A Place in England
By Melvyn Bragg, Malcolm Sinclair
Joseph Tallantire has hope and ambition - like his father before him he is determined to make something of himself and improve his lot. But life is not easy for an uneducated young man in Cumberland before and during World War II, and Joseph's struggle against the odds is the subject of this moving and evocative novel. Suffering hardship and humiliation but eventually achieving a position of some independence, Joseph serves as a tribute to the many like him who lived through one of Britain's periods of greatest social change.(P) 2015 Hodder & Stoughton
The Professor of Poetry
By Grace McCleen
Elizabeth Stone, a respected academic, has a new lease on life. In remission from cancer, she returns to the city where she was a student over thirty years ago to investigate some little-known papers by T. S. Eliot, which she believes contain the seeds of her masterpiece; a masterpiece that centres on a poem given to her when she was eighteen by the elusive Professor Hunt...But as the days pass in the city she loves and her friendship with Professor Hunt is rekindled, her memories return her to a time shadowed by loneliness, longing and quiet despair, and to an undeclared but overwhelming love. Paralysed by the fear of writing something worthless, haunted by a sense of waste, Elizabeth Stone comes to realise she is facing the biggest test of her life.As in her acclaimed debut The Land of Decoration, Grace McCleen gives an intense evocation of place, an unflinching portrayal of a character by turns comic, absurd, and disturbing, and a powerful sense of the transcendent within the ordinary. Profound and hypnotic, The Professor of Poetry devastates even as it exhilarates and echoes long after it has been closed.
By Andrew Miller
WINNER OF THE COSTA BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD (2011)A year of bones, of grave-dirt, relentless work. Of mummified corpses and chanting priests.A year of rape, suicide, sudden death. Of friendship too. Of desire. Of love...A year unlike any other he has lived.Deep in the heart of Paris, its oldest cemetery is, by 1785, overflowing, tainting the very breath of those who live nearby. Into their midst comes Jean-Baptiste Baratte, a young, provincial engineer charged by the king with demolishing it.At first Baratte sees this as a chance to clear the burden of history, a fitting task for a modern man of reason. But before long, he begins to suspect that the destruction of the cemetery might be a prelude to his own.
The People's Train
By Thomas Keneally
After a long, dangerous escape from Tsarist Russia, Artem Samsurov might have reached sanctuary in Brisbane, Australia, but that doesn't stop him trying to create a socialist paradise with his fellow emigres and workmates. And despite getting entangled with an attractive female lawyer, then charged with the murder of an informer, he never loses hope that one day the revolution will come. But when he returns to Russia in 1917 to fight alongside his comrades, he cannot know whether it will succeed, or at what cost.In this enthralling novel, Thomas Keneally brings to life a seismic episode in world history from an unusual, intimate perspective. Basing his story on a real figure, he captures what it was like moment by dramatic moment for the men and women caught up in the maelstrom, and explores the passions, ideals and terrible compromises that fuelled it.
A Partial Indulgence
By Stephanie Theobald
In a decaying mansion in the middle of nowhere three unlikely companions are trying to work out where they are and how they got there.As they tell their stories fuelled by sex, champagne and the decadence of the art world, it becomes clear that they are all connected by one man: Charles Frederick de Vere.De Vere is the spectacular art dealer who has fed on the hedonism of sixties Paris, the insanity of eighties New York and the hype of London's Young British Artists. But now that people from his past have begun to haunt him, how much longer can he escape the dark secrets that lurk behind his phenomenal success?
The Peacock Throne
By Sujit Saraf
October 31, 1984 begins like any other day for Gopal Pandey as he sets up his tea stall in a lane off Chandni Chowk the most magnificent and crowded street in all Delhi. At its head lies Red Fort, once the home of the gem-encrusted Peacock Throne, symbol of the Mughal Empires dazzling might, and of its downfall. By the end of the day, Indira Gandhi has been assassinated, violent riots have erupted and Gopal is the bemused possessor of a large sum of money. Fourteen turbulent years and four dramatic turning points in Indian history later, this myopic, bumbling man stands on the verge of immense political power. Gopals unlikely journey is a tale of accidents, scheming, murder and tragedy, religious and political rivalries, corruption and hubris. Irreverent, farcical and as enlightening as it is entertaining, THE PEACOCK THRONE is a novel of breathtaking scope and reach, which looks deep into the heart of human nature and into the soul of modern India.
By Andrew Cowan
When his grandmother dies, and his grandfather is removed to a home, fifteen-year-old Danny determines to look after their elderly pig and ramshackle garden. Here, on the ragged edge of a blighted new town, Danny and his Indian girlfriend Surinder create a fragile haven from the enclosing world of racist neighbours and stifling families, a summer's refuge from the precariousness of their future.
A Place in England
By Melvyn Bragg
Joseph Tallantire has hope and ambition - like his father before him he is determined to make something of himself and improve his lot. But life is not easy for an uneducated young man in Cumberland before and during World War II, and Joseph's struggle against the odds is the subject of this moving and evocative novel. Suffering hardship and humiliation but eventually achieving a position of some independence, Joseph serves as a tribute to the many like him who lived through one of Britain's periods of greatest social change.
By Robert Girardi
By Fay Weldon
PRAXIS is a modern classic: the portrait of a woman set in time, yet timeless. We see her first as the innocent Praxis Duveen, aged five; watch her, as the men in her life come and go, through many drastic changes in fortune and circumstance. Until, from a prison both psychological and real, she emerges as Patty Fletcher, considered as bad as a woman can be and yet her own mistress.
By Thomas Keneally
In 1789 in Sydney Cove, the remotest penal colony of the British Empire, a group of convicts and one of their captors unite to stage a play. As felons, perjurers and whores rehearse, their playmaker becomes strangely seduced. For the play's power is mirrored in the rich, varied life of this primitive land, and, not least, in the convict and actress, Mary Brenham.