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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…

The Virago Halloween reading list 👻

Looking for a spooky story to get you in the mood for All Hallow’s Eve? Here are just a few suggestions in our Halloween reading list.   Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier With one of the most famous first lines in literature, Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca has all of the elements that make for a chilling tale,…