New and forthcoming

24 Stories

Kathy Burke

On the night of 14 June 2017, a fire engulfed the 24-storey Grenfell Tower in west London, killing at least 72 people and injuring many more. An entire community was destroyed. For many people affected by this tragedy, the psychological scars may never heal.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a condition that affects many people who have endured traumatic events, leaving them unable to move on from life-changing tragedies. In the immediate aftermath of the fire, the focus was rightly placed on providing food, shelter and health care for those left homeless – but it is important that we don’t lose sight of the psychological impact this fire will have had on its survivors.

24 Stories is an anthology of short stories, written on themes of community and hope, by a mix of the UK’s best established writers and previously unpublished authors, whose pieces were chosen by Kathy Burke from over 250 entries.

Contributors include: Irvine Welsh, A. L. Kennedy, Meera Syal, John Niven, Pauline Melville, Daisy Buchanan, Christopher Brookmyre, Zoe Venditozzi, Nina Stibbe, Mike Gayle, Murray Lachlan Young, Barney Farmer.

Florida

Lauren Groff

Florida is a magnificent collection, executed with tremendous depth and precision, unsettling in the best possible way. Lauren Groff is a virtuoso.’ Emily St John Mandel, author of Station Eleven

In her vigorous and moving new book, Lauren Groff brings her electric storytelling and intelligence to a world in which storms, snakes and sinkholes lurk at the edge of everyday life, but the greater threats and mysteries are of a human, emotional and psychological nature. Among those navigating it all are a resourceful pair of abandoned sisters; a lonely boy, grown up; a restless, childless couple; a searching, homeless woman; and an unforgettable, recurring character a steely and conflicted wife and mother.

The stories in this collection span characters, towns, decades, even centuries, but Florida – its landscape, climate, history, and state of mind – becomes its gravitational centre: an energy, a mood, as much as a place of residence. Groff transports the reader, then jolts us alert with a crackle of wit, a wave of sadness, a flash of cruelty, as she writes about loneliness, rage, family and the passage of time. With shocking accuracy and effect, she pinpoints the moments and decisions and connections behind human pleasure and pain, hope and despair, love and fury – the moments that make us alive. Startling, precise and affecting, Florida is a magnificent achievement.

Half-truths and Semi-miracles

Anne Tyler

Susanna has an incredible gift: she can heal ailments with just the touch of her hand. People travel from far and wide based on their faith in her abilities. But Susanna’s power only works in certain cases -- it’s a semi-miracle. And as she grows into a woman, and tries to build a life of her own, her calling to fix and cure becomes more of a burden than a blessing. Why is she able to take people’s pain away sometimes, and not others? And not when she needs to most of all? With the balm of time, and the wisdom of experience, Susanna must learn to live with the mysterious nature of her miracle.

Available to readers for the first time since its initial publication, this is a wry and moving story by an American master.

A Country to Call Home: An anthology on the experiences of young refugees and asylum seekers

Lucy Popescu (and others)

From the editor of A Country of Refuge comes an anthology of new writing on one of the defining issues of our time. Focusing on the fate of refugee children and young adults, it is aimed at children and adult readers alike, and features work from Michael Morpurgo, Eoin Colfer, Kit de Waal and Simon Armitage among many others.

There are tales of home, and missing it; poems about the dangerous journeys undertaken and life in the refugee camps; stories about prejudice, but also stories of children’s fortitude, their dreams and aspirations.

A Country to Call Home implores us to build bridges, not walls. It is intended as a reminder of our shared humanity, seeking to challenge the negative narratives that so often cloud our view of these vulnerable young people, and prevent us giving them the empathy they deserve.

The book will include newly commissioned stories, flash fiction, poetry and original artwork from some of our finest children’s writers: David Almond, Chris Riddell, Moniza Alvi, Sita Brahmachari, Peter Kalu, Judith Kerr, Patrice Lawrence, Anna Perera, the late Christine Pullein-Thompson, Bali Rai and S. F. Said.

Last Stories

William Trevor

'What a writer he was; he could flip over a sentence so gently, and show the underbelly in a heartbeat. His work is always quietly compassionate' Elizabeth Strout

In this final collection of ten exquisite, perceptive and profound stories, William Trevor probes into the depths of the human spirit. Here we encounter a tutor and his pupil, whose lives are thrown into turmoil when they meet again years later; a young girl who discovers the mother she believed dead is alive and well; and a piano-teacher who accepts her pupil's theft in exchange for his beautiful music. These gorgeous stories - the last that Trevor wrote before his death - affirm his place as one of the world's greatest storytellers.

'Trevor is a master of both language and storytelling' Hilary Mantel

'He is one of the great short-story writers, at his best the equal of Chekhov' John Banville

'The greatest living writer of short stories in the English language' New Yorker

Men Without Women

Haruki Murakami (and others)

THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER

Across seven tales, Haruki Murakami brings his powers of observation to bear on the lives of men who, in their own ways, find themselves alone. Here are vanishing cats and smoky bars, lonely hearts and mysterious women, baseball and the Beatles, woven together to tell stories that speak to us all.

Marked by the same wry humor that has defined his entire body of work, in this collection Murakami has crafted another contemporary classic

Star Wars: From a Certain Point of View

Various Authors

40 Years. 40 Stories.

Experience Star Wars: A New Hope from a whole new point of view.

On May 25, 1977, the world was introduced to Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, C-3PO, R2-D2, Chewbacca, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Darth Vader, and a galaxy full of possibilities. In honor of the fortieth anniversary, more than forty contributors lend their vision to this retelling of Star Wars. Each of the forty short stories reimagines a moment from the original film, but through the eyes of a supporting character. From a Certain Point of View features contributions by bestselling authors, trendsetting artists, and treasured voices from the literary history of Star Wars
- Gary Whitta bridges the gap from Rogue One to A New Hope through the eyes of Captain Antilles.
- Aunt Beru finds her voice in an intimate character study by Meg Cabot.
- Nnedi Okorofor brings dignity and depth to a most unlikely character: the monster in the trash compactor.
- Pablo Hidalgo provides a chilling glimpse inside the mind of Grand Moff Tarkin.
- Pierce Brown chronicles Biggs Darklighter's final flight during the Rebellion's harrowing attack on the Death Star.
- Wil Wheaton spins a poignant tale of the rebels left behind on Yavin.
Plus thirty-four more hilarious, heartbreaking, and astonishing tales from:
Ben Acker - Renee Ahdieh - Tom Angleberger - Ben Blacker - Jeffrey Brown - Rae Carson - Adam Christopher - Zoraida Cordova - Delilah S. Dawson - Kelly Sue DeConnick - Paul Dini - Ian Doescher - Ashley Eckstein - Matt Fraction - Alexander Freed - Jason Fry - Kieron Gillen - Christie Golden - Claudia Gray - E. K. Johnston - Paul S. Kemp - Mur Lafferty - Ken Liu - Griffin McElroy - John Jackson Miller - Daniel Jose Older - Mallory Ortberg - Beth Revis - Madeleine Roux - Greg Rucka - Gary D. Schmidt - Cavan Scott - Charles Soule - Sabaa Tahir - Elizabeth Wein - Glen Weldon - Chuck Wendig
All participating authors have generously forgone any compensation for their stories. Instead, their proceeds will be donated to First Book--a leading nonprofit that provides new books, learning materials, and other essentials to educators and organizations serving children in need. To further celebrate the launch of this book and both companies' longstanding relationships with First Book, Penguin Random House has donated $100,000 to First Book, and Disney/Lucasfilm has donated 100,000 children's books--valued at $1,000,000--to support First Book and their mission of providing equal access to quality education. Over the past sixteen years, Disney and Penguin Random House combined have donated more than eighty-eight million books to First Book.

Cat Person

Kristen Roupenian

She thought, brightly, This is the worst life decision I have ever made! And she marvelled at herself for a while, at the mystery of this person who’d just done this bizarre, inexplicable thing.

Margot meets Robert. They exchange numbers. They text, flirt and eventually have sex – the type of sex you attempt to forget. How could one date go so wrong?

Everything that takes place in Cat Person happens to countless people every day. But Cat Person is not an everyday story. In less than a week, Kristen Roupenian’s New Yorker debut became the most read and shared short story in their website’s history. This is the bad date that went viral. This is the conversation we’re all having.

You Know You Want This, Kristen Roupenian’s debut collection, will be published in February 2019.

You Think It, I'll Say It

Curtis Sittenfeld

SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2018 SUNDAY TIMES EFG SHORT STORY AWARD: 'Do-Over', one of the stories in this dazzling, smart and razor-sharp first collection by Curtis Sittenfeld, Sunday Times bestselling author of Eligible and American Wife.

In ‘The World Has Many Butterflies’, a married woman flirts with a man she meets at parties by playing You think it, I’ll say it, putting into words the bitchy things she guesses he's thinking about their fellow guests. But she is in for a shock when, in time, she finds out what was really in his mind. ‘The Nominee’ sees Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail, confessing her surprising true feelings about a woman journalist she has sparred with over the years. In ‘Gender Studies’, a visiting academic sleeps with her taxi driver, for what turns out to be all the wrong reasons.

The theme that unites these stories is how even the cleverest people tend to misread others, and how much we all deceive ourselves. Sharp and tender, funny and wise, they show Sittenfeld’s knack for creating real, believable characters that spring off the page, while also skewering contemporary mores with brilliant dry wit.

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