Penguin Classics

New and forthcoming

The Bronze Horseman and Other Poems

Alexander Pushkin (and others)

A new collection of Pushkin's great narrative and lyric verse, translated by Antony Wood

Pushkin's The Bronze Horseman is the second-most famous poem in Russian literature after his Eugene Onegin, and notoriously difficult to translate. This new translation, described by Robert Chandler as 'truly wonderful', is accompanied here by Pushkin's greatest shorter verses. They range from lyric poetry to narrative verse, based on traditional Russian stories of enchanted tsars and magical fish. Together, they show the dazzling range and achievement of Russia's greatest poet.

The Penguin Book of Hell

Scott G. Bruce

Journey into the underworld through three thousand years of visions of hell, from the ancient Near East to modern America

From the Hebrew Bible's shadowy realm of Sheol to twenty-first-century visions of Hell on earth, The Penguin Book of Hell takes us through three thousand years of eternal damnation. Along the way, you'll take a ferry ride with Aeneas to Hades, across the river Acheron; meet the Devil as imagined by a twelfth-century Irish monk - a monster with a thousand giant hands; wander the nine circles of Hell in Dante's Inferno and witness the debates that raged in Victorian England when new scientific advances cast doubt on the idea of an eternal hereafter. Drawing upon religious poetry, epics, theological treatises, stories of miracles and accounts of saints' lives, this fascinating volume of hellscapes illuminates how Hell has long haunted us, in both life and death.

The Anatomy of Melancholy

Robert Burton (and others)

A new Penguin Classics edition of Burton's masterpiece - ostensibly a guidebook to melancholia or depression, in reality an all-encompassing examination of the human condition.

The Anatomy of Melancholy is the vast and only work by Robert Burton, the 17th-century English priest and scholar. It 'opens and cuts up' the condition of melancholy, or depression as we know it today, and in doing so explores a dizzying range of additional topics, including goblins, beauty, the geography of America, digestion, the passions, alcohol and kissing. Burton believed that reading was a cure for melancholy, and so the book itself - one of the most unique and uncategorisable works of all time - can be seen as a tonic for the very condition it describes.

The Nicomachean Ethics

Aristotle (and others)

One of the most important philosophical works of all time, in a new Penguin Classics translation.

Aristotle's classic treatise is based on his famous doctrine of the golden mean, which advocates taking the middle course between excess and deficiency. Reacting against Plato's absolutism, Aristotle insisted that there are no definitive moral standards, and that ethical philosophy must be based on human nature and experience.
Treating such topics as moral worth, intellectual virtue, pleasure, friendship, and happiness, Aristotle's work asks above all: what is the good life and how can we live it?

The Joyous Science

Friedrich Nietzsche (and others)

The Joyous Science is a liberating voyage of discovery as Nietzsche's realization that 'God is dead' and his critique of morality, the arts and modernity give way to an exhilarating doctrine of self-emancipation and the concept of eternal recurrence. Here is Nietzsche at his most personal and affirmative; in his words, this is a book of 'exuberance, restlessness, contrariety and April showers'. With its unique voice and style, its playful combination of poetry and prose, and its invigorating quest for self-emancipation, The Joyous Science is a literary tour de force and quite possibly Nietzsche's best book.

Lady Sings the Blues

Billie Holiday

"I've been told that no one sings the word 'hunger' like I do. Or the word 'love'."

Lady Sings the Blues is the inimitable autobiography of one of the greatest icons of the twentieth century. Born to a single mother in 1915 Baltimore, Billie Holiday had her first run-in with the law at aged 13. But Billie Holiday is no victim. Her memoir tells the story of her life spent in jazz, smoky Harlem clubs and packed-out concert halls, her love affairs, her wildly creative friends, her struggles with addiction and her adventures in love. Billie Holiday is a wise and aphoristic guide to the story of her unforgettable life.

Miami and the Siege of Chicago

Norman Mailer

Miami, Summer 1968. The Vietnam War is raging; Martin Luther King, Jr., and Bobby Kennedy have just been assassinated. The Republican Party meets in Miami and picks Richard Nixon as its candidate, to little fanfare. But when the Democrats back Lyndon Johnson's ineffectual vice president, Hubert Humphrey, the city of Chicago erupts. Antiwar protesters fill the streets and the police run amok, beating and arresting demonstrators and delegates alike, all broadcast on live television, and captured in these pages by one of America's fiercest intellects.

The Naked and the Dead

Norman Mailer

Based on Mailer's own experience of military service in the Philippines during World War Two, The Naked and the Dead' is a graphically truthful and shattering portrayal of ordinary men in battle. First published in 1949, as America was still basking in the glories of the Allied victory, it altered forever the popular perception of warfare.

Focusing on the experiences of a fourteen-man platoon stationed on a Japanese-held island in the South Pacific during World War II, and written in a journalistic style, it tells the moving story of the soldiers' struggle to retain a sense of dignity amidst the horror of warfare, and to find a source of meaning in their lives amisdst the sounds and fury of battle.

The Blizzard

Vladimir Sorokin

A darkly comic dystopian odyssey, from one of Russia's leading contemporary novelists

Garin, a country doctor, is desperately trying to reach the village of Dolgoye, where a mysterious epidemic is transforming the villagers into zombies. He has with him a vaccine which will prevent the spread of this epidemic, but a terrible blizzard turns his journey into the stuff of nightmare. A trip that should take hours turns into a metaphysical odyssey, in which he encounters strange beasts, apparitions, hallucinations and dangerous fellow men. Trapped in this existential storm, Sorokin's characters fight their way through a landscape that owes as much to Chekhov's 19th-century Russia as it does to near-future, post-apocalyptic literature. Fantastical, comic and richly drawn, The Blizzard at once answers to the canon of Russian writers and makes a fierce statement about life in contemporary Russia.

Day of the Oprichnik

Vladimir Sorokin

Haunting, terrifying and hilarious, The Day of the Oprichnik is a dazzling novel and a fierce critique of life in the New Russia

Moscow 2028: Andrei Danilovich Komiaga, oprichnik, member of the czar's inner circle of trusted courtiers, rouses himself from a drunken stupor and prepares for another day of debauchery, violence, terror and beauty. In this New Russia, futuristic technology combine with the draconian world of Ivan the Terrible to create a dystopia chillingly akin to reality. Over the twenty-four-hour span of the novel, Komiaga will rape, pillage and torture, in the name of the czar he fears and adores. Shimmering with invention, fierce social commentary and razor-sharp wit, Day of the Oprichnik imagines a near future too disturbing to contemplate and too close to reality to ignore.

Classics you can read in one sitting