Frost In May

Author: Antonia White

Publisher: Virago

ISBN: 0748127488

Category: Fiction

Page: 224

View: 9820

'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, Observer With a new introduction by Tessa Hadley Nanda 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

Angel

Author: Elizabeth Taylor

Publisher: New York Review of Books

ISBN: 1590175115

Category: Fiction

Page: 272

View: 741

Perhaps every novelist harbors a monster at heart, an irrepressible and utterly irresponsible fantasist, not to mention a born and ingenious liar, without which all her art would go for naught. Angel, at any rate, is the story of such a monster. Angelica Deverell lives above her diligent, drab mother’s grocery shop in a dreary turn-of-the-century English neighborhood, but spends her days dreaming of handsome Paradise House, where her aunt is enthroned as a maid. But in Angel’s imagination, she is the mistress of the house, a realm of lavish opulence, of evening gowns and peacocks. Then she begins to write popular novels, and this fantasy becomes her life. And now that she has tasted success, Angel has no intention of letting anyone stand in her way—except, perhaps, herself.

Good Behaviour

Author: Molly Keane

Publisher: Virago

ISBN: 0748132856

Category: Fiction

Page: 304

View: 6817

I do know how to behave - believe me, because I know. I have always known...' Behind the gates of Temple Alice the aristocratic Anglo-Irish St Charles family sinks into a state of decaying grace. To Aroon St Charles, large and unlovely daughter of the house, the fierce forces of sex, money, jealousy and love seem locked out by the ritual patterns of good behaviour. But crumbling codes of conduct cannot hope to save the members of the St Charles family from their own unruly and inadmissible desires. This elegant and allusive novel established Molly Keane as the natural successor to Jean Rhys.

A Game of Hide and Seek

Author: Elizabeth Taylor

Publisher: New York Review of Books

ISBN: 1590175107

Category: Fiction

Page: 328

View: 717

The mid-twentieth century British novelist Elizabeth Taylor numbered among her admirers Elizabeth Bowen, Ivy Compton- Burnett, and Kingsley Amis. She also regularly published stories in The New Yorker for close to two decades. For all that, her work, as steely as it is delicate, remains the secret of a small number of intensely devoted readers. The publication of her finest novel, A Game of Hide and Seek, long unavailable in the United States, should help to change that. This is an unabashed love story, capturing all the uncertainty and inevitability and deceptiveness of true love, tracking the shifting currents of emotional life, and never yielding to melodrama. Set in Britain between the wars, a time of transition between old convention and new ways, the book has for a heroine Harriet, the only child of a suffragette, whom we meet as a shy and domestic and not especially smart or pretty girl. At eighteen she falls in love with Vesey, but after Vesey must go away, she marries another man, Charles, and bears a child. Then Vesey returns. Love is at the center of the book, but so too is Taylor’s extraordinary knack for depicting characters. The minor figures in the book—from Harriet’s mother’s friend Caroline, with her progressive politics, to Charles, his coworkers, and his mother, to Betsy with her schoolgirl crush on her Greek teacher—are as memorable as the passion and heartache of Harriet and Vesey.

Deep Water

Author: Patricia Highsmith

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 0393324559

Category: Fiction

Page: 271

View: 4679

Tired of an arrangement that allows his wife, Melinda, to take as many lovers as she wants in exchange for not deserting the family, Vic tries to win her back by asserting himself with a tall tale of murder, a lie that eventually comes true, in a chilling novel about the dark reality behind the idyllic facade of American suburban life. Reprint.

Joanna Godden

Author: Sheila Kaye-Smith

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: N.A

Category:

Page: 353

View: 806

High Rising

A Virago Modern Classic

Author: Angela Thirkell

Publisher: Virago

ISBN: 1405516704

Category: Fiction

Page: 272

View: 8521

Successful lady novelist Laura Morland and her boisterous young son Tony set off to spend Christmas at her country home in the sleepy surrounds of High Rising. But Laura's wealthy friend and neighbour George Knox has taken on a scheming secretary whose designs on marriage to her employer threaten the delicate social fabric of the village. Can clever, practical Laura rescue George from Miss Grey's clutches and, what's more, help his daughter Miss Sibyl Knox to secure her longed-for engagement? Utterly charming and very funny, High Rising is irresistible comic entertainment.

The Women's Room

Author: Marilyn French

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1451629176

Category: Fiction

Page: 400

View: 702

“Mira was hiding in the ladies’ room. She called it that, even though someone had scratched out the word ladies’ in the sign on the door, and written women’s underneath…” So begins the famous feminist novel that follows the transformation of Mira Ward and her circle as the women’s movement begins to have an impact on their lives.

A Quiet Life

A Novel

Author: Beryl Bainbridge

Publisher: Open Road Media

ISBN: 1504039912

Category: Fiction

Page: 166

View: 4687

The tragicomic tale of a dysfunctional middle-class family in postwar England from the award-winning author of Injury Time. Though the Second World War has ended, times are anything but peaceful for seventeen-year-old Alan. His father, an entrepreneur who was once able to provide the family with a comfortable life, is now struggling to put food on the table. Meanwhile, Alan’s mother dresses as if money is plentiful and spends all her time avoiding her husband, indulging in the escapism of romance novels, and engaging in real-world love affairs. And as if a household struck by poverty and marital trouble isn’t enough, Alan’s bohemian sister, Madge, has been sneaking off into the sand dunes for lusty rendezvous with a German POW. All Alan wants is for his sister to stop cavorting around and driving their father mad—and for a pretty choir girl named Janet to notice him. But the more he wishes for a normal life, the more chaotic it becomes. Everyone in his family is hiding something, not only from one another but also from themselves. And they’re all desperately clinging to something that is inevitably falling apart. Award-winning British author Beryl Bainbridge has a keen eye for the dark humor that lurks in misery and a knack for illuminating the emotional rubble of postwar England. A Quiet Life is an entertaining family drama that is at once a quick read and a lasting portrait of twentieth-century life.

A Game for the Living

Author: Patricia Highsmith

Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.

ISBN: 0802192807

Category: Fiction

Page: 288

View: 8010

Ramón, a devout Catholic, fixes furniture in Mexico City, not far from where he was born into poverty. Theodore, a rich German expatriate and painter, believes in nothing at all. You’d think the two had nothing in common. Except, of course, that both had slept with Lelia. Two form an unlikely friendship, until Lelia is found brutally murdered. Both are suspects and each suspects the other. Twisting in a limbo of tension and doubt, Ramón and Theodore seize on a third man, a thief seen at Lelia’s apartment, and their hunt takes them from Mexico City to sun-drenched Acapulco, and to a small colonial mountain town. A thrilling, psychologically complex novel, rich with setting, A Game for the Living is Highsmith at her best.

Beyond the Glass

Author: Antonia White

Publisher: Virago

ISBN: 0748127410

Category: Fiction

Page: 320

View: 1482

Clara Batchelor is twenty-two. Her brief, doomed marriage to Archie over, she returns to live with her parents in the home of her childhood. She hopes for comfort but the devoutly Catholic household confines her and forms a dangerous glass wall of guilt and repression between Clara and the outside world. Clara both longs for and fears what lies beyond, and when she escapes into an exhilarating and passionate love affair her fragile identity cracks. Beyond the Glass completes the trilogy sequel to Frost in May, which began with The Lost Traveller and The Sugar House. Although each is a complete novel in itself, together they form a brilliant portrait of a young girl's journey to adulthood.

This Sweet Sickness

Author: Patricia Highsmith

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 0393345610

Category: Fiction

Page: 288

View: 8068

Following the national bestseller Selected Stories, this fall brings the republication of a gripping Highsmith classic. In This Sweet Sickness, David Kelsey has an unyielding conviction that life will turn out all right for him; he just has to fix The Situation: he is in love with a married woman. Obsessed with Annabelle and the life he has imagined for them, David prepares to win her over, whatever it takes.

The Cry of the Owl

Author: Patricia Highsmith

Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.

ISBN: 0802195539

Category: Fiction

Page: 272

View: 2885

In a small Pennsylvania town, Robert Forrester is recuperating from a nasty divorce and a bout of psychological trouble. One evening, while driving home, he sees a pretty young woman framed by her bright kitchen window. Soon, he can’t keep himself away. But when Robert is inevitably discovered, obsession is turned on its head, and he finds himself unable to shake the young woman, nor entirely sure whether he should. From Patricia Highsmith, once called "the balladeer of stalking" by The New Yorker, The Cry of the Owl is a modern classic ready to be reborn.

Excellent Women

Author: Barbara Pym

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 1101666250

Category: Fiction

Page: 256

View: 8270

Excellent Women is probably the most famous of Barbara Pym's novels. The acclaim a few years ago for this early comic novel, which was hailed by Lord David Cecil as one of 'the finest examples of high comedy to have appeared in England during the past seventy-five years,' helped launch the rediscovery of the author's entire work. Mildred Lathbury is a clergyman's daughter and a spinster in the England of the 1950s, one of those 'excellent women' who tend to get involved in other people's lives - such as those of her new neighbor, Rockingham, and the vicar next door. This is Barbara Pym's world at its funniest.

84 Charing Cross Road

Author: Helene Hanff

Publisher: Important Books

ISBN: 9788087888728

Category: Authors, American

Page: 72

View: 4969

What started as a request for an out-of-print book evolved into a 20-year friendship between Helene Hanff, a freelance writer living in New York, and Frank Doel, a used-book dealer in London.

Heartburn

Author: Nora Ephron

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 0307797902

Category: Fiction

Page: 192

View: 8529

Is it possible to write a sidesplitting novel about the breakup of the perfect marriage? If the writer is Nora Ephron, the answer is a resounding yes. For in this inspired confection of adultery, revenge, group therapy, and pot roast, the creator of Sleepless in Seattle reminds us that comedy depends on anguish as surely as a proper gravy depends on flour and butter. Seven months into her pregnancy, Rachel Samstat discovers that her husband, Mark, is in love with another woman. The fact that the other woman has "a neck as long as an arm and a nose as long as a thumb and you should see her legs" is no consolation. Food sometimes is, though, since Rachel writes cookbooks for a living. And in between trying to win Mark back and loudly wishing him dead, Ephron's irrepressible heroine offers some of her favorite recipes. Heartburn is a sinfully delicious novel, as soul-satisfying as mashed potatoes and as airy as a perfect soufflé.

Mrs Palfrey At The Claremont

A Virago Modern Classic

Author: Elizabeth Taylor

Publisher: Hachette UK

ISBN: 0748131000

Category: Fiction

Page: 224

View: 1257

On a rainy Sunday in January, the recently widowed Mrs Palfrey arrives at the Claremont Hotel where she will spend her remaining days. Her fellow residents are magnificently eccentric and endlessly curious, living off crumbs of affection and snippets of gossip. Together, upper lips stiffened, they fight off their twin enemies: boredom and the Grim Reaper. Then one day Mrs Palfrey strikes up an unlikely friendship with an impoverished young writer, Ludo, who sees her as inspiration for his novel.

Writers as Readers

A Celebration of Virago Modern Classics

Author: Virago Press

Publisher: Hachette UK

ISBN: 0349008639

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 432

View: 7440

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 Saunders Writers 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.

Testament of Friendship

The Story of Winifred Holtby

Author: Vera Brittain

Publisher: Hachette UK

ISBN: 1405515554

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 224

View: 5102

In her bestselling first volume of autobiography, Testament of Youth, Vera Brittain passionately recorded the agonising years of the First World War, lamenting the destruction of a generation which for her included those she most dearly loved - her lover, her brother, her closest friends. In Testament of Friendship Brittain tells the story of the woman who helped her survive those tragic years - the writer Winifred Holtby. They met at Somerville College, Oxford, immediately after the war and their friendship continued through Vera's marriage and their separate but parallel writing careers until Winifred's untimely death at the age of thirty-seven.When she died her fame as a writer was about to reach its peak with the publication of her greatest novel, South Riding. A moving record of a friendship between two women of courage, determination and intelligence, and a wonderful portrait of a lifelong love, Testament of Friendship now takes its rightful place as a Virago Modern Classic, with a new introduction by Mark Bostridge.

The Mandelbaum Gate

A Virago Modern Classic

Author: Muriel Spark

Publisher: Hachette UK

ISBN: 1405527986

Category: Fiction

Page: 400

View: 9493

When Barbara Vaughan's fiancé joins an archaeological excursion to the Dead Sea Scrolls, she takes the opportunity to explore the Holy Land. It is 1961, and the nation of Israel is still in its infancy. For Barbara, a half-Jewish Catholic convert, this is a journey of faith, and she ignores warnings not to cross the Mandelbaum Gate from Israel into Jordan. An adventure of espionage and abduction, from pilgrimage to flight, The Mandelbaum Gate is one of Spark's most compelling novels, and won the James Tait Memorial Prize.