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In a red brick mansion block off the Marylebone Road, Vivien, a sensitive, bookish girl grows up sealed off from both past and present by her timid refugee parents. Then one morning a glamorous uncle appears, dressed in a mohair suit, with a diamond watch on his wrist and a girl in a leopard-skin hat on his arm. Why is Uncle Sándor so violently unwelcome in her parents' home? This is a novel about survival - both banal and heroic - and a young woman who discovers the complications, even betrayals, that inevitably accompany the fierce desire to live. Set against the backdrop of a London from the 1950s to the present day, The Clothes on Their Backs is a wise and tender novel about the clothes we choose to wear, the personalities we dress ourselves in, and about how they define us all.
Orange Prize winner and shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2008, Linda Grant has created an enchanting portrait of a woman who, having endured unbearable loss, finds solace in the family secrets her estranged uncle reveals. In vivid and supple prose, Grant subtly constructs a powerful story of family, love, and the hold the past has on the present. Vivien Kovacs, a sensitive, bookish girl grows up sealed off from the world by her timid Hungarian refugee parents, who conceal the details of their history and shy away from any encounter with the outside world. She learns how to navigate British society from an eccentric cast of neighbors -- including a fading ballerina, a cartoonist, and a sad woman who wanders the city and teaches Vivien to be beautiful. She loses herself in books and reinvents herself according to her favorite characters, but it is through clothes that she ultimately defines herself.
At the beginning of the nineties, Linda Grant's mother began to repeat her questions -- not because she couldn't remember the answers but because she didn't remember having asked. As her mother's onset of Alzheimer's disease worsened, Grant realized that her family history was vanishing along with her mother's memory. Remind Me Who I Am, Again is the powerful story of a disease, of the workings of the mind, and of a daughter's quest to reconstruct the past.
Alix, arrogant, middle-aged and angry comes home to the derelict port of Liverpool as her mother lies dying. Irritably resigned to living alone for the rest of her life she suddenly finds herself erotically attracted to a stranger. Joseph is an American architect who has come to the city to build a hotel. Refusing to accept that his wife has left him or the trauma of a war he once fought in, the question is whether these survivors of the battles of the Seventies are meant for each other or not. And what happened to a factory in Dresden which long ago made the perfect face cream . . .'Perhaps her most accessible novel to date ... Grant's prose is blunt, honest, yet often beautiful and bitingly funny. Equally comfortable discussing concepts of justice and grooming routinme, the voices Grant creates are striking and authentic. Her characters are irascible, witty, fierce, and full of the contradictions and blind spots that make them wholly human. This is a compelling and satisfying novel' Rachel Seiffert, author of The Dark Room
"You can't have depths without surfaces," says Linda Grant in her lively and provocative new book, The thoughtful Dresser, a thinking woman's guide to what we wear. For centuries, an interest in clothes has been dismissed as the trivial pursuit of vain, empty-headed women. Yet, clothes matter, whether you are interested in fashion or not, because how we choose to dress defines who we are. How we look and what we wear tells a story. Some stories are simple, like the teenager trying to fit in, or the woman turning fifty renouncing invisibility. Some are profound, like that of the immigrant who arrives in a new country and works to blend in by changing the way she dresses, or of the woman whose hat saved her life in Nazi Germany.The Thoughtful Dresser celebrates the pleasure of adornment and is an elegant meditation on our relationship with what we wear and the significance of clothes as the most intimate but also public expressions of our identity.
A generational novel which opens memorably in a fur storage house in Los Angeles with its American protagonist as a boy trying on Marilyn Monroe's coat. When he grows up, Stephen goes to Oxford as a Rhodes scholar, and stays on to avoid the draft and Vietnam. He marries an Englishwoman, and they experience many of the things the baby boomer generation went through. Later the torch is passed to their children. In addition, Stephen's father Si makes a dramatic reappearance after Stephen's mother dies. This is a big, capacious novel, bursting with wonderful characters and ideas.
Offering a lively and communicative approach for increasing pronunciation and speaking skills, Well Said Intro provides beginning to mid-intermediate students with the pronunciation and speaking tools they need to communicate in social, academic, and professional settings.
Winner of the Orange Prize for Fiction In the spring of 1946, Evelyn Sert stands on the deck of a ship bound for Palestine. For the twenty-year-old from London, it is a time of adventure and change when all things seem possible. Swept up in the spirited, chaotic churning of her new, strange country, she joins a kibbutz, then moves on to the teeming metropolis of Tel Aviv, to find her own home and a group of friends as eccentric and disparate as the city itself. She falls in love with a man who is not what he seems when she becomes an unwitting spy for a nation fighting to be born. When I Lived in Modern Times is "an unsentimental coming-of-age story of both a country and a young immigrant . . . that provides an unforgettable glimpse of a time and place rarely observed" (Publishers Weekly, starred review).
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