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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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
'The best English novel since the war' Philip Roth
Magnus Pym - ranking diplomat, consummate Englishman, loving husband, secret agent - has vanished. Has he defected? Gone to ground? As the hunt for Pym intensifies, the secrets of his life are revealed: the people he has loved and betrayed, the unreliable con-man father who made him, the two mentors who moulded and shaped him, and now wish to claim this perfect spy as their own.
Described by le Carré as his most autobiographical novel, A Perfect Spy is a devastating portrayal of a man who has played different roles for so long, he no longer knows who he is.
'Le Carré understood that espionage is an extreme version of the human comedy, even the human tragedy. A Perfect Spy will very likely remain his greatest book' New Yorker
'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
'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
'Mesmerising' Sunday Times
As an interpreter of African languages, Bruno Salvador is much in demand. He makes it a principle to remain neutral - no matter what he hears. But when he is summoned on a secret job for British Intelligence, he is told he will have to get his hands dirty. His mission is to help bring democracy to the Congo - democracy that will be delivered at the end of a gun barrel.
The Mission Song is an excoriating depiction of a corrupt world where loyalty can be bought and war is simply an opportunity to settle old scores.
'Simply astonishing ... a formidably sophisticated work of fiction' Charles Cumming
'One of the most sophisticated fictional responses to the war on terror yet published' Guardian
An illegal Muslim immigrant arrives in Hamburg with a traumatic past and the key to a fortune held in a private bank. He says his name is Issa. To the idealistic young human rights lawyer Annabel, determined to save him from deportation, he is a worthy cause. To the intelligence services of Britain, Germany and America, however, he is a potential jihadist - and a pawn between them as they seek to make a kill in the war on terror.
A Most Wanted Man is a gripping and disquieting story of paranoia, disillusionment and betrayal in the moral no-man's land of the post-9/11 world.
'A first-class novel about the most pressing concerns of our time' Daily Telegraph
'Splendid ... le Carré shows how endowed he is with the gift of storytelling' The Times
Aldo Cassidy is a cautious man. He has a pleasant family, drives a safe, expensive car and wears luxurious clothes. But his soothing existence is upended when he meets Shamus and Helen - a dazzling, bohemian couple who are everything he is not. As he is drawn into their reckless and unpredictable orbit, all that Cassidy thought he understood about his orderly life begins to unravel.
Told with le Carré's lacerating wit and penetrating observation, The Naive and Sentimental Lover is an acerbic satire of middle-class hypocrisies.
'Le Carré is the equal of any novelist now writing' Guardian
In the second part of John le Carré's Karla Trilogy, the battle of wits between spymaster George Smiley and his Russian adversary takes on an even more dangerous dimension.
George Smiley, now acting head of the Circus, must rebuild its shattered reputation after one of the biggest betrayals in its history. Using the talents of journalist and occasional spy Jerry Westerby, Smiley launches a risky operation uncovering a Russian money-laundering scheme in the Far East. His aim: revenge on Karla, head of Moscow Centre and the architect of all his troubles.
'Energy, compassion, rich and overwhelming sweep of character and action' The Times
'A remarkable sequel ... the achievement is in the characters, major and minor ... all burned on the brain of the reader' The New York Times
THE SIXTH GEORGE SMILEY NOVEL
'The book breathes life, anger and excitement' Observer
Tessa Quayle, a brilliant and beautiful young social activist, has been found brutally murdered by Lake Turkana in Nairobi. The rumours are that she was faithless, careless, but her husband Justin, a reserved, garden-loving British diplomat, refuses to believe them. As he sets out to discover what really happened to Tessa, he unearths a conspiracy more disturbing, and more deadly, than he could ever have imagined.
A blistering exposé of global corruption, The Constant Gardener is also the moving portrayal of a man searching for justice for the woman he has barely had time to love.
'A cracking thriller' Economist
'Wonderful' The New York Times
Charlie, a jobbing young English actress, is accustomed to playing different roles. But when the mysterious, battle-scarred Joseph recruits her into the Israeli secret services, she enters the dangerous 'theatre of the real'. As she acts out her part in an intricate, high-stakes plot to trap and kill a Palestinian terrorist, it threatens to consume her.
Set in the tragic arena of the Middle East conflict, this compelling story of love and torn loyalties plays out against the backdrop of an unwinnable war.
'The Little Drummer Girl is about spies as Madame Bovary is about adultery or Crime and Punishment about crime' The New York Times
The second novel in the Great Plains trilogy, this is a passionate portrait of the artist as a young woman
Thea Kronberg, a young girl from a small town in Colorado has a great gift - her beautiful singing voice. Her talent takes her to the great opera houses of Europe, and through ambition and hard work, she forges a life as an artist. But if she can never go home again, nor can she leave behind her past. At last, in a desert canyon in Arizona, Thea has a revelation that will allow her to attain a new state of spirituality and become a truly great artist.
'Willa Cather makes a world which is burningly alive, sometimes lovely, often tragic' Helen Dunmore
'The Song of the Lark illuminates all her work' A. S. Byatt
'Lingers long in the memory' Joyce Carol Oates
'You will be a great hero, a general, Gabriele d'Annunzio, Ambassador of France!'
For his whole life, Romain Gary's fierce, eccentric motherhad only one aim: to make her son a great man. And she did. This, his thrilling, wildly romantic autobiography, is the story of his journey from poverty in Eastern Europe to the sensual world of the Côte d'Azur and on to wartime pilot, resistance hero, diplomat, filmmaker, star and one of the most famed French writers of his age.
An extraordinary history of French lives under occupation in the First and Second World Wars, this is an intimate, unforgettable meditation on the strange mixture of compromise and betrayal, collaboration and resistance that marks defeat, written by one of the greatest historians of France.
'A splendid book for comprehending human kind ... Cobb has a strong sense of how ordinary life has to go on, even through disasters, and a sensitivity for what it was like at the time, matched by a gift for the telling phrase' Economist
'Prophet of the past, Richard Cobb is a visionary' New York Review of Books
'His France - urban, northern, provincial, pedestrian, noisy, unpuritanical, festive - was in contrast to, and predicated upon, another France: bureaucratic, official, suburban, safe' Julian Barnes