A Monthly Update from Penguin Classics

By Kayleigh Voss | June 26 2020 | General

PENGUIN CLASSICS

Because what you read matters.


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It’s  officially summer, and as we continue to social distance, stay home, and thank essential and frontline workers through these months, we share new Penguin Classics that we hope will offer you an escape, transport you around the world, and keep you company. Read on to see what classics we’re kicking off the season with, and let us know what’s on your summer reading list on social media (we’re @PenguinClassics everywhere).


Everyone has those classics they’ve been meaning to read forever, but sometimes it can be hard to decide which one to pick up next. That’s where we come in. Download this sampler to dip into twelve recommended reads and find the one that’s right for you. Be sure to check out our wildly popular Instagram filter featuring these must-read titles—give it a “spin” and tag us for a possible repost!

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For his own iconic LGBTQ+ novel, Call Me by Your Name, Andre Aciman found inspiration in Olivia by Bloomsbury Group author Dorothy Strachey. Our first lesbian novel in Penguin Classics, Strachey’s 1949 groundbreaking and passionate story of infatuation and first love portrays Olivia, a sixteen-year-old English girl at a Parisian finishing school, who falls under the spell of her charismatic teacher, Mademoiselle Julie. With a moving new introduction by Aciman, we hope you, like he, might find something special in Strachey’s classic and “read Olivia many, many times.”

Olivia


Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis is Brazil’s most celebrated author, a writer of world stature, and the mixed-race grandson of ex-slaves. The Posthumous Memoir of Brás Cubas is his masterpiece. In the 1881 novel, freshly translated by Flora Thomson-DeVeaux and with a foreword by Dave Eggers, the ghost of a decadent and disagreeable aristocrat decides to write his memoir, telling of his failed romances and half-hearted political ambitions, and complaining with gusto from the depths of his grave. Imaginative, witty, and ahead of its time, the novel has been compared to the work of everyone from Cervantes to Joyce to Nabokov, and has influenced generations of writers around the world.

The Posthumous memoirs of Bras Cubas


New to the series is the great Egyptian classic short story collection, The Cheapest Nights, by “the genius of the short story,” Yusuf Idris, whose signature stylistic device—the combination of literary and colloquial language—transformed Arabic literature. The Cheapest Nights features some of his most important works, the title story of which follows a man who, unable to sleep, angrily meditates on the state of his life and the extreme poverty in which he finds himself. With compassion, astute observational skills, and biting humor, Idris explores the fraught lives of the Egyptian working class, all the while turning a critical eye on the power structures that oppress them.

The Cheapest Nights


“Racism and homophobia are real conditions of all our lives in this place and time. I urge each one of us here to reach down into that deep place of knowledge inside herself and touch that terror and loathing of any difference that lives there. See whose face it wears. Then the personal as the political can begin to illuminate all our choices.”—Audre Lorde, from “The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House” in Sister Outsider.

Sister Outsider


George Elliot

Olivia
978-0-14-313440-4
"I read Olivia many, many times, bought it for many of my friends, and consider it the inspiration for Call Me by Your Name." --André Aciman"Perfectly captures the breathless excitement of adolescent passion." --Sarah Waters, bestselling author of Fingersmith and Tipping the VelvetThe classic novel about a teenage girl's infatuation with her headmistress at a boarding school in nineteenth-century ParisA Penguin Classic
$15.00 US
Jun 09, 2020
Paperback
128 Pages
Penguin Classics

The Posthumous Memoirs of Brás Cubas
978-0-14-313503-6
"One of the wittiest, most playful, and . . . most alive and ageless books ever written." --Dave Eggers, The New YorkerA revelatory new translation of the playful, incomparable masterpiece of one of the greatest Black authors in the AmericasA Penguin Classic
$17.00 US
Jun 02, 2020
Paperback
368 Pages
Penguin Classics

The Cheapest Nights
978-0-14-313398-8
From the "genius of the short story," a collection illuminating the lives of the Egyptian lower class by one of the most important and innovative voices of Egyptian literatureA Penguin Classic
$18.00 US
Jun 09, 2020
Paperback
208 Pages
Penguin Classics

Sister Outsider
Essays and Speeches
978-0-14-313444-2
“Sister Outsider, a collection of essays and speeches by the pioneering feminist Audre Lorde, is one of my all-time-favorite books. It’s always great to have an intersectional tome on hand.” —Amanda Gorman "Sister Outsider's teachings, by one of our most revered elder stateswomen, should be read by everyone." —EssencePresenting the essential writings of black lesbian poet and feminist writer Audre Lorde, Sister Outsider celebrates an influential voice in twentieth-century literature, with a foreword by Mahogany L. Browne. A New York Times New & Noteworthy bookA Penguin Vitae Edition
$27.00 US
Feb 25, 2020
Hardcover
208 Pages
Penguin Classics