Faber tells the story of 90 years of publishing
The year 2019 marks Faber’s ninetieth anniversary as a publisher of distinctive literature, shaping as well as reflecting our times through books and ideas.
Today Faber launches a publishing programme that will celebrate the company’s unique history, authors and design heritage, as part of a magnificent spring list. Our spring catalogue introduces a specially commissioned design for the year.
Come rain or come shine
di Kazuo Ishiguro – Faber & Faber – 01/2019 € 5.00
When Ray turns up to visit his old university friends Charlie and Emily, he’s given a special task: to be so much his useless self that he makes Charlie look good by comparison.
But Ray has his own buried feelings to contend with. Decades earlier, he and Emily would listen to jazz when they were alone, and now, as Sarah Vaughan sings through the speakers, he struggles to control everything the sound brings with it.
In Kazuo Ishiguro’s hands, a snapshot of domestic realism becomes a miniature masterpiece of memory and forgetting.
di P. D. James – Faber & Faber – 01/2019 € 5.00
‘On the whole, it was easier than I had expected. Only once did I feel myself at risk. That was when the Inspector suddenly intervened. He said in a harsh voice: “He married your wife, didn’t he? Took her away from you some people might say. Nice piece of goods, too, by the look of her. Didn’t you feel any grievance?”
I had been expecting this question. I knew exactly what I would say.’
The late, great P. D. James takes us inside the mind of a murderer.
di Sally Rooney – Faber & Faber – 01/2019 € 5.00
Years ago, Sukie moved in with Nathan because her mother was dead and her father was difficult, and she had nowhere else to go. Now they are on the brink of the inevitable.
Sally Rooney is one of the most acclaimed young talents of recent years. With her minute attention to the power dynamics in everyday speech, she builds up sexual tension and throws a deceptively low-key glance at love and death.
di Petina Gappah – Faber & Faber – 01/2019 € 5.00
The government has cleaned up Harare for the Queen of England’s visit. ‘The townships are too full of people, they said, gather them up and put them in the places the Queen will not see.’ Four waves of people have settled on Easterly Farm since then, living on the margins in homes that will soon be destroyed. Among them is Martha Mupengo. She has lost her wits, and gained a pregnancy. Who could be the baby’s father, and what fate awaits mothers and children in this temporary, poverty-stricken town?
Dante and the lobster
di Samuel Beckett – Faber & Faber – 01/2019 € 5.00
Well, thought Belacqua, it’s a quick death, God help us all.
It is not.
‘Dante and the Lobster’ is the first of the linked short stories in Samuel Beckett’s first book, More Pricks Than Kicks. Published in 1934, its style was recognisably indebted to that of his mentor, James Joyce, and crammed with linguistic texture and allusion that Beckett later shed. The book baffled many critics and sold so few copies that several batches were pulped.
Decades later, this story was hailed as the Nobel Prize-winner’s earliest important work.
Mary ventura and the ninth kingdom
di Sylvia Plath – Faber & Faber – 01/2019 € 5.00
Lips the colour of blood, the sun an unprecedented orange, train wheels that sound like ‘guilt, and guilt, and guilt’: these are just some of the things Mary Ventura begins to notice on her journey to the ninth kingdom.
‘But what is the ninth kingdom?’ she asks a kind-seeming lady in her carriage. ‘It is the kingdom of the frozen will,’ comes the reply. ‘There is no going back.’
Sylvia Plath’s strange, dark tale of independence over infanticide, written not long after she herself left home, grapples with mortality in motion.
di Edna O’Brien – Faber & Faber – 01/2019 €5.00
An unnamed protagonist is on holiday with her new, much-married lover, in the company of the monstrously rich.
‘How long would she last? It would be uppermost in all their minds.’
Each day, while the others are out at sea, she is taught to swim. Eventually, she will be expected to perform. The pressure mounts; it is only a matter of time before she snaps.
Edna O’Brien crafts a quietly horrifying scene of eroticism and insecurity, and makes one woman’s near-fatal discomfort stand for society’s larger trap.