Penguin Modern Classics

New and forthcoming

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 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.

The Pitards

Georges Simenon

After many years spent at sea, Captain Lannec finally manages to buy his own vessel, but not without the financial help of his in-laws, the Pitards. In return, his wife insists on accompanying him on the ship's first voyage and her presence on board makes him feel increasingly uneasy, especially after the threatening anonymous note he received before setting sail from Rouen.

First published in 1935, The Pitards was one of the first novels Simenon wrote when he shelved his famous Maigret series in order to strike out in a new direction and make a name for himself as a literary writer rather than a creator of genre fiction. This captivating evocation of life at sea revolves around the claustrophobia of class snobbery and the tense unravelling of relationships conducted at close quarters, powerful themes that Simenon would return to throughout his writing career.

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

'They won't know you, the you that's hidden somewhere in the castle of your skin'

Nine-year-old G. leads a life of quiet mischief crab catching, teasing preachers and playing among the pumpkin vines. His sleepy fishing village in 1930s Barbados is overseen by the English landlord who lives on the hill, just as their 'Little England' is watched over by the Mother Country. Yet gradually, G. finds himself awakening to the violence and injustice that lurk beneath the apparent order of things. As the world he knows begins to crumble, revealing the bruising secret at its heart, he is spurred ever closer to a life-changing decision. Lyrical and unsettling, George Lamming's autobiographical coming-of-age novel is a story of tragic innocence amid the collapse of colonial rule.

'Rich and riotous' The Times

'Its poetic imaginative writing has never been surpassed' Tribune

The Zoo of the New

Don Paterson (and others)

'So open it anywhere, then anywhere, then anywhere again. We're sure it won't be long before you find a poem that brings you smack into the newness and strangeness of the living present'

In The Zoo of the New, poets Don Paterson and Nick Laird have cast a fresh eye over more than five centuries of verse, from the English language and beyond. Above all, they have sought poetry that retains, in one way or another, a powerful timelessness: words with the thrilling capacity to make the time and place in which they were written, however distant and however foreign they may be, feel utterly here and now in the 21st Century.

This book stretches as far back as Sappho and as far forward as the recent award-winning work of Denise Riley, taking in poets as varied as Thomas Wyatt, Sylvia Plath, William Shakespeare, T. S. Eliot, Frank O'Hara and Gwendolyn Brooks along the way. Here, the mournful rubs shoulders with the celebratory; the skulduggerous and the foolish with the highfalutin; and tales of love, loss and war with a menagerie of animals and objects, from bee boxes to rubber boots, a suit of armour and a microscope.

Teeming with old favourites and surprising discoveries, this lovingly selected compendium is sure to win lifelong readers.

Six modern classics that stood trial