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Monuments And Maidens

Marina Warner (Author)

'Why should Truth be a woman? Or Nature? Or Justice? Or Liberty? Not, certainly, because women have been more free, just, truthful, nor even (though this one has a double edge) more natural. Marina Warner sets out to breathe some life into the army of petrified personages that litters western cityscapes... As her book shows, these stony ladies can be persuaded to yield surprisingly interesting answers' - Lorna Sage, Observer

An entertaining and enlightening book about the relationship between allegory and female form from one of the great feminists and cultural historians of our time, Marina Warner.

Searching For Caleb

Anne Tyler (Author)

Ranging from the ragtime era to small-town America in the seventies, Searching for Caleb is a moving quest for a family's deepest roots - and a haunting story of growing up and breaking away, acceptance and rebellion.

OVER A MILLION ANNE TYLER BOOKS SOLD

‘She’s changed my perception on life’ Anna Chancellor

‘One of my favourite authors ’ Liane Moriarty

‘She spins gold' Elizabeth Buchan

‘Anne Tyler has no peer’ Anita Shreve

‘My favourite writer, and the best line-and-length novelist in the world’ Nick Hornby

‘A masterly author’ Sebastian Faulks

‘Tyler is not merely good, she is wickedly good’ John Updike

‘I love Anne Tyler’ Anita Brookner

‘Her fiction has strength of vision, originality, freshness, unconquerable humour’ Eudora Welty

Celestial Navigation

Anne Tyler (Author)

Jeremy is a child-like, painfully shy batchelor who has never left home. He lives on the third floor of his mother's boarding house and spends his days cutting up coloured paper to make mosaic sculptures - until the day his mother dies and the beautiful Mary Tell arrives to turn his world upside down.

From the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Amateur Marriage and Digging to America.

OVER A MILLION ANNE TYLER BOOKS SOLD

‘She’s changed my perception on life’ Anna Chancellor

‘One of my favourite authors ’ Liane Moriarty

‘She spins gold' Elizabeth Buchan

‘Anne Tyler has no peer’ Anita Shreve

‘My favourite writer, and the best line-and-length novelist in the world’ Nick Hornby

‘A masterly author’ Sebastian Faulks

‘Tyler is not merely good, she is wickedly good’ John Updike

‘I love Anne Tyler’ Anita Brookner

‘Her fiction has strength of vision, originality, freshness, unconquerable humour’ Eudora Welty

Ladder Of Years

Anne Tyler (Author)

One warm summer’s day at the beach, forty-year-old Cordelia Grinstead, dressed only in a swimsuit and beach robe, walks away from her family and just keeps on going.

After hitching a ride with a stranger to a new town where she knows no one, she reinvents herself as a single woman with no ties and begins living a new life altogether. But how long can she keep this up before her real life finds her?

OVER A MILLION ANNE TYLER BOOKS SOLD

‘She’s changed my perception on life’ Anna Chancellor

‘One of my favourite authors ’ Liane Moriarty

‘She spins gold' Elizabeth Buchan

‘Anne Tyler has no peer’ Anita Shreve

‘My favourite writer, and the best line-and-length novelist in the world’ Nick Hornby

‘A masterly author’ Sebastian Faulks

‘Tyler is not merely good, she is wickedly good’ John Updike

‘I love Anne Tyler’ Anita Brookner

‘Her fiction has strength of vision, originality, freshness, unconquerable humour’ Eudora Welty

The Anatomy Lesson

Philip Roth (Author)

'The Anatomy Lesson is a ferocious, heartfelt book - lavish with laughs and flamboyant inventions' John Updike

With his fortieth birthday receding into the distance, along with his hairline and his most successful novel, the writer Nathan Zuckerman comes down with a mysterious affliction – pure pain, beginning in his neck and shoulders, invading his torso, and taking possession of his spirit. Zuckerman, whose work was his life, finds himself physically unable to write a line.

He treks from one doctor to another, but none can find a cause for the pain and nobody can assuage it. Could it be, he wonders to himself, that the cause of the pain is nothing less than the books he has written?

As he grapples with this possibility, he tries an onslaught of painkillers, then vodka, and finally marijuana. He contemplates threatening the pain with suicide, attempting to scare it out of his system. He toys with the prospect of a dramatic career change. What will it take for the pain to finally leave him alone?

Shadows Of The Mind

Roger Penrose (Author)

Shadows of the Mind is a profound exploration of what modern physics has to tell us about the mind, and a visionary description of what a new physics - one that is adequate to account for our extraordinary brain - might look like. It is also a bold speculation on the biological process that makes consciousness what it is.

In this illuminating book Penrose provides powerful arguments to support his conclusion that there is something in the conscious activity of the brain that transcends computation - and will find no explanation in terms of present-day science.

Evangelista's Fan

Rose Tremain (Author)

From the author of The Gustav Sonata

In Rose Tremain's teasing and brilliant title story, Evangelista's Fan set in a disturbing dreamlike version of Regency London, a young italian clockmaker contrives a magical means, not only of repairing time, but also of unlocking the mechanism of sexual happiness. This collection demonstrates the enormous range of her talent and imagination. Here is history - Agincourt as seen by the herald who rides between the two camps - alongside such contemporary issues as mortgage debt and medical error. Here are stories set in Cornwall, Corsica, Nashville, Niagara and an unidentified city which conjures up any and every Western European capital. Here are the obstinate dreams of the old and the passionate struggles of the young; here is heartbreak and humour; and here, above all, is love in its many and varied forms.

Over a million Rose Tremain books sold

‘A writer of exceptional talent ... Tremain is a writer who understands every emotion’ Independent I

‘There are few writers out there with the dexterity or emotional intelligence to rival that of the great Rose Tremain’ Irish Times

‘Tremain has the painterly genius of an Old Master, and she uses it to stunning effect’ The Times

‘Rose Tremain is one of the very finest British novelists’ Salman Rushdie

‘Tremain is a writer of exemplary vision and particularity. The fictional world is rendered with extraordinary vividness’ Marcel Theroux, Guardian

The Beak Of The Finch

Jonathan Weiner (Author)

This is one of the easiest-to-read, most exciting books on evolution of the past twenty years. It describes evolution happening before our eyes among the isolated bird populations of the Galapagos - the very finches observed by Darwin on his Beagle voyage - and its heroes are an unsung British couple. It is uncannily fascinating to imagine the beak of the finch changing in our lifetime in response to evolutionary pressure. . . .

Now That You're Back

A.L. Kennedy (Author)

Exposing and exploring the sinuous undercurrents of violence, anguish and love, A.L. Kennedy examines the nature of the individual, both in isolation and society, as characters define and deny their chosen identities. While showing us the unlikeliness of intimacy and the impossibility of communication, Kennedy also reveals the subversive liberation of impotence, the humour of discomfort as human beings chafe together, the crazed claustrophobia of the family adn the wildly funny results of an eccentricity unleashed.

Portnoy's Complaint

Philip Roth (Author)

Pulitzer award-winning author Philip Roth’s iconic and sensational novel about sex, psychoanalysis and growing up

Portnoy's Complaint n. [after Alexander Portnoy (1933-)]:A disorder in which strongly-felt ethical and altruistic impulses are perpetually warring with extreme sexual longings, often of a perverse nature.

Portnoy’s Complaint, arguably Philip Roth’s best-known novel, tells the tale of young Jewish lawyer Alexander Portnoy and his scandalous sexual confessions to his psychiatrist. As narrated by Portnoy, he takes the reader on a journey through his childhood to adolescence to present day while articulating his sexual desire, frustration and neurosis in shockingly candid ways. Hysterically funny and daringly intimate, Portnoy’s Complaint was an immediate bestseller upon its publication and elevated Roth to an international literary celebrity.

‘The most outrageously funny book about sex written…Portnoy's Complaint is still a masterclass in how to get beneath the skin of sexuality. Has any other novel managed it quite so well?’ Guardian

The Accidental Tourist

Anne Tyler (Author)

How does a man addicted to routine - a man who flosses his teeth before love-making - cope with the chaos of everyday life? With the loss of his son, the departure of his wife and the arrival of Muriel, a dog trainer from the Meow-Bow dog clinic, Macon's attempts at ordinary life are tragically and comically undone.

OVER A MILLION ANNE TYLER BOOKS SOLD

‘She’s changed my perception on life’ Anna Chancellor

‘One of my favourite authors ’ Liane Moriarty

‘She spins gold' Elizabeth Buchan

‘Anne Tyler has no peer’ Anita Shreve

‘My favourite writer, and the best line-and-length novelist in the world’ Nick Hornby

‘A masterly author’ Sebastian Faulks

‘Tyler is not merely good, she is wickedly good’ John Updike

‘I love Anne Tyler’ Anita Brookner

‘Her fiction has strength of vision, originality, freshness, unconquerable humour’ Eudora Welty

The Acid House

Irvine Welsh (Author)

The characters in this extraordinary book are often - on the surface - depraved, vicious, cowardly and manipulative, but their essential humanity is never undermined. Two professors of philosophy turn pugilists; Leith removal men become the objects of desire for Hollywood goddesses; God turns Boab Coyle into a house-fly; and in the novella, 'A Smart Cunt', the drug-addled young hero spins off on a collision course with his past. The Acid House is a bizarre, disturbing and hilarious collection from one of the most uncompromising and original writers around.

Childhood And Society

E H Erikson (Author)

With this deeply influential book, which is now internationally recognised as a classic study of childhood and its social significance, Professor Erikson has made an outstanding contribution to the study of human behaviour. Drawing on psychoanalytical theory and his own clinical experience, he devotes the main chapters to anxiety in young children, apathy in American Indians, confusion in veterans of war, and arrogance in young Nazis.

Open Secrets

Alice Munro (Author)

‘A superb collection... Marriage, gambles, disappearances, motiveless vandalism - it is the stuff of unremarkable lives, conveyed in a remarkable fashion’ Independent

Open Secrets, Nobel Prize in Literature winner Alice Munro’s eighth book, consists of eight stories, each one as rich as a full novel. Ranging from the 1850s through two world wars to the present, and from Canada to Brisbane, the Balkans and the Somme, these dazzling stories reveal the secrets of unconventional women who refuse to be contained.

‘Brilliant at evoking life’s diversity and unpredictability…an unrivalled chronicler of human nature’ The Sunday Times

Degrees Of Freedom

A S Byatt (Author)

First published in 1965, A.S. Byatt's Degrees of Freedom examined the first eight novels of Iris Murdoch, identifying freedom as a central theme in all of them, and looking at Murdoch's interest in the relations between art and goodness, master and slave, and the novel of character in the nineteenth century sense. Drawing on Iris Murdoch's own critical and philosphical writing, A.S. Byatt discussed her interest in the thought of Sartre, Plato, Freud and Simone Weil, and related this to the form of the novels themselves.

This edition of Degrees of Freedom has an added dossier of later essays and reviews of Iris Murdoch's work by A.S Byatt, taking us up to the publication of The Book and the Brotherhood in 1987. It also includes a substantial pamplet written for the British Council which follows Murdoch's fiction as far as The Good Apprentice.

The Matisse Stories

A S Byatt (Author)

Each story is in some way inspired by a painting of Henri Matisse, each is also about the intimate connection between seeing and feeling -- about the ways in which a glance we meant to be casual may suddenly call forth the deepest reserves of our being.

Their subjects' lives unravel from simple beginnings -- a trip to the hair dresser, a cleaning woman's passion for knitting, lunch in a Chinese restaurant but gradually the veneer of ordinariness is peeled back to expose pain, reveal desire, or express the intensity of joy in color and creation.

These stories are all about human beings: about how little we can know (or may care to know) about the people with whom we spend our lives, and how tragic the results of that ignorance or indifference can be.

Our Gang

Philip Roth (Author)

'Disturbing, logical and very funny... In short, a masterpiece' New York Times Book Review

A ferocious political satire in the great tradition of Jonathan Swift and Mark Twain, Our Gang is Philip Roth's brilliantly acerbic response to the phenomenon of Richard M. Nixon.

In the character of Trick E. Dixon, Roth portrays an American president who outdoes the severest cynic; a peace-loving Quaker and believer in the sanctity of human life who doesn't have a problem with killing unarmed women and children. A master politician with an honest sneer, he finds himself battling the Boy Scouts, declaring war on pro-pornography Denmark, all the time trusting in the basic indifference of the voting public.

Tricky is the unprincipled self-seeker who hides his heartlessness behind the anaesthetising clichés of high office, whose public language is a merciless parody of that 'candid' Presidential prose which is merely double-talk, or as Orwell put it, 'pure wind'.

The Naked Ape

Desmond Morris (Author)

FIFTIETH ANNIVERSARY EDITION - WITH A NEW PREFACE BY THE AUTHOR

Here is the Naked Ape at his most primal - in love, at work, at war. Meet man as he really is: relative to the apes, stripped of his veneer as we see him courting, making love, sleeping, socialising, grooming, playing.

Zoologist Desmond Morris's classic takes its place alongside Darwin's Origin of the Species, presenting man not as a fallen angel, but as a risen ape, remarkable in his resilience, energy and imagination, yet an animal nonetheless, in danger of forgetting his origins. With its penetrating insights on man's beginnings, sex life, habits and our astonishing bonds to the animal kingdom, The Naked Ape is a landmark, at once provocative, compelling and timeless.

'Original, provocative and brilliantly entertaining. It's the sort of book that changes people's lives' Sunday Times

Foreign Affairs

Alison Lurie (Author)

'Vinnie Miner, 54-year-old Anglophile professor, is in London on a six-month foundation grant. So is her young colleague, Fred Turner. Vinnie is plain and resignedly self-reliant; Fred is arrestingly handsome and moping after a breakup with his wife. Vinnie and Fred have love affairs in London. Fred's is a fraught liaison with a waitress while Vinnie drifts into a relationship with an engineer from Oklahoma she met on the plane, a brash uneducated stereotypical American who finally beguiles her (and the reader) with his uncomplicated goodness... I devoured the book at a sitting and then went back for a second dip at once' Penelope Lively, Sunday Telegraph

The Marriage Of Cadmus And Harmony

Roberto Calasso (Author)

THE MARRIAGE OF CADMUS AND HARMONY is a book without any modern parallel. Forming an active link in a chain that reaches back through Ovid's METAMORPHOSES directly to Homer, Roberto Calasso's re-exploration of the fantastic fables and mysteries we may only think we know explodes the entire world of Greek mythology, pieces it back together, and presents it to us in a new, and astonishing, and utterly contempory way.

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