A View Of The Harbour
By Elizabeth Taylor
'Her stories remain with one, indelibly, as though they had been some turning-point in one's own experience' - Elizabeth Bowen In the faded coastal village of Newby, everyone looks out for - and in on - each other, and beneath the deceptively sleepy exterior, passions run high. Beautiful divorcee Tory is painfully involved with her neighbour, Robert, while his wife Beth, Tory's best friend, is consumed by the worlds she creates in her novels, oblivious to the relationship developing next door. Their daughter Prudence is aware, however, and is appalled by the treachery she observes. Mrs Bracey, an invalid whose grasp on life is slipping, forever peers from her window, constantly prodding her daughters for news of the outside world. And Lily Wilson, a lonely young widow, is frightened of her own home. Into their lives steps Bertram, a retired naval officer with the unfortunate capacity to inflict lasting damage while trying to do good.Books included in the VMC 40th anniversary series include: Frost in May by Antonia White; The Collected Stories of Grace Paley; Fire from Heaven by Mary Renault; The Magic Toyshop by Angela Carter; The Weather in the Streets by Rosamond Lehmann; Deep Water by Patricia Highsmith; The Return of the Soldier by Rebecca West; Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston; Heartburn by Nora Ephron; The Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy; Memento Mori by Muriel Spark; A View of the Harbour by Elizabeth Taylor; and Faces in the Water by Janet Frame
The Vagina Monologues
By Eve Ensler
2018 marks the twentieth anniversary of V-Day, the radical grassroots movement to end violence against women and girls, inspired by Eve Ensler's international sensation The Vagina Monologues. This special edition features six never-before-published monologues, a new foreword by National Book Award winner Jacqueline Woodson, a new introduction by the author, and a new afterword by One Billion Rising director Monique Wilson on the stage phenomenon's global impact.A landmark work in women's empowerment, as relevant as ever after a year marked by unprecedented social and political protest in the face of unapologetic racism and misogyny, The Vagina Monologues honours women's sexuality in all its complexity, mystery and power. Witty and irreverent, compassionate and wise, this award-winning masterpiece gives voice to real women's deepest fantasies, fears, anger and pleasure, and calls for a world where all women are safe, equal, free and alive in their bodies.'This play changed the world. Seeing it changed my soul. Performing in it changed my life'Kerry Washington
The Violet Hour
By Katie Roiphe
The last days of five great thinkers, writers and artists - as they come to terms with the reality of approaching deathKatie Roiphe's extraordinary book is filled with intimate and surprising revelations. Susan Sontag, consummate public intellectual, finds her rational thinking tested during her third bout with cancer. Seventy-six year old John Updike's response to a fatal diagnosis is to begin a poem. Dylan Thomas's fatal collapse on the floor of a Greenwich Village tavern is preceded by a fortnight of almost suicidal excess. Sigmund Freud understands his hastening decline. Maurice Sendak shows his lifelong obsession with death in his beloved books.The Violet Hour - urgent and unsentimental - helps us to be less afraid in the face of death.
The Virago Book Of Women Gardeners
By Deborah Kellaway
From diggers and weeders, to artists and colourists, writers and dreamers to trend-setters, plantswomen to landscape designers, women have contributed to the world of gardening and gardens. Here Deborah Kellaway, author of The Making of an English Country Garden and Favourite Flowers , has collected extracts from the 18th century to the present day, to create a book that is replete with anecdotes and good-humoured advice. Colette, Margery Fish, Germaine Greer, Eleanor Sinclair Rohde, Vita Sackville-West, Rosemary Verey, Edith Wharton and Dorothy Wordsworth are some of the writers represented in this book.
Valley Of The Dolls
By Jacqueline Susann
Before Jackie Collins, Candace Bushnell and Lena Dunham, Jacqueline Susann held the world rapt with her tales of the private passions of Hollywood starlets, high-powered industrialists and the jet-set.Valley of the Dolls took the world by storm when it was first published, fifty years ago. Never had a book been so frank about sex, drugs and show business. It is often sited as the bestselling novel of all time.Dolls - red or black; capsules or tablets; washed down with vodka or swallowed straight. For Anne, Neely and Jennifer, it doesn't matter, as long as the pill bottle is within easy reach. These three beautiful women become best friends when they are young and in New York, struggling to make their names in the entertainment industry. Only when they reach the peak of their careers do they find there's nowhere left to go but down - to the Valley of the Dolls.
The Virago Book Of Erotic Myths And Legends
By Shahrukh Husain
Uncovering a wealth of lore from diverse cultures around the world, Shahrukh Husain has gathered together an anthology that will delight and entice. Through subtle reworking, these erotic tales are given new expression whilst remaining faithful to the original texts.From the rapturous sexual awakening of Inanna and the bitter-sweet passion of Krishna and Radha, to Hera's deceit of Zeus in order to reassert her sexual power and bring back excitement to her troubled marriage, this collection of sexual encounters ranges from the holy, passionate, and dutiful to the forbidden, earthy and humorous.
Vita Sackville-West's Sissinghurst
By Vita Sackville-West, Sarah Raven
From 1946 to 1957, Vita Sackville-West, the poet, bestselling author of All Passion Spent and maker of Sissinghurst, wrote a weekly column in the Observer describing her life at Sissinghurst, showing her to be one of the most visionary horticulturalists of the twentieth-century.With wonderful additions by Sarah Raven, Vita Sackville-West's Sissinghurst draws on this extraordinary archive, revealing Vita's most loved flowers, as well as offering practical advice for gardeners. Often funny and completely accessibly written with colour and originality, it also describes details of the trials and tribulations of crafting a place of beauty and elegance.Sissinghurst has gone on to become one of the most visited and inspirational gardens in the world and this marvellous book, illustrated with drawings and original photographs throughout, shows us how it was created and how gardeners everywhere can use some of the ideas from both Sarah Raven and Vita Sackville-West.
By Naomi Wolf
An astonishing new work that radically changes how we think about, talk about and understand the vagina - and consequently how we think about women and sexuality - from Naomi Wolf, one of our most respected cultural critics and author of the modern classic, The Beauty Myth.Vagina: A New Biography combines cutting-edge science with cultural history to explore the role of female desire and how it affects female identity, creativity and confidence. Provocative and engaging, positive and inspiring, this book brings to light female impulses, history and dreams - and, in exploring what women really need - it goes to the very core of what it means to be female.For any woman who wants to understand her body and her mind and the culture that defines her - Vagina is essential reading.
The Virago Book Of Witches
By Shahrukh Husain
A collection of more than 50 stories about witches from around the world. There are tales of banshees, crones and beauties in disguise from China, Siberia, the Caribbean, Armenia, Portugal and Australia. The characters featured include Italy's Witch Bea-Witch, Lilith, Kali, and Twitti Glyn Hec.
The Vet's Daughter
By Barbara Comyns
Growing up in Edwardian south London, Alice Rowlands longs for romance and excitement, for a release from a life that is dreary, restrictive and lonely. Her father, a vet, is harsh and domineering; his new girlfriend brash and lascivious. Alice seeks refuge in memories and fantasies, in her rapturous longing for Nicholas, a handsome young sailor, and in the blossoming of what she perceives as her occult powers. A series of strange events unfolds that leads her, dressed in bridal white, to a scene of ecstatic triumph and disaster among the crowds on Clapham Common. The Vet's Daughter is a uniquely vivid, witty and touching story of love and mystery.
By Sandi Toksvig
London 1897 and a young girl, Valentine Grey, arrives in England. She's been brought up in the remote and sunny climes of India and finds being forced into corsets and skirts in damp and cold country insufferable. The only bright spot: her exciting cousin, Reggie. Reggie, and his lover Frank seek out the adventure the clandestine bars and streets of London offer and are happy to include Valentine in their secret, showing her theatre, gardens - even teaching her how to ride a bicycle. And then comes the Boer War and Reggie's father volunteers him; the empire must be defended. But it won't be Reggie who dons the Volunteer Regiment's garb. Valentine takes her chance, puts on her cousin's uniform, leaving Reggie behind and heads off to war. And for a long while it's glorious and liberating for both of the cousins, but war is not glorious and in Victorian London homosexuality is not liberating . . .
By Daphne Du Maurier
'There was a smell in the air of tar and rope and rusted chain, a smell of tidal water. Down harbour, around the point, was the open sea. Here was the freedom I desired, long sought-for, not yet known. Freedom to write, to walk, to wander, freedom to climb hills, to pull a boat, to be alone . . . I for this, and this for me.'Daphne du Maurier lived in Cornwall for most of her life. Its rugged coastline, wild terrain and tumultuous weather inspired her imagination, and many of her works are set there, including Rebecca, Jamaica Inn and Frenchman's Creek. In Vanishing Cornwall she celebrates the land she loved, exploring its legends, its history and its people, eloquently making a powerful plea for Cornwall's preservation.
The Virago Book Of The Joy Of Shopping
By Jill Foulston
Jane Austen found her sister Cassandra a locket. Joan Didion bought nail enamel and a toaster on impulse. Karyn Bosnak charged $20,000 on credit cards - and wild child Elizabeth Wurtzel got caught shoplifting. George Eliot, on the other hand, hated shopping. Those are the true stories, but there are hundreds of fictional shoppers: The Girl with the Pearl Earring turned up her nose at some stale meat; Tom Ripley lusted after Venetian leather goods, while Jane Eyre cringed at Mr Rochester's pre-wedding excess. This is the first anthology to feature writing about shopping by women throughout history. Buy it.
The Voluptuous Delights Of Peanut Butter And Jam
By Lauren Liebenberg
Nyree and Cia live on a remote farm in the east of what was Rhodesia in the late 1970s. Beneath the dripping vines of the Vumba rainforest, and under the tutelage of their heretical grandfather, theirs is a seductive childhood laced with African paganism, mangled Catholicism and the lore of the Brothers Grimm. Their world extends as far as the big fence, erected to keep out the 'Terrs' whom their father is off fighting. The two girls know little beyond that until the arrival from the outside world of 'the bastard', their orphaned cousin Ronin, who is to poison their idyll for ever.
Vera Brittain: A Life
By Mark Bostridge, Paul Berry
Vera Brittain is most widely known as the woman who immortalized a lost generation in her haunting autobiography of the Great War, TESTAMENT OF YOUTH.Writer, pacifist and feminist, she condemned her provincial background but remained acutely conscious of the conventional elements in her own character; she revealed a richly emotional life in her writing but was outwardly sober and reserved; she possessed a fierce desire for fame and recognition but was ready to sacrifice both on matters of principle.This biography - comprehensive, authoritative and immensely readable - confirms Vera Brittain's stature as one of the most remarkable women of our time.
The Virago Book Of Ghost Stories
By Richard Dalby
Featuring stories by A.S. Byatt - Angela Carter - Lisa St Aubin de Teran - May Sinclair - Joan Aiken - Stella Gibbons - Edith Wharton - E.M. Delafield - Elizabeth Bowen - Ruth Rendell - and many more. This collection gathers together deliciously chilling tales from the three highly acclaimed volumes of Virago ghost stories. Here lost loves, past enmities and unwanted memories mingle with the inexplicable as unquiet souls return to repay kindnesses, settle scores and haunt the imagination. All of the writers demonstrate a subtle power to delight and chill at the same time as they explore the ghostly margins of the supernatural.
By Lyndall Gordon
This prize-winning biography, newly revised, sees Virginia Woolf as she saw herself. The first to set out the private life behind the well-known facts of her public career, A Writer's Life rocks back and forth between memories and art to reveal an explorer of 'the infinite oddity of the human position'. Instead of the doom-and-death often imposed on women of genius, here is the robust walker and seeker for what was fertile in her intimacies, in women's nature, and in resistance to power. This edition brings out her ideas for biography itself: to fall on a life 'like a roll of heavy waters... laying bare the pebbles on the shore of the soul'.
The Veiled Kingdom
By Carmen Bin Ladin
On September 11th 2001, Carmen Bin Ladin heard the news on the radio that the Twin Towers had been struck. She instinctively knew that her brother-in-law's name would be linked to these horrifying acts of terrorism, and her heart went out to the victims in America. She also knew that her life and the lives of her family would never be the same again. In 1974 Carmen, half Swiss and half Persian, married Yeslam Bin Ladin and found herself inside the complex and vast clan of Bin Laden, part of a society that at that point she neither knew nor understood. Carmen Bin Ladin's story takes us inside one of the most powerful, secretive and repressive kingdoms in the world.
By Elizabeth von Arnim
Lucy Entwhistle's beloved father has just died, and aged twenty-two, she finds herself alone in the world. Leaning against her garden gate, dazed and unhappy, she is disturbed by the sudden appearance of the perspiring Mr Wemyss.This middle-aged man is also in mourning - for his wife, Vera, who has died in mysterious circumstances. Before Lucy can collect herself, Mr Wemyss has taken charge: of the funeral arrangements, of her kind Aunt Dot, but most of all of Lucy herself, body and soul. Elizabeth von Arnim's masterpiece, VERA is a forceful study of the power of men in marriage - and the weakness of women in love.
Vindication: A Life Of Mary Wollstonecraft
By Lyndall Gordon
In this stunning new biography of the eighteenth-century writer Mary Wollstonecraft, Lyndall Gordon explores the life of a woman often criticised by biographers, historians and feminists alike. Gordon challenges such slanders, and portrays instead the genius of this extraordinary woman. The two-generation approach to her life examines not only Wollstonecraft herself, but also her effect on her daughters and heirs (Mary Shelley, Fanny Imlay, Claire Clairmont and Margaret Mount Cashell), and the ways in which they carried her influence into subsequent generations.Gordon takes stock of Wollstonecraft's life in accord with her own values rather than through the reputation history has given her. The author looks at her important relationships with Gilbert Imlay and William Godwin, and her ideas about issues such as the problems of communication between the sexes and parenthood. Through this brilliant study, Gordon, the author of biographies of Virginia Woolf and Charlotte Brontë among others, successfully reinterprets Mary Wollstonecraft for the twenty-first century.