'Washington Square is perhaps the only novel in which a man has successfully invaded the feminine field and produced work comparable to Jane Austen's,' said Graham Greene.
Inspired by a story Henry James heard at a dinner party, Washington Square tells how the rakish but idle Morris Townsend tries to win the heart of heiress Catherine Sloper against the objections of her father. Precise and understated, the book endures as a matchless social study of New York in the mid-nineteenth century.
'Washington Square has long been beloved by almost all readers,' noted Louis Auchincloss. 'The chief beauty of the novel lies in its expression--by background, characterization, and dialogue--of its mild heroine's mood of long-suffering patience. Everything is ordered, polite, still: the charming old square in the pre-brownstone city, the small, innocent, decorous social gatherings, the formal good manners, the quaint reasonableness of the dialogues. . . . James was the poet of cities: New York in Washington Square.' Clifton Fadiman agreed: 'It has extraordinary charm, deriving from an almost Mozartian combination of sweetness and depth.
In the course of his famous travels, Gulliver is captured by miniature people who wage war on each other because of religious disagreement over how to crack eggs, is sexually assaulted by giants, visits a floating island, and decides that the society of horses is better than that of his fellow man. Swift's tough, filthy and incisive satire has much to say about the state of the world today and is presented here in its unexpurgated entirety.
Hester Prynne is a beautiful young woman. She is also an outcast. In the eyes of her neighbours she has committed an unforgivable sin. Everyone knows that her little daughter, Pearl, is the product of an illicit affair but no one knows the identity of Pearl's father. Hester's refusal to name him brings more condemnation upon her. But she stands strong in the face of public scorn, even when she is forced to wear the sign of her shame sewn onto her clothes: the scarlet letter 'A' for 'Adulteress
When the Time Traveller courageously stepped out of his machine for the first time, he found himself in the year 802,700--and everything has changed. In another, more utopian age, creatures seemed to dwell together in perfect harmony. The Time Traveller thought he could study these marvelous beings--unearth their secret and then retum to his own time--until he discovered that his invention, his only avenue of escape, had been stolen. H.G. Well's famous novel of one man's astonishing journey beyond the conventional limits of the imagination first appeared in 1895. It won him immediate recognition, and has been regarded ever since as one of the great masterpieces in the literature of science fiction.
From the Paperback edition.
Huck is a young, naive white boy fleeing from his drunken, dangerous Pap, and Jim is a runaway slave longing to be reunited with his family. Flung together by circumstance, they journey down the Mississippi together on a log raft, each in search of his own definition of freedom. Their daring adventures along the way provide both entertainment and a satirical look at the moral values of the Deep South of the 1800s.
WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY LIONEL SHRIVERNewland Archer and May Welland are the perfect couple. He is a wealthy young lawyer and she is a lovely and sweet-natured girl. All seems set for success until the arrival of May's unconventional cousin Ellen Olenska, who returns from Europe without her husband and proceeds to shake up polite New York society. To Newland, she is a breath of fresh air and a free spirit, but the bond that develops between them throws his values into confusion and threatens his relationship with May.The Vintage Classics edition of The Age of Innocence is published to tie-in with the publication of the Vintage paperback of Hermione Lee's celebrated biography of Edith Wharton
At the end of Charles Webb's first novel, The Graduate, Benjamin Braddock rescues his beloved Elaine from a marriage made not in heaven but in California.It is now eleven years and 3,000 miles later, and the couple live in Westchester County, a suburb of New York City, with their two young sons, whom they are educating at home. Through no accident, a continent now stands between them and the boys' surviving grandparent, now known as Nan, but who in former days answered to Mrs. Robinson. As the story opens, the Braddock household is in turmoil as the Westchester School Board attempts to quash the unconventional educational methods the family is practising.Desperate situations call for desperate remedies - even a cry for help to the mother-in-law from hell. She is only too happy to provide her loving services - but at a price far higher than could be expected. Charles Webb has a knack for pinpointing the horrors and absurdities of domestic life, and Home School displays all the precision and wit that made The Graduate such a long-lasting success..
David Armitage - husband, father and failure - has lived the life of an unsuccessful screenwriter for eleven years. When one of his scripts is bought for television, David's life is transformed, more dramatically than he could have ever imagined. An overnight success and suddenly the toast of Tinseltown, David's upward trajectory finally gives him everything he had ever hoped for.New found success means total reinvention, and initiation into the Hollywood world of high-flyers. Life for David quickly becomes a heady rush of celebrities, parties and women - but everything comes at a price. Walking out on his wife and daughter, David climbs to dizzy new heights, brimming with luxury, opulence and scandal. But before long a dark figure casts a shadow on the horizon. When an influential film director presents David with an offer, the opportunity of a lifetime - could this temptation be one that jeopardises everything David has worked for.Enthralling, vivid and addictive, Douglas Kennedy's Temptation masterfully explores the destructive power of success,and the choices we have to make between personal gain and the people closest to our hearts.
Harry Ricks is a man who has lost everything. A romantic mistake at the small American college where he used to teach has cost him his job and his marriage. And when the ensuing scandal threatens to completely destroy him, he flees to Paris.He arrives in the French captial in the bleak midwinter, and ends up having to work as a night guard to make ends meet. Then Margit, a beautiful, mysterious stranger, walks into his life. But their passionate and intense relationship triggers a string of inexplicable events, and soon Harry finds himself in a nightmare from which there is no easy escape.
Now a major motion picture starring Sarah Gadon, Logan Lerman and Ben Rosenfield, and adapted for the screen by James SchamusDuring the second year of the Korean War in 1951, studious, law-abiding Marcus Messner is beginning his sophomore year on the conservative campus of Ohio's Winesburg College. Marcus has fled from his hometown of Newark, New jersey, trying to escape his father's oppressive love - a love that is also a mad fear of the dangers of adult life soon to face his son. Whilst at college, Marcus has to traverse an American world that isn't his own: facing off against ardent Christian, Dean Cauldwell, and falling in love with the beautiful Olivia Hutton. Indignation gleams with narrative muscle, as it twists and turns unpredictably, and extends - shockingly - beyond the confines of natural life.
For the past few years Roddy Doyle has been writing stories for Metro Eireann, a newspaper started by, and aimed at, immigrants to Ireland. Each of the stories took a new slant on the immigrant experience, something of increasing relevance and importance in today's Ireland.The stories range from 'Guess Who's Coming to the Dinner', where a father who prides himself on his open-mindedness when his daughters talk about sex, is forced to confront his feelings when one of them brings home a black fella, to a terrifying ghost story, 'The Pram', in which a Polish nanny grows impatient with her charge's older sisters and decides - in a phrase she has learnt - to 'scare them shitless'.
Abbey of Ruac, rural France: A medieval script is discovered hidden behind an antique bookcase. Badly damaged, it is sent to Paris for restoration, and there literary historian Hugo Pineau begins to read the startling fourteenth-century text. Within its pages lies a fanciful tale of a painted cave and the secrets it contains - and a rudimentary map showing its position close to the abbey. Intrigued, Hugo enlists the help of archaeologist Luc Simard and the two men go exploring.When they discover a vast network of prehistoric caves, buried deep within the cliffs, they realise that they've stumbled across something extraordinary. And at the very core of the labyrinth lies the most astonishing chamber of all, just as the manuscript chronicled. Aware of the significance of their discovery, they set up camp with a team of experts, determined to bring their find to the world. But as they begin to unlock the ancient secrets the cavern holds, they find themselves at the centre of a dangerous game. One 'accidental' death leads to another.And it seems that someone will stop at nothing to protect the enigma of the tenth chamber ...
Look at the Birdie evokes a world in which squabbling couples, high school geniuses, misfit office workers, and small-town Lotharios struggle to adapt to changing technology, moral ambiguity, and unprecedented affluence. In "Confido," a family learns the downside of confiding their deepest secrets into a magical invention. In "Ed Luby's Key Club," a man finds himself in a Kafkaesque world of trouble after he runs afoul of the shady underworld boss who calls the shots in an upstate New York town. In "Look at the Birdie," a quack psychiatrist turned "murder counsellor" concocts a novel new outlet for his paranoid patients. The stories are cautionary they also brim with his trademark humour.Wry, ironic, satirical and poignant Look at the Birdie reflects the anxieties of the postwar era in which they were written and provides an insight into the development of Vonnegut's early style
As a child Ludo is plucked out of the shantytown where he was born and transported to a world of languid, cosseted luxury. Now twenty-seven, he works high above the above the sprawling metropolis of SO£o Paulo for a vacuous 'communications company'. But this is not his world, and this is not a simple rags-to-riches story: Ludo's destiny moves him around like a chess piece, showing him both extremities of opulent excess and abject poverty, taking him to the brink of madness and brutality.By the author of The Amnesia Clinic and winner of the Somerset Maugham Award.
First published on the anniversary of Kurt Vonnegut's death, Armageddon in Retrospect is a collection of twelve new writings - a fitting tribute to the author, and an essential contribution to the discussion of war, peace and humanity's tendency towards violence. Imbued with Vonnegut's trademark rueful humour, the pieces range from a visceral non-fiction recollection of the destruction of Dresden - to a painfully funny short story about three soldiers and their fantasies of the perfect meal.
In a crumbling, seaside hotel on the coast of Japan, quiet, seventeen-year-old Mari works the front desk as her mother fusses over the off-season customers. When, one night, they are forced to eject a prostitute and a middle-aged man from his room, Mari finds herself drawn to the man's voice, in what will become the first gesture of a long seduction. Mari begins to visit the mysterious man at his island home, and he initiates her into a dark realm of both pain and pleasure. As Mari's mother and the police begin to close in on the illicit affair, events move to a dramatic climax.By the author of The Housekeeper and the Professor
For some time now, I have been plagued, perhaps blessed, by dreams of rivers and seas, dreams of water.Just days after controversial anthropologist Albert James writes these elusive lines to his son John, he is dead. Abandoning his girlfriend in London, John flies to Delhi to join his mother in mourning. But the nature of his father's research and the circumstances of his death are far from clear and, on top of this, John must confront his mother's coolness, and the strangeness of the cremation ceremony that she has organised for his father. No sooner is the body consigned to the flames than a journalist arrives, determined to write a biography of the dead man, and though his mother will have nothing to do with the project, she cannot keep away from the journalist.
'The one great principle of the English law is, to make business for itself''Jarndyce and Jardyce' is an infamous lawsuit that has been in process for generations. Nobody can remember exactly how the case started but many different individuals have found their fortunes caught up in it. Esther Summerson watches as her friends and neighbours are consumed by their hopes and disappointments with the proceedings. But while the intricate puzzles of the lawsuit are being debated by lawyers, other more dramatic mysteries are unfolding that involve heartbreak, lost children, blackmail and murder.
Pip's life as an ordinary country boy is destined to be unexceptional until a chain of mysterious events lead him away from his humble origins and up the social ladder. His efforts to become a London gentleman bring him into contact not just with the upper classes but also with dangerous criminals. Pip's desire to improve himself is matched only by his longing for the icy-hearted Estella, but secrets from the past impede his progress and he has many hard lessons to learn.
From the love affair between a missionary and a drunkard to the mystery surrounding a death at sea, this collection gives a warm and humourous insight into life and history of life in the colonies and stands as a superbly entertaining and compelling testament to Maugham's skill and power as a short story writer.
WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY DAVID BRADSHAWAnthony Beavis is a man inclined to recoil from life. His past is haunted by the death of his best friend Brian and by his entanglement with the cynical and manipulative Mary Amberley. Realising that his determined detachment from the world has been motivated not by intellectual honesty but by moral cowardice, Anthony attempts to find a new way to live. Eyeless in Gaza is considered by many to be Huxley's definitive work of fiction.
When David Copperfield escapes from the cruelty of his childhood home, he embarks on a journey to adulthood which will lead him through comedy and tragedy, love and heartbreak and friendship and betrayal. Over the course of his adventures, David meets an array of eccentric characters and learns hard lessons about the world before he finally discovers true happiness.
Eight years ago Anne Elliot bowed to pressure from her family and made the decision not to marry the man she loved, Captain Wentworth. Now circumstances have conspired to bring him back into her social circle and Anne finds her old feelings for him reignited. However, when they meet again Wentworth behaves as if they are strangers and seems more interested in her friend Louisa. In this, her final novel, Jane Austen tells the story of a love that endures the tests of time and society with humour, insight and tenderness.
It is summer in Jeddah but Naser's life seems bleak. An immigrant in an unfriendly land, his friends have fled town for cooler climes and left him to his dead-end job and the scrutiny of the religious police, who keep watch through the shaded windows of their government jeeps. He spends his time writing to his mother in Africa and yearning to meet a woman - but in a country that separates men and women with walls and veils he feels increasingly trapped. Then, one of the black-clad women drops a piece of paper at his feet, instructing him to follow her pink shoes and suddenly his black-and-white life blooms into colour.But relationships between unmarried men and women are illegal under the strict Wahhibism of Saudi state rule - and it's not long before their forbidden love must face the hardest test of all...