A new edition with an introduction by Margaret Atwood
The Gift brilliantly argues for the importance of creativity in our increasingly money-driven society. Reaching deep into literature, anthropology and psychology for striking examples, the heart of Lewis Hyde's modern masterpiece is the simple and important idea that a 'gift' can inspire and change our lives, art and culture.
Lewis Hyde has been championed by some of the greatest artists of our time. He addresses the questions we face every day in our public and private lives.
You can tell a lot about someone in a minute if you choose the right minute.
Join Neil Strauss as he:
- Makes Lady Gaga cry -
- Tries to keep Mötley Cru?e out of jail -
- Gets kidnapped by Courtney Love -
- Goes to church with Tom Cruise (and his mother) -
- Reads the mind of Britney Spears -
- Hunts down Jackie Chan -
- Gets picked on by Led Zeppelin -
- Buys nappies with Snoop Dogg -
- Goes drinking with Bruce Springsteen, dining with Gwen Stefaniand hot-tubbing with Marilyn Manson -
- Talks glam with David Bowie, drugs with Madonna, death with Johny Cash and sex with Chuck Berry -
- Gets molested by The Strokes, gets in trouble with Prince and gets Christina Aguilera into bed -
Also features exclusive UK heavyweight champions Steve Coogan, Noel Fielding, Russell Brand and more . . .
With the economic downturn, the hysterical Swine Flu frenzy and the systemic corruption of our political system we need someone to guide us through these difficult times. Emergency tells how Strauss went from shivering the whole night through in a water-logged sleeping bag on a tracking course, with only his broken Blackberry for company, to being the well-trained and even better equipped survival expert he is today.
Encountering a host of weird and hilarious characters along the way, Strauss's timely and wry look at the The End of the World As We Know It will make you glad you chose to be on his side.
From the cruel irony of 'A member of the Family' to the fateful echoes of 'The Go-Away Bird' and the unexpectedly sinister 'The Girl I Left Behind Me', in settings that range from South Africa to the Portobello Road, Muriel Spark coolly probes the idiosyncrasies that lurk beneath the veneer of human respectability, displaying the acerbic wit and wisdom that are the hallmarks of her unique talent.
The Complete Short Stories is a collection to be loved and cherished, from one of the finest short-story writers of the twentieth century.
Growing up wild in the 1970s, Nik was always the artist, always in a band. His beloved sister Denise was his most passionate fan. But now Denise watches as Nik retreats into a strange and private world of his own creation, leaving her to navigate the real world on her own. When her daughter, Ada, decides to make a film of Nik's life and work, and tragedy strikes very close to home, Denise must try to make sense of what it means to be a sister, a daughter and a mother. Evocative, honest and fiercely original, Stone Arabia is about how we become the adults we are. It's a story of family, obsession, memory and the urge to create, no matter what.
It is Scotland in the early eighteenth century. Fear and superstition grip the land. Robert Wringhim, a boy of strict Calvinist upbringing, is corrupted by a shadowy figure who calls himself Gil-Martin. Under his influence Robert commits a series of murders which he regards as 'justified' by God under the tenets of his faith.
Hogg's masterpiece is a brilliant portrayal of the power of evil and a scathing critique of organised religion. Superbly crafted and deftly executed, it resists any easy explanation of events: is this stranger a figment of Robert's imagination, or the devil himself?
Introduced by Ian Rankin
Alessandro Baricco re-creates the siege of Troy through the voices of 21 Homeric characters. Sacrificing none of Homer's panoramic scope, Baricco forgoes Homer's detachment and admits us to realms of subjective experience his predecessor never explored. From the return of Chryseis to the burial of Hector, we see through human eyes and feel with human hearts the unforgettable events first recounted more than 3,000 years ago events arranged not by the whims of the gods in this instance but by the dictates of human nature. With Andromache, Patroclus, Priam, and the rest, we are privy to the ghastly confusion of battle, the clamour of the princely councils, the intimacies of the bedchamber until finally only a blind poet is left to recount secondhand the awful fall of Ilium. Imbuing the stuff of legend with a startlingly new relevancy and humanity, Baricco gives us The Iliad as we have never known it. His transformative achievement is certain to delight and fascinate all the readers of Homer's indispensable classic.
A FARMER and his wife fall on hard times. They haven't lost everything the way others have, but they have lost enough. Their hope for a better future comes under threat when they discover an intruder on their land. A WOMAN from a small town marries an outsider. Her love for him battles with her suspicions that he is the source of the fires ravaging the mountains. A YOUNG BOY, neglected by his parents, sits in the remains of a crashed plane and lovingly tends to two frozen bodies.
In the summer of 1869, John Muir set out from California's Central Valley with a flock of sheep and trekked into the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. His journals describe the summer he spent in what would become Yosemite National Park.
Celebrating the Sierra's lizards and mountain lions, tall trees and waterfalls, fierce thunderstorms and bears, Muir raises an awareness of nature to a spiritual dimension.
John Muir is internationally acknowledged as one of the founding fathers of modern conservation and his vision, passion and integrity continue to inspire readers today - particularly in this, his best-loved book.
Was the twentieth century the most violent in history? Are religions or tyrants, capitalism or communism the cause of most human suffering? Has violence increased or decreased over the course of history?
In this wholly original and remarkably ambitious work, 'Atrocitologist' Matthew White considers man's inhumanity to man across several thousand years of history. From the First Punic War and the collapse of Mayan rule, to the reign of Peter the Great and the cataclysmic events of the Second World War, White's epic book spans centuries and civilisations as it measures the hundred most violent events in human history. While sceptical of any grand theory for the causes of human violence, White does share three big lessons gleaned from his careful statistical analysis: one, chaos is more deadly than tyranny; two, the world is even more disorganised than we realise; and three, wars kill more civilians than soldiers (in fact, the army is usually the safest place to be).
If we study history to avoid the mistakes of the past, then there can be no more important place to start than this eye-opening and entertaining book.
In the summer of 2009, Miranda July was struggling to finish writing the screenplay for her much-anticipated second film. During her increasingly long lunch breaks, she began to obsessively read the PennySaver, the iconic classifieds booklet that reached everywhere and seemed to come from nowhere. Who was the person selling the "Large leather Jacket,, $10"? It seemed important to find out - or at least it was a great distraction from the screenplay.
Accompanied by photographer Brigitte Sire, July crisscrossed Los Angeles to meet a random selection of PennySaver sellers, glimpsing thirteen surprisingly moving and profoundly specific realities, along the way shaping her film, and herself, in unexpected ways.
Elegantly blending narrative, interviews, and photographs with July's off-kilter honesty and deadpan humor, this is a story of procrastination and inspiration, isolation and connection, and grabbing hold of the invisible world.
Sarah and Jack have never doubted that they are made for each other. But there is someone in Sarah's family who will not tolerate the relationship. The reason lies in both the past and the present, and it will take Sarah across an ocean to a place she never imagined she would be. Kate Grenville takes us back to the Australia of The Secret River in this novel about love, tangled histories and how it matters to keep stories alive.
Jaffy Brown is running along a street in London's East End when he comes face to face with an escaped circus animal. Plucked from the jaws of death by Mr Jamrach - explorer, entrepreneur and collector of the world's strangest creatures - the two strike up a friendship.
Before he knows it, Jaffy finds himself on board a ship bound for the Dutch East Indies, on an unusual commission for Mr Jamrach. His journey - if he survives it - will push faith, love and friendship to their utmost limits.
Every family has a story. Mal was ours.
He was always different from the other kids. Larger than life. Trips to pantomimes were ruined by him stripping off his clothes. But people loved him. Especially Lou; it seemed like their love would last forever. Then something happened that changed everything . . . Mal grew up.
Bed is a coming-of-age story like no other. It chronicles what love, loss and family can do to you in a lifetime.
Go the Fuck to Sleep is a bedtime book for parents who live in the real world, where a few snoozing kitties and cutesy rhymes don't always send a toddler sailing off to dreamland. Profane, affectionate and refreshingly honest, it captures the familiar and unspoken tribulations of putting your child to bed for the night. Colourfully illustrated and hilariously funny, this is a breath of fresh air for parents new, old, and expectant*.
(*You should probably not read this to your children.)
Pippa seems to have everything in life. But suddenly she finds her world beginning to unravel. Amid the buzzing lawnmowers and suburban coffee mornings, she starts to wonder how she came to be in this place. The answer is a story of wild youth, unexpected encounters, affairs and betrayals, and the dangerous security of marriage. It brilliantly reveals the challenges of modern life - and all the possibilities that it holds.
For Penelope, wife of Odyseeus, maintaining a kingdom while her husband was off fighting the Trojan war was not a simple business. Already aggrieved that he had been lured away due to the shocking behaviour of her beautiful cousin Helen, Penelope must bring up her wayward son, face down scandalous rumours and keep over a hundred lustful, greedy and bloodthirsty suitors at bay...
A STUNNING RETELLING BY THE AWARD-WINNING AUTHOR ALI SMITH
'Joyful' JEANETTE WINTERSON
'Pulls you in and doesn't let you go . . . bold and brilliant' JACKIE KAY
'A glorious wide-awake dream of a book . . . By the time I finished, my heart was beating and tears stood in my eyes, even as I had the biggest smile written all over my face' KIRSTY GUNN
Girl meets boy. It's a story as old as time. But what happens when an old story meets a brand new set of circumstances? Ali Smith's re-mix of Ovid's most joyful metamorphosis is a story about the kind of fluidity that can't be bottled and sold. It is about girls and boys, girls and girls, love and transformation, a story of puns and doubles, reversals and revelations. Funny and fresh, poetic and political, here is a tale of change for the modern world.
In these hilarious stories of perverse meetings, casual dates and romantic encounters, we are enthralled, saddened, inspired and surprised by the encounters we witness. McCall Smith, a master of the unexpected and a seamless storyteller, revels in offering us the quirky complications inherent in entanglements which human beings engineer for themselves - entanglements that can be shocking, edifying, compulsive, complicated and sometimes, completely disastrous. This is an exceptional collection of stories from an author whose rapidly growing audience delights in his extraordinary imagination and delicious insights into the endlessly fascinating peculiarities of the human condition.
Karen Armstrong's concise yet compelling investigation into the history of myth takes us from the Palaeolithic period and the mythology of the hunters right up to the 'Great Western Transformation' of the last 500 years. She shows us that the history of myth is the history of humanity, and our stories and beliefs, our curiosity and attempts to understand the world, link us to our ancestors and each other. Myths help us make sense of the universe, and of ourselves. Armstrong's characteristically insightful and eloquent book serves as a brilliant and thought-provoking introduction to myth in the broadest sense - and why we dismiss it only at our peril.
Eric Sanderson wakes up in a place he doesn't recognise, unable to remember who he is. All he has left are journal entries recalling Clio, a perfect love now gone. So begins a thrilling adventure that will send Eric and his cynical cat Ian on a search for the Ludovician, the force that is threatening his life, and Dr Trey Fidorus, the only man who knows its secrets.
THE BESTSELLING, CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED WINNER OF THE 2007 FRANK O'CONNOR INTERNATIONAL SHORT STORY AWARD
'Blisteringly good' Guardian
In her remarkable stories of seemingly ordinary people living extraordinary lives, Miranda July reveals how a single moment can change everything. Whether writing about a middle-aged woman's obsession with Prince William or an aging bachelor who has never been in love, the result is startling, tender and sexy by turns. One of the most acclaimed and successful short story collections, No One Belongs Here More Than You confirms Miranda July as a spectacularly original, iconic and important voice today.
The Cutting Room heralds the arrival of an outstanding, contemporary Glasgow novel. Its charismatic protagonist, Rilke, is eccentric, witty and frequently outrageous. An auctioneer by profession, he is an acknowledged expert in antiques but also considers himself something of an expert in many other fields. When Rilke comes upon a hidden collection of graphically violent erotic photographs, he feels compelled to unearth more about the deceased owner who coveted them. What follows is a compulsive journey of discovery, decadence and deviousness, steered in part by Rilke's gay promiscuity and inquisitive nature. Louise Welsh's writing is stylish and captivating; she combines aspects of a detective story with shades of the gothic in a colourful Glasgow ranging from the genteel suburbs to a transvestite club, auction house to the bookies, pub and porn shop. The result is a page-turning and deliciously original debut. The Cutting Room has won the Crime Writers Association award for debut crime novels, the John Creasey Memorial Dagger, and has been longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award 2002.
By 1910, Leo Tolstoy, the world's most famous author, had become an almost religious figure, surrounded on his lavish estate by family and followers alike. Set in the tumultuous last year of the count's life, The Last Station centres on the battle for his soul waged by his wife and his leading disciple. Torn between his professed doctrine of poverty and chastity on the one hand and the reality of his enormous wealth, his thirteen children, and a life of hedonism on the other, Tolstoy makes a dramatic flight from his home. Too ill to continue beyond the tiny station of Astapovo, he believes he is dying alone, while outside over one hundred newspapermen are awaiting hourly reports on his condition. Narrated in six different voices, including Tolstoy's own from his diaries and literary works, The Last Station is a richly inventive novel that dances bewitchingly between fact and fiction.