Related to: 'Elaine Dundy'

Virago

The Dud Avocado

Elaine Dundy
Authors:
Elaine Dundy

'One of the funniest books I've ever read' - Gore Vidal*The Dud Avocado gained instant cult status on first publication and remains a timeless portrait of a woman hellbent on living. It is, as the Guardian observes, 'one of the best novels about growing up fast'.Sally Jay Gorce is a woman with a mission. It's the 1950s, she's young, and she's in Paris. Having dyed her hair pink, she wears evening dresses in the daytime and vows to go native in a way not even the natives can manage. Embarking on an educational programme that includes an affair with a married man (which fizzles out when she realises he's single and wants to marry her); nights in cabarets and jazz clubs in the company of assorted "citizens of the world"; an entanglement with a charming psychopath; and a bit part in a film financed by a famous matador. But an education like this doesn't come cheap. Will our heroine be forced back to the States to fulfill her destiny as a librarian, or can she keep up her whirlwind Parisian existence?*A champagne cocktail ... Rich, invigorating, and deceptively simple to the taste ... One falls for Sally Jay Gorce from a great height from the first sentence - ObserverAs delightful and delicate an examination of how it is to be twenty and in love and in Paris as I've ever read - Sunday TimesI had to tell someone how much I enjoyed The Dud Avocado. It made me laugh, scream, and guffaw (which, incidentally, is a great name for a law firm). - Groucho MarxBooks 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; Memento Mori by Muriel Spark; A View of the Harbour by Elizabeth Taylor; and Faces in the Water by Janet Frame

Virago

Memento Mori

Muriel Spark
Authors:
Muriel Spark
Virago

Frost In May

Antonia White
Authors:
Antonia White

'Frost in May is the unsurpassed novel of convent school life. This story of a clash between a determined young girl and an authoritarian regime is both perceptive and painfully emotional, convincing in every detail' - Hermione Lee, ObserverWith a new introduction by Tessa HadleyNanda Gray, the daughter of a Catholic convert, is nine when she is sent to the Convent of Five Wounds. Quick-witted, resilient and eager to please, she accepts this closed world where, with all the enthusiasm of the outsider, her desires and passions become only those the school permits. Her only deviation from total obedience is the passionate friendships she makes.Convent life is perfectly captured - the smell of beeswax and incense; the petty cruelties of the nuns; the eccentricities of Nanda's school friends.Books 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

Virago

The Weather In The Streets

Rosamond Lehmann
Authors:
Rosamond Lehmann
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.

Virago

The Collected Stories of Grace Paley

Grace Paley
Authors:
Grace Paley

'This is a collection full of energy and stunning, quiet innovation ... it spills over with contempt, raucous humour, sadness and generosity. In it, life and language are synonymous, and there is no higher praise. What a wonderful book' Ali SmithHere are all Grace Paley's classic stories in one volume. Paley's quirky, boisterous characters and rich use of language won her readers' hearts and secured her place as one of America's most accomplished short-story writers. Her stories are united by her signature interweaving of personal and political truths, her extraordinary capacity for empathy and her pointed depiction of the small and large events that make up daily life.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

Virago

Deep Water

Patricia Highsmith
Authors:
Patricia Highsmith

Contains an interview with Gillian Flynn.To everyone around them, Melinda and Vic Van Allen are the perfect couple - young, wealthy and attractive. But when their love sours, their mind games reach a twisted, dangerous climax.'If I really don't like somebody, I kill him . . . You remember Malcolm McRae, don't you?'Melinda Van Allen is beautiful, headstrong and sexy. Unfortunately for Vic Van Allen, she is his wife. Their love has soured, and Melinda takes pleasure in flaunting her many affairs to her husband. When one of her lovers is murdered, Vic hints to her latest conquest that he was responsible. As rumours spread about Vic's vicious streak, fiction and reality start to converge. It's only a matter of time before Vic really does have blood on his hands.

Virago

Fire from Heaven

Mary Renault
Authors:
Mary Renault
Virago

Penelope

Rebecca Harrington
Authors:
Rebecca Harrington
Virago

Complete Short Stories

Elizabeth Taylor
Authors:
Elizabeth Taylor

Elizabeth Taylor is finally being recognised as an important British author: one of great subtlety, great compassion and great depth - Sarah WatersElizabeth 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.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

Virago

The Return Of The Soldier

Rebecca West
Authors:
Rebecca West
Virago

Faces In The Water

Janet Frame
Authors:
Janet Frame

I was now an established citizen with little hope of returning across the frontier; I was in the crazy world, separated now by more than locked doors and barred windows from the people who called themselves sane.'When Janet Frame's doctor suggested that she write about her traumatic experiences in mental institutions in order to free herself from them, the result was Faces in the Water, a powerful and poignant novel. Istina Mavet descends through increasingly desolate wards, with the threat of leucotomy ever present. As she observes her fellow patients, long dismissed by hospital staff, with humour and compassion, she reveals her original and questing mind. This riveting novel became an international classic, translated into nine languages, and has also been used as a medical school text.

Virago

Life Itself!

Elaine Dundy
Authors:
Elaine Dundy

Author of the celebrated and hilarious THE DUD AVOCADO, the classic novel about a young American ingenue in Paris, Elaine Dundy was born in New York in the 1930s. Her first years were spent in an apartment on Park Avenue until the stock market crash wiped out most of the family's money. She went to university in the south where, among other studies, she worked hard at losing her virginity. Deciding the stage was her true home, Elaine Dundy headed first to Paris and then to London, where she met and married the famous theatre critic Kenneth Tynan. Though their union was intoxicating, it was far from easy and the successful publication in 1958 of her novel finished off the marriage. But it was the opening of a new world of writers for Elaine Dundy, including friendships with Tennessee Williams, Hemingway and Gore Vidal. Extremely funny and extraordinarily honest this wonderfully remembered story of growing up in America is as much a tonic as life itself.

Virago

The Magic Toyshop

Angela Carter
Authors:
Angela Carter

Cover design by Jacqueline Groag'This crazy world whirled about her, men and women dwarfed by toys and puppets, where even the birds were mechanical and the few human figures went masked . . . She was in the night again, and the doll was herself'One night Melanie walks through the garden in her mother's wedding dress. The next morning her world is shattered. Forced to leave her rural home, she is sent to London to live with relatives she has never met: gentle Aunt Margaret, mute since her wedding day; and her brothers, Francie, whose graceful music belies his clumsy nature, and the volatile Finn. Brooding over all is Uncle Philip, who loves only the puppets he creates in his workshop, which are life-sized - and uncannily life-like.

Virago

Heartburn

Nora Ephron
Authors:
Nora Ephron

'I have bought more copies of this book to give to people, in a frenzy of enthusiasm, than any other . . . Heartburn is the perfect, bittersweet, sobbingly funny, all-too-true confessional novel' Nigella Lawson *Seven months into her pregnancy, Rachel discovers that her husband is in love with another woman. The fact that this woman has a 'neck as long as an arm and a nose as long as a thumb' is no consolation. Food sometimes is, though, since Rachel is a cookery writer, and between trying to win Mark back and wishing him dead, she offers us some of her favourite recipes. Heartburn is a roller coaster of love, betrayal, loss and - most satisfyingly - revenge.This is Nora Ephron's (screenwriter of When Harry Met Sally and Sleepless in Seattle) roman a clef: 'I always thought during the pain of the marriage that one day it would make a funny book,' she once said - And it is!*PraiseI am not a great reader of comic novels, but Ephron's hilarious, recipe-strewn, semi-autobiographical account of a heavily pregnant woman whose husband has left her for a woman with a 'neck as long as an arm' is a treat. A perfect example of Ephron's gift for turning tragedy into comedy, Heartburn is evidence that revenge is indeed a dish best served cold - Paula Hawkins, author of The Girl on the TrainHeartburn took the most miserable personal situation and made it hysterically funny, inspiring and utterly relatable to women of all ages. I became obsessed with its author and thinly disguised heroine. - Sali Hughes, Stylist'Nora Ephron's first novel is warm, witty and wise.' - Harper's Bazaar

Virago

A View Of The Harbour

Elizabeth Taylor
Authors:
Elizabeth Taylor

She let herself out of the large, untidy house and into her own beautiful, hyacinth-scented one. She sat down in the bay-window of her bedroom and combed her hair before the mirror. She took it all down and built it up again, but there was no one to see what she had done.*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.*'Her stories remain with one, indelibly, as though they had been some turning-point in one's own experience' - Elizabeth Bowen 'Always intelligent, often subversive and never dull, Elizabeth Taylor is the thinking person's dangerous housewife. Her sophisticated prose combines elegance, icy wit and freshness in a stimulating cocktail' - Valerie Martin'A magnificent and underrated mid-20th-century writer, the missing link between Jane Austen and John Updike' - David Baddiel, Independent

Virago

The Old Man And Me

Elaine Dundy
Authors:
Elaine Dundy

There's love, and there's revenge. Betsy Lou Saegessor is bent on revenge. Her father is dead, and to top it off, the vast fortune that should have been hers has ended up, through the second marriage of her now deceased stepmother, in the bank account of the legendary and elusive Englishman, C.D. McKee.So Betsy sets out from New York to seduce and betray him. C.D. is fat and ugly - but boy is he sexy. Betsy follows him through the night clubs of London, grooving to jazz, smoking hash - and plotting murder. A wickedly funny novel about falling in love -- with an Old Man and the Old World -- despite the best intentions.

Virago

I'll Never Be Young Again

Daphne Du Maurier
Authors:
Daphne Du Maurier

The iron of the bridge felt hot under my hand. The sun had been upon it all day. Gripping hard with my hands I lifted myself on to the bar and gazed down steadily on the water passing under ... I thought of places I would never see, and women I should never love. A white sea breaking on a beach, the slow rustle of a shivering tree, the hot scent of grass ... I breathed deeply and I felt as though the waiting water rose up in front of me and would not let me go' As far as his father, an accomplished poet, is concerned, Richard will never amount to anything, and so he decides to take his fate into his own hands. But at the last moment, he is saved by Jake, who appeals to Richard not to waste his life. Together they set out for adventure, jumping aboard the the first ship they see and working their passage to Norway and around Europe, eventually to bohemian Paris, where Richard meets Hesta, a captivating music student ...

Virago

Their Eyes Were Watching God

Zora Neale Hurston
Authors:
Zora Neale Hurston
The Virago hardback designer collection

Virago Introduces Virago Modern Classics

Feast your eyes on these beauties! The second VMC designer hardback collection, available in all good bookshops, £12.99 each.