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Start reading . . . Strangers on a Train

Read an extract from Patricia Highsmith’s iconic crime novel, Strangers on a Train.  The train tore along with an angry, irregular rhythm. It was having to stop at smaller and more frequent stations, where it would wait impatiently for a moment, then attack the prairie again. But progress was imperceptible. The prairie only undulated, like…

For green fingered Viragos . . .

The virtues of getting your hands dirty and growing something for yourself have long been extolled, but many of us just don’t know where to start. First published in 1995, The Virago Book of Women Gardeners is reissued this month in hardback.  Including gardening tips, inspiring ideas, and bold visions from writers including Stevie Smith, Edith Wharton and…

Enter the Stylist and Virago short story competition

This competition is now closed. Read the winning story here.    In October, we publish four of Daphne du Maurier’s short story collections in brand new Virago Modern Classic jackets, so to celebrate the queen of the gothic short story, we were very excited to announce a brand new short story competition with Stylist magazine. Visit the Stylist…

A short story from Margaret Atwood’s Stone Mattress

The Freeze–Dried Groom     The next thing is that his car won’t start. It’s the fault of the freak cold snap, caused by the polar vortex – a term that’s already spawned a bunch of online jokes by stand-up comics about their wives’ vaginas. Sam can relate to that. Before she finally cut him off,…

Our favourite Margaret Atwood books

To celebrate the publication of The Heart Goes Last in paperback, we asked the Virago team to tell us about some of their other favourite Margaret Atwood books…   About The Heart Goes Last: Stan and Charmaine are a married couple trying to stay afloat in the midst of economic and social collapse. Living in their…

Margaret Atwood introduces The Heart Goes Last

Margaret Atwood has been with Virago for nearly forty years and in that time we’ve published over thirty of her amazing books.  Welcome to the outrageous imagination of one of the greatest writers in the English language who hasn’t stopped surprising us yet! Lennie Goodings – Publisher, Virago      

Books Beyond Borders

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.   In 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…

An Extract from Foreign Brides by Elena Lappin

Peacocks A short story from Foreign Brides – an extract The strangest thing about this house is that the boiler is in the attic. Whenever the heating goes off, which happens quite often, Vera has to climb up the old aluminium ladder, squeeze through the narrow square opening in the floorboards and relight the pilot….

Acclaim for Susan Fletcher's brilliant new novel

Let us tell you about a very special book

In June, we published the new novel from Susan Fletcher, Let Me Tell You About A Man I Knew, which tells the story of Vincent van Gogh’s last years in Provence in the hospital of Saint-Paul-de Mausole – home to the mentally ill. This beautiful book has been receiving wonderful praise from all quarters –…

Our summer reading recommendations

Find out what the Virago team has been reading so far this year, and which books we are planning on packing in our suitcases this summer. I’ve been captivated by Susan Fletcher’s novel, Let Me Tell You About A Man I Knew. It’s a wonderfully atmospheric and moving read, filled with gorgeous descriptions of Provence in the south…