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81 Cadogan Square

'There are happy homes and unhappy homes, and Mother always said that one should never compromise with a house that does not like you. So it was a relief that 81 liked us....' '81 Cadogan Square' is not a conventional autobiography. Once again Daphne Economou has laid herself open and the cool, clear voice of the growing girl dispassionately watching and taking stock of the adult world, comes to us in another remarkable book from the author of 'Saturday's Child - a journey through an Indian childhood'. With the devastating truthfulness of a child's non-negotiable sense of justice and a wry sense of humour that never tries to be funny, Economou retrieves the figures and events that transformed 81 Cadogan Square into a home-away-from-home, for a girl with 'a foot in three different worlds'. The magic of early childhood 'when anything seemed possible' is shattered by the stark reality of battered, post-war Britain and by the struggle of a still half-tamed child to come to terms with the conformity of boarding-school life. But the story has light and darkness, as strangely meaningful relationships, like her friendship with seventy-year-old Alexander Fleming, are formed: 'I don't know why he was fond of me, perhaps because I was so young, perhaps because I was a girl, perhaps because I didn't ask him questions all the time'. This story about families, people and places moves easefully between Athens and London, with the inevitable sadness of partings and loss, and the constant pain of return for a lost Indian childhood. A story that is hard to put down.
17.50 €

A Man of Two Faces

'A triumphant memoir' Cathy Park Hong, author of MINOR FEELINGS, finalist for the Pulitzer PrizeThe highly original, blistering, and unconventional memoir by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Sympathizer, which has now sold over one million copies worldwideWith insight, humour, formal invention, and lyricism, in A Man of Two Faces Nguyen rewinds the film of his own life. He expands the genre of personal memoir by acknowledging larger stories of refugeehood, colonization, and ideas about Vietnam and America, writing with his trademark sardonic wit and incisive analysis, as well as a deep emotional openness about his life as a father and a son. At the age of four, Nguyen and his family are forced to flee his hometown of Ban Mê Thu?t and come to the USA as refugees. After being removed from his brother and parents and homed with a family on his own, Nguyen is later allowed to resettle into his own family in suburban San José. But there is violence hidden behind the sunny façade of what he calls AMERICA™. One Christmas Eve, when Nguyen is nine, while watching cartoons at home, he learns that his parents have been shot while working at their grocery store, the SàiGòn M?i, a place where he sometimes helps price tins of fruit with a sticker gun. Years later, as a teenager, the blood-stirring drama of the films of the Vietnam War such as Apocalypse Now throw Nguyen into an existential crisis: how can he be both American and Vietnamese, both the killer and the person being killed? When he learns about an adopted sister who has stayed back in Vietnam, and ultimately visits her, he grows to understand just how much his parents have left behind. And as his parents age, he worries increasingly about their comfort and care, and realizes that some of their older wounds are reopening. Resonant in its emotions and clear in its thinking about cultural power, A Man of Two Faces explores the necessity of both forgetting and of memory, the promises America so readily makes and breaks, and the exceptional life story of one of the most original and important writers working today.
27.50 €

A Writer's Notebook

From 1892, when he was eighteen, until 1949, when this book was first published, Somerset Maugham kept a notebook. It is without doubt one of his most important works. Part autobiographical, part confessional, packed with observations, confidences, experiments and jottings it is a rich and exhilarating admission into this great writer's workshop.
12.20 €

All the Roads Are Open

In June 1939 Annemarie Schwarzenbach and fellow writer Ella Maillart set out from Geneva in a Ford, heading for Afghanistan. The first women to travel Afghanistan's Northern Road, they fled the storm brewing in Europe to seek a place untouched by what they considered to be Western neuroses. The Afghan journey documented in All the Roads Are Open is one of the most important episodes of Schwarzenbach's turbulent life.

Her incisive, lyrical essays offer a unique glimpse of an Afghanistan already touched by the "fateful laws known as progress," a remote yet "sensitive nerve centre of world politics" caught amid great powers in upheaval. In her writings, Schwarzenbach conjures up the desolate beauty of landscapes both internal and external, reflecting on the longings and loneliness of travel as well as its grace. Maillart's account of their trip, The Cruel Way, stands as a classic of travel literature, and, now available for the first time in English, Schwarzenbach's memoir rounds out the story of the adventure.

Praise for the German Edition "Above all, [Schwarzenbach's] discovery of the Orient was a personal one. But the author never loses sight of the historical and social context. .

. . She shows no trace of colonialist arrogance.

In fact, the pieces also reflect the experience of crisis, the loss of confidence which, in that decade, seized the long-arrogant culture of the West."-Suddeutsche Zeitung

14.40 €

Captain Scott

Sir Ranulph Fiennes is uniquely qualified to write a new biography of Captain Scott. This is the first biography of Scott by someone who has experienced the deprivations, the stress and the sheer physical pain that Scott lived through; he has suffered all but the final tragedy endured by the much maligned Scott. He is determined to put the record straight. As well as being the definitive biography of Scott, written with the full and exclusive cooperation of the Scott Estate, this book traces the way that Scott's reputation has been attacked and his achievements distorted. 'Sir Ranulph Fiennes has done Captain Scott's memory some service...he has certainly written a more dispassionate and balanced account than Huntford ever set out to do.' - Simon Courtauld, Spectator
12.60 €

Diary of an Invasion

Uplifting and utterly defiant' Matt Nixson, Daily Express 'Immediate and important ... This is an insider's account of how an ordinary life became extraordinary' Helen Davies, The Times'At first we did not understand what war was. You can't understand it until you see it and hear it.'As Russian forces build up beyond the Ukrainian borders and the prospect of war becomes a devastating reality, Andrey Kurkov chronicles the shocking impact of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Part political and historical commentary, part personal journal, Kurkov explores the fraught interrelation of Russian and Ukrainian history, the complicated coexistence of their languages, and in describing how a peaceful society defies occupation, the author builds an image of a culture which, contrary to Putin's claims, is unique and democratic, liberal and diverse, one that will 'resist to the end'. Redirecting his satirical flair to paint a defiant portrait of his compatriots, Kurkov tells of a people united against erasure. Bread is baked and shared in the ruins.

An amputee is carried aboard an evacuating train, grandmothers escape occupied towns with their noisome roosters. And despite the networks of toloka, of community work for common good, being stretched to breaking point, and the embittering reticence of some European nations to make good their promises of aid and armaments, hope channels its perennial resistance: children are born deep within besieged cities and farmers go on working the fields made lethal by unexploded shells. Kurkov braids his personal story with those of other displaced Ukrainians and the communities that have gone to extraordinary lengths to care for them.

Showing an irrepressible spirit, they 'wait for the moment when it will be safe to return,' he writes, 'just as I am waiting.'

12.50 €

Dior by Dior : The autobiography of Christian Dior

Christian Dior (1905-1957) rocketed to fame with his first collection in 1947 when the "New Look" took the world by storm. This charming and modest autobiography gives a fascinating and detailed insight into the workings of a great fashion house, while revealing the private man behind the high-profile establishment. It is also a unique portrait of classic Paris haute couture of the 1950s and offers a rare glimpse behind the scenes. Dior details his childhood in Granville, the family and friends closest to him, his most difficult years and sudden success, as well as his sources of inspiration and creative processes.
12.50 €

Easy Beauty : On Seeing and Being Seen

FINALIST FOR THE 2023 PULITZER PRIZE FOR MEMOIR'An exquisite exploration of disability, identity and the human capacity to do (and be) more than we've ever dreamed' Time'Gorgeously, vividly alive' New York Times'Challenges the unspoken social taboos about the disabled body, unpacking myths of beauty and our complicity in upholding those myths' Lit HubBorn with sacral agenesis, a visible congenital disability that affects her stature and gait, Chloe Cooper Jones had always found solace in what she thought of as 'the neutral room' - a dissociative space in her mind that offered her solace and self-protection, but also kept her isolated. When she became pregnant (disproving her doctor, who had assumed it impossible), something necessary in her started to crack, forcing her to reckon with her defensive positionality to the world and the people in it. This prompted an odyssey across time and space as Chloe - while at museums, operas, concerts and sporting events, and in the presence of awe-inspiring nature - reconsidered the consciousness-shifting power of beauty.

A book of the year for the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Time, BuzzFeed, Lit Hub, Electric Literature, Vulture, Publishers Weekly, Booklist and New York Public Library

13.70 €

Folk Music : A Bob Dylan Biography in Seven Songs

Acclaimed cultural critic Greil Marcus tells the story of Bob Dylan through the lens of seven penetrating songs "The most interesting writer on Dylan over the years has been the cultural critic Greil Marcus. . .

. No one alive knows the music that fueled Dylan's imagination better. .

. . Folk Music .

. . [is an] ingenious book of close listening."-David Remnick, New Yorker Named a Best Music Book of 2022 by Rolling Stone "Further elevates Marcus to what he has always been: a supreme artist-critic."-Hilton Als Across seven decades, Bob Dylan has been the first singer of American song.

As a writer and performer, he has rewritten the national songbook in a way that comes from his own vision and yet can feel as if it belongs to anyone who might listen. In Folk Music, Greil Marcus tells Dylan's story through seven of his most transformative songs. Marcus's point of departure is Dylan's ability to "see myself in others." Like Dylan's songs, this book is a work of implicit patriotism and creative skepticism.

It illuminates Dylan's continuing presence and relevance through his empathy-his imaginative identification with other people. This is not only a deeply felt telling of the life and times of Bob Dylan but a rich history of American folk songs and the new life they were given as Dylan sat down to write his own.

16.20 €