an event that is to shatter their lives. After the Russians invade and the family is forced to flee to America, Amir realises that one day he must return to Afghanistan under Taliban rule to find the one thing that his new world cannot grant him: redemption.
In 1954 a fisherman is found dead in the nets of his boat, and a local Japanese-American man is charged with his murder. In the course of his trial, it becomes clear that what is at stake is more than one man's guilt. For on San Piedro, memories grow as thickly as cedar trees and the fields of ripe strawberries - memories of a charmed love affair between a white boy and a Japanese girl; memories of land desired, paid for, and lost. Above all, San Piedro is haunted by the memory of what happened to its Japanese residents during World War II, when an entire community was sent into exile while its neighbours watched.
Greece in the age of heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the court of King Peleus and his perfect son Achilles. Despite their differences, Achilles befriends the shamed prince, and as they grow into young men skilled in the arts of war and medicine, their bond blossoms into something deeper - despite the displeasure of Achilles's mother Thetis, a cruel sea goddess. But when word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, Achilles must go to war in distant Troy and fulfill his destiny. Torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus goes with him, little knowing that the years that follow will test everything they hold dear.
Little is known of the wife of England's greatest playwright. In play after play Shakespeare presents the finding of a worthy wife as a triumphant denouement, yet scholars persist in believing that his own wife was resented and even hated by him. Here Germaine Greer strives to re-embed the story of their marriage in its social context and presents new hypotheses about the life of the farmer's daughter who married our greatest poet. This is a daring, insightful book that asks new questions, opens new fields of investigation and research, and rights the wrongs done to Ann Shakespeare.
SOON TO BE A MAJOR BBC TV SERIES Two magicians shall appear in England. The first shall fear me; the second shall long to behold me... The year is 1806. England is beleaguered by the long war with Napoleon, and centuries have passed since practical magicians faded into the nation's past. But scholars of this glorious history discover that one remains: the reclusive Mr Norrell whose displays of magic send a thrill through the country. Proceeding to London, he raises a beautiful woman from the dead and summons an army of ghostly ships to terrify the French. Yet the cautious, fussy Norrell is challenged by the emergence of another magician: the brilliant novice Jonathan Strange. Young, handsome and daring, Strange is the very opposite of Norrell. So begins a dangerous battle between these two great men which overwhelms the one between England and France. And their own obsessions and secret dabblings with the dark arts are going to cause more trouble than they can imagine.
Watched by over seven million people, it was the first time for over a hundred years that brothers had battled against each other in this gladiatorial contest. Only one could be victorious. In Blood Over Water, David and James tell their stories for the first time, giving an intimate insight into one of our best-loved national sporting occasions, whilst also describing a brotherly relationship tested to breaking point. It is an emotional and searching joint self-portrait that looks at the darker side of sibling rivalry and asks just what you would be willing to sacrifice to achieve your dreams.
In a blue-collar Boston neighbourhood a planned robbery takes place. The men wear masks. Their guns are drawn on the pretty bank manager, Claire Keesey, who nervously recites the alarm code, and the tumblers within the huge vault fall. The timing and execution are brilliant. It could be the perfect job. A huge sum of cash is stolen, but so too is one man's heart, as Doug MacRay, the brains behind the tough, tight-knit crew of thieves, falls for Claire. But she has another admirer: FBI agent Adam Frawley, who is beginning to zero in on the gang, and for Doug, pursuing Claire may be his most dangerous act of all.
In this sumptuous group portrait of the six daughters of 'Mad' King George III, acclaimed biographer Flora Fraser takes us into the heart of the British Royal family during the tumultuous period of the American and French revolutions.
Drawing on their extraordinary private correspondence, Fraser gives voice to these handsome, accomplished, extremely well-educated women: Princess Royal, the eldest, constantly at odds with her mother; home-loving, family-minded Augusta; plump Elizabeth, a gifted amateur artist; Mary the bland beauty of the family; Sophia, emotional and prone to take refuge in illness; and Amelia, 'the most turbulent and tempestuous of all the princesses.' Never before has the historical searchlight been turned with such sympathy and acuity on George III and his family.
A few weeks after the planes crashed into the World Trade Centre on 9/11, LA Times
journalist Megan Stack was thrust into Afghanistan and Pakistan,
dodging gunmen and prodding warlords for information. She then travelled
to other war ravaged countries of the Middle East including Israel and
Libya, witnessing and telling the stories of the changing Muslim world.
Stack relates her initial wild excitement and her slow disillusionment
as the cost of violence outweighs the elusive promise of freedom and
democracy. She reports from under bombardment in Lebanon; records the
raw pain of suicide bombings in Israel; and one by one, marks the deaths
and disappearance of those she interviews.
Every Man in This Village is a Liar is a deeply human memoir
about the wars of the twenty first century. Beautiful, savage and
unsettling, it is an indispensible book of our times.
On 20 July l944 Adolf Hitler narrowly escaped death when an assassin's bomb failed to kill him in his Eastern command, the Wolf's Lair. The conspirators were hunted down and hanged from meat-hooks, and their executions were filmed. Among them was Axel von Gottberg.
Sixty years after his death, von Gottberg's close friend and now a legendary Oxford professor, Elya Mendel, leaves a legacy of papers and letters to a former student, Conrad Senior. Senior becomes obsessed with what they reveal, but as he becomes more and more involved with the past his own relationship with his wife Francine begins to fall apart.
The friendship between Mendel and von Gottberg is fatally undermined by a romantic rivalry when two mysterious cousins, Rosamund and Elizabeth, enter their lives in a richly imagined pre-war Jerusalem. But it is finally destroyed when von Gottberg returns to Germany. Mendel, who is Jewish, believes him to be a Nazi, and alerts the Allies to his doubts about his friend, doubts which torment him after von Gottberg is garrotted. Conrad is desperate to find a film Hitler had made of these appalling executions, for reasons he himself cannot fully understand.
The Song Before It Is Sung is a remarkable tapestry of passion, ideas, frailty, courage and humanity, spanning Oxford in the 1930s, pre-war Prussia and contemporary Britain. It is a profound novel that addresses the nature of friendship and what it means to be human, and it is the work of a master novelist.
Rigged tells an incredible rags-to-riches story of David Russo, an Italian-American upstart from the streets of Brooklyn who claws his way into the wild, frenetic world of the testosterone-laced warrens of the Merc Exchange, the asylum-like oil trading center located in lower Manhattan where billions of dollars trade hands every week, a place where former garbagemen become millionaires overnight and fistfights break out on the trading floor. But the Merc is just the starting place of an adventure that leads David to private yachts in Monte Carlo, the gold-lined hotel palaces of Dubai, and dangerous deals in the back alleys of Beijing. Rigged tells the true story of one man's adventure to revolutionize the oil trading industry - and along with it, the world.
India, 1955. As the scars of Partition are beginning to heal, seventeen-year-old Meera sits enraptured: in the spotlight is Dev, singing a song so infused with passion that it arouses in her the first flush of erotic longing. But when Meera's reverie comes true, it does not lead to the fairy-tale marriage she imagined. Meera has no choice but to obey her in-laws, tolerate Dev's drunken night-time fumblings, even observe the most arduous of Hindu fasts for his longevity. A move to Bombay seems at first like a fresh start, but soon that dream turns to ashes. It is only when their son is born that things change and Meera is ready to unleash the passion she has suppressed for so long.
At the end of her bestselling memoir Eat, Pray, Love,
Elizabeth Gilbert fell in love with Felipe - a Brazilian-born man of
Australian citizenship who'd been living in Indonesia when they met.
Resettling in America, the couple swore eternal fidelity to each other,
but also swore to never, ever, under any circumstances get legally
married. (Both survivors of difficult divorces. Enough said.) But
providence intervened one day in the form of the U.S. government, who -
after unexpectedly detaining Felipe at an American border crossing -
gave the couple a choice: they could either get married, or Felipe
would never be allowed to enter the country again.
effectively sentenced to wed, Gilbert tackled her fears of marriage by
delving completely into this topic, trying with all her might to
discover (through historical research, interviews and much personal
reflection) what this stubbornly enduring old institution actually is.
The result is Committed - a witty and intelligent contemplation
of marriage that debunks myths, unthreads fears and suggests that
sometimes even the most romantic of souls must trade in her amorous
fantasies for the humbling responsibility of adulthood. Gilbert's
memoir - destined to become a cherished handbook for any thinking
person hovering on the verge of marriage - is ultimately a clear-eyed
celebration of love, with all the complexity and consequence that real
love, in the real world, actually entails.
It is 1958, and as Laika, the Sputnik dog is launched into space,
Golly Murray, the Cullymore barber's wife, finds herself oddly obsessing
about the canine cosmonaut. Meanwhile, Fonsey 'Teddy' O'Neill, is
returning, like the prodigal son, from overseas, with brylcream in his
hair, and a Cuban-heeled swagger to his step, having experienced his
coming-of-age in Butlin's, Skegness. Father Augustus Hand is working on a
bold new theatrical production for Easter, which he, for one, knows
will put Cullymore on the map. And, as the Manchester United football
team prepare to take off from Munich airport, James A Reilly sits in his
hovel by the lake outside town, with his pet fox and his father's gun,
feeling the weight of an insidious and inscrutable presence pressing
down upon him.
From the closed terraces and back lanes of rural Ireland to the information highway and global separations of our own time, The Stray Sod Country is at once an homage to what we think we may have lost and a chilling reminder that the past has never really passed.
With echoes of Peyton Place, and Fellinni's Amarcord,
and with a sinister, diabolical narrator at its heart, this is at once a
story of a small town - with its secrets, fears, friendships and
betrayals - and a sweeping, grand guignol of theatrical extravagance from one of the finest writers of his generation.
'He has no literary precedent, and he also appears to have no imitators. He mines a seam that no one else touches on, every sentence in every book having a Magnus Mills ring to it that no other writer could produce' Independent
In 'Hark the Herald', a guest stays at an eerie guesthouse over Christmas without encountering any other residents, despite constant reassurance from the landlord that he would see them if only he arrived for breakfast slightly earlier; in 'Only When the Sun Shines Brightly' Aesop's fable about a competition between the Sun and the Wind to get a man to take his coat off, gets a new look involving a railway arch, a builder and a piece of plastic sheeting; in 'Once in a Blue Moon' a man arrives home to find the family house under siege, with his mother armed, dangerous and firing at the police with a shotgun, and attempts to appease her with an invitation to seasonal hospitality; and in the title story, rivalry between three cousins over a faulty toy gets out of hand as the cousins unwittingly imitate the toy they're fighting over.
Magnus Mills has published two collections of stories - Only When the Sun Shines Brightly and Once in a Blue Moon - which are collected here for the first time, along with three new stories.
Peony has neither seen nor spoken to any man other than her father, a wealthy Chinese nobleman. Nor has she ever ventured outside the cloistered women's quarters of the family villa. As her sixteenth birthday approaches she finds herself betrothed to a man she does not know, but Peony has dreams of her own.
Her father engages a theatrical troupe to perform scenes from The Peony Pavilion, a Chinese epic opera, in their garden amidst the scent of ginger, green tea and jasmine. 'Unmarried girls should not be seen in public,' says Peony's mother, but her father allows the women to watch from behind a screen. Here, Peony catches sight of an elegant, handsome man and is immediately bewitched. So begins her unforgettable journey of love, desire, sorrow and redemption.
Anita Jain, a New York-based Indian-American journalist, is single. For years she has trusted the Western way of finding a husband, but maybe there's something in arranged marriages after all. So she's traveling to India in search of a perfect husband, the old-fashioned way.
Will she find a suitable man? If so, will he please her interfering family? Is the new urban Indian culture all that different from New York? And is any of this worth the effort? Marrying Anita is a refreshingly honest look at the modern search for a mate set against the backdrop of a rapidly modernizing New India.
Slip one ...
A year after her husband's death, Jo Mackenzie is finally starting to get the hang of being a single parent.
Knit two together ...
The boys are thriving in their new seaside home, the wool shop is starting to do well and despite two weddings, an in-school knitting project and Trevor the Wonder Dog coming to stay, she's just about keeping her head above water.
Cast off ...
But boys, babies and best friends certainly make life a lot more interesting. Can Jo cope when things get really complicated? Because if knitting truly does keep you sane when your life starts to unravel then it looks like Jo is going to need much bigger needles.
Life just keeps getting more complicated for Annie Baker. Her sister Lizzie's pregnant and wants Annie to be her birth-partner - she's planning an active labour, in water, with lots of candles and music. Her partner Matt isn't too sure, although he's bought some new swimming trunks just in case. Annie's friend Leila has got a new man, Tor, and she's getting heavily into yoga, while Kate from the village has somehow ended up having an affair with her own ex-husband.
And as for the men in Annie's own life, it just gets worse. Her seven-year-old son Charlie is now officially Pagan, and desperate for his own pet pheasant. Boss Barney is building a bit of a reputation for TV commercials involving stunts, so if she's not lurching around the North Sea in a trawler, she's stuck up a crane. Then there's Uncle Monty to keep an eye on, a retired mole-catcher who collects bric-a-brac. He's eighty-three and a few sandwiches short of a picnic, and has just threatened the Meals on Wheels lady with a shotgun and refuses to leave the farm where he's lived all his life. And as if all that wasn't difficult enough, Mack comes back from New York, just when Annie was beginning to think she might be able to cope without him ...
For everyone who fell in love with Annie Baker and her Only Boy for Me, here's what happened next. And for anyone who's ever wondered how to combine motherhood, the country life and a career in town, and why pheasants make that weird clicking noise, this is essential reading.
Is it better to forgive and forget, or should you just get even?Â Is it possible to live in the country and not lose your mind completely?Â Do chickens really make good pets? And what exactly is a hardy perennial?
Alice Mayhew, part-time architect and full-time mother to Alfie, is to gardening what Alan Titchmarsh is to deep-sea fishing. So finding she's been volunteered to design a new garden for the village comes as a bit of a shock, because apart from anything else she's far too busy trying to convince Alfie that wearing green trousers doesn't make you Peter Pan, and that flying is best left to the experts. Molly O'Brien is finding it hard enough coping with Lily (aged four and likes washing up) and Matt (aged thirty two and doesn't) before she discovers she's pregnant. And then there's Lola Barker, who causes havoc wherever she goes, and brings a whole new meaning to the word high-maintenance.
Toddlers, jelly, bad behaviour, romance and gardening tips all loom large in Gil McNeil's hilarious and heartbreaking new novel. Stand By Your Man turns prejudices and assumptions upside down with humour and passion, telling it like it really is. Sometimes it's hard to be a woman...
Abie follows the arc of a letter from London back to Africa to a coffee plantation that now could be hers if she wants it. Standing among the ruined groves she strains to hear the sound of the past, but the layers of years are too many. Thus begins the gathering of her family's history through the tales of her aunts - four women born to four different wives of a wealthy plantation owner, her grandfather. Asana, Mariama, Hawa and Serah: theirs is the story of a nation, a family and four women's attempts to alter the course of her own destiny.
In 1939, on the campus of Indiana University, a revolution has begun. The stir is caused by Alfred Kinsey, a zoologist who is determined to take sex out of the bedroom. John Milk, a freshman, is enthralled by the professor's daring lectures and over the next two decades becomes Kinsey's right hand man. But Kinsey teaches Milk more than the art of objective enquiry. Behind closed doors, he is a sexual enthusiast of the highest order and as a member of his 'inner circle' of researchers, Milk is called on to participate in experiments that become increasingly uninhibited ...