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Search Sweet Country

Kojo Laing

Winner of the Valco Fund Literary Award for Fiction and the Ghana Book Award

Search Sweet Country follows the lives of an eclectic, interconnected group of Ghanaians living in and around the sprawling, chaotic city of Accra in the mid-1970s. Bringing the city to life in dizzying, lyrical prose, Laing weaves a story filled with bizarre and often melancholy characters: an idealistic professor, a lovely young witch, a wide-eyed student, a corrupt politician and his hack sidekick, a business-savvy young woman, a healer, a bishop, and a crazy man intent on founding his own village. Their collective narratives create a portrait of a country where colonialism is dying, but democracy remains elusive. Search Sweet Country is a timeless, near-forgotten gem by a virtuosic writer, as necessary now as when the book was first published. Like Joyce's Dublin and Dickens's London, Laing's Accra brims with both lush specificity and universal relevance.

The Chandelier

Clarice Lispector

Clarice Lispector's masterly second novel, now available in English for the first time

'She found the best clay that one could desire: white, supple, sticky, cold ... She would get a clear and tender material from which she could shape a world'

Like the clay from which she sculpts figurines as a girl, Virginia is constantly shifting and changing. From her dreamlike childhood on Quiet Farm with her adored brother Daniel, through an adulthood where the past continues to pull her back and shape her, she moves through life, grasping for the truth of existence. Illuminating Virginia's progress through intense flashes of image, sensation and perception, The Chandelier, Lispector's landmark second novel, is a disorienting and exhilarating portrait of one woman's inner life.

'Utterly original and brilliant, haunting and disturbing' Colm Tóibín

Translated by Benjamin Moser and Magdalena Edwards

Little Man, What Now?

Hans Fallada (and others)

From the bestselling author of Alone in Berlin, his acclaimed novel of a young couple trying to survive life in 1930s Germany

'Nothing so confronts a woman with the deathly futility of her existence as darning socks'

A young couple fall in love, get married and start a family, like countless young couples before them. But Lämmchen and 'Boy' live in Berlin in 1932, and everything is changing. As they desperately try to make ends meet amid bullying bosses, unpaid bills, monstrous mothers-in-law and Nazi streetfighters, will love be enough?

The novel that made Hans Fallada's name as a writer, Little Man, What Now? tells the story of one of European literature's most touching couples and is filled with an extraordinary mixture of comedy and desperation. It was published just before Hitler came to power and remains a haunting portrayal of innocents whose world is about to be swept away forever. This brilliant new translation by Michael Hofmann brings to life an entire era of austerity and turmoil in Weimar Germany.

'An inspired work of a great writer ... Fallada is a genius. The "Little Man" is Mr Everybody' Beryl Bainbridge

'There are chapters which pluck the nerves...there are chapters which raise the spirits like a fine day in the country. The truth and variety of the characterization is superb...it recognizes that the world is not to be altered with moral fables' Graham Greene

'Fallada deserves high praise for having reported so realistically, so truthfully, with such closeness to life' Herman Hesse

'Fallada at his best' Philip Hensher

'Performs the most astounding task, of taking us to a moment before history' Los Angeles Review of Books

Life with a Capital L

D. H. Lawrence (and others)

A brilliantly varied new selection of D. H. Lawrence's essays, chosen and introduced by Geoff Dyer

For D. H. Lawrence the novel was the pinnacle, 'the one bright book of life', yet his non-fiction shows him at his most freewheeling and playful. This is a selection of his essays, on subjects including art, morality, obscenity, songbirds, Italy, Thomas Hardy, the death of a porcupine in the Rocky Mountains and the narcissism of photographing ourselves. Arranged chronologically to illuminate the patterns of Lawrence's thought over time, and including many little-known pieces, they reveal a writer of enduring freshness and force.

'The greatest writer of this century, and in many things the greatest writer of all times' Philip Larkin

The Beauty of Everyday Things

Soetsu Yanagi (and others)

"Radical and inspiring ... Yanagi's vision puts the connection between heart and hand before the transient and commercial" - Edmund de Waal

The daily lives of ordinary people are replete with objects, common things used in commonplace settings. These objects are our constant companions in life. As such, writes Soetsu Yanagi, they should be made with care and built to last, treated with respect and even affection. They should be natural and simple, sturdy and safe - the aesthetic result of wholeheartedly fulfilling utilitarian needs. They should, in short, be things of beauty.

In an age of feeble and ugly machine-made things, these essays call for us to deepen and transform our relationship with the objects that surround us. Inspired by the work of the simple, humble craftsmen Yanagi encountered during his lifelong travels through Japan and Korea, they are an earnest defence of modest, honest, handcrafted things - from traditional teacups to jars to cloth and paper. Objects like these exemplify the enduring appeal of simplicity and function: the beauty of everyday things.

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.

My Ántonia

Willa Cather

The final novel in the Great Plains trilogy, this is a celebration of the American midwest with Cather's strongest heroine at its heart

Jim and Ántonia meets as children in the wide open plains of Nebraska at the end of the nineteenth century. Jim leaves for college and a career in the east, while Ántonia stays at home, dedicating herself to her farm and family. As the years roll by, Jim will come to view Ántonia as the embodiment of the prairie itself - tough, spirited and enduring, despite the hardness and loneliness of pioneer life. Willa Cather's beautiful novel is a celebration of the Nebraskan prairie she loved she much, and a powerful depiction of a pivotal era in the making of America.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

John le Carré

The first part of John le Carré's acclaimed Karla Trilogy, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy sees the beginning of the stealthy Cold War cat-and-mouse game between the taciturn, dogged George Smiley and his wily Soviet counterpart.

A mole, implanted by Moscow Centre, has infiltrated the highest ranks of the British Intelligence Service, almost destroying it in the process. And so former spymaster George Smiley has been brought out of retirement in order to hunt down the traitor at the very heart of the Circus - even though it may be one of those closest to him.

'A stunning story' Wall Street Journal

'A great thriller, the best le Carré has written' Spectator

THE FIFTH GEORGE SMILEY NOVEL

Smiley's People

John le Carré

The concluding part of John le Carré's celebrated Karla Trilogy, Smiley's People sees the last confrontation between the indefatigable spymaster George Smiley and his great enemy, as their rivalry comes to a shattering end.

A Soviet defector has been assassinated on English soil, and George Smiley is called back to the Circus to clear up - and cover up - the mess. But what he discovers sends him delving into the past, on a trail through Hamburg and Paris to Cold War Berlin - and a final showdown with his elusive nemesis, Karla.

'An enormously skilled and satisfying work' Newsweek

'We are all Smiley's people, a kind of secular god of intelligence' New Yorker

THE SEVENTH GEORGE SMILEY NOVEL

Single & Single

John le Carré

'An adventure that takes us to the ends of the earth via the rich but often barren landscape of the human heart' The Times

Why was an English lawyer shot dead in Turkey by his firm's top client? How can a down-at-heel magician in Devon explain the vast fortune that has mysteriously appeared in his daughter's trust fund? With customs officer Nat Brock on the trail, the answers point to the House of Single - once a respectable finance company, now entangled with a Russian crime syndicate.

West is pitted against East, and the British establishment against a labyrinthine criminal superpower, in le Carré's searing novel of lives built upon lies.

'A masterly work, faultless fiction of the highest order' Glasgow Herald

Absolute Friends

John le Carré

'One of his most enthralling creations' Daily Telegraph

Broke and working as a tour guide in Germany, rootless Englishman Ted Mundy catches a glimpse of an old friend hiding in the shadows. A friend he thought was lost to him. A friend who took him from radical 1960s Berlin to life as a double agent. Now, decades later, the Cold War is over and the war on terror has begun. Sasha has another mission for them both, but this time it is impossible to tell the difference between allies - and enemies.

Set in a world of lies and shifting allegiances, Absolute Friends is a savage fable of our times.

'Thoroughly gripping' Sunday Times

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