated culture.

Translated with an introduction by Toby Wilkinson

Shaken and Stirred

Diana Secker Tesdell

In this lively collection, wine snobs receive their comeuppance at the hands of Roald Dahl and Edgar Allan Poe; innocents over-imbibe in tales by Jack London and Alice Munro; riotous partying exacts a comic price in stories by P. G. Wodehouse and Kingsley Amis; Charles Jackson and Jean Rhys chronicle liquor-soaked epiphanies; while John Cheever, Vladimir Nabokov and Robert Coover set their characters afloat on surreal, soul-revealing adventures. Here, too, are well-lubricated tales by Dickens, Twain, Beckett, Colette, Dorothy Parker, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Doris Lessing, Frank O'Connor, Penelope Lively, and many more.

The settings include hotels and restaurants, a wine cellar in Italy, a café in Paris, a bar in Dublin, a New York nightclub, Jazz Age speakeasies, suburban lawn parties and the occasional gaol cell, and are peopled by lovers and loners, barmen and chorus girls, youths taking their first sips and experienced tipplers nursing hangovers.

Whether living it up or drowning their sorrows, the vividly drawn characters in these sparkling pages will leave you shaken and stirred.

A Country of Refuge

Lucy Popescu

A Country of Refuge is a poignant, thought-provoking and timely anthology of writing on asylum seekers from some of Britain and Ireland’s most influential voices.

Compiled and edited by human rights activist and writer Lucy Popescu, this powerful collection of short fiction, memoir, poetry and essays explores what it really means to be a refugee: to flee from conflict, poverty and terror; to have to leave your home and family behind; and to undertake a perilous journey, only to arrive on less than welcoming shores.

These writings are a testament to the strength of the human spirit. The contributors articulate simple truths about migration that will challenge the way we think about and act towards the dispossessed and those forced to seek a safe place to call home.


‘A powerful, and frequently harrowing, collection … I read it with fascination’ – Penelope Lively

‘A beautiful insight into the painful individuality of the refugee’ – Jon Snow

First Light

Erica Wagner

For more than 50 years, Alan Garner has enraptured generations of readers with works like The Weirdstone of Brisingamen, The Owl Service, Red Shift, and The Stone Book Quartet. Described by Philip Pullman as 'the most important British writer of fantasy since Tolkein', Alan Garner has inspired readers and writers alike.

Now, in celebration of his 80th birthday, comes First Light. A collaboration by many of the acclaimed writers, artists, archaeologists and historians he has influenced over the years, this anthology includes original contributions from David Almond, Margaret Atwood, John Burnside, Susan Cooper, Helen Dunmore, Stephen Fry, Neil Gaiman, Elizabeth Garner, Paul Kingsnorth, Katherine Langrish, Helen Macdonald, Robert Macfarlane, Gregory Maguire, Neel Mukherjee, Philip Pullman, Ali Smith, Elizabeth Wein, Michael Wood, and many, many more.

Whether a literary essay, a personal response to Alan's work, a memory of the first time they read his work, or a story about the man himself, each piece is a tribute to his remarkable impact.

Edited by the acclaimed literary journalist and novelist, Erica Wagner, First Light is a striking collection that will touch the heart of anyone who grew up reading the works of Alan Garner.

Dear World, How Are You?

Toby Little

When Toby Little was five years old, he decided to write to someone in every country in the world.

With the help of his mum, Toby started handwriting and posting letters to everyone from research scientists in Antarctica to game-keepers in Chad and even the Pope. Not only did Toby achieve his goal but the world wrote back.

Dear World, How Are You? is a collection of the most fascinating and heart-warming letters he sent and received. It shows that the world is only as big as your imagination and is full of potential friends, waiting to be discovered, no matter where you live.

Paris Stories

Shaun Whiteside

In the eighteenth century, Laurence Sterne explores the temptations of the French capital in a teasing study of foreign mores and Restif de la Bretonne provides an eye-witness account of the Revolution. From the 1800s, Hugo, Balzac, Flaubert, and Zola offer fascinating portraits of the city's teeming humanity; the Goncourt brothers chronicle the explosion of artistic talent; Huysmans describes an evening at the Folies Bergère. Colette chronicles the pitfalls for a young girl in the decadent city of the early twentieth century; F. Scott Fitzgerald revels in the city's glamour; Jean Rhys's lost heroines wander from café to café; James Baldwin celebrates its sexual freedoms; and Raymond Queneau gleefully reinvents the language of the street. In our time, Michel Tournier's North African immigrant walks a camel along the boulevards, while Nobel Laureate Patrick Modiano brilliantly maps the city's many arrondissements. The alluring power of Paris has never dimmed and it is richly captured in all its facets in these compelling and seductive tales.

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