7 Books Published by Penguin Random House UK on AALBC — Book Cover Collage

Click for more detail about Martha and Hanwell by Zadie Smith Martha and Hanwell

by Zadie Smith
Hamish Hamilton (Dec 03, 2013)
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Martha and Hanwell is a Penguin Pocket collection of two short stories by British author, Zadie Smith.

“Martha, Martha” was previously published in Granta 81 in 2003. Pam Roberts is a realtor who is showing potential accommodation to a newcomer to town, Martha Penk, but is finding her one-day-stand difficult to satisfy.

“Hanwell in Hell” was previously published in The New Yorker in 2004. It takes the form of a letter to Hanwell’s daughter by a man who met him by chance one night in Bristol. The stories are prefaced by an Author’s Note in which Smith explores the medium of the short story and states that she is not a natural short story writer, finding it an art for which she does not have a talent. And perhaps if this volume consisted only of “Martha, Martha,” the reader might agree: despite the rich imagery in both stories and the Author’s Note, this story feels unfinished. “Hanwell in Hell” is, however, a perfectly wonderful short story, complete in and of itself. If this volume consisted of two stories of this caliber, this would be a five-star read. —Google Books

Click for more detail about The Embassy of Cambodia by Zadie Smith The Embassy of Cambodia

by Zadie Smith
Hamish Hamilton (Dec 03, 2013)
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Revisiting the terrain of her acclaimed novel NW, The Embassy of Cambodia is another remarkable work of fiction from Zadie Smith.

“The fact is, if we followed the history of every little country in the world—in its dramatic as well as its quiet times—we would have no space left in which to live our own lives or apply ourselves to our necessary tasks, never mind indulge in occasional pleasures, like swimming …

First published in the New Yorker, The Embassy of Cambodia is a rare and brilliant story that takes us deep into the life of a young woman, Fatou, domestic servant to the Derawals and escapee from one set of hardships to another. Beginning and ending outside the Embassy of Cambodia, which happens to be located in Willesden, north-west London, Zadie Smith’s absorbing, moving and wryly observed story suggests how the apparently small things in an ordinary life always raise larger, more extraordinary questions.

Click for more detail about Running For Their Lives: The Extraordinary Story of Britain’s Greatest Ever Distance Runners by Mark Whitaker Running For Their Lives: The Extraordinary Story of Britain’s Greatest Ever Distance Runners

by Mark Whitaker
Yellow Jersey (Jan 01, 2013)
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In 1928 two extraordinary Englishmen competed in an unprecedented and fearsome event - a transcontinental road race across America that required them to run an average of 40 miles for 80 consecutive days. They were to become the most famous long-distance runners in the world: yet history has forgotten them. Peter Gavuzzi was a young working-class ship’s steward, while Arthur Newton was a middle-aged intellectual who had taken up running to make a political point. Though separated by class, education and age, they became close friends and formed a successful business partnership as endurance athletes. They raced in 500-mile relays, in 24-hour events, in snowshoes and against horses; and they became the stars of a craze for endurance events that swept across depression-era North America. But as professional runners they were eschewed by the amateur running elite. Set against a turbulent backdrop of 1920s South Africa, 1930s Canada, war-torn France and 1950s Britain, "Running for Their Lives" is a story peopled with remarkable characters, unimaginable feats and tragic twists of fate. More importantly it is a homage to two inspirational and eccentric men who only now receive the recognition they so richly deserve.

Click for more detail about Sissy Nation: How America Became a Culture of Wimps & Stoopits by John Strausbaugh Sissy Nation: How America Became a Culture of Wimps & Stoopits

by John Strausbaugh
Virgin Books (Feb 01, 2008)
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Praised by the New York Times Book Review for being ?persuasive [and] provocative,” this commentary reveals in furious, funny, and ferocious strokes how Americans became sissified, soft, and scared?and offers unforgettable solutions on how to snap out of it. The American Sissy cocoons in a safe, virtual world?Fundadome. He plays with online friendsters and he plays with himself, anything to abate the pall of anxiety hanging over his head about everything from terrorists to spinach to air and sunshine. He votes for sissy leaders who bully the world?sissies in tough-guy drag. He’s so afraid of death and illness, he doesn’t really live?he overmedicates himself and overprotects his kids. And he’s so busy preoccupied with the lives of the rich and famous that he forgets all about having a fulfilled life of his own. Strausbaugh leaves no sacred cow untipped. He is as nonpartisan as he is†straight shooting, taking equal aim at Democrats and Republicans, gays and straights, PETA fanatics, and the Christian right. But all is not lost. Sissy Nation offers "modest proposals" for getting back the gumption that made this culture great.

Click for more detail about Aya by Marguerite Abouet Aya

by Marguerite Abouet
Jonathan Cape (Jul 01, 2007)
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For the residents of Yopougon, everyday life is good. It is the early 1970s, a golden time - work is plentiful, hospitals are clean and well-equipped, and school is obligatory. The Ivory Coast is as an island of relative wealth and stability in West Africa. For the teenagers of the town, though, worries are plentiful, and life in Yop City is far from simple. "Aya" tells the story of its nineteen-year-old heroine, the clear-sighted and bookish Aya, and her carefree and fun-loving friends Adjoua and Bintou. Navigating meddling relatives and neighbours, the girls spend a last summer of their childhood on the sun warmed streets of Yop City - sneaking out for dancing at open-air bars, strong solibra beer, chicken in peanut sauce and avoiding at all costs the scandal pages of the Calamity Morning…"Aya" is a captivating, colourful and hugely entertaining portrayal of an Africa we rarely see, spirited and resilient, and full of the sounds, sights and smells of a prosperous town and its varied inhabitants.

Click for more detail about Aisha by Ahdaf Soueif Aisha

by Ahdaf Soueif
Jonathan Cape (Jul 07, 1983)
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Written by the author of "In The Eye Of The Sun", this superb collection of stories is united by the central character, an Egyptian girl growing up in both Egypt and Britain. The stories are populated by the characters she meets, each moving in their own world as Aisha grows up and travels in Cairo and London.

Click for more detail about Postprison Writings and Speeches by Eldridge Cleaver Postprison Writings and Speeches

by Eldridge Cleaver
Jonathan Cape (Sep 01, 1969)
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