By Katherine Mansfield
Linda Burnell dreams, listless and distant, whilst downstairs her mother sets in order the family's new home in the New Zealand countryside. Her vigorous and exhausting husband, Stanley, is at the office, but will return with eager and admiring eyes. Her children prepare lunch on a concrete step and her sister sings love songs to an imaginary young man.
And Still I Rise
By Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou's poetry - lyrical and dramatic, exuberant and playful - speaks of love, longing, partings; of Saturday night partying, and the smells and sounds of Southern cities; of freedom and shattered dreams. 'The caged bird sings/ with a fearful trill/ of things unknown/ but longed for still/ and his tune is heard/ on the distant hill/ for the caged bird/ sings of freedom.' Of her poetry, KIRKUS REVIEWS has written, 'It is just as much a part of her biography as I KNOW WHY THE CAGED BIRD SINGS, GATHER TOGETHER in MY NAME, SINGIN' AND SWINGIN' AND GETTING MERRY LIKE CHRISTMAS, and HEART OF A WOMAN.
All God's Children Need Travelling Shoes
By Maya Angelou
Now a major Radio 4 drama.'A brilliant writer, a fierce friend and a truly phenomenal woman' Barack ObamaMaya Angelou's five volumes of autobiography are a testament to the talents and resilience of this extraordinary writer. Loving the world, she also knows its cruelty. As a black woman she has known discrimination and extreme poverty, but also hope, joy, achievement and celebration. In the fifth volume, Maya Angelou emigrates to Ghana only to discover that 'you can't go home again' but she comes to a new awareness of love and friendship, civil rights and slavery - and the myth of mother Africa.
After The Death Of Don Juan
By Sylvia Townsend Warner
Published in 1938, mirroring the author's concern with the background to the Spanish Civil War, this novel mixes legend and history, in tracing the disappearance of Don Juan.
By Willa Cather
Bartley Alexander, an engineer famous for the audacious structure of his North American bridges, is at the height of his reputation. He has a distinguished and beautiful wife and an enviable Boston home. Then, on a trip to London, he has a chance encounter with an Irish actress he once loved. When their affair re-ignites, Alexander finds himself caught in a tug of emotions--between his feelings for wife, who has supported his career with understanding and strength, and Hilda, whose impulsiveness and generosity restore to him the passion and energy of his youth. Coinciding with this personal dilemma are ominous signs of strain in his professional life. In this, her first novel, originally published in 1912, Willa Cather skillfully explores the struggle between opposing sides of the self, a facility that was to become a hallmark of her craft.
By Carol Anshaw
Imagine how different your life might be if you had taken another path at a crucial turning point in the past. Aquamarine explores the intricate ways early choices reverbarate through a life. Shown in triptych is Jesse Austin, on the verge of turning forty in 1990, inhabiting three equally possible lives.Jesse's choices have variously brought her to marry, divorce or remain single, to love men or women, to live close to her Missouri hometown or deliberatley far away. But Jesse is still haunted by the moment when she lost the gold medal for the hundred-meter freestyle at the 1968 Olympics to a fatally seductive Australian swimmer named Marty Finch.Aquamarine magically weaves together three scenarios of options embraced or discarded, seamlessly connected by the emotional ties that bind Jesse to the people in her past. Infused with warmth, wit and wry affection, Aquamarine plays exhilaratingly original variations on the themes of lost love and the unlived lives running parallel to the ones we have chosen.
All Men Are Mortal
By Simone de Beauvoir
When the beautiful, ambitious actress Regina takes Fosca into her life and learns his amazing truth, she is obsessed with the thought that in his memory her performances will live for ever. But, as he recounts the story of his existence over more than six centuries, as she learns of his involvement in some of the most significant events in history and how human hope and love have withered in him, she finally understands the implications for him and for love.ALL MEN ARE MORTAL was filmed in 1994, starring Irene Jacob, Marianne Sagebrecht and Stephen Rea.
By Nancy Venable Raine
The subject of rape has long been 'unspeakable' and remains one of the most controversial and emotionally charged issues for society. For Nancy Venable Raine, second only to the soul-breaking burden of her rape at 39 was the silence that shrouded it, a silence born of her own feelings of shame and the incomprehension of others. She uses the redemptive power of language to lift the silence that is rape's legacy and to promote an understanding of the stigma that haunts rape's survivors.Using wide-ranging sources from literature, mythology, psychology and feminist theory, she exposes the complicated damage and response caused by rape. Like William Styron's book on depression, this should become the definitive work on the effects and recovery of rape, so intelligently and beautifully is it written.
The American Way Of Death Revisited
By Jessica Mitford
In the early 1960s this classic work of investigative journalism was a number one bestseller. The savage and hilarious analysis of America's funeral practices rocked the industry and shocked the public. This up-dated edition (revised just before the author's death) shows that if anything the industry has become more pernicious than ever in its assault on our practices and wallets. And it's an industry that - alas - sooner or later affects us all.
Age Of Dissent
By MICHELE HANSON
What does it feel like to be middle-aged? Twenty-seven in your own head, sixty-five in the mirror, ninety to your children and your mother still thinks you're twelve.Who is the chief dissenter among the three tall women who live noisily together under one roof: opinionated daughter, very opinionated elderly mother, or the poor beleaguered woman in between? Here in the middle we must carry on being reasonable, the cart horses of society, while everyone else the young and the old run amok. My mother grumps about in the garden, my daughter sobs upstairs. I find on these occasions I tend to play football with the dog. When one lives in a rather dramatic household, empty nest syndrome seems a delightful prospect . Known for her Treasure: The Teenage Terror books, Michele Hanson now collects her Age of Dissent Guardian columns. The middle-aged female has come of age. Watch out.
By Margaret Atwood
By the author of The Handmaid's TaleNow a major NETFLIX seriesSometimes I whisper it over to myself: Murderess. Murderess. It rustles, like a taffeta skirt along the floor.' Grace Marks. Female fiend? Femme fatale? Or weak and unwilling victim? Around the true story of one of the most enigmatic and notorious women of the 1840s, Margaret Atwood has created an extraordinarily potent tale of sexuality, cruelty and mystery.'Brilliant... Atwood's prose is searching. So intimate it seems to be written on the skin' Hilary Mantel'The outstanding novelist of our age' Sunday Times'A sensuous, perplexing book, at once sinister and dignified, grubby and gorgeous, panoramic yet specific...I don't think I have ever been so thrilled' Julie Myerson, Independent on Sunday
All Of Us There
By Polly Devlin
Polly Devlin grew up in County Tyrone, on the shores of Lough Neagh, in the fifties -- but it might as well have been another time and place altogether. In this memoir she describes in witty, spontaneous and idiosyncratic prose her life as one of seven siblings in a Catholic family in Northern Ireland.'A brooding, evocative study of Irish childhood, of the strong bonds of love and jealousy that sisters especially feel, the guilt-ridden pressures of religion, the magical countryside, the eccentric villagers. A hauntingly lovely work ... beautifully written with poetic intensity which seems to encapsulate the Irish character with all its wit and bitterness and gift for words' HOMES AND GARDENS
After These Things
By Jenny Diski
Continuing with her narration of the story of the Patriarchs in the Book of Genesis, After These Things is an account of the relationship between Abraham's tragic son Isaac and Isaac's son Jacob. The book follows the psychological trail of the children of Abraham, the first properly constituted family and finds that like all families, their story is structured by wishes and fears. In Isaac and Jacob's relationship we see all the complexities of love, power, desire that make them quintessentially human.The inimitable Jenny Diski tells this ancient story anew, with the deliciously subversive wit and intelligence readers have come to expect from this wonderfully surprising writer.
Angela Carter's Book Of Fairy Tales
By Angela Carter
Once upon a time fairy tales weren't meant just for children, and neither is Angela Carter's Book of Fairy Tales. This stunning collection contains lyrical tales, bloody tales and hilariously funny and ripely bawdy stories from countries all around the world- from the Arctic to Asia - and no dippy princesses or soppy fairies. Instead, we have pretty maids and old crones; crafty women and bad girls; enchantresses and midwives; rascal aunts and odd sisters. This fabulous celebration of strong minds, low cunning, black arts and dirty tricks could only have been collected by the unique and much-missed Angela Carter. Illustrated throughout with original woodcuts.
The Age Of Innocence
By Edith Wharton
Set in turn-of-the-century New York, Edith Wharton's classic novel The Age of Innocence reveals a society governed by the dictates of taste and form, manners and morals, and intricate social ceremonies. Newland Archer, soon to marry the lovely May Welland, is a man torn between his respect for tradition and family and his attraction to May's strongly independent cousin, the Countess Ellen Olenska. Plagued by the desire to live in a world where two people can love each other free from condemnation and judgment by the group, Newland views the artful delicacy of the world he lives in as a comforting security one moment, and at another, as an oppressive fiction masking true human nature. The Age of Innocence is at once a richly drawn portrait of the elegant lifestyles, luxurious brownstones, and fascinating culture of bygone New York society and a compelling look at the conflict between human passions and the social tribe that tries to control them.
All The Dogs Of My Life
By Elizabeth von Arnim
First published in 1936, this is the story of Elizabeth von Arnim's extraordinary life - and her equally extraordinary dogs. From her Pomeranian idyll (celebrated in her famous first book, ELIZABETH AND HER GERMAN GARDEN), to less happy days in London following the death of her first husband; from the beautiful solitude of her Swiss mountain hideaway, to the First World War and a disastrous second marriage, the author takes us on a disarmingly witty and poignant journey of canine companionship.
The Adventures Of Elizabeth In Rugen
By Elizabeth von Arnim
In 1901 the 'real' Elizabeth holidayed on the Baltic island of Rügen with just her maid, a coachman, a carriage piled with luggage, and a woman friend. From such unpromising beginnings Elizabeth weaves a captivating farrago around her encounters. There's the snobbish bishop's wife and her personable, handsome son, a dressmaker and, astonishingly, a long-lost cousin -- Charlotte -- who is trying to evade the pursuit of her husband, the maddeningly genial old professor. Here, with delightfully astringent humour, Elizabeth recounts the misadventures that befall her. And, as she immortalised her Pomeranian wilderness in the famous ELIZABETH AND HER GERMAN GARDEN, she now writes enticingly of this remote and attractive island.
At Mrs Lippincote's
By Elizabeth Taylor
By Kate O'Brien
Ireland, 1880 and a prosperous, provincial family observes the three great autumnal feasts of the Church. As Teresa Mulqueen lies dying, her family gather round her and beneath this drama another, no less poignant, unfolds. Unmarried daughter Agnes awaits the return of her sister Marie-Rose and brother-in-law Vincent. She adores her sister, but secretly, pasionately, loves Vincent. And their marriage, she knows, is unhappy...Ahead lies a terrible battle between her uncompromising faith and the intensity of her love. In this delicately imagined novel, originally published in 1934, Kate O'Brien lays bare the struggles between personal need and the Catholic faith with the sympathy and insight which is the hallmark of her craft.
Afternoon Of A Good Woman
By Nina Bawden
Today, Tuesday, the day that Penelope has chosen to leave her husband, is the first really warm day of spring...'Penelope has always done her best to be a good wife, a good mistress, a good mother - and a good magistrate. Today she is more conscious that usual of the thinness of the thread that distinguishes good from bad, the law-abiding from the criminal. Sitting in court, hearing a short, sad case of indecent exposure and a long, confused theft, she finds herself examining her own sex life (how would all that sound in court?) her own actions and intentions while she observes the defendants in the dock.This novel is a tour-de-force , an ingeniously constructed novel in which Nina Bawden counterpoints public appearance with private behaviour in her heroine, Penelope. The result is a marvellous picture of a not always admirable but engagingly complex and very human heroine. As always, Bawden offers a compelling story, sharply witty and beautifully observed. But it is also an honest and provocative book tracing the divergent courses of morality and justice, and uncomfortably posing, as Penelope does of herself, the question: who and what is a good woman?