Related to: 'Coming of age classics'

Virago

Invitation To The Waltz

Rosamond Lehmann
Authors:
Rosamond Lehmann
Virago

The River

Rumer Godden
Authors:
Rumer Godden

'You can't stop days or rivers . . . ' Harriet is between two worlds. Her older sister is no longer a playmate, her brother is still a child. And the comforting rhythm of her Indian childhood - the noise from the jute works, the colourful festivals that accompany each season and the eternal ebb and flow of the river on its journey to the Bay of Benghal - is about to be shattered by a tragic event. The River is Rumer Godden's beautiful tribute to India and to childhood.

Virago

Slammerkin

Emma Donoghue
Authors:
Emma Donoghue
Virago

Tipping The Velvet

Sarah Waters
Authors:
Sarah Waters
Virago

My Brilliant Career

Miles Franklin
Authors:
Miles Franklin

Trapped on her parents' farm in the hardscrabble Australian outback, sixteen-year-old Sybylla Melvyn loves the bush but not the toil it brings. She longs for refinement, and most of all she longs to achieve great things. Suddenly she falls under the gaze of wealthy, handsome Harry Beecham . . . and finds herself choosing between the conventional path of marriage and her plans for a 'brilliant career'.

Virago

The Weather In The Streets

Rosamond Lehmann
Authors:
Rosamond Lehmann
Virago

Life Mask

Emma Donoghue
Authors:
Emma Donoghue

A love story. A gamble. A battle. Let the games begin. It's an era of looming war, and the erosion of freedom in the name of national security. A time of high art and big business, trashy spectacles and financial disasters. Celebrities are hounded by journalists, who serve up private passions alongside public crises. Marriages stretch or break, and so do friendships; political liaisons prove as dangerous as erotic ones. In Parliament, on stage, in the bedroom, at the race track, round the dinner table, old loyalties are wrenched by the winds of change. The World - as elite calls itself - is fighting to survive these chaotic times.

Virago

Breakfast with the Nikolides

Rumer Godden
Authors:
Rumer Godden

For Emily Pool, India is a magical place where she has the freedom to escape her mother's suffocating influence. Her days are spent exploring the canals and gardens of East Bengal, and admiringly observing her glamorous, dignified neighbours, the Nikolides. But just as the cracks in Emily's family home are papered over, so do the Pools strive to maintain an outward impression of respectability, and it is through the Nikolides that Emily is exposed to a world of adult deceit and attrition. And when her beloved dog dies, the event forces a confrontation and reveals to Emily that nothing in the town is quite as it seems . . .

Virago

The Lady and the Unicorn

Rumer Godden
Authors:
Rumer Godden

In a crumbling Calcutta mansion, with faded frescos and a jasmine-covered garden, the Lemarchant family live, clinging to the fringes of respectability: neither Indian nor English, they are accepted by no one and exploited by all. After only a day in India, Stephen Bright meets Rosa Lemarchant. In an ill-fitting dress once belonging to her sister, she is awkward and shy, and couldn't be more different from the stories he has heard of fast 'Eurasian' girls. Ignorant of Calcutta's strict codes of conformity, he falls in love with Rosa and becomes enchanted by the building in which she lives, determined to uncover its secrets. Mystery pervades this story of a memory-haunted house in old Calcutta, as secret as a sundial in a ruined garden.

Virago

Touchy Subjects

Emma Donoghue
Authors:
Emma Donoghue

How do you make conversation with a sperm donor? How do you say someone's novel is drivel? Would you give a screaming baby brandy? In what words would you tell your girlfriend to pluck a hair on her chin? Touchy Subjects is about things that make people wince: taboos, controversies, secrets and lies. Some of the events that characters crash into are grand, tragic ones: miscarriage, overdose, missing persons, a mother who deserts her children. Other topics, like religion and money, are not inherently taboo, but they can cause acute discomfort because people disagree so vehemently. Many of these stories are about the spectrum of constrained, convoluted feeling that runs from awkwardness through embarrassment to shame.

Emma Donoghue

Born in Dublin in 1969, Emma Donoghue is an award-winning writer, living in Canada with her family. Her novels are Room, The Sealed Letter, Landing, Life Mask, Slammerkin, Hood and Stir-fry; short-story collections Astray, Three and a Half Deaths (UK ebook), Touchy Subjects, The Woman Who Gave Birth to Rabbits, and Kissing the Witch; and literary history including Inseparable, We Are Michael Field, and Passions Between Women as well as two anthologies that span the seventeenth to the twentieth centuries. Frog Music, her new novel, comes out in Spring 2014.

Virago

Penelope

Rebecca Harrington
Authors:
Rebecca Harrington

Meet Penelope O'Shaughnessy, Harvard freshman. Armed with her Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights poster and party conversation modelled on the repartee of Noel Coward, Penelope is ready to take her place on campus. But where are the kindred spirits who will share her passion for Morse code and Tetris? Penelope's roommates, over-achieving Emma and the sullen Lan, seem to have already got to grips with university life, and she is finding it hard to work out if the dashing but elusive Gustav matches up to her hero, Hercule Poirot. Penelope follows our heroine's progress through her first year among America's elite, as she navigates the mysteries of life, love, inappropriate tutors, marionette operation and how to kiss on both cheeks and avoid disaster.

Virago

Selected Letters Of Edith Sitwell

Richard Greene, Edith Sitwell
Authors:
Richard Greene, Edith Sitwell
Virago

Mossy Trotter

Elizabeth Taylor, Tony Ross
Contributors:
Elizabeth Taylor, Tony Ross

'We - that is, Herbert and I - want you, Mossy, to be our page-boy,' Miss Silkin said, staring hard at Mossy again, as if she were trying to imagine him dressed up, and with his hair combed. Mossy went very red, and nearly choked on a piece of cake, and Selwyn laughed, and went on laughing, as if he had just heard the funniest joke of all his life. They both knew what being a page-boy meant. One of the boys at school - one of the very youngest ones - had had to be one, wearing velvet trousers and a frilled blouse.' When Mossy moves to the country, life is full of delights - trees to climb, woods to explore and, best of all, the marvellous dump to rummage through. But every now and then his happiness is disturbed - chiefly by his mother's meddling friend, Miss Silkin. And a dreaded event casts a shadow over even the sunniest of days - being a page-boy at her wedding. In her only children's book, Elizabeth Taylor perfectly captures the temptations, confusion and terrors of a mischievous boy, and just how illogical, frustrating and inconsistent adults are!

Virago

Complete Short Stories

Elizabeth Taylor
Authors:
Elizabeth Taylor

Elizabeth Taylor, highly acclaimed author of classic novels such as Angel, A Game of Hide and Seek and Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont, is also renowned for her powerful, acutely observed stories. Here for the first time, the stories - including some only recently rediscovered - are collected in one volume. From the awkward passions of lonely holiday-makers to the anticipation of three school friends preparing for their first dance, from the minor jealousies and triumphs of marriage to tales of outsiders struggling to adapt to the genteel English countryside, with a delicate, witty touch Elizabeth Taylor illuminates the nuances of ordinary lives.

Virago

The Dud Avocado

Elaine Dundy
Authors:
Elaine Dundy
A classic author loved by generations

Rumer Godden

Classic author, Rumer Godden, joins the Virago list

Rumer Godden

Rumer Godden (1907-98) was the acclaimed author of over sixty works of fiction and non-fiction for adults and children. Born in England, she and her siblings grew up in Narayanganj, India, and she later spent many years living in Calcutta and Kashmir. Several of her novels were made into films, including Black Narcissus, The Greengage Summer and The River, which was filmed by Jean Renoir. She was appointed OBE in 1993.

Virago

Listen to the Nightingale

Rumer Godden
Authors:
Rumer Godden

'Never forget, Charlotte, you were born to be a dancer . . . Never forget. Promise.' Before her ballet teacher died, Lottie promised Madame Holbein to be the dancer her mother never lived to become. Orphaned at birth, Lottie has been brought up by her aunt, and though she is loved, she is lonely. Then she finds Prince, a spaniel puppy, and discovers a love and loyalty that is boundless. When Lottie passes the tough audition for Queen's Chase, Her Majesty's Junior Ballet School, everybody is thrilled - except, surprisingly, Lottie. She will have to board at school, and what will happen to her beloved dog? To choose between the two is breaking her heart.

Virago

The Dark Horse

Rumer Godden
Authors:
Rumer Godden

'All horses can walk - some badly, some well, but to a few is given a gift of movement feline in its grace, a slouching, flowing continuous movement that is a joy to watch. Dark Invader strode in glorious rhythm, his great shoulders rolling, muscles rippling along his flanks under the satin skin.' Dark Invader is a beautifully bred racehorse, but after a disappointing first season he is sold in disgrace and shipped from England to Calcutta. With love and gentle handling 'Darkie' wins the hearts of the people and becomes the firm favourite for India's most famous race, the Viceroy Cup. But three days before the race Dark Invader disappears. Can he be found before it is too late?