The Summer Book

By Tove Jansson

"The author of the wonderful Moomin stories tells an apparently simple story of a little girl and her grandmother as they pass the summer on a little island in the Baltic. They talk, they play, they explore, they come to understand things; it's almost a book about nothing, except that this nothing is filled with discoveries. It's a little miracle, and it gets even better each time I read it." - Philip Pullman
An elderly artist and her six-year-old granddaughter Sophia spend their summer together on a tiny island in the Gulf of Finland. As they explore the nature on the island, they talk about their life and feelings, yet never mentioning the death of Sophia's mother or their love for one another. Their mutual affection grows to encompass the island and its inhabitants.


Pereira Maintains

By Antonio Tabucchi

"The story of a Portuguese journalist in the 1930s who leads a comfortable life, and who is certainly not involved, he thinks, in the rancid politics of the time. He finds that he is involved, and that the situation requires depths of bravery and resource that he's never been called on to show before. A simple story in a short book, but with great themes including the vital importance of the written and printed word." - Philip Pullman
Set against the backdrop of António Salazar's dictatorship, the book follows Pereira, a journalist struggling to come to terms with the rise of fascism, the death of his wife, and the child they never had. A chance encounter with a young man will upturn his solitary and acquiescent life, prompting an unexpected act of political rebellion.


The Palm-Wine Drinkard

By Amos Tutuola

"For many readers in Britain this was our first glimpse of the powerful imaginative freedom that was stirring in African writing. It had a huge influence on me: the matter-of-fact presentation of the strangest things imaginable showed me a kind of storytelling I found immensely congenial, and made it possible to write in a voice I finally recognised as my own." - Philip Pullman
The book follows an alcoholic man as he sets off on a journey through the land of the dead in search of his palm-wine tapster. Filled with terrifying supernatural beings and fearsome creatures, the novel draws from traditional Yoruba folktales and represent a seminal work of African literature.