A hundred years before the Lionesses, Lily Parr, Alice Woods and their teammates were proudly playing their beloved, exciting and skilful game. They can take our ball, but they can never stop the game. As men were sent to fight in the war, women and girls took their place in munitions factories. Football became a favourite pastime and, before long, they were creating all-female sides and playing public matches to sell-out crowds, overshadowing the men’s football. Despite drawing crowds of 50,000, women’s football was outlawed by the Football Association in 1921, who deemed it ‘unsuitable for females’. This is the incredible story of these amazing women.
‘Wild Pets’ follows Iris, Ezra and Nance in the years after university. They fall in and out of bed with each other, reread ‘The Art of War’, grieve the closing of Fabric and write book proposals on the history of salt, while submerging their nights in drink and drugs. Confronting adulthood with high wit and low behaviour against contemporary political and social turmoil, these young men and women seem to have everything going for them. So why are they still swimming desperately against the tide?
Multi-award-winning television writer and producer Georgia Pritchett knows a thing or two about anxiety. From worrying about the monsters under her bed as a child (Were they comfy enough?), to embracing womanhood (One way of knowing you have crossed from girlhood to womanhood is that men stop furtively masturbating at you from bushes and start shouting things at you from cars. It’s a beautiful moment) to being offered free gifts after an award ceremony (It was an excruciating experience. Mortifying) worry has accompanied her at every turn. This memoir is a joyful reflection on just how to live – and sometimes even thrive (sometimes not) – with anxiety.
Working in an office amidst the East End’s bombsites. Serving as a lady’s maid to an Empire-loving aristocrat. Being repeatedly denied jobs due to the colour bar. Marrying an English man and raising two mixed-race children in suburbia. Becoming one of the first black headteachers in Britain. Beryl Gilroy’s new life wasn’t what she had expected. In 1952, she moved from Guyana to London to pursue her dream of teaching, only to experience Britain’s racist post-war society. After finally securing a teaching post, she faced fear and curiosity from her pupils, bigoted abuse from parents, and semi-segregation among staff. But over the course of her trailblazing career, Gilroy only grew braver, learning the value of education in combating prejudice and rising to become a pioneering headmistress. This title tells Gilroy’s story in her own words.
The Woman in the Purple Skirt seems to live in a world of her own. She appears to glide through crowded streets without acknowledging any reaction her presence elicits. Each afternoon, she sits on the same park bench, eating a pastry and ignoring the local children who make a game of trying to get her attention. She may not know it, but the Woman in the Purple Skirt being watched. Someone is following her, always perched just out of sight, monitoring which buses she takes; what she eats; whom she speaks to. But this invisible observer isn’t a stalker – no, it’s much more complicated than that.
Everyone has a Tully Dawson: the friend who defines your life. In the summer of 1986, in a small Scottish town, James and Tully ignite a brilliant friendship based on music, films and the rebel spirit. With school over and the locked world of their fathers before them, they rush towards the climax of their youth: a magical weekend in Manchester, the epicentre of everything that inspires them in working-class Britain. There, against the greatest soundtrack ever recorded, a vow is made: to go at life differently. Thirty years on, half a life away, the phone rings. Tully has news.
David Mountolive, a young English diplomat, has been obsessed with Egypt ever since a youthful love affair. Returning to Alexandria as British Ambassador just before World War Two, he unravels an intricate political and religious conspiracy – one that connects a web of wildly different characters, including an exiled schoolteacher and glamorous Egyptian couple. Mountolive gradually exposes the sinister underbelly of these tangled relationships, their deceptions and betrayals mirroring the explosive turmoil of the modern Middle East – and the result is Durrell’s most cinematic masterpiece.
They burned down the market on the day Vivek Oji died. One afternoon, a mother opens her front door to find the length of her son’s body stretched out on the veranda, swaddled in akwete material, his head on her welcome mat. ‘The Death of Vivek Oji’ transports us to the day of Vivek’s birth, the day his grandmother Ahunna died. It is the story of an over protective mother and a distant father, and the heart-wrenching tale of one family’s struggle to understand their child, just as Vivek learns to recognize himself.
Linda returns to Colombia after twenty years away. Sent to England after her mother’s death when she was eight, she’s searching for the person who can tell her what’s happened in the time that has passed. Matty – Linda’s childhood confidant, her best friend – now runs a refuge called The Anthill for the street kids of MedellÃn. But her long-anticipated reunion with him is struck by tension. Memory is fallible, and Linda discovers that everyone has a version of the past that is very, very different.
A woman invites a famed artist to visit the remote coastal region where she lives, in the belief that his vision will penetrate the mystery of her life and landscape. Over the course of one hot summer, his provocative presence provides the frame for a study of female fate and male privilege, of the geometries of human relationships, and of the struggle to live morally between our internal and external worlds. With its examination of the possibility that art can both save and destroy us, ‘Second Place’ is deeply affirming of the human soul, while grappling with its darkest demons.
A Londoner for over 20 years, moving from flat to Tube to air-conditioned office, Melissa Harrison knew what it was to be insulated from the seasons. Adopting a dog and going on daily walks helped reconnect her with the cycle of the year and the quiet richness of nature all around her: swifts nesting in a nearby church; ivy-leaved toadflax growing out of brick walls; the first blackbird’s song; an exhilarating glimpse of a hobby over Tooting Common. Moving from scrappy city verges to ancient, rural Suffolk, where Harrison eventually relocates, this diary – compiled from her beloved ‘Nature Notebook’ column in ‘The Times’ – maps her joyful engagement with the natural world and demonstrates how we must first learn to see, and then act to preserve, the beauty we have on our doorsteps.
Robert is a struggling writer living in Berlin with his wife and two young daughters. In a bookshop one night, he meets Patrick, an enigmatic stranger with a sensational story to tell: a ghostwriter for a Russian oligarch recently found hanged, who is now being followed. But is he really in danger? Patrick’s life strikes Robert as a fabrication, but a magnetic one that begins to obsess him. He decides to use Patrick, and his story.
Following the publication ‘In My Mind’s Eye’, her acclaimed first volume of diaries, Jan Morris continued to write her daily musings. From her home in the North West of Wales, the author of classics such as Venice and Trieste cast her eye over modern life in all its stupidity and glory. From her daily thousand paces to the ongoing troubles of Brexit, from her enduring love for America to the wonders of the natural world, and from the vagaries and ailments of old age to the beauty of youth, she once again displays her determined belief in embracing life and creativity – all kindness and marmalade.
Tambudzai’s opportunity for education comes only after the death of her brother. Moving to the mission school, her critical faculties develop rapidly, and become focused not just on her studies but also on the men and women of her family.
This novel tells the story of Klara, an Artificial Friend with outstanding observational qualities, who, from her place in the store, watches carefully the behaviour of those who come in to browse, and of those who pass on the street outside. She remains hopeful that a customer will soon choose her.