The Blood of Others
The Blood of Others

‘These carefree faces, on which we allowed our smiles to spread, were for others the mask of tragedy.’

Jean Blomart, patriot leader against the German forces of occupation, waits throughout an endless night for his wounded lover, Hélène, to die. Told through memories of his and her life, The Blood of Others paints an intense and moving picture of their love story and life in German occupied Paris during the Second World War. In the face of a seemingly unstoppable force, Hélène and Jean are confronted by the illusion of freedom and made to question their individual roles in the collective struggle against fascism, with devastating consequences.

First published in 1945, this powerful novel resonates profoundly today and brings the ideas of one of the most important existentialist thinkers to life in spellbinding prose.

With an Introduction by Ali Smith.

The Prime of Life
The Prime of Life
First published in 1960, The Prime of Life offers an intimate, captivating picture of Simone de Beauvoir in her twenties, thirties and forties. Beginning as a recent graduate from the Sorbonne teaching high-school girls, we see de Beauvoir revel in the freedom her new financial independence brings. We see her and Jean-Paul Sartre recognise the powerful romantic and intellectual partnership they have found in one another, as they fall in love and define their own unconventional parameters. The Second World War comes, bringing austerity, violence and questions of the reality of freedom and individual responsibility into de Beauvoir’s life. As relevant and penetrating as when first published, The Prime of Life offers rare insight into a truly fascinating mind.
In This Sign
In This Sign

Two young deaf people, Abel and Janice, leave their punitive school and begin their life as a married couple ‘Outside’ – in the unwelcoming world of the hearing. A misunderstanding about the payment plan on a car kickstarts years of debt, hard labour and ostracization; but they find solace and expression in the richness of Sign, in their hard-won independence and in the birth of their daughter Margaret.

First published in 1970, only a decade after ASL’s formal recognition as a language, In This Sign is a rare, compassionate portrait of the deaf community and a moving family saga that spans the twentieth century.

With an introduction by Sara Novic and a new afterword by the author.

The Outsider
The Outsider
'My mother died today. Or maybe yesterday, I don't know.'

A stranger to society, a stranger to his own life, Meursault seems indifferent to everything. In The Outsider, Camus explores the alienation of an individual who refuses to conform to social norms. When his mother dies, he refuses to show his emotions simply to satisfy the expectations of others. And when he commits a random act of violence on a sun-drenched beach near Algiers, his lack of remorse compounds his guilt in the eyes of society and the law. Yet he is as much a victim as a criminal.

A first in Penguin Modern Classics, Camus’ classic existentialist novel is told through Ryota Kurumado’s powerful artwork. Unlike previous editions of Camus’ novel, Meursault and other characters’ emotions are drawn out through stunning illustrations and seen for the first time. A rare and challenging feat, Kurumado’s manga adaptation makes a novel first published in 1942 feel contemporary.
Badenheim 1939
Badenheim 1939
'A masterpiece ... the greatest novel of the Holocaust' The Guardian

Badenheim, a resort town near the forests of Vienna, is preparing for the arts festival of the summer season. The hotel workers and local tradespeople rush to prepare the small town for the influx of vacationers. But just as the season is getting into full swing, a small note appears on a municipal notice board: the Sanitation Department is announcing an increase in its jurisdiction. No one knows what the Sanitation Department is, but no matter – the festival carries on.

Soon inspectors are spread all over town, bringing estrangement, suspicion and mistrust wherever they go. Meanwhile, the guests carry on pursuing their pleasures and the townspeople attend to their troubles. Then another announcement appears: all Jews must register with the Sanitation Department.

An allegory, satire and fable all in one, Badenheim 1939 is a story of denial and normalisation, masterfully creating an atmosphere of impending dread and horror. Gripping and unforgettable, this is one of most intriguing and eerie books ever written about the Holocaust.
Katerina
Katerina
The teenage Katerina flees her abusive home in a poor, Christian village in the 1880s, finding work and shelter in the home of a Jewish family, and in the warmth of their family life and beauty of their Jewish rituals she begins to know safety for the first time. Their life is brutally disrupted when a pogrom is wrought upon the family, and Katerina finds herself alone again. Decades later, having suffered and retaliated for that suffering, she looks out of the window of her prison cell and sees the trains carrying Jews across Europe.

Released from prison into the chaos following the end of World War II, a now elderly Katerina is devastated to find a world that has been emptied of its Jews and that is not at all sorry to see them gone. Ever the outsider, Katerina realizes that she has survived only to bear witness to the fact that they had ever existed at all.

A rare glimpse into Jewish and gentile life in Eastern Europe in the nineteenth century, Katerina explores the long origins of the Holocaust, alongside darkness and light, cruelty and mercy.
The Story of a Life
The Story of a Life
Aharon Appelfeld was the beloved only child of middle-class Jewish parents living in what is now Ukraine at the outbreak of World War Two. Their peaceful life is upended when soldiers invade their town. His mother is shot dead in her own garden. The then-seven-year-old Aharon does not witness her murder, but he does hear her scream.

Aharon and his father are sent to a concentration camp and separated. Memory and trauma combine to create a patchwork of reminiscences. Aharon is ten years old when he escapes from the camp into the forests of Ukraine, and is overwhelmed by the sight of an apple tree laden with fruit.

Living off the land for two years before making the long journey south to Italy and eventually Israel and freedom, Appelfeld finally found a home in which he could make a life for himself, eventually becoming one of Israel’s most acclaimed writers. This is the extraordinary and painful memoir of his childhood and youth and a compelling account of a boy coming of age in a hostile world.
The Fire Next Time
The Fire Next Time
'We, the black and the white, deeply need each other here if we are really to become a nation'

James Baldwin's impassioned plea to 'end the racial nightmare' in America was a bestseller when it appeared in 1963, galvanising a nation and giving voice to the emerging civil rights movement. Told in the form of two intensely personal 'letters', The Fire Next Time is at once a powerful evocation of Baldwin's early life in Harlem and an excoriating condemnation of the terrible legacy of racial injustice.

'Sermon, ultimatum, confession, deposition, testament, and chronicle ... all presented in searing, brilliant prose' The New York Times Book Review

'Baldwin writes with great passion ... it reeks of truth, as the ghettoes of New York and London, Chicago and Manchester reek of our hypocrisy' Sunday Times
No Name in the Street
No Name in the Street

‘Baldwin wrote in arias of feeling and thought… [He] proved that if he wrote it down, it could have power beyond the moment.’ – Hilton Als


In this deeply personal book, Baldwin reflects on the experiences that shaped him as a writer and activist: from his childhood in Harlem to the deaths Martin Luther King and Malcolm X. Exploring the visceral reality of life in the American South as well as Baldwin’s impressions of London, Paris and Hamburg, No Name in the Street grapples with the failed promises of global liberation movements in fearless, candid prose.


Timeless, tender and profound, Baldwin’s searing narrative contains the multiplicities of what it means to be Black in America and, indeed, around the world.

Going To Meet The Man
Going To Meet The Man

‘There’s no way not to suffer. But you try all kinds of ways to keep from drowning in it.’

The eight stories in this collection showcase the breadth of Baldwin’s imagination, empathy and social critique as he explores the subtle and profound wounds that discrimination leaves in both its victims and its perpetrators: from the down-and-out jazz pianist recovering from addiction in ‘Sonny’s Blues’ to the adolescent who hides his burgeoning sexuality from the church community that defines his world in ‘The Outing’ to the horrifying story of the initiation of a racist, as a deputy sheriff remembers his parents taking him to see the mutilation and murder of a black man by a gleeful mob in 'Going to Meet the Man'.

First published in 1965, these tales of ingenuity, desperation, power and fear provide a snapshot of a writer at the height of his literary powers.

The Great Transformation
The Great Transformation
‘One of the most powerful books in social sciences ever written. ... A must-read’ Thomas Piketty

‘The twentieth century's most prophetic critic of capitalism’
Prospect

Tracing the history of capitalism in England and beyond, Karl Polanyi's landmark 1944 classic brilliantly exposed the myth of laissez-faire economics. From the great transformation that occurred during the industrial revolution onwards, he showed, there has been nothing 'natural' about the market state. Instead, the economy must always be embedded in society, and human needs and relations. Witnessing the 'avalanche of social dislocation' of his time - from the Great Depression, to the rise of fascism and communism and the First and Second World Wars - Polanyi ends with a rallying cry for freedom, and a passionate vision to protect our common humanity.

‘Polanyi’s revolutionary work is a must-read for anyone interested in understanding the complexities of our economic systems and debunking the myths around the free market’ Mariana Mazzucato
Return to My Native Land
Return to My Native Land
'We shall speak. We shall sing. We shall shout.' This blazing autobiographical poem by the founder of the négritude movement became a rallying cry for decolonisation when it appeared in 1939. Following one man's return from Europe to his homeland of Martinique, it is a reckoning with the trauma of slavery and exploitation, and a triumphant anthem for Black identity, one which reclaims and remakes language itself.

'Nothing less than the greatest lyrical monument of this time' André Breton
'A Césaire poem explodes and whirls about itself like a rocket, suns burst forth whirling and exploding' Jean-Paul Sartre
'The most influential Francophone Caribbean writer of his generation' Independent
Death in Midsummer
Death in Midsummer
Bringing together Yukio Mishima's finest stories, this selection shows his extraordinary ability to depict a wide variety of human beings in moments of significance. A moonlit journey to fulfil a wish; a mother lost in mourning; a night of infidelity; and a young lieutenant who ends his life. Filled with rich description and luxurious beauty, these hauntingly beautiful short stories from one of Japan's greatest writers show the pull between duty and desire, ecstasy and death.

In the title story, 'Death in Midsummer', which is set at a beach resort, a triple tragedy becomes a cloud of doom that requires exorcising. In another, 'Patriotism', a young army officer and his wife choose a way of vindicating their belief in ancient values that is as violent as it is traditional; it prefigured his own death by seppuku in November 1970. There is a story in which the sad truth of the relationship between a businessman and his former mistress is revealed through a suggestion of the unknown, and another in which a working-class couple, touching in their simple love for each other, pursue financial security by rather shocking means.
Golden Age
Golden Age
'Life is but a slow, drawn-out process of getting your balls crushed.'

Twenty-one-year-old Wang Er, stationed in a remote mountain commune, spends his days herding oxen, napping and dreaming of losing his virginity. His dreams come true in the shape of the beautiful doctor Cheng Qinyang. So begins the riotously funny story of their illicit love affair, the Party officials who enjoy their forced confessions a little too much, and Wang's life under the Communist regime: his misadventures as a biology lecturer in a Beijing university, and his entanglements with family, friends and lovers. Golden Age is an explosive, subversive, wild and hilarious satire, featuring one of literature's great protagonists, a sensation when it was published in the 1990s and beloved today.
Pleasure of Thinking
Pleasure of Thinking
Wang Xiaobo made his name as a novelist but his essays, too, have become ongoing bestsellers in China since their publication in the 1990s. Bringing together his thoughts on reading and talking and silence in the Cultural Revolution, about the irrepressible spirit of one beloved pig he met while an 'educated youth', and about being operated on via a textbook, these essays give a rare glimpse into a world rarely seen and discussed with such honesty.

Written with a light touch and with a wry sense of humour, these are also the essays of a great literary talent, grappling with sociology, sexuality and feminism, with the cultural clash of living in the USA, and with Chinese sci-fi, the internet, and beloved European writers like Bertrand Russell and Italo Calvino. Electrifying, containing a razor-sharp wit and intellect, this collection reveals the voice of a generation to English-speaking readers for the very first time.

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