by Junot Díaz
About the book: Things have never been easy for Oscar. A ghetto nerd living with his Dominican family in New Jersey, he's sweet but disastrously overweight. He dreams of becoming the next J.R.R. Tolkien and he keeps falling hopelessly in love. Poor Oscar may never get what he wants, thanks to the Fuk - the curse that has haunted his family for generations. With dazzling energy and insight Daz immerses us in the tumultuous lives of Oscar; his runaway sister Lola; their beautiful mother Belicia; and in the family's uproarious journey from the Dominican Republic to the US and back. Rendered with uncommon warmth and humour, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao is a literary triumph, that confirms Junot Daz as one of the most exciting writers of our time.
by Evelyn Waugh
About the book: Charles Ryder, a lonely student at Oxford, is captivated by the outrageous and decadent Sebastian Flyte. Invited to Brideshead, Sebastian’s magnificent family home, Charles welcomes the attentions of its eccentric, artistic inhabitants the Marchmains, becoming infatuated with them and the life of privilege they inhabit – in particular, with Sebastian’s remote sister, Julia. But, as duty and desire, faith and happiness come into conflict, and the Marchmains struggle to find their place in a changing world, Charles eventually comes to recognize his spiritual and social distance from them.
by William Faulkner
About the book: Quentin Compson and Shreve, his Harvard room-mate, are obsessed by the tragic rise and fall of Thomas Sutpen. As a poor white boy, Sutpen was turned away from a plantation owner's mansion by a negro butler. From then on, he was determined to force his way into the upper echelons of Southern society. His relentless will ensures his ambitions are soon realised; land, marriage, children. But in after the chaos of Civil War, secrets from his own past threaten to destroy everything he has worked for.
by Zadie Smith
About the book: Zadie Smith's On Beauty is a funny, powerful and moving story about love and family Why do we fall in love with the people we do? Why do we visit our mistakes on our children? What makes life truly beautiful? Set in New England mainly and London partly, On Beauty concerns a pair of feuding families - the Belseys and the Kipps - and a clutch of doomed affairs. It puts low morals among high ideals and asks some searching questions about what life does to love. For the Belseys and the Kipps, the confusions - both personal and political - of our uncertain age are about to be brought close to home: right to the heart of family. 'The novel I didn't want to finish, I was enjoying it so much' John Sutherland, Evening Standard 'Thrums with intellectual sass and know-how' Literary Review 'Delightfully entertaining . . . filled with humour, generosity and contemporary sparkle' Alex Clark, Daily Telegraph 'My novel of the year . . . Delicious' Liz Jones, Evening Standard 'Satirical, wise and sexy' Washington Post 'Heartstopping' The Times Literary Supplement 'A triumph, Smith's comedy shines' Daily Mail 'Ambitious, hugely impressive, beautifully observed' Guardian Zadie Smith was born in north-west London in 1975. Her debut novel, White Teeth, won the Whitbread First Novel Award, the Guardian First Book Award, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction, and the Commonwealth Writers' First Book Prize, and was included in TIME 100 Best English-language Novels from 1923 to 2005. Her second novel, On Beauty, was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and won the Orange Prize for Fiction. She has written two further novels, The Autograph Man and NW, a collection of essays, Changing My Mind, and also edited a short-story anthology, The Book of Other People.
by F. Scott Fitzgerald
About the book: This unique edition of This Side of Paradise from Dead Dodo Vintage includes the full original text as well as exclusive features not available in other editions. This Side of Paradise is the debut novel of F. Scott Fitzgerald. This Side of Paradise, F. Scott Fitzgerald's romantic and witty first novel, was written when the author was only twenty-three years old. Published in 1920, and taking its title from a line of the Rupert Brooke poem Tiare Tahiti, the book examines the lives and morality of post-World War I youth. Its protagonist, Amory Blaine, is an attractive Princeton University student who dabbles in literature. The novel explores the theme of love warped by greed and status-seeking. This book is written in three parts. • "Book One: The Romantic Egotist"- the novel centres on Amory Blaine, a young Midwesterner who, convinced that he has an exceptionally promising future, attends boarding school and later Princeton University. While at Princeton he re-encounters Isabelle Borgé, and starts a romantic relationship with her, but after a few days they breakup. • "Interlude"- Following their break-up, Amory is shipped overseas, to serve in the army in World War I. • "Book Two: The Education of a Personage"- The book ends with Amory's iconic lament, "I know myself, but that is all." Its success, however, helped the now-famous Fitzgerald earn much higher rates for his short stories.
by Tom Perrotta
About the book: For many college students, Spring Break means fun and sun in Florida. For Danny, a Yale junior, it means two weeks behind the wheel of the Roach Coach, his father's lunch truck, which plies the parking lots of office parks in central New Jersey. But Danny can use the time behind the coffee urn to try and make sense of a love life that's gotten a little complicated. There's loyal and patient hometown honey Cindy and her recently dropped bombshell to contend with. And there's also lissome Polly back in New Haven--with her shifting moods, perfect thrift store dresses and inconvenient liaison with a dashing professor. If girl problems aren't enough, there's the constant menace of the Lunch Monsters, a group of thugs who think Danny has planted the Roach Coach in their territory. Joe College is Tom Perrotta's warmest and funniest fiction yet, a comic journey into the dark side of love, higher education and food service.
by Vladimir Nabokov
About the book: Professor Timofey Pnin, late of Tsarist Russia, is now precariously perched at the heart of an American campus. Battling with American life and language, Pnin must face great hazards in this new world: the ruination of his beautiful lumber-room-as-office; the removal of his teeth and the fitting of new ones; the search for a suitable boarding house; and the trials of taking the wrong train to deliver a lecture in a language he has yet to master. Wry, intelligent and moving, Pnin reveals the absurd and affecting story of one man in exile.
by Joyce Carol Oates
About the book: "Anellia" is a young student who, though gifted with a penetrating intelligence, is drastically inclined to obsession. Funny, mordant, and compulsive, she falls passionately in love with a brilliant yet elusive black philosophy student. But she is tested most severely by a figure out of her past she'd long believed dead. Astonishingly intimate and unsparing, and pitiless in exposing the follies of the time, I'll Take You There is a dramatic revelation of the risks—and curious rewards—of the obsessive personality as well as a testament to the stubborn strength of a certain type of contemporary female intellectual.
by David Lodge
About the book: When Philip Swallow and Professor Morris Zapp participate in their universities' Anglo-American exchange scheme, the Fates play a hand, and each academic finds himself enmeshed in the life of his counterpart on the opposite side of the Atlantic. Nobody is immune to the exchange: students, colleagues, even wives are swapped as events spiral out of control. And soon both sundrenched Euphoric State university and rain-kissed university of Rummidge are a hotbed of intrigue, lawlessness and broken vows...
by David Foster Wallace
About the book: Part of the Penguin Orange Collection, a limited-run series of twelve influential and beloved American classics in a bold series design offering a modern take on the iconic Penguin paperback For the seventieth anniversary of Penguin Classics, the Penguin Orange Collection celebrates the heritage of Penguin's iconic book design with twelve influential American literary classics representing the breadth and diversity of the Penguin Classics library. These collectible editions are dressed in the iconic orange and white tri-band cover design, first created in 1935, while french flaps, high-quality paper, and striking cover illustrations provide the cutting-edge design treatment that is the signature of Penguin Classics Deluxe Editions today. The Broom of the System The "dazzling, exhilarating" (San Francisco Chronicle) debut novel from one of the most groundbreaking writers of his generation, The Broom of the System is an outlandishly funny and fiercely intelligent exploration of the paradoxes of language, storytelling, and reality.
by Tom Sharpe
About the book: Porterhouse College is world renowned for its gastronomic excellence, the arrogance of its Fellows, its academic mediocrity and the social cache it confers on the athletic sons of country families. Sir Godber Evans, ex-Cabinet Minister and the new Master, is determined to change all this. Spurred on by his politically angular wife, Lady Mary, he challenges the established order and provokes the wrath of the Dean, the Senior Tutor, the Bursar and, most intransigent of all, Skullion the Head Porter - with hilarious and catastrophic results.