Description : First published in 1961, The Severed Head is regarded is one of Iris Murdochâe(tm)s most entertaining works. A dark and ferocious comic masterpiece, the novel traces the turbulent emotional journey of Martin Lynch-Gibbon, a smug, well-to-do London wine merchant and unfaithful husband, whose life is turned inside out when his wife leaves him for her psychoanalyst. In The Sea, the Sea the landscape shifts to the seclusion of an isolated house on the edge of Englandâe(tm)s North Sea, where Charles Arrowby, a big name in Londonâe(tm)s glittering theatrical world, has retired to write his memoirs. Arrowbyâe(tm)s plans begin to unravel when he meets his first love and becomes haunted by the idea of rekindling his adolescent passion. The Severed Head and Booker prize-winner The Sea, the Sea are two of Iris Murdochâe(tm)s most accomplished novels, displaying all her talent for combining profundity with playful creativity. Both tragic and comic, brooding and hilarious, they brilliantly reveal how much our lives are governed by the lies we tell ourselves as well as our all-consuming desire for love, significance and, ultimately, redemption.
Description : Martin believes he can possess both a beautiful wife and a delightful lover. But when his wife, Antonia, suddenly leaves him for her psychoanalyst, Martin is plunged into an intensive emotional re-education. He attempts to behave beautifully and sensibly. Then he meets a woman whose demonic splendour at first repels him and later arouses a consuming and monstrous passion. How will he survive it?
Description : Taiwan's most innovative science fiction writer presents three tales of intrigue, espionage, betrayal, political strife, time travel, and Chinese history and mysticism. After thousands of years of civil unrest and countless wars, the weary Huhui people of Sunlon City have once again succumbed to a ruthless and overpowering enemy. In Five Jade Disks, the first book in the trilogy, the imperialistic Shan have enslaved the inhabitants of Sunlon City and imposed a harsh martial order. As the Shan fight to retain control of the restless Huhui natives, an unstable rebel alliance prepares to win back its homeland. Amidst the confusion of revolt, Miss Qi, a determined young girl, emerges as an unlikely leader. With the help of her friends and the loyal Green Snake Brotherhood, Miss Qi discovers that an ancient cult and its insidious and unusually powerful leader may hold the key to the rebels' victory—or may yet be the cause of their undoing. As she rushes to put the pieces together, the rebels, divided by internal factions, strive to band together in a heroic attempt to overthrow the Shan. The story continues in Defenders of the Dragon City. The Shan have been defeated, but the victory celebrations of the Huhui are quickly brought to an end. After deserting Sunlon City, the Shan regroup and return for one final and bitter attempt to destroy the weakened rebel forces. During their exile, the Shan turn their aggressions against the indigenous races of the Huhui planet, a colorful mix of peaceful tribes resembling serpents, eagles, and leopards. Forced into the war to save their remaining territory, the indigenous peoples join the Huhui in their continuing struggle against the Shan. The third novel, Tale of a Feather, opens with images of chaos and devastation. The conflict with the Shan has left the city in flames, and refugees are fleeing in droves through the main gates. Taking advantage of the turmoil, a ruthless dictator assumes control of the weak interim government and begins a treacherous campaign to eliminate his adversaries. In this volatile atmosphere, Miss Qi continues her desperate search to discover the origin of the mysterious Bronze Statue Cult and come to terms with the dark power it wields over her people. The trilogy, first published in Taiwan in the late 1980s and early 1990s and widely considered to be a modern classic, is now presented for the first time in English and in a single volume. In these allegorical tales, Chang confronts some of the most serious and divisive issues of our time, including the burden of history and the ravages of oppression, racism, and ethnic displacement.
Description : VINTAGE CLASSICS MURDOCH: Funny, subversive, fearless and fiercely intelligent, Iris Murdoch was one of the great writers of the twentieth century. To celebrate her centenary Vintage Classics presents special editions of her greatest and most timeless novels. WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY DAISY JOHNSON ‘I saw a monster rising from the waves.' Charles Arrowby has determined to spend the rest of his days in hermit-like contemplation. He buys a mysteriously damp house on the coast, far from the heady world of the theatre where he made his name, and there he swims in the sea, eats revolting meals and writes his memoirs. But then he meets his childhood sweetheart Hartley, and memories of her lovely, younger self crowd in – along with more recent lovers and friends – to disrupt his self-imposed exile. So instead of 'learning to be good', Charles proceeds to demonstrate how very bad he can be. Winner of the Man Booker Prize 1978.
Description : Julia Kristeva turns her famed critical eye to a study of the human head as symbol and metaphor, as religious object and physical fact, further developing a critical theme in her work--the power of horror--and expanding the potential for the face to provide an experience of the sacred. Kristeva's study stretches far back in time to 6,000 B.C.E. with humans' early decoration and worship of skulls, and follows with an examination of the Medusa myth; the mandylion of Laon (a holy relic in which the face of a saint appears on a piece of cloth); the biblical stories of John the Baptist and Salome; tales of the guillotine; modern murder mysteries; and the rhetoric surrounding the fight for and against capital punishment. Drawing numerous connections between these "capital visions" and their experience, Kristeva affirms the possibility of the sacred, even in an era of "faceless" interaction.
Description : This book investigates male writers' use of female voices and female writers' use of male voices in literature and theatre from the 1850s to the present, examining where, how and why such gendered crossings occur and what connections may be found between these crossings and specific psychological, social, historical and political contexts.
Description : Explores actual and literary depictions of beheadings in sixteenth-century Ireland and addresses how violence is transcribed into art.
Description : These never before published writings comprise Iris Murdoch's passionate wartime correspondence with two early intimates: the poet Frank Thompson, brother of the historian E.P. Thompson, who was killed in 1944, and David Hicks, with whom she had a dramatic affair, engagement, and breakup. It also includes the journal that Murdoch kept as a touring actress during August of 1939. The selection sheds new light on a brilliant young mind ("sharp and polished as a sword" as Frances Wilson describes it), while painting a vivid picture of life during the Second World War.