Penguin Modern Classics

Latest

The Success and Failure of Picasso

John Berger

In this classic of art criticism, one of our foremost cultural historians grapples with the life and work of one of the twentieth century's most mercurial and prodigious artists. In The Success and Failure of Picasso, John Berger places the artist in the historical, social and political contexts that made his work possible.

On Heroes and Tombs

Ernesto Sabato (and others)

Sabato's dark, philosophical novel is woven around a violent crime committed by Alejandra, the daughter of a prominent Argentinian family. Alejandra's act entwines the lives of three men: her father, Fernanda Vidal, a man who believes himself hunted by a secret organization of the blind, her troubled lover, Martin and Bruno, a writer who loved her mother. Exploring the tumult of Buenos Aires in the 1950s, On Heroes and Tombs leads its reader into a world of passion, philosophy and paranoia.

In the Castle of My Skin

George Lamming

In a sleepy fishing village in 1930s Barbados, nine-year-old G. leads a life of quiet mischief. While the village lies tranquil in the shadow of its English landlord, Mr Creighton, and his towering house on the hill, G. makes his own fun, crab catching, teasing preachers, and playing among the pumpkin vines. Yet from this world of boyish pursuits, the precocious G. finds himself slowly awakening to strange goings-on in adult society. All around him, sudden bursts of violence - a devastating flood on the morning of his birthday; the headmaster unduly flogging his schoolmates on Empire day - hint at a brutality and destruction lurking beneath the apparently peaceful order of things.

As the mounting wrongs of the present drive the villagers to rise up against Mr Creighton, the fissures in the façade of his Barbadian 'little England' begin to crack open, laying bare the central, bruising secret at the heart of their shared past. And as the world he knows crumbles before his eyes, G. is spurred ever closer to a life-changing decision. Poetic, unsettling, this classic coming-of-age novel is a story of tragic innocence, as a poor village boy comes to consciousness amid the collapse of colonial rule in mid-century Barbados.

Decline and Fall

Evelyn Waugh

A tie-in edition of Waugh's first and funniest novel to accompany the new BBC adaptation starring Jack Whitehall.

Sent down from Oxford University for indecent behaviour, Paul Pennyfeather embarks on a series of bizarre adventures that start in a minor public school and end in one of Her Majesty's prisons. In this, his first and funniest novel, Evelyn Waugh brilliantly satirised the roaring twenties with his story of an innocent abroad in high society.

Alone in Berlin

Hans Fallada (and others)

A tie-in edition of Fallada's best-selling WW2 novel, to accompany the major new film starring Emma Thompson and Brendan Gleeson.

Berlin, 1940, and the city is filled with fear. When unassuming couple Otto and Anna Quangel receive the news that their beloved son has been killed fighting in France, they are shocked out of their quiet existence and begin a silent campaign of defiance. A deadly game of cat and mouse develops between the Quangels and the ambitious Gestapo inspector Escherich in Fallada's desperately tense and heartbreaking exploration of resistance in impossible circumstances.

The Collected Short Stories

Jean Rhys

New to Penguin Classics, the remarkable, devastating collected stories by the author of Wide Sargasso Sea.

Some of Jean Rhys's most powerful writing is to be found in this rich, dark collection of her collected stories. Her fictional world is haunted by her own, painful memories: of cheap hotels and drab Parisian cafés; of devastating love affairs; of her childhood in Dominica; of drifting through European cities, always on the periphery and always perilously close to the abyss. Rendered in extraordinarily vivid, honest prose, these stories show Rhys at the height of her literary powers and offer a fascinating counterpoint to her most famous novel, Wide Sargasso Sea. This volume includes all the stories from her three collections,The Left Bank (1927), Tigers Are Better-Looking (1968) and Sleep It Off, Lady (1976).

Six modern classics that stood trial