Related to: 'Our Imprints - Virago'

Little, Brown

An Orchestra of Minorities

Chigozie Obioma
Authors:
Chigozie Obioma

'Chigozie Obioma is a writer to watch' The EconomistUmuahia, Nigeria. Chinonso, a young poultry farmer, sees a woman attempting to jump to her death from a highway bridge. Horrified by her recklessness, Chinonso joins her on the roadside and hurls two of his most prized chickens into the water below to demonstrate the severity of the fall. The woman, Ndali, is moved by his sacrifice.Bonded by this strange night on the bridge, Chinonso and Ndali fall in love. But Ndali is from a wealthy family, and when they officially object to the union because he is uneducated, Chinonso sells most of his possessions to attend a small college in Cyprus. Once in Cyprus, he discovers that all is not what it seems. Furious at a world which continues to relegate him to the sidelines, Chinonso gets further and further away from his dream, from Ndali and the place he called home. In this contemporary twist of Homer's Odyssey, in the mythic style of the Igbo literary tradition, Chigozie Obioma weaves a heart-wrenching epic about the tension between destiny and determination.'Chigozie Obioma truly is the heir to Chinua Achebe' New York Time Book Review

Robinson

Rule Makers, Rule Breakers

Michele J. Gelfand
Authors:
Michele J. Gelfand

'A groundbreaking analysis of what used to be an impenetrable mystery: how and why do cultures differ? ... Anyone interested in our cultural divides will find tremendous insight in Rule Makers, Rule Breakers' - Steven Pinker, Johnstone Professor of Psychology, Harvard University, and author of Enlightenment NowWhy are clocks in Germany always correct, while those in Brazil are frequently wrong? Why are Singaporeans jailed for selling gum? Why do women in New Zealand have three times the sex of females worldwide? Why was the Daimler-Chrysler merger ill-fated from the start? And why does each generation of Americans give their kids weirder and weirder names? Curious about the answers to these and other questions, award-winning social psychologist Michele Gelfand has spent two decades studying both tight societies (with clearly stated rules and codes of ethics) and loose societies (more informal communities with weak or ambiguous norms). Putting each under the microscope, she conducted research in more than fifty countries and collaborated with political scientists, neuroscientists, computer scientists, anthropologists, and archaeologists. Her fascinating conclusion: behaviour seems largely dependent on perceived threats. It's why certain nations seem predisposed to tangle with others; some American states identify as "Red" and others as "Blue"; and those attending a sports contest, health club, or school function behave in prescribed ways. Rule Makers, Rule Breakers reveals how to predict national variations around the globe, why some leaders innovate and others don't, and even how a tight vs. loose system can determine happiness. Consistently riveting and always illuminating, Michele Gelfand's book helps us understand how a single cultural trait dramatically affects even the smallest aspects of our lives.'Fascinating and profound...It's quite possibly this year's best book on culture' - Roy F. Baumeister, bestselling co-author of Willpower and author of The Cultural Animal'This brilliant book is full of well-documented insights that will change the way you look at yourself and at the world around you' - Barry Schwartz, bestselling author of The Paradox of Choice, Practical Wisdom, and Why We Work

Virago

Writers as Readers

Margaret Drabble | Beryl Bainbridge | Angela Carter | Maggie O'Farrell | Elizabeth Jane Howard | A. S. Byatt | Penelope Lively | Sarah Waters | Jonathan Coe | Diana Souhami | Jilly Cooper | Elizabeth Bowen | Mark Bostridge | Alexander McCall Smith | Sarah Dunant | Rachel Cooke | Zadie Smith | Anita Desai | Sophie Dahl | Clare Boylan | Paula McLain | Diana Athill | Marina Lewycka | Claire Messud | Michèle Roberts | Simon Russell Beale | Amanda Craig | Hilary Mantel | Elizabeth Taylor | Ali Smith | Linda Grant | Jane Gardam | Julie Burchill | Carmen Callil | Helen Oyeyemi | Marian Keyes | Nora Ephron | Sandi Toksvig | Kate SaundersWriters as Readers is a celebration of forty years of the Virago Modern Classics list. Started in 1978, Virago Modern Classics is dedicated to the rediscovery and championing of women writers, challenging the often narrow definition of 'classic'. In this collection, forty of the most significant writers of the past century tell us about one of their favourite writers by introducing books from the Virago Modern Classics collection, offering a glimpse at the treasures that have been published over the past four decades: they may be great works of literature; they may be wonderful period pieces; they may reveal particular aspects of women's lives; they may be classics of comedy, storytelling, diary-writing or autobiography.

Abacus

Little Fires Everywhere

Celeste Ng
Authors:
Celeste Ng

'Just read it...Outstanding' Matt Haig'To say I love this book is an understatement...It moved me to tears' Reese Witherspoon'Beautifully written, completely charming, and extremely wise on the subject of adolescence and influence' Nick HornbyEveryone in Shaker Heights was talking about it that summer: how Isabelle, the last of the Richardson children, had finally gone around the bend and burned the house down. In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is meticulously planned - from the layout of the winding roads, to the colours of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules.Enter Mia Warren - an enigmatic artist and single mother- who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenage daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than just tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past, and a disregard for the rules that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community.When old family friends attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that dramatically divides the town - and puts Mia and Elena on opposing sides. Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Elena is determined to uncover the secrets in Mia's past. But her obsession will come at an unexpected and devastating cost...What readers are saying:'Highly recommended, beautifully written and thought-provoking''An engrossing read' 'Absolutely brilliant''Great characters, interesting plot that leaves you desperate to read more and written beautifully. I loved it and highly recommend it!'

Rick Steves

Rick Steves Provence & the French Riviera (12th Edition)

Rick Steves, Steve Smith
Authors:
Rick Steves, Steve Smith

You can count on Rick Steves to tell you what you really need to know when traveling in Provence and the French Riviera.In this guide, you'll find a dazzling mix of enjoyable cities, warm stone villages, Roman ruins, and breathtaking coastline. Experience Roman history with self-guided tours of the Pont du Gard aqueduct, Roman theater in Orange, and Arena in Arles. Explore sun-soaked Riviera beaches and resort towns, from cosmopolitan Nice to colorful Villefranche-sur-Mer. Get inspired by artistic masterpieces by Renoir, Matisse, Picasso, and Chagall. After a day of sightseeing, relax at a café with a view, dive into a bowl of bouillabaisse, and watch fishermen return to the harbor.Rick's candid, humorous advice will guide you to good-value hotels and restaurants. You'll learn which sights are worth your time and money, and how to get around by train, bus, car, or boat. More than just reviews and directions, a Rick Steves guidebook is a tour guide in your pocket.

Constable

Don't Let My Past Be Your Future

Harry Leslie Smith
Authors:
Harry Leslie Smith
Abacus

Landfalls

Naomi J. Williams
Authors:
Naomi J. Williams
Constable

Francis: Pope of Good Promise

Jimmy Burns
Authors:
Jimmy Burns

From the moment Pope Francis stepped on to the balcony of St Peter's Basilica for the first time, a global audience sensed that not only the Catholic Church but the world at large could be entering a new spiritual, political and social age. In the days following Pope Francis' election, there would be further early signs of the simplicity worthy of the first apostles and the leader that inspired them. Not since John XIII appeared on the scene half a century earlier had a new Pope opened the windows of the Church in such a way as to let in some much needed fresh air. Nevertheless, for the excitement generated by the first Latin American Pope and a man who claimed to want to put the poor back at the centre of the Church's social teaching, people could still only guess where it might be all be leading.Francis: Pope of Good Promise is neither an instant media job, nor a hagiography based on authorised interviews, but the product of diligent investigation across a wide range of official and independent sources - a measured, objective portrait of a man who, in circumstances that he neither sought nor foresaw, found himself handed the highest office at a time of crisis not just for the Church but for long established institutions worldwide from banks to political parties.

Basic Books

Stand by Me

Jim Downs
Authors:
Jim Downs

Despite the tremendous gains of the LGBT movement in recent years, the history of gay life in this country remains poorly understood. According to conventional wisdom, gay liberation started with the Stonewall Riots in Greenwich Village in 1969. The 1970s represented a moment of triumph- both political and sexual- before the AIDS crisis in the subsequent decade, which, in the view of many, exposed the problems inherent in the so-called gay lifestyle".In Stand by Me , the acclaimed historian Jim Downs rewrites the history of gay life in the 1970s, arguing that the decade was about much more than sex and marching in the streets. Drawing on a vast trove of untapped records at LGBT community centres in Los Angeles, New York, and Philadelphia, Downs tells moving, revelatory stories of gay people who stood together- as friends, fellow believers, and colleagues- to create a sense of community among people who felt alienated from mainstream American life.As Downs shows, gay people found one another in the Metropolitan Community Church, a nationwide gay religious group in the pages of the Body Politic , a newspaper that encouraged its readers to think of their sexuality as a political identity at the Oscar Wilde Memorial Bookstore, the hub of gay literary life in New York City and at theatres putting on Gay American History," a play that brought to the surface the enduring problem of gay oppression.These and many other achievements would be largely forgotten after the arrival in the early 1980s of HIV/AIDS, which allowed critics to claim that sex was the defining feature of gay liberation. This reductive narrative set back the cause of gay rights and has shaped the identities of gay people for decades.An essential act of historical recovery, Stand by Me shines a bright light on a triumphant moment, and will transform how we think about gay life in America from the 1970s into the present day.

Nation Books

This Is an Uprising

Mark Engler, Paul Engler
Authors:
Mark Engler, Paul Engler
Constable

Boys in the Trees

Carly Simon
Authors:
Carly Simon
Abacus

California

Edan Lepucki
Authors:
Edan Lepucki
Basic Books

How Star Wars Conquered the Universe

Chris Taylor
Authors:
Chris Taylor

In 1973, a young filmmaker named George Lucas scribbled some notes for a far-fetched space-fantasy epic. Some forty years and 37 billion later, Star Wars -related products outnumber human beings, a growing stormtrooper army spans the globe, and Jediism" has become a religion in its own right. Lucas's creation has grown into far more than a cinematic classic it is, quite simply, one of the most lucrative, influential, and interactive franchises of all time. Yet incredibly, until now the complete history of Star Wars ,its influences and impact, the controversies it has spawned, its financial growth and long-term prospects,has never been told. In How Star Wars Conquered the Universe , veteran journalist Chris Taylor traces the series from the difficult birth of the original film through its sequels, the franchise's death and rebirth, the prequels, and the preparations for a new trilogy. Providing portraits of the friends, writers, artists, producers, and marketers who laboured behind the scenes to turn Lucas's idea into a legend, Taylor also jousts with modern-day Jedi, tinkers with droid builders, and gets inside Boba Fett's helmet, all to find out how Star Wars has attracted and inspired so many fans for so long.Since the first film's release in 1977, Taylor shows, Star Wars has conquered our culture with a sense of lightness and exuberance, while remaining serious enough to influence politics in far-flung countries and spread a spirituality that appeals to religious groups and atheists alike. Controversial digital upgrades and poorly received prequels have actually made the franchise stronger than ever. Now, with a savvy new set of bosses holding the reins and Episode VII on the horizon, it looks like Star Wars is just getting started. An energetic, fast-moving account of this creative and commercial phenomenon, How Star Wars Conquered the Universe explains how a young filmmaker's fragile dream beat out a surprising number of rivals to gain a diehard, multigenerational fan base,and why it will be galvanizing our imaginations and minting money for generations to come.

Nation Books

Unreal City

Judith Nies
Authors:
Judith Nies

An epic struggle over land, water, and power is erupting in the American West and the halls of Washington, DC. It began when a 4,000-square-mile area of Arizona desert called Black Mesa was divided between the Hopi and Navajo tribes. To the outside world, it was a land struggle between two fractious Indian tribes to political insiders and energy corporations, it was a divide-and-conquer play for the 21 billion tons of coal beneath Black Mesa. Today, that coal powers cheap electricity for Los Angeles, a new water aqueduct into Phoenix, and the neon dazzle of Las Vegas.Journalist and historian Judith Nies has been tracking this story for nearly four decades. She follows the money and tells us the true story of wealth and water, mendacity, and corruption at the highest levels of business and government. Amid the backdrop of the breathtaking desert landscape, Unreal City shows five cultures colliding,Hopi, Navajo, global energy corporations, Mormons, and US government agencies,resulting in a battle over resources and the future of the West.Las Vegas may attract 39 million visitors a year, but the tourists mesmerized by the dancing water fountains at the Bellagio don't ask where the water comes from. They don't see a city with the nation's highest rates of foreclosure, unemployment, and suicide. They don't see the astonishing drop in the water level of Lake Mead,where Sin City gets 90 percent of its water supply.Nies shows how the struggle over Black Mesa lands is an example of a global phenomenon in which giant transnational corporations have the power to separate indigenous people from their energy-rich lands with the help of host governments. Unreal City explores how and why resources have been taken from native lands, what it means in an era of climate change, and why, in this city divorced from nature, the only thing more powerful than money is water.

PublicAffairs

The Next America

Paul Taylor, Pew Research Center
Authors:
Paul Taylor, Pew Research Center

The America of the near future will look nothing like the America of the recent past.America is in the throes of a demographic overhaul. Huge generation gaps have opened up in our political and social values, our economic well-being, our family structure, our racial and ethnic identity, our gender norms, our religious affiliation, and our technology use.Today's Millennials,well-educated, tech savvy, underemployed twenty-somethings,are at risk of becoming the first generation in American history to have a lower standard of living than their parents. Meantime, more than 10,000 Baby Boomers are retiring every single day, most of them not as well prepared financially as they'd hoped. This graying of our population has helped polarize our politics, put stresses on our social safety net, and presented our elected leaders with a daunting challenge: How to keep faith with the old without bankrupting the young and starving the future.Every aspect of our demography is being fundamentally transformed. By mid-century, the population of the United States will be majority non-white and our median age will edge above 40,both unprecedented milestones. But other rapidly-aging economic powers like China, Germany, and Japan will have populations that are much older. With our heavy immigration flows, the US is poised to remain relatively young. If we can get our spending priorities and generational equities in order, we can keep our economy second to none. But doing so means we have to rebalance the social compact that binds young and old. In tomorrow's world, yesterday's math will not add up.Drawing on Pew Research centre's extensive archive of public opinion surveys and demographic data, The Next America is a rich portrait of where we are as a nation and where we're headed,toward a future marked by the most striking social, racial, and economic shifts the country has seen in a century.

Virago

The Purple Shroud

Stella Duffy
Authors:
Stella Duffy

Once, Theodora was little more than a slave, the daughter of a bear-keeper, running barefoot through the streets of Constantinople. Now she is Theou doron, 'the Gift of God', Empress of Byzantine Rome and the most powerful woman in the world. In Stella Duffy's compelling new novel, the beguiling and extraordinary Empress Theodora emerges from the shadow of history into brilliant light. Clever, courageous and ruthless when betrayed, Theodora rules alongside her husband, the Emperor Justinian - a true love match in a world of political marriages. While wars rage on the borders of the Empire, Theodora discovers that the greatest danger to her reign - and her life - lies much closer to home. From the catastrophic and terrifying riots that burn through the city; to vengeful enemies at the palace who will never accept 'Theodora-from-the-brothel'; to plagues and plots and murder, Theodora learns what it truly means to be Empress.Spanning over twenty dramatic years of Theodora's reign, The Purple Shroud is a vivid portrait of a charismatic, exceptional woman and a fascinating exploration of both the pleasures and the burdens of power.

Constable

We Saw Spain Die

Paul Preston
Authors:
Paul Preston
International publisher of women's literature

About Virago

Nearly forty years after its beginnings in 1973, Virago is the outstanding international publisher of books by women.

An exclusive extract

The Red Book

The Red Book is the name of the annual yearbook produced by Harvard University that helps keep alumni abreast of their former classmates achievements. Deborah Kogan's highly acclaimed new novel is the story of four such Harvard students and friends, who's lives have taken very different paths in the twenty years since graduating in 1989, and who are brought together once more over the course of a turbulent reunion weekend.

Chapter One

The Uncommon Appeal of Clouds

Read the first chapter of the latest book in Alexander McCall Smith's Sunday Philosophy Club series. The victim of an important art theft appeals to Isabel Dalhousie, Edinburgh philosopher and sleuth, for help.