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Garry Wills is one of the most respected writers on religion today. He is the author of Saint Augustine’s Childhood, Saint Augustine’s Memory, and Saint Augustine’s Sin, the first three volumes in this series, as well as the Penguin Lives biography Saint Augustine. His other books include “Negro President”: Jefferson and the Slave Power, Why I Am a Catholic, Papal Sin, and Lincoln at Gettysburg, which won the Pulitzer Prize.Read more »
One of America’s leading humorists and author of the bestseller Closing Time examines his own obsession with booksJoe Queenan became a voracious reader as a means of escape from a joyless childhood in a Philadelphia housing project. In the years since then he has dedicated himself to an assortment of idiosyncratic reading challenges: spending a year reading only short books, spending a year reading books he always suspected he would hate, spending a year reading books he picked with his eyes closed.In One for the Books, Queenan tries to come to terms with his own eccentric readingRead more »
John Donne (1572-1631) was the most outstanding of the English Metaphysical Poets and a churchman famous for his spellbinding sermons.
Ilona Bell is Professor of English Literature at Williams College, Massachusetts. She has published widely on Renaissance literature and is the author of several books on Donne, his courtship, and his love poetry.Read more »
Lewis Carroll was the pen-name of the Reverend Charles Lutwidge Dodgson. Born in 1832, he was educated at Rugby School and Christ Church, Oxford, where he was appointed lecturer in mathematics in 1855, and where he spent the rest of his life. In 1861 he took deacon’s orders, but shyness and a stammer prevented him from seeking the priesthood. His most famous works, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865) and Through the Looking-Glass (1872), were originally written for Alice Liddell, the daughter of the Dean of his college. Charles Dodgson died of bronchitis in 1898.
Gillian Beer is King EdwardRead more »
This landmark new collection brings together the best of the poetry of Vladimir Nabokov, one of the twentieth century’s greatest writers and author of Lolita and Pale Fire, with an extensive number of poems never before in English, newly translated from the Russian by his son Dmitri Nabokov.
These masterly poems span the decades of Nabokov’s career, from ‘Music’, written in 1914 and probably Nabokov’s first recorded poem, to the short, playful ‘To Vera’, composed in 1974. ‘The University Poem’, one of Nabokov’s major poetic works, is here in English for the first time. Included too are the surreallyRead more »
David Foster Wallace, who died in 2008, was the author of the acclaimed novels Infinite Jest and The Broom of the System. His final novel, The Pale King, was published posthumously in 2011. He is also the author of the short-story collections Oblivion, Brief Interviews with Hideous Men and Girl with Curious Hair, and his non-fiction includes several essay collections and the full-length work Everything and More.Read more »
Joseph Brodsky died in January 1996. His last post was Five Colleges Professor of Literature at Mount Holyoke College. In 1987 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. Brodsky’s other collection of essays Less Than One is being reissued alongside On Grief and Reason in Penguin Modern Classics.Read more »
Vladimir Nabokov (1899-1977) was one of the great writers of the twentieth century, as well as a translator and lepidopterist. His works include, from the Russian novels, The Luzhin Defense and The Gift; from the English novels, Lolita, Pnin, Pale Fire and Ada; the autobiographical Speak, Memory; translations of Alice in Wonderland into Russian and Eugene Onegin into English; and lectures on literature. All of the fiction and Speak, Memory are published in Penguin.Read more »
Roger McGough was born in Liverpool. During the 1960s he was a member of the group Scaffold which had an international hit with ‘Lily the Pink’. He has won two BAFTAs and a Royal Television Award for his broadcasting work, and presents the popular Radio 4 programme Poetry Please. He has published many books of poems for adults and children, and both his Collected Poems (2003) and Selected Poems (2006) are bestselling poetry titles on the Penguin list. He was made a Freeman of the City of Liverpool in 2001, and received a CBE in 2004 for his services to literature.Read more »
Equally gifted as a poet, essayist, memoirist, travel writer and novelist, Vikram Seth is perhaps best known for his phenomenal A Suitable Boy, one of the best loved and most widely read novels of recent times. His other books include An Equal Music, The Golden Gate and Two Lives.Read more »