Never before published in English, Nobel Laureate Orhan Pamuk’s second novel is the moving story of a family gathering the summer before the Turkish military coup of 1980.
In a crumbling mansion in Cennethisar (formerly a fishing village, now a posh resort near Istanbul) the old widow Fatma awaits the annual summer visit of her grandchildren: Faruk, a dissipated failed historian; his sensitive leftist sister, Nilgun; and the younger grandson, Metin, a high school student drawn to the fast life of the nouveaux riches, who dreams of going to America. The widow has lived in the village for decades, ever since her husband, an idealistic young doctor, first arrived to serve the poor fishermen. Now mostly bedridden, she is attended by her faithful servant Recep, a dwarf – and the doctor’s illegitimate son. Mistress and servant share memories, and grievances, of those early years. But it is Recep’s cousin Hassan, a high school dropout and fervent right-wing nationalist, who will draw the visiting family into the growing political cataclysm, in this spellbinding novel depicting Turkey’s tumultuous century-long struggle for modernity.
Jeffrey Eugenides - The Virgin Suicides
First published in 1993, "The Virgin Suicides" announced the arrival of a major new American novelist. In a quiet suburb of Detroit, the five Lisbon sisters--beautiful, eccentric, and obsessively watched by the neighborhood boys--commit suicide one by one over the course of a single year. As the boys observe them from afar, transfixed, they piece together the mystery of the family's fatal melancholy, in this hypnotic and unforgettable novel of adolescent love, disquiet, and death. Jeffrey Eugenides evokes the emotions of youth with haunting sensitivity and dark humor and creates a coming-of-age story unlike any of our time. Adapted into a critically acclaimed film by Sofia Coppola, "The Virgin Suicides" is a modern classic, a lyrical and timeless tale of sex and suicide that transforms and mythologizes suburban middle-American life.
Neil Gaiman - Neverwhere
Under the streets of London there's a place most people could never even dream of. A city of monsters and saints, murderers and angels, knights in armour and pale girls in black velvet. This is the city of the people who have fallen between the cracks. Richard Mayhew, a young businessman, is going to find out more than enough about this other London. A single act of kindness catapults him out of his workday existence and into a world that is at once eerily familiar and utterly bizarre. And a strange destiny awaits him down here, beneath his native city: neverwhere.
Orhan Pamuk - The Black Book
A New Translation and Afterword by Maureen Freely Galip is a lawyer living in Istanbul. His wife, the detective novel–loving Ruya, has disappeared. Could she have left him for her ex-husband or Celâl, a popular newspaper columnist? But Celâl, too, seems to have vanished. As Galip investigates, he finds himself assuming the enviable Celâl's identity, wearing his clothes, answering his phone calls, even writing his columns. Galip pursues every conceivable clue, but the nature of the mystery keeps changing, and when he receives a death threat, he begins to fear the worst. With its cascade of beguiling stories about Istanbul, The Black Book is a brilliantly unconventional mystery, and a provocative meditation on identity. For Turkish literary readers it is the cherished cult novel in which Orhan Pamuk found his original voice, but it has largely been neglected by English-language readers. Now, in Maureen Freely’s beautiful new translation, they, too, may encounter all its riches.
Sylvia Plath - The Bell Jar
The first and only novel by Sylvia Plath, originally published in 1963. When Esther Greenwood wins an internship on a New York fashion magazine in 1953, she is elated, believing she will finally realise her dream to become a writer. Instead she finds herself spiralling into depression and eventually a suicide attempt, as she grapples with difficult relationships and a society which refuses to take women’s aspirations seriously.
Orhan Pamuk - Other Colours
"Other Colours" is a collection of immediate relevance and timeless value, ranging from lyrical autobiography to criticism of literature and culture, from humour to political analysis, from delicate evocations of his friendship with his daughter Ruya to provocative discussions of Eastern and Western art. It also covers Pamuk's recent, high profile, court case. "My Father's Suitcase", Pamuk's 2006 Nobel Lecture, a brilliant illumination of what it means to be a writer, completes the selection from a man who is now without doubt one of international literature's most eminent and popular figures.
J. D. Salinger - Franny and Zooey
This book contains two wonderful stories about members of the Glass family by the author of _The Catcher in the Rye._ The first story takes place in downtown New Haven during the weekend of 'the Yale game' and follows Franny Glass on a date with her collegiate boyfriend. The second focuses on Zooey Glass, a somewhat emotionally toughened genius. As his younger sister Franny hits an emotional crisis in her parents' Manhattan living room, Zooey comes to her aid, offering love, understanding, and words of sage advice.
Ann Radcliffe - The Mysteries of Udolpho
A gothic tale rich in romance, mystery and intrigue, Ann Radcliffe's powerful narrative catapults the reader into a bygone age of fragile sensibilities and fiercely preserved honour. The characters are sharply distinguished and blend with a strong and cleverly thought out story. Emily, the heroine of the story, is torn from the love of Valancourt and forced to accompany Count Montoni, the hatcher of nefarious plots, to the castle Udolpho where the unsavoury happenings occur. The result is a thrilling drama that is both elegant and astonishing in its insight into human nature. The story begins within the luxuriant woods and vines of Gascony and moves on into the rugged splendour of the Appennines. Descriptions of the chateau at La Vallée, crude peasant villages, and the gloomy castle of Udolpho are profoundly atmospheric.
John Milton - Paradise Lost / Paradise Regained
Here in one volume are the complete texts of two of the greatest epic poems in English literature, each a profound exploration of the moral problems of God's justice. They demonstrate Milton's genius for classicism and innovation, narrative and drama-and are a grand example of what Samuel Johnson called his "peculiar power to astonish."
Elizabeth Scott - Living Dead Girl
Once upon a time I was a little girl who disappeared. Once upon a time my name was not Alice. Once upon a time I didn't know how lucky I was. When Alice was ten, Ray took her away from her family, her friends -- her life. She learned to give up all power, to endure all pain. She waited for the nightmare to be over. Now Alice is fifteen and Ray still has her, but he speaks more and more of her death. He does not know it is what she longs for. She does not know he has something more terrifying than death in mind for her. This is Alice's story. It is one you have never heard, and one you will never, ever forget.
Max Brooks - World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War
It began with rumours from China about another pandemic. Then the cases started to multiply and what had looked like the stirrings of a criminal underclass, even the beginnings of a revolution, soon revealed itself to be much, much worse. Faced with a future of mindless, man-eating horror, humanity was forced to accept the logic of world government and face events that tested our sanity and our sense of reality. Based on extensive interviews with survivors and key players in the 10-year fight-back against the horde, "World War Z" brings the very finest traditions of American journalism to bear on what is surely the most incredible story in the history of civilisation.
Herman Melville - Moby Dick (angol)
Moby-Dick, written in 1851, recounts the adventures of the narrator Ishmael as he sails on the whaling ship Pequod under the command of Captain Ahab. Ishmael believes he has signed onto a routine commission aboard a normal whaling vessel, but he soon learns that Captain Ahab is not guiding the Pequod in the simple pursuit of commerce but is seeking one specific whale, Moby-Dick, a great while whale infamous for his giant proportions and his ability to destroy the whalers that seek him. Captain Ahab's wooden leg is the result of his first encounter with the whale, when he lost both leg and ship. But Captain Ahab is bent on revenge and he intends to get Moby-Dick. Ahab demonstrates erratic behavior from the very beginning and his eccentricities magnify as the voyage progresses. As the novel draws to a conclusion, the Pequod encounters the whaling ship Rachel. The Rachel's captain asks Ahab to help him in a search and rescue effort for his whaling-crew that went missing the day before - and the captain's son is among the missing. But when Ahab learns that the crew disappeared while tangling with Moby-Dick he refuses the call to aid in the rescue so that he may hunt Moby-Dick instead. The encounter with Moby-Dick brings a tragic end to the affair. Ishmael alone survives, using his friend Queequeg's coffin as a flotation device until he is ironically rescued by the Rachel, which has continued to search for its missing crew. The novel is not only a great American classic, but is also heralded as one of greatest novels in the English language.
William Faulkner - The Sound and the Fury
A novel which describes the dissolution of the once aristocratic Compson family in the American South, told through the eyes of three of its members. In different ways they prove unable to deal with either the responsibility of the past or the imperatives of the present.
Charles Bukowski - Tales of Ordinary Madness
In these tales of ordinary madness, Charles Bukowski ingeniously mixes high and low culture, from prostitutes and the philosophy of Kant to despair and classical music, to create his modern dystopia. Inspired by D.H. Lawrence, John Fante and Hemingway, Bukowski’s writing is passionate, extreme and relentlessly realistic. These are angry yet tender, humorous and haunting portrayals of life in the underbelly of America. Charles Bukowski was one of America’s best-known and most prolific writers. During his lifetime he published more than forty-five books of poetry and prose including the novels Post Office (1971), Factotum (1975), Women (1978), and Pulp (1994) all available from Virgin Books.
George Eliot - Middlemarch (angol)
Often called the greatest nineteenth-century British novelist, George Eliot (the pen name of Mary Ann Evans) created in Middlemarch a vast panorama of life in a provincial Midlands town. At the story’s center stands the intellectual and idealistic Dorothea Brooke—a character who in many ways resembles Eliot herself. But the very qualities that set Dorotheaapart from the materialistic, mean-spirited society around her also lead her into a disastrous marriage with a man she mistakes for her soul mate. In a parallel story, young doctor Tertius Lydgate, who is equally idealistic, falls in love with the pretty but vain and superficial Rosamund Vincy, whom he marries to his ruin. Eliot surrounds her main figures with a gallery of characters drawn from every social class, from laborers and shopkeepers to the rising middle class to members of the wealthy, landed gentry. Together they form an extraordinarily rich and precisely detailed portrait of English provincial life in the 1830s. But Dorothea’s and Lydgate’s struggles to retain their moral integrity in the midst of temptation and tragedy remind us that their world is very much like our own. Strikingly modern in its painful ironies and psychological insight, Middlemarch was pivotal in the shaping of twentieth-century literary realism.
Orhan Pamuk - My Name Is Red
Pamuk's widely acclaimed and richly detailed historical thriller, which has been favourably compared with Umberto Eco's "The Name Of The Rose", and which featured heavily in last year's broadsheet "Books Of The Year" round-ups. A murder mystery set in sixteenth century Istanbul, it is also a meditation on love, artistic devotion and the historical and cultural differences between East and West. "Magnificent...In this world of forgeries, where some might be in danger of losing their faith in literature...might well be one of the few recent works of fiction that will be remembered at the end of this century" "Observer".
John Milton - Paradise Lost
From almost the moment of its first publication in 1667, Paradise Lost was considered a classic. It is difficult now to appreciate both how audacious an undertaking it represents, and how astonishing its immediate and continued success was. Over the course of twelve books Milton wrote an epic poem that would 'justify the ways of God to men', a mission that required a complex drama whose source is both historical and deeply personal. The struggle for ascendancy between God and Satan is played out across hell, heaven, and earth but the consequences of the Fall are all too humanly tragic - pride, ambition, and aspiration the motivating forces.
Chuck Palahniuk - Choke
Victor Mancini has devised a complicated scam to pay for his mother's hospital care: pretend to be choking on a piece of food in a restaurant and the person who 'saves you' will feel responsible for you for the rest of their lives. Multiply that a couple of hundred times and you generatea healthy flow of cheques, week in, week out. Victor also works at a theme park with a motley group of losers, cruises sex addiction groups for action, and visits his mother, whose Alzheimer's disease now hides what may be the startling truth about his parentage.
Salman Rushdie - Shame
In this brilliant novel, Salman Rushdie masterfully combines history, art, language, politics, and religion. Set in a country "not quite Pakistan," the story centers around the families of two men-one a celebrated warrior, the other, a debauched playboy-engaged in a protracted duel that is played out in the political landscape of their country. Shame is a tour de force and a fitting predecessor to the author's legendary novel, The Satanic Verses.
Salman Rushdie - Imaginary Homelands
This collection of 75 of Salman Rushdie's candid personal essays--an informative companion to his fiction--provide a record of his thoughts on various aspects of our world: politics, religion, the lives and work of fellow writers (including an elegy for Raymond Carver), movies (one of Rushdie's passions), the experiences of immigration and exile, and his own books.