Beware of Pity
Beware of Pity
'I can't take any more of your revolting merciful kindness!'

Who would have thought that the great military hero Captain Hofmiller - that living monument to his own courage - would have anything burdening his soul? But when he reveals his story, it is not one of bravery but tragedy: a simple blunder at a dance from which disaster grows, ruining lives with his weak, foolish pity...

Beware of Pity is Stefan Zweig's greatest novel, fiercely capturing human emotions in all their subtleties and extremes - while Hofmiller, his unforgettable, naïve creation, misunderstands everything, resulting in his downfall.

Translated by Jonathan Katz.
Siblings
Siblings
1960. The border between East and West Germany has closed.

For Elisabeth - a young painter - the GDR is her generation's chance to build an egalitarian socialist future. For her brother Uli, it is a place of stricture and oppression. Separating them is the ever-wider chasm of the party line; over them loom the twin spectres of opportunity and fear, and the shadow of their defector brother Konrad. In prose as bold as a scarlet paint stroke, Brigitte Reimann battles with the clash of idealism and suppression, familial loyalty and desire. This fervid, ground-breaking novel, written when Reimann was only twenty-seven, remains one of the cult classics of East German literature.
Six Stories
Six Stories
‘One of the masters of the short story’ Guardian

These six stories of obsession, secrets, delusions and desires from one of the greatest European writers show individuals caught up in forces beyond their control – whether an art dealer agreeing to a heartbreaking deception, a soldier destroyed by war, a servant infatuated with her employer or a young boy witnessing illicit adult passions. Portraying innocence lost and lives crushed by history, each tale is a psychologically acute, startling human drama. Contains 'The Invisible Collection', 'Episode on Lake Geneva', 'Leporella', 'Buchmendel', 'The Buried Candelabrum' and 'Burning Secret'.
Ways of Sunlight
Ways of Sunlight
With equal humour, sorrow and joy, the master storyteller brings together two worlds and turns his pen to life in Trinidad and London. Sharing tales of gossip and rivalry between village washerwomen, toiling canecutters reaping their harvest, to the determined and resourceful British Caribbean community and the reality of life for immigrants in 1950s London, Ways of Sunlight is a collection of vivid, immersive and memorable stories, told with Selvon's distinct lightness, whose impact and relevance continue to reverberate through the decades.
The Penguin Book of French Short Stories: 2
The Penguin Book of French Short Stories: 2
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.
On Violence
On Violence
Written in 1970, with the Holocaust and Hiroshima still fresh in recent memory, the war in Vietnam raging and the streets of Europe and America seething with student protest, Hannah Arendt's now classic work offered a startling dissection of violence in the twentieth century: its nature and causes, its place in politics and war, its role in the modern age.

Combining theory and lucid historical analysis, Arendt argues that violence and power are ultimately incompatible, and that one fills the vacuum created by the other - an insight which continues to offer a valuable framework for understanding the chaos of our own times.

Inclues a brilliant introduction by Lyndsey Stonebridge.
Collected Poems
Collected Poems
'If ever I saw blessing in the air
I see it now in this still early day...'

Laurie Lee is beloved for his writing on a lost rural world. His evocative poetry springs from his deep connection with nature, as he tracks the seasons changing and the years turning over. Yet Lee's poems also captured war, human relationships and distant places, informed by his own experiences of lives uprooted by change and conflict. Written during the course of his lifetime, the verses brought together in Collected Poems range over Lee playing his fiddle in a Spanish town; ecstatic in springtime of his beloved Slad valley; or digging for faith in the depths of winter.

Gathered in one volume for the first time, and including a generous selection of previously unseen verses from Lee's archives, these timeless, poignant poems show him expressing the essence of life, love and loss.
The Apple in the Dark
The Apple in the Dark
In the mistaken belief that he has killed his wife, Martim flees the city and arrives, in a state of both fear and wonder, at a remote ranch. There, he will have to remake himself, emerging, from the beast-like state in which his crime has plunged him, to the fullness of a reinvented humanity. Along the way, he will mark the lives of the two women who run the ranch, brambly, authoritarian Vitória and her weepy cousin Ermelinda. But the real drama is interior: Clarice Lispector's most wrenching, and most intoxicating, exploration of how a man becomes a human - and of how language can transform a life into a destiny.

A highly sculpted, metaphysical book whose mysteries and allegories glow with a scintillating light, Apple in the Dark is a masterpiece by "one of the hidden geniuses of the twentieth century'" (Colm Tóibín).

Translated by Benjamin Moser.
Between Meals
Between Meals
While on a year of study in Paris in 1927, Liebling acquired the friendship and tutelage of Yves Mirande, 'one of the last great gastronomes of France', beginning a joyous apprenticeship in the fine art of eating. Told with gluttonous joie de vivre, Between Meals expounds on the delights and pitfalls of a life dedicated to food, from bad rosé ('a pinkish cross between No-Cal and vinegar') to lobster a l'Américaine ('I have never personally inquired into the mysteries of its fabrication; I am content to love a masterpiece of painting without asking how the artist mixed his colours'), to a memorable stay at a Swiss slimming clinic with a masseur named Sprudli. Witty, grouchy and full of gusto, Between Meals has the exquisite sensuality of a Michelin-starred meal and the delicious, catty wit of the perfect dinner guest. It is a love song to food, wine and Paris.

With an introduction by James Salter.
Too Much of Life
Too Much of Life
'How did I so unwittingly transform the joy of living into the great luxury of being alive?'

Between 1967 and 1977, Clarice Lispector wrote weekly dispatches from her desk in Rio for the Jornal do Brasil. Already famous for her revolutionary, interior, metaphysical novels, in her Chronicles she turns her attention to the everyday, turning 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.
In the Ditch
In the Ditch
Adah's life in London has not turned out as she had imagined when she moved from Nigeria to join her husband. Now that she is a single mother living in a dank, crumbling council state in North London with her five young children, her options are very limited indeed. The more Adah learns about the complicated system that keeps her family safe but trapped in poverty, the more determined she is to escape the confines of her new world and create a better life for her family.

In the Ditch, Emecheta's debut novel, began life as a column in the New Statesman. Drawing on first-hand experience, an unflinching eye for detail and unfailing sense of humour, Emecheta paints a moving picture of life for the most vulnerable families in British society: the difficult choices and false hopes as well as the unexpected friendships that prove essential for survival.
Caligula and Three Other Plays
Caligula and Three Other Plays
In restorative new translations by Ryan Bloom, four thought-provoking dramas from the Nobel Prize-winning author of The Outsider and The Plague are brought together for the first time in English, alongside deleted scenes and alternate lines of dialogue.

Beside Caligula, Camus' first full-length work for the stage, which explores the human heart and the nullifying force of time, this volume includes The Misunderstanding, a murderous tangle struck through with the longing for home and the desire to disappear; The Just, a test of the ethical limits of one's belief in a political cause; and State of Emergency, an allegorical romp where The Plague itself appears as a central character, shedding new light on our current battles with viral disease and authoritarian regimes.
The History of Sexuality: 4
The History of Sexuality: 4
The final major work by one of the most influential thinkers of the twentieth century

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
Beautiful Star
Beautiful Star
The Osugi family have come to a realization. Each of them hails from a different planet. Father from Mars, mother from Jupiter, son from Mercury and daughter from Venus. Already seen as oddballs in their small Japanese town in the 1960s, this extra-terrestrial knowledge brings them closer together; they climb mountains to wait for UFOs, study at home together and regard their human neighbours with a kindly benevolence.

But Father, Juichiro, is worried about the bomb. He writes letters to Khrushchev, trying to warn everyone he can of the terrible threat. After all, humans may be terribly flawed, but aren't they worth saving? He sends out a coded message in the newspaper to find other aliens. But there are other extra-terrestrials out there, ones who do not look so kindly on the flaws and foibles of humans. And a charming young man, who claims to be from Venus too, tempts daughter Akiko away from the family . . .
Nomenclature
Nomenclature
A man with his head in the clouds, an artist who has visions, is shot dead after a domestic disturbance. His partner struggles with her feelings of responsibility, and whole relationships, whole lives, the entire multicultural city of Toronto, swirl around the fatal moment. Outsiders settle in the unfamiliar landscape of a new country, uncomfortable with the place and its people, uncomfortable sometimes with themselves. Still earlier, the poet discovers herself as speaker and subject, in a joyful, imagistic, rigorous and ruthless reclamation of the poetic.

With a critical introduction by scholar and theorist Christina Sharpe, Nomenclature is the searing new volume spanning a decades-long career, from 1982-2022, and gathering the new and collected poems of one of Canada's most honoured, significant and bestselling poets. Here, Dionne Brand bears powerful witness to the seemingly unending wars, the ascendance of fundamentalisms and the nameless casualties of the current era, but also to the rich textures of human life and human feeling that, in the face of this world's violences, endure and flourish - and that might reach beyond the known to some other, possibly future, time and place.

It is a master work, classic and living, and a record of one of the great writers of our age.
Zazie in the Metro
Zazie 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.

Sign up to the Penguin Newsletter

For the latest books, recommendations, author interviews and more