Penguin European Writers

8 books in this series
Three Summers
Three Summers
'That summer we bought big straw hats. Maria's had cherries around the rim, Infanta's had forget-me-nots, and mine had poppies as red as fire. . .'

Three Summers
is a warm and tender tale of three sisters growing up in the countryside near Athens before the Second World War. Living in a ramshackle old house with their divorced mother are flirtatious, hot-headed Maria, beautiful but distant Infanta, and dreamy and rebellious Katerina, through whose eyes the story is mostly observed. Over three summers, the girls share and keep secrets, fall in and out of love, try to understand the strange ways of adults and decide what kind of adults they hope to become.
Women
Women
Stefan Valeriu, a young Romanian student, holidays alone in the Alps, where he soon becomes entangled in romantic relationships with three different women who pass through his guesthouse. We follow Stefan after his return to Paris as he reflects on the women in his life, at times playing the lover, and at others observing shrewdly from the periphery.

Women's four interlinked stories offer nuanced and deeply moving portraits of romantic relationships in all their complexity, from unrequited love and passionate affairs to tepid marriages of convenience. In light, elegant prose, Mihail Sebastian, widely regarded as the greatest Romanian writer of the 20th century, explores longing, otherness, empathy, and regret.
A Moth to a Flame
A Moth to a Flame
In 1940s Stockholm, a young man named Bengt falls into deep, private turmoil with the unexpected death of his mother. As he struggles to cope with her loss, his despair slowly transforms to rage when he discovers that his father had a mistress. Bengt swears revenge on behalf of his mother's memory, but he soon finds himself drawn into a fevered and forbidden affair with the very woman he set out to destroy . . .

Written in a taut, restrained style, A Moth to a Flame is an intense exploration of heartache and fury, desperation and illicit passion. Set against a backdrop of the moody streets of Stockholm and the Hitchcockian shadows in the woods and waters of Sweden's remote islands, this is a psychological masterpiece by one of Sweden's greatest writers.
The Train Was on Time
The Train Was on Time
Twenty-four-year-old Andreas, a disillusioned German soldier, is travelling on a troop train to the Eastern Front when he has an awful premonition that he will die in exactly five days. As he hurtles towards his death, he reflects on the chaos around him - the naïve soldiers, the painfully thin girl who pours his coffee, the ruined countryside - with sudden, heart-breaking poignancy.

Arriving in Poland the night before he is certain he will die, he meets Olina, a beautiful prostitute, and together they attempt to escape his fate. . .
The Lady and the Little Fox Fur
The Lady and the Little Fox Fur
The Lady and the Little Fox Fur is an existential feminist classic about an old woman who lives alone in a tiny attic flat in Paris, where she counts out coffee beans every morning beneath the roar of the overhead metro. Starving, she spends her days walking around the city, each step a bid for recognition of her own existence. She rides crowded metro carriages to feel the warmth of other bodies, and watches the hot batter of pancakes drip from the hands of street-sellers.

One morning she awakes with an urgent need to taste an orange; but when she rummages in the bins she finds instead a discarded fox fur scarf. The little fox fur becomes the key to her salvation, the friend who changes her lonely existence into a playful world of her own invention. The Lady and the Little Fox Fur is a stunning portrait of Paris, of the invisibility we all feel in a big city, and ultimately of the hope and triumph of a woman who reclaims her place in the world.
The Beautiful Summer
The Beautiful Summer
'Life was a perpetual holiday in those days...'

It's the height of summer in 1930s Italy, and sixteen-year-old Ginia is desperate for adventure. So begins a fateful friendship with Amelia, a stylish and sophisticated artist's model who envelops her in a dazzling new world of bohemian artists and intoxicating freedom. Under the spell of her new friends, Ginia soon falls in love with Guido, an enigmatic young painter. It's the start of a desperate love affair, charged with false hope and overwhelming passion - destined to last no longer than the course of a summer.

The Beautiful Summer is a gorgeous coming-of-age tale of lost innocence and first love, by one of Italy's greatest writers.
Death in Spring
Death in Spring
Death in Spring is a dark and dream-like tale of a teenage boy's coming of age in a remote village in the Catalan mountains; a place cut off from the outside world, where cruel customs are blindly followed, and attempts at rebellion swiftly crushed. When his father dies, he must navigate this oppressive society alone, and learn how to live in a place of crippling conformity.

Often seen as an allegory for life under a dictatorship, Death in Spring is a bewitching and unsettling novel about power, exile, and the hope that comes from even the smallest gestures of independence.

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