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'I had sent my heroine straight down a rabbit-hole . . . without the least idea what was to happen afterwards,' wrote Charles Dodgson, describing how Alice was conjured up one 'golden afternoon' in 1862 to entertain his child-friend Alice Liddell. His dream worlds of nonsensical Wonderland and the back-to-front Looking-Glass kingdom depict order turned upside-down: a baby turns into a pig, time is abandoned at a disordered tea-party and a chaotic game of chess makes a seven-year-old girl a Queen. But amongst the anarchic humour and sparkling word play, puzzles, paradoxes and riddles, are poignant moments of elegiac nostalgia for lost childhood. Startlingly original and experimental, the Alice books provide readers with a double window on both child and adult worlds. This is the most comprehensively annotated edition available and includes the manuscript version of Alice's Adventures Underground and Carroll's essay '"Alice" on the Stage' written for the under Ground Theatre in 1887. [This text is listed as an example that meets Common Core Standards in English language arts in grades 4-5 at http://www.corestandards.org.]
In these breathtaking novellas, A.S. Byatt returns to the territory she explored in Possession: the landscape of Victorian England, where science and spiritualism are both popular manias, and domestic decorum coexists with brutality and perversion. Angels and Insects is "delicate and confidently ironic.... Byatt perfectly blends laughter and sympathy [with] extraordinary sensuality" (San Francisco Examiner).
Probably this is one of the original "story within a story" book. "Arabian Nights" is a selection of stories told by a young girl on her wedding night to a price who has sworn he will kill any girl who marries him. Her clever stories keep him from murdering her night after night. This is where classic fairy tales such as "Aladdin" and "Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves" come from as well as moral tales and metaphors. The use of djins, magic and Eastern splendor makes "Arabian Nights" dazzle. It is a must read and a perfect counter point to western fairy tales such as "Hans Christian Anderson" and the "Brothers Grimm".
The Booker Prize-winning author of Possession presents a stunning, contemporary story set against the clashing politics, passionate ideals, and shifting sexual roles of the early 1960s. In Byatt's vision, the presiding genius of the day seems to be a blend of the Marquis de Sade and The Hobbit. Peopled with weird and colorful characters, charted with brilliant, imaginative sympathy, Babel Tower is as comic as it is threatening and bizarre.
A lay community of thoroughly mixed-up people is encamped outside Imber Abbey, home of an order of sequestered nuns. A new bell is being installed when suddenly the old bell, a legendary symbol of religion and magic, is rediscovered. And then things begin to change. Meanwhile the wise old Abbess watches and prays and exercises discreet authority. And everyone, or almost everyone, hopes to be saved, whatever that may mean. Originally published in 1958, this funny, sad, and moving novel is about religion, sex, and the fight between good and evil.For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.From the Trade Paperback edition.
From the award-winning author of Possession comes an ingenious novel about love and literary sleuthing: a dazzling fiction woven out of one man's search for fact.Here is the story of Phineas G. Nanson, a disenchanted graduate student who decides to escape the world of postmodern literary theory and immerse himself in the messiness of "real life" by writing a biography of a great biographer. In a series of adventures that are by turns intellectual and comic, scientific and sensual, Phineas tracks his subject to the deserts of Africa and the maelstrom of the Arctic. Along the way he comes to rely on two women, one of whom may be the guide he needs out of the dizzying labyrinth of his research and back into his own life. A tantalizing yarn of detection and desire, The Biographer's Tale is a provocative look at "truth" in biography and our perennial quest for certainty.From the Trade Paperback edition.
From the Booker Prize-winning, bestselling author of Possession: a deeply affecting story of a singular family. When children's book author Olive Wellwood's oldest son discovers a runaway named Philip sketching in the basement of a museum, she takes him into the storybook world of her family and friends. But the joyful bacchanals Olive hosts at her rambling country house--and the separate, private books she writes for each of her seven children--conceal more treachery and darkness than Philip has ever imagined. The Wellwoods' personal struggles and hidden desires unravel against a breathtaking backdrop of the cliff-lined shores of England to Paris, Munich, and the trenches of the Somme, as the Edwardian period dissolves into World War I and Europe's golden era comes to an end. From the Trade Paperback edition.
The magnificent title story of this collection of fairy tales for adults describes the strange and uncanny relationship between its extravagantly intelligent heroine -- a world renowned scholar of the art of story-telling -- and the marvelous being that lives in a mysterious bottle, found in a dusty shop in an Istanbul bazaar. As A. S. Byatt renders this relationship with a powerful combination of erudition and passion, she makes the interaction of the natural and the supernatural seem not only convincing, but inevitable. The companion stories in this collection each display different facets of Byatt's remarkable gift for enchantment. They range from fables of sexual obsession to allegories of political tragedy; they draw us into narratives that are as mesmerizing as dreams and as bracing as philosophical meditations; and they all us to inhabit an imaginative universe astonishing in the precision of its detail, its intellectual consistency, and its splendor.
From the booker Prize-winning author of Possession comes this richly imaginitive story collection that transports the reader to a world where opposites--passion and loneliness, betrayal and loyalty, fire and ice--clash and converge.A beautiful ice maiden risks her life when she falls in love with a desert prince, whose passionate touches scorch her delicate skin. A woman flees the scene of her husband's heart attack, leaving her entire past behind her. Striving to master color and line, a painter discovers the resolution to his artisitc problems when a beautiful and magical water snake appears in his pool. And a wealthy Englishwoman gradually loses her identity while wandering through a shopping mall. Elegantly crafter and suffused with boundless wisdom, these bewitching tales are a testament to a writer at the hieght of her powers.From the Trade Paperback edition.
The Game is a lush and disturbing novel portraying a sibling rivalry which compels the reader to reconsider the uses and misuses of imagination. when they were little girls, Cassandra and Julia played a game in which they entered an alternate world modeled on the landscapes of Arthurian romance. Now the sisters are grown, and hostile strangers--until a figure from their past, a man they once both loved and suffered over, reenters their lives.
Forty of the most famous and celebrated stories from the Brothers Grimm translated and edited by a leading professor of folklore. Even after two hundred years, the tales collected by the Brothers Grimm remain among our most powerful stories. Their scenes of unsparing savagery and jaw-dropping beauty remind us that fairy tales, in all their simplicity, have the power to change us. With some of the most famous stories in world literature, including "Cinderella," "Little Red Riding Hood," "Hansel and Gretel," "Snow White," as well as some less well known stories like "The Seven Ravens," this definitive collection promises to entrance readers with the strange and wonderful world of the Brothers Grimm. Maria Tatar's engaging preface provides readers with the historical and cultural context to understand what these stories meant and their contemporary resonance. Fans of all ages will be drawn to this elegant and accessible collection of stories that have cast their magical spell over children and adults alike for generations.
A. S. Byatt es una de las grandes escritoras de nuestro tiempo. Tras siete años, llega su esperada e internacionalmente aclamada nueva novela, el destilado de toda su experiencia como narradora, una obra capital de extraordinaria belleza, hondura y emoción. El libro de los niños transcurre durante el lento y destellante crepúsculo victoriano, esa apasionante época que va desde el final del siglo XIX hasta la primera guerra mundial. La protagonista de la novela es Olive Wellwood, una famosa escritora de libros infantiles. Ella y su numerosa familia viven en una casa de campo formando una especie de sociedad dedicada al culto del arte, la literatura, la conversación y la política. Cuando el hijo mayor de Olive sorprende a otro niño, de origen humilde, en una sala del Museo Victoria and Albert de Londres, dibujando un famoso candelabro, la vida de esas familias empezará a cambiar. El niño será adoptado por los Wellwood e ingresará así en un mundo deslumbrante, lleno de inquietantes misterios y fulgurantes deslumbramientos. Novela sobre la relación entre niños y adultos, homenaje a la grandeza de la imaginación y elegía por el final de una era y de una generación que murió en las trincheras de la primera guerra mundial, El libro de los niños es una sinfonía narrativa de inagotable lectura, un libro llamado a figurar entre los grandes clásicos de nuestro tiempo."Es lo que fue Posesión pero para una nueva generación." FINANCIAL TIMES"La escritura tiene la majestad de un glaciar: monumental, pura, bella." GLOBE AND MAIL
Like Hans Christian Andersen and the Brothers Grimm, Isak Dinesen and Angela Carter, A. S. Byatt knows that fairy tales are for grownups. And in this ravishing collection she breathes new life into the form.Little Black Book of Stories offers shivers along with magical thrills. Leaves rustle underfoot in a dark wood: two middle-aged women, childhood friends reunited by chance, venture into a dark forest where once, many years before, they saw-or thought they saw-something unspeakable. Another woman, recently bereaved, finds herself slowly but surely turning into stone. A coolly rational ob-gyn has his world pushed off-axis by a waiflike art student with her own ideas about the uses of the body. Spellbinding, witty, lovely, terrifying, the Little Black Book of Stories is Byatt at the height of her craft.From the Trade Paperback edition.
These three stories celebrate the eye even as they reveal its unexpected proximity to the heart. For if each of A.S. Byatt's narratives is in some way inspired by a painting of Henri Matisse, each is also about the intimate connection between seeing and feeling--about the ways in which a glance we meant to be casual may suddenly call forth the deepest reserves of our being. Beautifully written, intensely observed, The Matisse Stories is fiction of spellbinding authority."Full of delight and humor...The Matisse Stories is studded with brilliantly apt images and a fine sense for subtleties of conversation and emotion."--San Francisco ChronicleFrom the Trade Paperback edition.
Selected short stories by writers with an orientation toward England as a home.
Whether she is writing about George Eliot or Sylvia Plath; Victorian spiritual malaise or Toni Morrison; mythic strands in the novels of Iris Murdoch and Saul Bellow; politics behind the popularity of Barbara Pym or the ambitions that underlie her own fiction, Byatt manages to be challenging, entertaining, and unflinchingly committed to the alliance of literature and life.
From the winner of the Booker Prize: A ravishing book that opens a window into the lives, designs, and passions of Mariano Fortuny and William Morris, two remarkable artists who themselves are passions of the writer A. S. Byatt. Born a generation apart in the mid-1800s, Fortuny and Morris were seeming opposites: Fortuny a Spanish aristocrat thrilled by the sun-baked cultures of Crete and Knossos; Morris a member of the British bourgeoisie, enthralled by Nordic myths. Through their revolutionary inventions and textiles, both men inspired a new variety of art that is as striking today as when it was first conceived. In this elegant meditation, Byatt traces their genius right to the source.Fortuny's Palazzo Pesaro Orfei in Venice is a warren of dark spaces imbued with the rich hues of Asia. In his attic workshop, Fortuny created intricate designs from glowing silks and velvets; in the palazzo he found "happiness in a glittering cavern" alongside the French model who became his wife and collaborator, including on the famous "Delphos" dress--a flowing, pleated gown that evoked the era of classical Greece. Morris's Red House outside London, with its Gothic turrets and secret gardens, helped inspire his stunning floral and geometric patterns; it likewise represented a coming together of life and art. But it was a "sweet simple old place" called Kelmscott Manor in the countryside that he loved best--even when it became the setting for his wife's love affair with the artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti.Generously illustrated with the artists' beautiful designs--pomegranates and acanthus, peacock and vine--among other aspects of their worlds, this marvel-filled book brings the visions and ideas of Fortuny and Morris to vivid life.From the Hardcover edition.
Winner of England's Booker Prize and the literary sensation of the year, Possession is an exhilarating novel of wit and romance, at once an intellectual mystery and triumphant love story. It is the tale of a pair of young scholars researching the lives of two Victorian poets. As they uncover their letters, journals, and poems, and track their movements from London to Yorkshire--from spiritualist séances to the fairy-haunted far west of Brittany--what emerges is an extraordinary counterpoint of passions and ideas. <P><P> An exhilarating novel of wit and romance, an intellectual mystery, and a triumphant love story. This tale of a pair of young scholars researching the lives of two Victorian poets became a huge bookseller favorite, and then on to national bestellerdom.<P> Man Booker Prize winner
Ragnarok retells the finale of Norse mythology. A story of the destruction of life on this planet and the end of the gods themselves: what more relevant myth could any modern writer choose? Just as Wagner used this dramatic and catastrophic struggle for the climax of his Ring Cycle, so A.S. Byatt now reinvents it in all its intensity and glory.As the bombs of the Blitz rain down on Britain, one young girl is evacuated to the countryside. She is struggling to make sense of her new wartime life. Then she is given a copy of Asgard and the Gods - a book of ancient Norse myths - and her inner and outer worlds are transformed.How could this child know that fifty years on many of the birds and flowers she took for granted on her walks to school would become extinct? War, natural disaster, reckless gods and the recognition of impermanence in the world are just some of the threads that A.S. Byatt weaves into this most timely of books. Linguistically stunning and imaginatively abundant, this is a landmark work of fiction from one of the world's truly great writers.From the Hardcover edition.
Booker Prize winner Dame Antonia Byatt breathes life into the Ragnorak myth, the story of the end of the gods in Norse mythology. Ragnarok retells the finale of Norse mythology. A story of the destruction of life on this planet and the end of the gods themselves: what more relevant myth could any modern writer choose? Just as Wagner used this dramatic and catastrophic struggle for the climax of his Ring Cycle, so AS Byatt now reinvents it in all its intensity and glory. As the bombs of the Blitz rain down on Britain, one young girl is evacuated to the countryside. She is struggling to make sense of her new wartime life. Then she is given a copy of Asgard and the Gods - a book of ancient Norse myths - and her inner and outer worlds are transformed.War, natural disaster, reckless gods and the recognition of impermanence in the world are just some of the threads that AS Byatt weaves into this most timely of books. Linguistically stunning and imaginatively abundant, this is a landmark.
A.S. Byatt's short fictions, collected in paperback for the first time, explore the fragile ties between generations, the dizzying abyss of loss and the elaborate memories we construct against it, resulting in a book that compels us to inhabit other lives and returns us to our own with new knowledge, compassion, and a sense of wonder.
Fabulist, realist, critic, and winner of the Booker Prize for her now-classic novel Possession, A. S. Byatt has boundless intellectual and literary gifts and a fathomless imagination on which to nourish them. Her novels, stories, and essays allow us to see both our own and other worlds and times and, perhaps most brilliantly, the connections between them. Vintage Byatt includes a self-contained section from the bestselling Possession; selections from the Matisse Stories, Elementals, Sugar and Other Stories,and the recent Little Black Book of Stories; and essays from the collection Passions of the Mind. Vintage Readers are a perfect introduction to some of the great modern writers, presented in attractive, affordable paperback editions.
The Virgin in the Garden is a wonderfully erudite entertainment in which enlightenment and sexuality, Elizabethan drama and contemporary comedy, intersect richly and unpredictably.
A Whistling Woman portrays the antic, thrilling, and dangerous period of the late '60s as seen through the eyes of a woman whose life is forever changed by her times.Frederica Potter, a smart, spirited 33-year-old single mother, lucks into a job hosting a groundbreaking television talk show based in London. Meanwhile, in her native Yorkshire where her lover is involved in academic research, the university is planning a prestigious conference on body and mind, and a group of students and agitators is establishing an "anti-university." And nearby a therapeutic community is beginning to take the shape of a religious cult under the influence of its charismatic religious leader.A Whistling Woman is a brilliant and thought-provoking meditation on psychology, science, religion, ethics, and radicalism, and their effects on ordinary lives.From the Trade Paperback edition.
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