Penguin Modern Classics
'You could be lonely as hell in the city, then one day you look around you and you realise everybody else is lonely too'
This irresistible, bittersweet collection of short stories from the supreme chronicler of West Indian lives in Britain brings together two worlds: Trinidad and London. Here is an illicit love affair on a plantation, gossip and rivalry between village washerwomen, a boy rebelling against his parents' traditions. Here too is life after leaving for England: hustling for work, eking out money for the gas meter in winter, dancing in clubs, discovering romance in a night-time park, experiencing unexpected kindness, dreams and disenchantment.
'Food for short story lovers everywhere' Irish Times
*A major celebration of the French short story and Spectator Book of the Year*
The short story has a rich tradition in French literature. This feast of an anthology celebrates its most famous practitioners, as well as newly translated writers ready for rediscovery. The second volume takes the reader through the tumultuous twentieth century in the company of writers including Simone de Beauvoir and Maryse Condé, Patrick Modiano and Virginie Despentes, covering world wars, revolutions, and the horrors of the motorway service station. Along the way we meet electronic brains, she-wolves, a sadistic Cinderella, ancestors, infidels, dissatisfied housewives and lonely ambassadors, all clamouring to be heard. Funny, devastating and fresh at every turn, this is the place to start for lovers of French literature, new and old.
Edited and with an introduction by Patrick McGuinness, academic, writer and translator.
'Violence can destroy power; it is utterly incapable of creating it'
Why has violence played such a significant role in human history? Written in 1970, with the Holocaust and Hiroshima still fresh in recent memory, war in Vietnam raging and the streets of Europe and America exploding into student protest, Hannah Arendt's seminal work dissects violence in the twentieth century: its nature and causes, its relationship with politics and war, its role in the modern age. Arendt warns against the glamorization of violence by revolutionary causes, and argues that true, lasting power can never grow 'out of the barrel of a gun'.
'Incisive, deeply probing, written with clarity and grace, it provides an ideal framework for understanding the turbulence of our times' The Nation
With an introduction by Arendt expert, Lyndsey Stonebridge, Professor of Humanities and Human Rights at the University of Birmingham.
With the Second World War only a few years in the past, and Japan still reeling from its effects, two sisters - born to the same father but different mothers - struggle to make sense of the new world in which they are coming of age. Asako, the younger, has become obsessed with locating a third sibling, while also experiencing love for the first time. While Momoko, their father's first child - haunted by the loss of her kamikaze boyfriend and their final, disturbing days together - seeks comfort in a series of unhealthy romances. And both sisters find themselves unable to outrun the legacies of their late mothers. A thoughtful, probing novel about the enduring traumas of war, the unbreakable bonds of family and the inescapability of the past, The Rainbow is a searing, melancholy work from one of Japan's greatest writers.
Translated by Haydn Trowell
'All I've got is hunger. And that instable way of grasping an apple in the dark-without letting it fall'
Martim, believing that he has committed a murder, flees the city and escapes into the night. Wandering through the vastness of nature he arrives, in a state of fear and wonder, at a remote ranch run by two women. There Martim finds work and, as he labours in the blistering heat of the Brazilian summer, becomes transfigured; remade into something else entirely.
Translated by Benjamin Moser
'The most important Brazilian woman writer of the twentieth century... The richness of The Apple in the Dark defies the explanatory power of any single interpretation' TLS
This exhilarating collection of non-fiction sees one of the greatest twentieth-century writers meditating on the moments that make up a life
'How did I so unwittingly transform the joy of living into the great luxury of being alive?'
Between 1967 and 1977, the internationally renowned author Clarice Lispector wrote weekly dispatches from her desk in Rio for the Jornal do Brasil. Already famous for her revolutionary, interior, metaphysical novels and short stories, in her Chronicles she turned her attention to the everyday, reshaping the material of her life into profound, touching and funny, tiny revelations.
Observing the world around her, small encounters like hearing tales of the lost loves of a taxi driver, or the bitterness lurking beneath the prettiness of an old friend, become an exposition of the currents and foibles that define our lives. Everything from the meaning of cosmonauts to the new ideas, writers and artists that populate the sparkling international world of the sixties and seventies are considered and transformed into jewels of insight, delight and devastation.
Sincere and playful, exhilarating and contemplative, Too Much of Life: Complete Chronicles opens up a new way of seeing the world.
'Sad, sonorous, occasionally hilarious, an extraordinary first novel' Washington Post
'Striking . . . brings sexism and classism into equal focus' The Paris Review
Adah is a single mother of five, living in a dank, crumbling housing estate for 'problem families', avoiding the rats and rubbish. It's not quite the new start in London she had planned. As she navigates the complicated welfare system that keeps her trapped in poverty, can she cling to her dream of a better life, and find somewhere that feels like home?
Buchi Emecheta's scorching debut novel drew on her own experiences to paint a moving picture of hope, unexpected friendship, and survival.
In the Ditch joins The Joys of Motherhood and Second-Class Citizen in Penguin Modern Classics, with a bespoke cover design from Turner Prize-winning artist Chris Ofili.
'Buchi Emecheta was the foremother of black British women's writing' Bernardine Evaristo
Caligula/The Misunderstanding /State of Emergency/The Just
Although renowned for his novels, Albert Camus described the theatre as 'one of the only places in the world I'm happy', and staged the four plays gathered in this collection in Paris between 1944-49. Caligula, his first full-length dramatic work, portrays the monstrous emperor who destroys men, gods and ultimately himself. Here too are The Misunderstanding, a murderous tangle of longing; State of Emergency, where 'The Plague' appears as a central character; and The Just, which explores the limits of political conviction. This new translation brings together Camus's final versions of the plays, along with deleted scenes and alternate lines of dialogue.
In the fourth and final volume of his far-reaching and influential study of human sexuality, Foucault turns his attention to early Christianity, exploring how ancient ideas of pleasure were modified into the notion of the 'flesh'. Ranging over marriage, procreation and the concept of virginity as a divine state, Foucault brilliantly shows how a fledgling religion altered and defined the Western history of desire. Confessions of the Flesh brings to a conclusion one of the twentieth century's seminal works.
'A thinker of immense power ... posing questions that still perplex us' The Times Literary Supplement
'Required reading ... The appearance of the fourth volume is the most significant event in the world of Foucault scholarship in 20 years ... Essential' Los Angeles Review of Books
'One of the greatest avant-garde Japanese writers of the twentieth century' New Yorker
Beautiful Star is a 1962 tale of family, love, nuclear war and UFOs, and was considered by Mishima to be one of his very best books.
Translated into English for the first time, this atmospheric black comedy tells the story of the Osugi family, who come to the sudden realization that each of them hails from a different planet: Father from Mars, mother from Jupiter, son from Mercury and daughter from Venus. This extra-terrestrial knowledge brings them closer together, and convinces them that they have a mission: to find others of their kind, and save humanity from the imminent threat of the atomic bomb...
Spanning almost four decades, Dionne Brand's poetry has given rise to whole new grammars and vocabularies. With a profound alertness that is attuned to this world and open to some other, possibly future, time and place, Brand's ongoing labours of witness and imagination speak directly to where and how we live and reach beyond those worlds, their enclosures, and their violences.
Nomenclature: New and Collected Poems begins with a new long poem, the titular "Nomenclature for the Time Being," in which Dionne Brand's diaspora consciousness dismantles our quotidian disasters. In addition to this searing new work, Nomenclature collects eight volumes of Brand's poetry published between 1982 and 2010 and includes a critical introduction by the literary scholar and theorist Christina Sharpe.
Nomenclature: New and Collected Poems, features the searching and centering cantos of Primitive Offensive; the sharp musical conversations of Winter Epigrams and Epigrams to Ernesto Cardenal in Defense of Claudia; the documentary losses of revolutions in Chronicles of the Hostile Sun, in which "The street was empty/with all of us standing there." No Language Is Neutral connects language, coloniality, and sexuality. Land to Light On explores intimacies and disaffections with nationality and the nation-state, while in thirsty a cold-eyed flâneur surveys the workings of the city. In Inventory, written during the Gulf Wars, the poet is "the wars' last and late night witness," her job not to soothe but to "revise and revise this bristling list/hourly." Ossuaries' futurist speaker rounds out the collection, and threads multiple temporal worlds - past, present, and future.
This masterwork displays Dionne Brand's ongoing body of thought - trenchant, lyrical, absonant, discordant, and meaning-making. Nomenclature: New and Collected Poems is classic and living, a record of one of the great writers of our age.
'Don't give a damn,' says Zazie, 'what I wanted was to go in the metro'
Impish, foul-mouthed Zazie arrives in Paris from the country to stay with her uncle Gabriel. All she really wants to do is ride the metro, but finding it shut because of a strike, Zazie looks for other means of amusement and is soon caught up in a comic adventure that becomes wilder and more manic by the minute. In 1960 Queneau's cult classic was made into a hugely successful film by Louis Malle. Packed full of word play and phonetic games, Zazie in the Metro remains as stylish and witty as ever.
'Matsumoto was Japan's Agatha Christie' Laura Hackett, The Sunday Times
'It was a puzzle with no solution. But he did not lose heart.'
In a rocky cove in the bay of Hakata, the bodies of a young and beautiful couple are discovered. Stood in the coast's wind and cold, the police see nothing to investigate: the flush of the couple's cheeks speaks clearly of cyanide, of a lovers' suicide. But in the eyes of two men, Torigai Jutaro, a senior detective, and Kiichi Mihara, a young gun from Tokyo, something is not quite right. Together, they begin to pick at the knot of a unique and calculated crime...
Now widely available in English for the first time, Tokyo Express is celebrated around the world as Seicho Matsumoto's masterpiece - and as one of the most fiendish puzzles ever written.
An unforgettable collection of stories from the author of The Copenhagen Trilogy
'The most important thing is probably always precisely the thing you can't have. That's where all the happiness is'
In these brief, acid-sharp stories of love, marriage and family from one of Denmark's most celebrated writers, the ordinary events of everyday life - a wife anxious not to wake her husband, a little boy losing his father's beloved knife, a woman's obsessive longing for a yellow silk umbrella - become dark and disconcerting. Here Tove Ditlevsen explores yearning, fear and the elusiveness of that strange thing called happiness.
'The purity and dazzling insight of Ditlevsen's writing speaks for itself' Daily Telegraph
'Authentic, unforced and utterly lucid' Sunday Times
'Ditlevsen's wonderful and devastatingly bleak short stories simmer with melancholy and despair' Daily Mail
Translated by Michael Favala Goldman