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In light of recent events, we’re celebrating cultures outside of the UK that contribute to our diverse range of front list and Virago Modern Classic titles.

 

9781844087372In Diamond Square, first published in 1962, is relatively unknown out of Spain, yet it is the most acclaimed Catalan novel of all time. Set in Barcelona during the Spanish Civil War, this is one of the few wartime novels to be narrated by a woman, whose struggle is not in the trenches, but at home, with her children, where she tries to make ends meet in order to survive. It is a fierce, moving, tender novel, and you will fall in love with its heroine, Natalia.  It was one of Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s favourite books, and Colm Toibin hailed it ‘a small masterpiece’. For readers of Suite Francais or Alone in Berlin. Once you discover this book, you will cherish it.

Donna Coonan, Editorial Director, Virago Modern Classics

 

9780349008202Elena Lappin speaks five languages: born in Moscow, she had her childhood in Prague, her teenage years in Hamburg and her adult life in Canada, Israel, America and now England. She talks Czech to her brother, Russian to her parents and English to her children and husband. Her memoir What Language Do I Dream In? tells of exile and loss but it also shows us a life extraordinarily enriched by cultural change and migration.

Lennie Goodings, Publisher, Virago

 

9781844087600Oh, to be a 21-year-old actress in 1950s Paris, drifting down the morning streets in your evening dress, with pink hair. Clever, funny and sexy, Sally Jay Gorce has gone native in a way not even the natives can manage, and is hell-bent on living. The Dud Avocado gained cult status on publication, with Gore Vidal declaring it ‘one of the funniest books I’ve ever read’ and Groucho Marx writing to author Elaine Dundy, saying, ‘[It] made me laugh, scream and guffaw (which, incidentally, is a great name for a law firm)’. This summer, visit Paris in this hilarious, brilliant book, in the company of your slightly quirky, always endearing, new best friend, Sally Jay Gorce.

Donna Coonan, Editorial Director, Virago Modern Classics

 

9780349006444Shobha Rao’s book of paired stories, An Unrestored Woman, recounts the human cost of one of the largest migrations in history: that which followed Partition in 1947. This dazzling debut explores the fault lines in this mass displacement, the people who found themselves on the wrong sides of shifting borders, and the price that was paid over generations. Uncannily relevant to these turbulent times.

Ursula Doyle, Publisher, Fleet

 

9780349007601Let Me Tell You About A Man I Knew by Susan Fletcher takes us far from Britain to immerse us in the sights and smells of the south of France in 1889.  Borders of countries and centuries are crossed to find this tender story about Van Gogh and a woman who is awoken to a new strength of feeling and being because of his friendship.  All of us erect cordons in our hearts and minds and in this beautiful novel we discover what happens when risks are taken and those borders are breached.

Lennie Goodings, Publisher, Virago

 

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