Related to: 'The Dud Avocado'

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 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 ...

Alexander McCall Smith

Alexander McCall Smith is the author of over eighty books on a wide array of subjects, including the award-winning The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency series. He is also the author of the Isabel Dalhousie novels and the world's longest-running serial novel, 44 Scotland Street. His books have been translated into forty-six languages. Alexander McCall Smith is Professor Emeritus of Medical Law at the University of Edinburgh and holds honorary doctorates from thirteen universities.

Anna Seghers

ANNA SEGHERS (1900-1983) was born Netty Reiling in Mainz, Germany, into a Jewish family. In 1924 she received a doctorate in Art History from the University of Heidelberg, and in the same year her first story, written under the name Antje Seghers, was published. During this time, she came into contact with many left-wing intellectuals, including her husband, a Hungarian economist, and began writing in earnest. By the end of 1928, Anna Seghers had joined the Communist Party, given birth to two children and was awarded the Kleist Prize for her first novel, The Revolt of the Fishermen of St Barbara.As Jew, a Communist and a revolutionary writer, she was blacklisted in Nazi Germany and left for France in 1933 with her family. After the Nazi invasion in 1940, she was forced to flee again and, with the aid of Varian Fry, she and her family sailed from Marseilles to Mexico on a ship that included Victor Serge, André Breton and Claude Lévi-Strauss among its passengers.Seghers gained international recognition with The Seventh Cross (1942), which became a bestseller. It was the basis for the 1944 MGM film starring Spencer Tracy and was one of the only depictions of Nazi concentration camps during the Second World War in either literature or film. It has been translated into more than thirty languages.After the war Seghers moved to East Berlin, where she became a prominent figure of East German letters, actively championing the work of younger writers from her position as president of the Writers Union. Among Seghers' internationally acclaimed works are The Seventh Cross; Transit (1944); Excursion of the Dead Girls (1945); The Dead Stay Young (1949); and the story collection Benito's Blue (1973).

Candace Bushnell

Candace Bushnell is the creator of SEX AND THE CITY and has been described by the EVENING STANDARD as a 'genius'. The OBSERVER compared her to Nancy Mitford and the SUNDAY TELEGRAPH to 'Jane Austen with a Martini.'

Daphne Du Maurier

Daphne du Maurier (1907-89) was born in London, the daughter of the famous actor-manager Sir Gerald du Maurier and granddaughter of George du Maurier, the author and artist. In 1931 her first novel, The Loving Spirit, was published. A biography of her father and three other novels followed, but it was the novel Rebecca that launched her into the literary stratosphere and made her one of the most popular authors of her day. In 1932, du Maurier married Major Frederick Browning, with whom she had three children.Many of du Maurier's bestselling novels and short stories were adapted into award-winning films, including Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds and Nicolas Roeg's Don't Look Now. In 1969 du Maurier was awarded a DBE. She lived most of her life in Cornwall, the setting for many of her books.

Dorothea Tanning

Dorothea Tanning (1910 - 2012) was born in Galesburg, Illinois, and attended Knox College before moving to New York in the 1940s. There she began exhibiting at the Julien Levy Gallery, becoming known for her very personal and powerful surrealist paintings. In New York she met and married Max Ernst, moving with him to Arizona in the mid '40s, and then to France in the mid '50s. Two decades later, after Ernst's death, Tanning returned to New York, where she embarked upon a new and ambitious series of paintings, increasing both the scale and the scope of her work. Her work is included in collections at the Tate Gallery, the Georges Pompidou Centre, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the Menil Collection, Houston. Tanning published her only novel, Chasm: A Weekend, when she was ninety-four. She also wrote a memoir and two collections of poetry.

Dorothy West

Dorothy West was a leading light of the Harlem Renaissance movement of the 1930s. She founded literary magazines Challenge and New Challenge, with Richard Wright as her associate editor. She was a welfare investigator and relief worker in Harlem during the Depression. Her first novel, The Living is Easy, was published in 1948. Her second novel, The Wedding, was published nearly half a century later, in 1995, and was a bestseller. This was followed by The Richer, The Poorer, a rich collection of stories and essays that spanned her long life. She died in 1998, at the age of ninety-one.

Elaine Dundy

Elaine Dundy was born in New York. As an actress she worked in Paris and London and then became a writer. She has written plays, biographies and novels including the bestselling THE DUD AVOCADO, her first novel.

Elizabeth Taylor

Elizabeth Taylor (1912-1975) is increasingly recognised as one of the best British writers of the twentieth century. She wrote her first book, At Mrs Lippincote's, during the war while her husband was in the Royal Air Force, and this was followed by eleven further novels and a children's book, Mossy Trotter. Her acclaimed short stories appeared in publications including Vogue, the New Yorker and Harper's Bazaar.

J. Courtney Sullivan

J. COURTNEY SULLIVAN is the New York Times best-selling author of the novels The Engagements, Maine, and Commencement. Maine was named a 2011 Time magazine Best Book of the Year and a Washington Post Notable Book. The Engagements was one of People Magazine's Top Ten Books of 2013 and an Irish Times Best Book of the Year, and has been translated into seventeen languages. She has contributed to The New York Times Book Review, the Chicago Tribune, New York magazine, Elle, Glamour, Allure, Real Simple, and O: The Oprah Magazine, among many other publications. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Jilly Bond

JILLY BOND has recorded over 300 audiobooks and won four Audiofile Earphones Awards. She also regularly appears on stage, and has appeared at the National Theatre in "Island", at the Birmingham Repertory in "Jump!", Manchester Lowry in "Transmissions", the English Theatre of Hamburg in "Othello" and "Mrs Warren's Profession" and on the Edinburgh and London Fringes, including at the Finborough as human-rights lawyer Fethiye Cetin in "I Wish to Die Singing" which won the Best Play UK Studio Theatre Awards. She has recorded over 100 radio plays for the BBC, as well as playing Bridget in "The Archers", and TV work has includedDr Greene in "Doctors", Dr Jannatie in "Judge John Deed" and roles in "Comedy Nation", "People Like Us", "My Hero" & "Alastair McGowan's Big Impression".

Louisa May Alcott

Louisa May Alcott was born in Pennsylvania in 1832. Like the character of Jo March in Little Women, young Louisa didn't conform to the restrictions placed on girls of the period: 'No boy could be my friend till I had beaten him in a race,' she claimed, 'and no girl if she refused to climb trees, leap fences.' And, also like Jo, she was highly imaginative and writing was an early passion.As her family was often in financial difficulty, Louisa worked from a young age to support her family, taking any position available: a governess, domestic servant, seamstress and teacher were among her jobs. She also wrote poetry and short stories for popular magazines, and melodramatic novels under a pseudonym. When the American Civil War began, Louisa, who fervently opposed slavery, lamented that women weren't able to fight, and volunteered as a nurse at the Union Hospital in Georgetown, Washington. Her nursing career was brief as she contracted typhoid, but she wrote Hospital Sketches, a truthful and poignant account based on letters she wrote home to her family in Concord, and it was published to great acclaim.In 1868 Louisa was asked by her publisher to write 'a girls' story'. This resulted in Little Women, which is largely based on the experiences of the author and her three sisters. It was a phenomenal success. In a time when children's books were morality tales featuring idealised, two-dimensional protagonists, Little Women was revolutionary, peopled as it was by relatable, flawed, fully realised characters. Its success guaranteed financial stability for Louisa, who continued the March family's story in Good Wives, Little Men and Jo's Boys. Louisa never married, concluding that 'liberty is a better husband than love.' She died in 1888 and is buried in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Concord.

Marcus Berkmann

Marcus Berkmann has spent more than thirty years sitting in front of various television screens swearing at incompetent England batsmen. In his leisure time he has written columns on sport for Punch, the Independent on Sunday and the Daily Express. He is a regular contributor to Private Eye and has been the Spectator's pop music critic for over twenty years. His books include Rain Men: The Madness of Cricket, Zimmer Men: The Trials and Tribulations of the Ageing Cricketer, Fatherhood: The Truth and A Matter of Facts: The Insider's Guide to Quizzing

Marilynne Robinson

Marilynne Robinson was born in 1947. Her first novel, Housekeeping (1981) received the PEN/Hemingway award for best first novel as well as being nominated for the Pulitzer Prize

Nadia Murad

Nadia Murad is a human rights activist. She is the recipient of the Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize and the Sakharov Prize, and is the UN's first Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking. Together with Yazda, a Yazidi rights organization, she is currently working to bring the Islamic State before the International Criminal Court on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity. She is also the founder of Nadia's Initiative, a program dedicated to helping survivors of genocide and human trafficking to heal and rebuild their communities.

Patricia Highsmith

Patricia Highsmith (1921-1995) was born in Fort Worth, Texas, and moved to New York when she was six, where she attended the Julia Richman High School and Barnard College. In her senior year she edited the college magazine, having decided at the age of sixteen to become a writer. Her first novel, Strangers on a Train, was made into a classic film by Alfred Hitchcock in 1951. The Talented Mr Ripley, published in 1955, introduced the fascinating anti-hero Tom Ripley, and was made into an Oscar-winning film in 1999 by Anthony Minghella. Graham Greene called Patricia Highsmith 'the poet of apprehension', saying that she 'created a world of her own - a world claustrophobic and irrational which we enter each time with a sense of personal danger' and The Times named her no.1 in their list of the greatest ever crime writers. Patricia Highsmith died in Locarno, Switzerland, in February 1995. Her last novel, Small g: A Summer Idyll, was published posthumously, the same year.

Patrick Hamilton

Patrick Hamilton was one of the most gifted and admired writers of his generation. His plays include Rope (1929), on which the Hitchcock thriller was based, and Gas Light (1939). Among his novels are The Midnight Bell, The Siege of Pleasure, The Plains of Cement, Twenty-thousand Streets Under the Sky, Hangover Square, The Slaves of Solitude and The West Pier. He died in 1962.The Sunday Telegraph said: 'His finest work can easily stand comparison with the best of this more celebrated contempories George Orwell and Graham Greene.'

Paula McLain

Paula McLain received an MFA in poetry from the University of Michigan and has been awarded fellowships from Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony, and the National Endowment for the Arts. She is the author of two collections of poetry, as well as a memoir, Like Family. Her novels include The Paris Wife and Circling the Sun. She lives in Cleveland with her family.