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Virago Modern Classic Book Club – Good Behaviour

The first pick in the Virago Modern Classic book club was Molly Keane’s Good Behaviour. Set in Molly’s native Ireland, the novel was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1981 (the year that Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie was awarded the honour).  Good Behaviour has many fans – Hilary Mantel, Molly Keane and Maggie O’Farrell…

My Top 5 travel pieces by Lesley Blanch

A Londoner by birth, Lesley Blanch spent the greater part of her life travelling about those remote areas her books record so vividly. She left England in 1946, never to return except as a visitor, and travelled across war-torn Europe to join her diplomat-novelist husband, Romain Gary, in Bulgaria. She died in the South of…

Virago’s non-fiction picks for 2017

This year we are publishing a selection of incredible writers, including Souad Mehennet, Carina Chocano and 23 year old Nobel Peace Prize nominee, Nadia Murad. Read on to find out about more about the non-fiction we’re looking forward to sharing with you in 2017.  Lennie Goodings, Publisher `Marvellous’ says Diana Athill about this wonderful biography of Molly Keane…

Molly Keane: A Life extract

  Molly Keane: A Life, written by one of her two daughters, is the first insight into the life of a fascinating and complicated woman, who was a brilliant writer whose books were a portrait of the Anglo-Irish world of the first half of the twentieth century. Molly Keane’s  novels, such as Good Behaviour, reflect this world…

Shirley Hazzard: 1931 – 2016

Shirley Hazzard, one of Virago’s greatest writers, died today in New York.  She was 85 and had been ill for some time. Though born in Australia in 1931 she was a truly worldly woman who lived in Hong Kong, New Zealand, Italy and latterly, New York. By her own account she was a precocious girl…

Read The Gift Giving, a holiday short story from Joan Aiken

“Stories are mysterious things; they have a life of their own”- Joan Aiken In a writing career spanning six decades, Joan Aiken wrote stories of wolves, naughty pet ravens, pirates, necklaces made of raindrops, and much more. This Christmas, we publish a collection of her favourite stories, including The Gift Giving, which you can read exclusively below. The…

Marilynne Robinson and Barack Obama in conversation

Robinson has plumbed the depths of the human spirit in her trilogy of novels – Pulitzer Prize-winning Gilead, Orange-Prize winning Home and National Book Critics Circle Award-winning Lila – and in her moving essay collection When I Was a Child I Read Books. Now, in The Givenness of Things, she brings a profound sense of awe and…

Emma Watson loves Virago!

In January this year Emma Watson launched her feminist book club, Our Shared Shelf, inspired by her own exploration of brilliant literature about women and equality. As she wrote at the time, ‘there is so much amazing stuff out there! Funny, inspiring, sad, thought-provoking, empowering! I’ve been discovering so much that, at times, I’ve felt…