The Wind in My Hair
By Masih Alinejad
'A must-read for anyone who cares about women's equality' Sheryl Sandberg'A flame-thrower for the rights of women who live under the thumb of repression and injustice' Tina BrownBBC RADIO 4 BOOK OF THE WEEKThis memoir is the extraordinary story of how one woman, Masih Alinejad, an awe-inspiring journalist and activist from a small village in Iran, overcame enormous adversity to fight for what she truly believed and founded a major movement for women around the world with the simple removal of her hijab.It all started with a single photo, a bold statement on Masih's Facebook page: a woman standing proudly, her face bare, her beautiful, curly hair blowing in the wind. Her crime: simply removing her veil, or hijab, which is compulsory for women in Iran. This is the photo that sparked a social-media liberation movement, 'My Stealthy Freedom'. Across Iran, women started posting pictures of their uncovered hair on Masih's page in open defiance of the strict religious beliefs of their country (and often, their families) while sharing their personal stories about this powerful mode of expression. With the creation of 'My Stealthy Freedom' Masih has gained over one million supporters around the world, and inspired Islamic women everywhere to take a stand for their basic human rights. She's been covered by the media from Vogue, to the Guardian, the New York Times and beyond. Last year she was the recipient of the Women's Rights Award from the Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy. But behind the scenes of this movement, Masih has been fighting a painful personal battle. She is a divorcee -- a sin equivalent to prostitution in Iranian culture. As a reporter, Masih has been actively speaking out against the government's corrupt policies for more than a decade, and has faced abuse and slander at every turn. In 2009 she went abroad during the Iranian presidential election with hopes of interviewing Barack Obama. Before the interview could take place, the elections were stolen, Masih's newspaper was shut down, and thousands of Iranians were arrested. She was expelled from her own country, and separated from her only son. Although she eventually was able to take her son abroad, she has not returned to Iran or seen her family in years. To this day, Masih has faith that one day she will be reunited with her homeland.A defiant, inspiring voice for women's rights, Masih Alinejad speaks for women everywhere.'Intriguing and inspiring . . . her voice is so important to the Iranian people's struggles for freedom and democracy' Azar Nafisi, author of Reading Lolita in Tehran
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.
The Weather In The Streets
By Rosamond Lehmann
'A truly great book. It is beautifully written, shrewdly observed and deftly crafted, but the novel's real concern is what it means for a woman to live an authentic life' Elizabeth DayA chance encounter with the man who enchanted her as a teenager leads Olivia Curtis into to a forbidden love affair. He is now married, and Olivia's life changes to one of secret meetings, brief phone calls and snatched liaisons in anonymous hotel rooms.Years ahead of its time when first published in 1936, this subtle and powerful novel shocked it readers with its searing honesty and passionate portrayal of clandestine love.* 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
What are We Doing Here?
By Marilynne Robinson
New essays by the Orange and Pulitzer Prize winning author of Gilead, Home and Lila. In this collection, Marilynne Robinson, one of today's most important thinkers - admired by President Obama, and so many others - impels us to action and offers us hope.Marilynne Robinson has plumbed the human spirit in her renowned novels, including Lila, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award; Home, winner of the Orange Prize; and Gilead, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award. In this new essay collection she trains her incisive mind on our modern political climate and the mysteries of faith. Whether she is investigating how the work of great thinkers about America like Emerson and Tocqueville inform our political consciousness or discussing the way that beauty informs and disciplines daily life, Robinson's peerless prose and boundless humanity are on full display. What Are We Doing Here? is a call to continue the tradition of the great thinkers and to remake political and cultural life as "deeply impressed by obligation [and as] a great theatre of heroic generosity, which, despite all, is sometimes palpable still." In our era of rampant political and cultural pessimism, we run the risk of becoming bogged down in disillusionment and of losing sight of ways out of the mire. In What Are We Doing Here?, the incomparable Marilynne Robinson offers us balm: impelling us to action, but offering us hope.
The World My Wilderness
By Rose Macaulay
It is 1946 and the people of France and England are facing the aftermath of the war. Banished by her beautiful, indolent mother to England, Barbary Deniston is thrown into the care of her distinguished father and conventional stepmother. Having grown up in the sunshine of Provence, allowed to run wild with the Maquis, experienced collaboration, betrayal and death, Barbary finds it hard to adjust to the drab austerity of postwar London life.Confused and unhappy, she discovers one day the flowering wastes around St Paul's. Here, in the bombed heart of London, she finds an echo of the wilderness of Provence and is forced to confront the wilderness within herself.
What Katy Did Next
By Susan Coolidge
Europe beckoned more brilliantly now that they were fairly embarked on their journey. The sun shone, the lake was a beautiful, dazzling blue, and Katy said to herself, "After all, a year is not very long, and how happy I am going to be!"'When Mrs Ashe discovers that her visiting nephew has scarlet fever, she sends her young daughter Amy to stay with the Carr family. There, Amy develops a strong attachment to Katy, who treats her like a little sister. Mrs Ashe, grateful for the kindness Katy has shown, invites her to join them on a year-long trip around Europe. Katy is at first reluctant - a year is a long time to be away from her family - but soon she gets swept up in the adventure, which takes her from the historic (but rainy) London streets to the beautiful cities of Nice, Paris and Naples. And perhaps Katy, now a young woman, will discover love.A collection that will be coveted by children and adults alike, this list is the best in children's literature, curated by Virago. These are timeless tales with beautiful covers, that will be treasured and shared across the generations. Some titles you will already know; some will be new to you, but there are stories for everyone to love, whatever your age. Our list includes Nina Bawden (Carrie's War, The Peppermint Pig), Rumer Godden (The Dark Horse, An Episode of Sparrows), Joan Aiken (The Serial Garden, The Gift Giving) E. Nesbit (The Psammead Trilogy, The Bastable Trilogy, The Railway Children), L. M. Montgomery (The Anne of Green Gables series) and Susan Coolidge (The What Katy Did Trilogy). Discover Virago Children's Classics.
What Katy Did at School
By Susan Coolidge
When Katy Carr and her sister Clover leave for boarding school, they are weighed down by worry. How will their father manage without their help? Can they ever hope to fit in and make new friends? When the Carr girls arrive, they meet the principal, Mrs Florence, who is tall, dignified and very strict: there are no less than thirty-two rules that students must adhere to! And with Miss Jane always on the prowl to discover the slightest fault, Katy fears that it might be more difficult to stay out of trouble than she'd hoped. But then she meets Rose Red - irrepressible, unconventional, and always full of fun. With the right friends, Katy can't help but get into all sorts of scrapes.A collection that will be coveted by children and adults alike, this list is the best in children's literature, curated by Virago. These are timeless tales with beautiful covers, that will be treasured and shared across the generations. Some titles you will already know; some will be new to you, but there are stories for everyone to love, whatever your age. Our list includes Nina Bawden (Carrie's War, The Peppermint Pig), Rumer Godden (The Dark Horse, An Episode of Sparrows), Joan Aiken (The Serial Garden, The Gift Giving) E. Nesbit (The Psammead Trilogy, The Bastable Trilogy, The Railway Children), L. M. Montgomery (The Anne of Green Gables series) and Susan Coolidge (The What Katy Did Trilogy). Discover Virago Children's Classics.
By E. Nesbit, Reginald B. Birch
'Nesbit opened the door in the magic wardrobe, pointed the way to platform nine and three quarters. She even had a hand in building the Tardis. And these are among her minor achievements. She is also simply the funniest writer we have ever had' Frank Cottrell-Boyce 'This is the story of one of the most far-reaching and influentially naughty things we ever did in our lives. We did not mean to do such a deed. And yet we did do it.'After being banished to the countryside for creating even more mayhem than usual, the Bastable children vow to mend their ways. Establishing 'The Society of the Wouldbegoods', their first rule is: 'every member is to be as good as possible'. But sometimes it's just not possible to be good - no matter how hard you try.A collection that will be coveted by children and adults alike, this list is the best in children's literature, curated by Virago. These are timeless tales with beautiful covers, that will be treasured and shared across the generations. Some titles you will already know; some will be new to you, but there are stories for everyone to love, whatever your age. Our list includes Nina Bawden (Carrie's War, The Peppermint Pig), Rumer Godden (The Dark Horse, An Episode of Sparrows), Joan Aiken (The Serial Garden, The Gift Giving) E. Nesbit (The Psammead Trilogy, The Bastable Trilogy, The Railway Children), L. M. Montgomery (The Anne of Green Gables series) and Susan Coolidge (The What Katy Did Trilogy). Discover Virago Children's Classics.
What Katy Did
By Susan Coolidge
'One of my all-time favourite books. It's a very lively, funny story' Jacqueline WilsonKaty has grand plans to be beautiful, graceful and ladylike ... one day! But for now she has hair that is always tangled, bootlaces undone, a torn dress and she doesn't care about being 'good'. With a wild imagination and high spirits, she is always up to mischief, but there never has been a heroine as lovable as Katy. Then a terrible accident happens and it takes all her courage - and hard-learned patience - to keep her dreams alive.'Katy speaks with a charm and directness that remains as fresh as when it was written' Amanda Craig'This was one of my favourite books as a child. The children felt real enough to touch, and I fell head over heels in love with Katy. It's a book with an unstoppable heart' Katherine RundellThis collection of the best in children's literature, curated by Virago, will be coveted by children and adults alike. These are timeless tales with beautiful covers, that will be treasured and shared across the generations. Some titles you will already know; some will be new to you, but there are stories for everyone to love, whatever your age. Our list includes Nina Bawden (Carrie's War, The Peppermint Pig), Rumer Godden (The Dark Horse, An Episode of Sparrows), Joan Aiken (The Serial Garden, The Gift Giving) E. Nesbit (The Psammead Trilogy, The Bastable Trilogy, The Railway Children), Frances Hodgson Burnett (The Little Princess,The Secret Garden) and Susan Coolidge (The What Katy Did Trilogy). Discover Virago Children's Classics.
What Language Do I Dream In?
By Elena Lappin
Elena Lappin's life could be described as 'five languages in search of an author'. She now lives in London, but she was born in Russia and has lived in Czechoslovakia, Germany, Israel, Canada, and the United States. As a multiple émigré, her decision to write in English was the unexpected result of many wanderings, and this memoir tells the story of finding a voice in a language that is not one's own. Russian, Czech, German, Hebrew, and finally English: how do they, and the family roots and cultures they represent define who she is, and how has adopting English allowed her to be a writer?The story of Lappin's identity is unexpectedly complicated by the discovery, in middle age, that her biological father was an American living in Russia. Their encounter introduces an element of mystery to the search for her roots, and a surprise: suddenly, English is more than the accidental 'home in exile' - it is the language she may have been close to from the very beginning.
Whose Model is It Anyway?
By Frances Weetman
Frances Weetman's writing challenges the basis of current economic thinking. She shows how economics does not have true scientific credibility and how excessive confidence in what is actually a belief system may be having disastrous effects not only on our economy but also our way of life. She says; 'It is time for a reformation in economics. Or even an enlightenment.'The judges of the prize were Gillian Tett, author and US Managing Editor of Financial Times, Helen Lewis, deputy editor of the New Statesman, Tom Gatti, Arts Editor of the New Statesman and Lennie Goodings, Publisher of Virago
The World's Smallest Unicorn and Other Stories
By Shena Mackay
Here is a wonderful collection of short stories by the writer known for 'the Mackay vision, suburban - as kitsch, as unexceptional, and yet as rich in history and wonder as a plain Victorian terrace house, its threshold radiant with tiling and stained-glass birds of paradise, encased in leaded lights' Guardian.
What Treasure Did Next
By MICHELE HANSON, Christine Roche
In What Treasure Did Next, Treasure is nearly fifteen - fond of luxury, friends, talking on the phone - anything but her mother. In this second rollercoaster volume of life on the wild side, Treasure goes on holiday (with Mum and dog), dyes her hair, falls in love, insists on going to Glastonbury, disappears for hours on end, goes out with friends who drive cars, falls in love. Treasure does not clean up her room, talk to her mother, concentrate on home work, be nice to her mother's friends, help pay the phone bill or read the books her mother recommends. Treasure after all, is a teenager.Treasure first appeared in the Guardian and has featured on Radio 4. She later starred in her own BBC TV series.
Wounding the World
By Joanna Bourke
Wars are frequently justified 'in our name'. Militarist values and practices co-opt us, permeating our language, invading our dream space, entertaining us at the movies or in front of game consoles. Our taxes pay for those war machines. Our loved ones are killed and maimed.With killing now an integral part of the entertainment industry in video games and Hollywood films, war has become mainstream.With the 100th anniversary of the declaration of the First World War, has come a deluge of books, documentaries, feature films and radio programmes. We will hear a great deal about the horror of the battlefield. Bourke acknowledges wider truths: war is unending and violence is deeply entrenched in our society. But it doesn't have to be this way. This book equips readers with an understanding of the history, culture and politics of warfare in order to interrogate and resist an increasingly violent world.
The Walk Home
By Rachel Seiffert
Stevie comes from a long line of people who have cut and run. Just like he has.Stevie's been to London, taught himself to get by, and now he's working as a labourer not so far from his childhood home in Glasgow. But he's not told his family - what's left of them - that he's back. Not yet.He's also not far from his Uncle Eric's house: another one who left - for love this time. Stevie's toughened himself up against that emotion. And as for his own mother, Lindsey ... well, she ran her whole life. From her father and Ireland, from her husband, and eventually from Stevie too.This is a powerful novel about the risk of love, and the madness and betrayals that can split a family. If you cut your ties, will you cut yourself adrift?Rachel Seiffert is an extraordinarily deft and humane writer who tells us the truth about love and about hope.
Whole Of A Morning Sky
By Grace Nichols
'There is something holy about Georgetown at dusk. The Atlantic curling the shoreline . . .' It is 1960 and the Walcotts are moving into the city from the village of Highdam. School headmaster Archie Walcott knows that he will miss the openness of pastureland; his wife, Clara, the women and their nourishing 'womantalk and roots magic; and Gem, their daughter, her loved jamoon and mango trees. Their move into the rough and tumble Charlestown neighbourhood couldn't have come at a worse time, for the serenity of the city is exploded by political upheavals in the country's struggle for independence. Undercover moves - CIA-backed and supported by Britain attempt to bring down the Marxist government. Along with the sweep of events - strikes, riots, and racial dashes - daily life in the Charlestown yard and beyond gathers its Own intensity, Archie's friend, Conrad, seeing and knowing all, moves with ease among the opposing groups, monocle to his eye, white mice in his pockets; through one terrible night the neighbourhood tenses as the Ramsammy's rum shop is threatened with burning; and Archie, troubled by the times, tries to keep a tight rein on his family. Young Gem, ever-watchful, responds with wonderment and curiosity to the new life around her. In this, her first adult novel, Grace Nichols richly and imaginatively evokes a world that was part of her own Guyanese childhood.
By Natalie Angier
WOMAN explores the essence of what it means to be female. In mapping the inner woman - from organs to orgasms - Natalie Angier presents an extraordinary new vision of the female body as an evolutionary masterpiece.'Anyone living in or near a female body should read this book' - Gloria Steinem'Women have long been regarded as slaves to biology and evolution, prisoners in a hormonal swamp.But now, some of the sacred tenets of evolutionary psychology...have come under fresh challenge. As the century turns, it could be Goodbye women's lib; hello female liberation!... WOMAN is a delicious cocktail of estrogen and amphetamine designed to pump up the ovaries as well as the cerebral cortex' - Barbara Ehrenreich, TIME MAGAZINE'Drawing on science, literature and history, Angier provides valuable insight into the power of hormones, breast milk and the all-important clitoris. A must for every woman's bookshelf' - WOMAN'S JOURNAL
The Woman Upstairs
By Claire Messud
Nora Eldridge has always been a good girl: a good daughter, colleague, friend, employee. She teaches at an elementary school where the children and the parents adore her; but her real passion is her art, which she makes alone, unseen. One day Reza Shahid appears in her classroom: eight years old, a perfect, beautiful boy. Reza's father has a fellowship at Harvard and his mother is a glamorous and successful installation artist. Nora is admitted into their charmed circle, and everything is transformed. Or so she believes. Liberation from her old life is not quite what it seems, and she is about to suffer a betrayal more monstrous than anything she could have imagined.
Women Who Wear The Breeches
By Shahrukh Husain
Delicious and dangerous, this collection of fairy tales is a glorious tribute to women with 'do what thou wilt' bravado - those who dare to wear the breeches. They shed their female garb (and modesty) and don the male's role to save king, country, kin, and their own lives or for revenge, love, power and a good time. Shahrukh Husain's tales from around the world - riddles, battle triumphs, bawdy and moving stories - prove that no heroine, or hero, is as exciting and daring as the irresitible cross-dresser of fairy tales.
Wigan Pier Revisited
By Beatrix Campbell
A brilliant exposé of poverty and politics in Britain. In 1937 George Orwell published The Road to Wigan Pier, an account of his famous 'urban ride' among the people and places of the Great Depression. Fifty years later we lived through a second Great Depression, and this time the journey north was made by a woman - like Orwell a journalist and a socialist, but, unlike him, working class and a feminist. Wigan Pier Revisited is a devastating record of what Beatrix Campbell saw and heard in towns and cities ravaged by poverty and unemployment. She talked to young mothers on the dole, to miners and their families, to school leavers, battered wives, factory workers, redundant workers; discovered what work, home, family, politics and dignity meant for working-class people. Out of this came her passionate plea for a genuine socialism, one informed by feminism, drawing its strength from the grass roots and responding to people's real needs.