2015 has been another great year for 4th Estate. We’ve seen Anthony Doerr’s epic All The Light We Cannot See win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, Laline Paull’s extraordinary debut The Bees shortlisted for the Baileys Prize, and Bruce Robinson’s excoriating They All Love Jack longlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize. We’ve published some fantastic books – Jonathan Franzen’s Purity (surely the most talked-about book of the year), Nigel Slater’s long-awaited third volume of The Kitchen Diaries and Nell Zink’s iconic yellow-boxed double whammy of The Wallcreeper and Mislaid among them. We’ve hosted some stimulating Literary Salons at the Book Club in Shoreditch, and we’ve launched a stylish new video series, RE4DINGS.
We’ve been telling you how brilliant our books are all year, so as it’s Christmas, we thought we’d be charitable and highlight some of books we’ve loved from across the industry. So without further ado, here are our favourite books that we read in 2015…
Black Friday sparks a kind of consumerist frenzy, either performed privately – through the careful monitoring of numerous baskets across countless online retailers, or publicly – racing to your local Tesco’s at the stroke of midnight, lugging your widescreen home in the early hours, cradled uneasily in the boot of your car.
We wanted to offer a calming antidote to all that stress, in the form of Jonathan Franzen’s Purity.
We have four absolutely beautiful signed, extremely limited-edition versions of his bestselling book, wrapped up in gleaming black and gold. These are four of a grand total of fifteen, and are THE ONLY ones in circulation in the entire world – just the kind of money-can’t-buy offering to counteract the consumerist tide.
To enter the competition, just fill in the form below, and we’ll announce the winner next Friday. Or you could double your chances… we’re giving one away on twitter just for today – follow @4thEstateBooks and look out for further instructions.
If you’re still hankering after the white version, you can buy it here, or from the usual suspects.
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This week the office has been blissfully quiet, as the staff of 4th Estate have begun to migrate for the summer. The destinations are many and varied – from birdwatching on Lesbos to partying on Ibiza. But what books are we packing into our suitcases, rucksacks and bumbags? All is revealed in this list of our Holiday Reads…
Interview courtesy of our friends at FSG’s Work In Progress. For more information, interviews and extracts visit http://www.fsgworkinprogress.com/
This year’s Book Expo America launched with a marquee conversation between Jonathan Franzen and critic Laura Miller. The two sat down in front of a packed crowd to discuss the writing of Franzen’s latest novel, Purity (coming September 1st). Their conversation ranged from the story of the book’s name to its eponymous protagonist, and to the importance of climbing one’s own mountains as a writer. The following transcription of the conversation has been edited for length. Read more…
It is a rare thing to be able to watch literary history unfold before your eyes. We can only wonder what it would have been like, with the benefit of hindsight, to be present for the worlds reaction to writers such as Charlotte Bronte and James Joyce, to see them being ignored or even damned. There are certain moments in literature that, without exaggeration, define the future of the medium as a whole, and Jonathan Franzen’s 2001 publication of The Corrections exists as a catalyst for such a moment. Read more…
Young Pip Tyler doesn’t know who she is. She knows that her real name is Purity, that she’s saddled with $130,000 in student debt, that she’s squatting with anarchists in Oakland, and that her relationship with her mother – her only family – is hazardous. But she doesn’t have a clue who her father is, why her mother has always concealed her own real name, or how she can ever have a normal life.
Enter the Germans. A glancing encounter with a German peace activist leads Pip to an internship in South America with The Sunlight Project, an organisation that traffics in all the secrets of the world – including, Pip hopes, the secret of her origins. TSP is the brainchild of Andreas Wolf, a charismatic provocateur who rose to fame in the chaos following the fall of the Berlin Wall. Now on the lam in Bolivia, Andreas is drawn to Pip for reasons she doesn’t understand, and the intensity of her response to him upends her conventional ideas of right and wrong.
Purity is a dark-hued comedy of youthful idealism, extreme fidelity, and murder. The author of The Corrections and Freedom has created yet another cast of vividly original characters, Californians and East Germans, good parents and bad parents, journalists and leakers, and he follows their intertwining paths through landscapes as contemporary as the omnipresent Internet and as ancient as the war between the sexes. Jonathan Franzen is a major author of our time, and Purity is his edgiest and most searching book yet.
Publishing 1st September 2015.
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