The Girls of Slender Means is a novel that takes place “long ago in 1945, when all the nice people in England were poor, allowing for exceptions.”
In the May of Teck Club – a London hostel ‘three times window shattered since 1940 but never directly hit’ – the young lady residents do their best to act as if the war never happened. They practice elocution, and jostle one another over suitors and a single Schiaparelli gown. But behind the girls’ giddy literary and amorous peregrinations they hide some tragically painful secrets and wounds.
Coup d’État: A Practical Handbook astonished readers when it first appeared in 1968 because it showed, step by step, how governments could be overthrown. Translated into sixteen languages, it has inspired anti-coup precautions by regimes around the world. In addition to these detailed instructions, Edward Luttwak’s revised handbook offers an altogether new way of looking at political power—one that considers, for example, the vulnerability to coups of even the most stable democracies in the event of prolonged economic distress.
Dvojitá kaple (The Double Chapel) is an intimate confession about the childhood and adolescence of a young woman, about relationships between parents and children. The novel is powerful in its intensity; although it is an introspective prose, a current of internal dialogues and memories of the main heroine, the reader seas a true and profound drama of a family.
Madame Curie narrates the story of Marie Skłodowska-Curie (1867–1934), the first woman scientist to win worldwide fame, and indeed, one of the great scientists of this century. Winner of two Nobel Prizes (for physics in 1903 and for chemistry in 1911), she performed pioneering studies with radium and contributed profoundly to the understanding of radioactivity.
Iva Tajovská’s new novel Než se rozdělíme (Before We Part) draws from the events of the 1990s and deals with the disintegration of states and families that occurred during the dissolution of Czechoslovakia and the civil war in Yugoslavia. In this strong and straightforward story the characters are confronted with loneliness, aging and alienation in times that were supposed to be peaceful, but instead brought new guilts and rages.
The recorded oral memories of Agnessa Mironova (1903-1982) is a must book for anybody who wants to know what was a personal life like under Stalinism. For the first time ever, Agnessa’s notes open the secret door into living rooms and boudoirs of Stalin’s “hangmen”, top-ranked Soviet secret police officers during the purges of 1930-40ies.
Zweig devoted ten years of research and writing to Balzac, which he regarded as his crowning achievement. This late work reads like a picaresque novel, with Balzac’s quest for “a woman with a fortune” and recurrent episodes of the author chasing an elusive pot of gold driving the story. This biography of one classic author by another is filled with Zweig’s characteristic psychological insights.
The Lily of the Valley (Le Lys dans la Vallée) is a long confession of a passionate love of a young man, Félix de Vandenesse, for a mature woman, Madame de Mortsauf. Unlike many others novels from La Comédie humaine that serve as a critique of social, political and moral conditions of his time, The Lily of the Valley depicts a timeless private theme of first love and its agony.