• Empire of the Sun (4th Estate Matchbook Classics)

    • Nov 22, 2018 •

    The classic, heartrending story of a British boy’s four year ordeal in a Japanese prison camp.

    One of the ten books – novels, memoirs and one very unusual biography – that make up our Matchbook Classics’ series, a stunningly redesigned collection of some of the best loved titles on our backlist.

    Based on J. G. Ballard’s own childhood, this is the extraordinary account of a boy’s life in Japanese-occupied wartime Shanghai – a mesmerising, hypnotically compelling novel of war, of starvation and survival, of internment camps and death marches. It blends searing honesty with an almost hallucinatory vision of a world thrown utterly out of joint.

    Rooted as it is in the author’s own disturbing experience of war in our time, it is one of a handful of novels by which the twentieth century will be not only remembered, but judged.

  • The Diving-Bell and the Butterfly (4th Estate Matchbook Classics)

    • Nov 22, 2018 •

    One of the most remarkable memoirs ever written.

    One of the ten books – novels, memoirs and one very unusual biography – that make up our Matchbook Classics’ series, a stunningly redesigned collection of some of the best loved titles on our backlist.

    In December 1995, Jean-Dominique Bauby, editor-in-chief of French Elle and the father of two young children, suffered a massive stroke and found himself paralysed and speechless. But his mind remained as active and alert as it had ever been.

    Using his only functioning muscle – his left eyelid – he was determined to tell his remarkable story, painstakingly spelling it out letter by letter.

    The Diving-Bell and the Butterfly records Bauby’s lonely existence but also the ability to invent a life for oneself in the most appalling of circumstances. It one of the most extraordinary books about the triumph of the human spirit ever written.

  • A Place of Greater Safety (4th Estate Matchbook Classics)

    • Nov 22, 2018 •

    An extraordinary work of historical imagination – this is Hilary Mantel’s epic novel of the French Revolution.

    One of the ten books – novels, memoirs and one very unusual biography – that make up the 4th Estate Matchbook Classics’ series, a stunningly redesigned collection of some of the best loved titles on our backlist.

    1789: as Revolution sweeps through France, three obscure young men step into the harsh light of history.

    Georges Jacques Danton has a prize fighter’s build, a sharp lawyer’s brain, a consuming ambition. Camille Desmoulins, charming and erratic, is a writer of genius with a taste for violence. Maximilien Robespierre is a slight, meek idealist who recoils from power, but who will lead his country into the darkness of the Terror.

    For these men, the Revolution is a blood rite: the forces they have helped unleash will remake the world, but destroy their lives. From the two-time winner of the Man Booker Prize, A Place of Greater Safety announced Hilary Mantel as one of our greatest living novelists.

  • Stuart: A Life Backwards (4th Estate Matchbook Classics)

    • Nov 22, 2018 •

    The winner of the Guardian First Book Award that reinvented the biographic form.

    One of the ten books – novels, memoirs and one very unusual biography – that make up our Matchbook Classics’ series, a stunningly redesigned collection of some of the best loved titles on our backlist.

    Stuart: A Life Backwards expanded the possibilities of what a biography could be: the stories it could tell, and how it could tell them. It is about a remarkable friendship between a reclusive writer (‘a middle-class scum ponce, if you want to be honest about it, Alexander’), and Stuart Shorter, a thief, hostage-taker, psycho and street raconteur.

    Told backwards – Stuart’s idea – it starts with a deeply troubled thirty-two-year-old stepping out in front of the 11.15 train from London to King’s Lynn, and ends with a ‘happy-go-lucky little boy’ of twelve. Compelling, humane and funny, it is as extraordinary and unexpected as the life it describes.

  • The Shipping News (4th Estate Matchbook Classics)

    • Nov 22, 2018 •

    Annie Proulx’s highly acclaimed, international bestseller and Pulitzer Prize-winning novel.

    One of the ten books – novels, memoirs and one very unusual biography – that make up our Matchbook Classics’ series, a stunningly redesigned collection of some of the best loved titles on our backlist.

    Quoyle is a hapless, hopeless hack journalist living and working in New York. While weathering the storm that is his marriage of one-way love to his no-good wife Petal, disaster strikes and Petal is killed in a spectacular road accident.

    Set adrift on an aimless quest, Quoyle heads for the land of his forefathers – to the remote corners of far-flung Newfoundland. With his delinquent daughters Bunny and Sunshine in tow, Quoyle takes up the post of shipping news reporter, and finds himself part of an unfolding, exhilarating Atlantic drama.

    The Shipping News is an irresistible comedy of human life and possibility.

  • The Corrections (4th Estate Matchbook Classics)

    • Nov 22, 2018 •

    A brilliantly perceptive and moving novel, that announced Jonathan Franzen as one of our greatest living writers.

    One of the ten books – novels, memoirs and one very unusual biography – that make up our Matchbook Classics’ series, a stunningly redesigned collection of some of the best loved titles on our backlist.

    After fifty years as a wife and mother, Enid Lambert is ready to have some fun. Unfortunately, her husband Alfred is losing his sanity, and their children have long since fled for the catastrophes of their own lives. As Alfred’s condition worsens and the Lamberts are forced to face their secrets and failures, Enid sets her heart on one last family Christmas.

    Bringing the old world of civic virtue and sexual inhibition into violent collision with the era of hands-off parenting, do-it-yourself mental healthcare and globalised greed, The Corrections established Jonathan Franzen as one of the most brilliant interpreters of the American soul.

  • The Things They Carried (4th Estate Matchbook Classics)

    • Nov 22, 2018 •

    The million copy bestseller that redefined the way the world saw war.

    One of the ten books – novels, memoirs and one very unusual biography – that make up our Matchbook Classics’ series, a stunningly redesigned collection of some of the best loved titles on our backlist.

    The Things They Carried is the definitive account of what it was like being on the ground in Vietnam. But while that devastating conflict is central to the book, it is not simply about war. It is a book about memory, imagination, and the redemptive power of storytelling. It is also about the human heart – about the terrible weight of those things we carry through our lives.

    The men of Alpha Company – Jimmy Cross, Norman Bowker, Rat Kiley, Mitchell Sanders, Henry Dobbins and Kiowa – slog through the emptiness and dangers of their Vietnam tour in this haunting and acclaimed collection, which has the cumulative power and unity of a novel.

  • The Blue Flower (4th Estate Matchbook Classics)

    • Nov 22, 2018 •

    Penelope Fitzgerald’s final masterpiece.

    One of the ten books – novels, memoirs and one very unusual biography – that make up our Matchbook Classics’ series, a stunningly redesigned collection of some of the best loved titles on our backlist.

    The year is 1794 and Fritz, passionate, idealistic and brilliant, is seeking his father’s permission to announce his engagement to his ‘heart’s heart’, his ‘true Philosophy’: twelve-year-old Sophie. His astounded family and friends are amused and disturbed by his betrothal. What can he be thinking?

    Tracing the dramatic early years of the young German who was to become the great romantic poet and philosopher Novalis, The Blue Flower is a masterpiece of invention, evoking the past with a reality that we can almost feel. Her final book, it confirmed Fitzgerald’s reputation as one of the finest novelists of the 20th century.