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Margaret Drabble's novels have illuminated the past fifty years, especially the changing lives of women, like no others. Yet her short fiction has its own unique brilliance. Her penetrating evocations of character and place, her wide-ranging curiosity, her sense of irony--all are on display here, in stories that explore marriage, female friendships, the English tourist abroad, love affairs with houses, peace demonstrations, gin and tonics, cultural TV programs; in stories that are perceptive, sharp, and funny. An introduction by the Spanish academic José Fernández places the stories in the context of her life and her novels. This collection is a wonderful recapitulation of a masterly career.
To the privileged generation that came of age in the Sixties, the era of easy money and easier sex was like a high-stakes gamble that might just roll on forever...
Margaret Drabble's affecting novel, set in London during the 1960s, about a casual love affair, an unplanned pregnancy, and one young woman's decision to become a mother.
Simon Camish, an embittered, diffident lawyer in a loveless marriage, would not have particularly noticed Rose Vassiliou had he not been asked to drive her home one night after a dinner party. Yet at one time she had been notorious-her name constantly in the news. Now, separated from her Greek husband, she lives alone with her three children. Despite all the efforts and sneers of her friends, she refuses to move from her slum house in a decaying neighborhood to which she has become attached. Gradually, Simon becomes aware that Rose is a woman of remarkable integrity and courage. He is drawn into her affairs when her husband takes legal action to reopen the question of custody of the children-a scheme for getting his wife back. And, while the precise nature of their ties eludes him, Simon comes to realize that Rose and her Greek ex-husband are forever and inextricably bound to each other.
The Pattern in the Carpet: A Personal History with Jigsaws is an original and brilliant work. Margaret Drabble weaves her own story into a history of games, in particular jigsaws, which have offered her and many others relief from melancholy and depression. Alongside curious facts and discoveries about jigsaw puzzles-did you know that the 1929 stock market crash was followed by a boom in puzzle sales?-Drabble introduces us to her beloved Auntie Phyl, and describes childhood visits to the house in Long Bennington on the Great North Road, their first trip to London together, the books they read, and the jigsaws they completed. She offers penetrating sketches of her parents, siblings, and children, and shares her thoughts on the importance of childhood play, on art and writing, and on aging and memory. And she does so with her customary intelligence, energy, and wit. This is a memoir like no other.
Bessie Bawtry is a young girl living in the early 1900s in Breaseborough, a mining town in South Yorkshire, England. Unusually gifted, she longs to escape a life burdened by unquestioned tradition. She studies patiently, dreaming of the day when she will take the entrance exam for Cambridge and be able to leave her narrow world. A generation later, Bessie's daughter Chrissie feels a similar impulse to expand her horizons, which she in turn passes on to her own daughter.Nearly a century later, Bessie's granddaughter, Faro Gaulden, finds herself listening to a lecture on genetics and biological determinism. She has returned to Breaseborough and wonders at the families who remained in the humble little town where Bessie grew up. Confronted with what would have been her life had her grandmother stayed, she finds herself faced with difficult questions. Is she really so different from the plain South Yorkshire locals? As she soon learns, the past has a way of reasserting itself-not unlike the peppered moth that was once thought to be nearing extinction but is now enjoying a sudden unexplained resurgence.The Peppered Moth is a brilliantly conceived novel, full of irony, sadness, and humor.
Humphrey Clark and Ailsa Kelman spent a summer together as children in Ornemouth, a town by the gray North Sea. Now, as they journey back to receive honorary degrees from a new university there-Humphrey on the train, Ailsa flying-they take stock of their lives, their careers, and their shared personal entanglements, romantic and otherwise. Humphrey is a successful marine biologist, happiest under water, but now retired; Ailsa, scholar and feminist, is celebrated for her pioneering studies of gender. Their mutual pasts unfold in an exquisite portrait of English social life in the latter half of the twentieth century.
Gathered together in one hardcover volume: three timeless novels from the founding father of science fiction.The first great novel to imagine time travel, The Time Machine (1895) follows its scientist narrator on an incredible journey that takes him finally to Earth's last moments--and perhaps his own. The scientist who discovers how to transform himself in The Invisible Man (1897) will also discover, too late, that he has become unmoored from society and from his own sanity. The War of the Worlds (1898)--the seminal masterpiece of alien invasion adapted by Orson Welles for his notorious 1938 radio drama, and subsequently by several filmmakers--imagines a fierce race of Martians who devastate Earth and feed on their human victims while their voracious vegetation, the red weed, spreads over the ruined planet.Here are three classic science fiction novels that, more than a century after their original publication, show no sign of losing their grip on readers' imaginations.From the Hardcover edition.
In a "profoundly moving, intellectually acute" novel (Philadelphia Inquirer) that is "as meticulous as Jane Austen, as deadly as Evelyn Waugh" (Los Angeles Times), Margaret Drabble conjures up a retired writer besieged by her three grasping children in this dazzling, wickedly gothic tale.
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