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The Librarian

Salley Vickers (Author)

A charmingly subversive novel about a library in 1950s England, by the acclaimed author of The Cleaner of Chartres

Sylvia Blackwell, a young woman in her twenties, moves to East Mole, a quaint market town in middle England, to start a new job as a children's librarian. But the apparently pleasant town is not all it seems. Sylvia falls in love with an older man - but it's her connectionto his precocious young daughter and her neighbours' son which will change her life and put them, the library and her job under threat.

How does the library alter the young children's lives and how do the children fare as a result of the books Sylvia introduces them to?

Charlotte Brontë

Claire Harman (Author)

On the 200th anniversary of Charlotte Brontë's birth, Penguin is publishing the definitive biography of this extraordinary novelist, by acclaimed literary biographer Claire Harman

Charlotte Brontë's life contained all the drama and tragedy of the great Gothic novels it inspired. She was raised motherless on remote Yorkshire moors and sent away to brutally strict boarding school at a young age. She watched helpless growing up as, one by one, her five beloved siblings sickened and died; by the end of her short life, she was the only child of the Brontë clan remaining. And most fascinating and tragic of all, throughout her adult life she was haunted by a great and unrequited love - a love that tortured Charlotte but also inspired some of the most moving, intense and revolutionary novels ever written in the English language.

Charlotte was a literary visionary, a feminist trailblazer and the driving force behind the whole Brontë family. She encouraged her sister Emily to publish Wuthering Heights when no-one else believed in her talent. She took charge of the family's precarious finances when her brilliant but feckless brother Branwell succumbed to opium addiction. She travelled from Yorkshire to Europe to the bright lights of London, met some of the most brilliant literary minds of her generation (Elizabeth Gaskell, Charles Dickens, William Thackeray), and became a bestselling female author in a world still dominated by men. And in each of her books, from Villette and Shirley to her most famous, Jane Eyre, Charlotte created brand new kinds of heroines, inspired by herself and her life, fiercely intelligent women burning with hidden passions.

This beautifully-produced, landmark biography is essential reading for every fan of the Brontë family's writing, from Jane Eyre to Wuthering Heights. It is a uniquely intimate and complex insight into one of Britain's best loved writers. This is the literary biography of the year; if you loved Claire Tomalin's Charles Dickens, this event is not to be missed.

Lifting the Veil

Ismat Chughtai (Author)

'Gloriously provocative... female sexuality within a patriarchal world is Chughtai's central concern' Kamila Shamsie, from the introduction

Lifting the Veil is a bold and irreverent collection of writing from India's most controversial feminist writer. These stories celebrate life in all its complexities: from a woman who refuses marriage to a man she loves to preserve her freedom, to a Hindu and a Muslim teenager pulled apart by societal pressures, to eye-opening personal accounts of the charges of obscenity the author faced in court for stories found in this book.

Wickedly funny and unflinchingly honest, Lifting the Veil explores the power of female sexuality while slyly mocking the subtle tyrannies of middle-class life. In 1940s India, an unlikely setting for female rebellion, Ismat Chughtai was a rare and radical storyteller born years ahead of her time.

Meatless Days

Sara Suleri (Author)

'Some of the more heart-shaking writing about love and grief I've ever read' Kamila Shamsie, from the introduction

Meatless Days is a searing memoir of life in the newly-created country of Pakistan. When sudden and shocking tragedies hit the author's family two years apart, her personal crisis spirals into a wider meditation on universal questions: about being a woman when you're too busy being a mother or a sister or a wife to consider your own womanhood; about how it feels to begin life in a new language; about how our lives are changed by the people that leave them. This is a heart-breaking, hopeful and profound book that will get under your skin.

Last Stories

William Trevor (Author)

In this final collection of ten exquisite, perceptive and profound stories, William Trevor probes into the depths of the human spirit. Here we encounter a tutor and his pupil, whose lives are thrown into turmoil when they meet again years later; a young girl who discovers the mother she believed dead is alive and well; and a piano-teacher who accepts her pupil's theft in exchange for his beautiful music. These gorgeous stories - the last that Trevor wrote before his death - affirm his place as one of the world's greatest storytellers.

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