Search: Penelope Lively

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Lifting the Veil

Ismat Chughtai (Author)

At a time when writing by and about women was rare and tentative, Chughtai explored female sexuality with unparalleled frankness and examined the political and social mores of her time.

The twenty-one pieces in this selection are Chughtai at her best, marked by her brilliant turn of phrase, scintillating dialogue and wry humour, her characteristic irreverence, wit and eye for detail.

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.

Meatless Days

Sara Suleri (Author)

'Leaving Pakistan was, of course, tantamount to giving up the company of women...'

Meatless Days is a heart-breaking memoir of a woman's coming-of-age in postcolonial Pakistan. Moving through time and space, from Lahore to Connecticut and back again, the author takes us on a deeply personal journey through her family's tragic history.

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