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Read the prologue to In the Name of the Family by Sarah Dunant

Florence, January 1502   You couldn’t call him tall; he was barely an inch bigger than her, and wiry in stature. His soot- black hair was cut unfashionably close to his head and his face, broad at the eyes, tapered via a thin nose to a sharp clean- shaven chin. The word weasel had come to mind when they first…

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…

Virago authors pick their favourite reads of 2016

We asked our authors to share which of the books they read in 2016 stood out. Here are responses from three writers with impeccable taste. Lauren Berry My book of the year was an easy choice; The Outrun by Amy Liptrot (Canongate). It’s the story of Amy’s descent into, and recovery from alcoholism told through…