Empire of the Sun

Based on J. G. Ballard’s own childhood, this is the extraordinary account of a boy’s life in Japanese-occupied wartime Shanghai – a mesmerising, hypnotically compelling novel of war, of starvation and survival, of internment camps and death marches. It blends searing honesty with an almost hallucinatory vision of a world thrown utterly out of joint. … Continued


The Diving-Bell and the Butterfly

In December 1995, Jean-Dominique Bauby, editor-in-chief of French Elle and the father of two young children, suffered a massive stroke and found himself paralysed and speechless. But his mind remained as active and alert as it had ever been. Using his only functioning muscle – his left eyelid – he was determined to tell his … Continued


A Place of Greater Safety

1789: as Revolution sweeps through France, three obscure young men step into the harsh light of history. Georges Jacques Danton has a prize fighter’s build, a sharp lawyer’s brain, a consuming ambition. Camille Desmoulins, charming and erratic, is a writer of genius with a taste for violence. Maximilien Robespierre is a slight, meek idealist who … Continued


Stuart

Stuart: A Life Backwards expanded the possibilities of what a biography could be: the stories it could tell, and how it could tell them. It is about a remarkable friendship between a reclusive writer (‘a middle-class scum ponce, if you want to be honest about it, Alexander’), and Stuart Shorter, a thief, hostage-taker, psycho and … Continued


The Shipping News

Quoyle is a hapless, hopeless hack journalist living and working in New York. While weathering the storm that is his marriage of one-way love to his no-good wife Petal, disaster strikes and Petal is killed in a spectacular road accident. Set adrift on an aimless quest, Quoyle heads for the land of his forefathers – … Continued


The Corrections

After fifty years as a wife and mother, Enid Lambert is ready to have some fun. Unfortunately, her husband Alfred is losing his sanity, and their children have long since fled for the catastrophes of their own lives. As Alfred’s condition worsens and the Lamberts are forced to face their secrets and failures, Enid sets … Continued


The Things They Carried

The Things They Carried is the definitive account of what it was like being on the ground in Vietnam. But while that devastating conflict is central to the book, it is not simply about war. It is a book about memory, imagination, and the redemptive power of storytelling. It is also about the human heart … Continued


The Blue Flower

The year is 1794 and Fritz, passionate, idealistic and brilliant, is seeking his father’s permission to announce his engagement to his ‘heart’s heart’, his ‘true Philosophy’: twelve-year-old Sophie. His astounded family and friends are amused and disturbed by his betrothal. What can he be thinking? Tracing the dramatic early years of the young German who … Continued