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Reading the Decades 1980s

It was a decade that began with the election of a former movie cowboy to the White House and ended with the fall of the Berlin Wall. In between came Zimbabwean independence, democracy in much of Latin America, Live Aid and the horrors of shoulder pads. It was a fantastic time for fiction: Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale presented a classic of dystopian fiction, In Anthills of the Savannah Chinua Achebe exposed the dark heart of new African democracy and Kenzaburo Oe's The Silent Cry questioned the rigidity of Japanese family traditions.

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Waterland
(Paperback)
Graham Swift
 
Graham Swift's multilayered chronicle set in the Cambridgeshire Fens is widely regarded as one of the finest British novels of the 1980s.
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The Unbearable Lightness of Being
(Paperback)
Milan Kundera; Michael Henry Heim
 
Offers a wide range of philosophical speculations and it descants on a variety of styles. This book draws together the Czechoslovakia of the Prague Spring and the Russian invasion, the...
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Anthills of the Savannah
(Paperback)
Chinua Achebe; Maya Jaggi
 
Chris, Ikem and Beatrice are like-minded friends working under the military regime of His Excellency, the Sandhurst-educated President of Kangan. In the pressurized atmosphere of oppression and intimidation they are...
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Nights at the Circus
(Paperback)
Angela Carter
Is Sophie Fevvers, toast of Europe's capitals, part swan ...or all fake? Courted by the Prince of Wales and painted by Toulouse-Lautrec, she is an aerialiste extraordinaire and star of...
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Stanley and the Women
(Paperback)
Kingsley Amis
 
Stanley Duke thinks it is safe to sink into middle age, his son goes insane. As if that wasn't terrible enough, Stanley finds himself beset on all sides by women...
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An Awfully Big Adventure
(Paperback)
Beryl Bainbridge
 
*'This is one of Bainbridge's best books. The close observation and hilarity are underlain by a sense of tragedy as deep as any in fiction' THE TIMES
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Annie John
(Paperback)
Jamaica Kincaid
 
Annie John is growing up on the magical island of Antigua. It should be a sojourn in paradise for her but adolescence takes the brilliant, headstrong girl into open rebellions...
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Money: A Suicide Note
(Paperback)
Martin Amis
This is the story of John Self, consumer extraordinaire. Rolling around New York and London, he makes deals, spends wildly and does reckless movie-world business, all the while grabbing everything...
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Waiting for the Barbarians
(Paperback)
J. M. Coetzee
 
For decades the Magistrate has run the affairs of a tiny frontier settlement, ignoring the impending war between the barbarians and the Empire, whose servant he is.
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Lanark: A Life in Four Books
(Paperback)
Alasdair Gray; William Boyd
 
Tells the interwoven stories of Lanark and Duncan Thaw.
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A History of the World In 10 1/2...
(Paperback)
Julian Barnes
 
Beginning with an unlikely stowaway's account of life on board Noah's Ark, this book presents a surprising and subversive fictional-history of earth told from several kaleidoscopic perspectives.
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The Satanic Verses
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Salman Rushdie
 
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A Good Man in Africa
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William Boyd
 
Morgan Leafy isn't overburdened with worldly success. Actually, he is refreshingly free from it. But then, as a representative of Her Britannic Majesty in tropical Kinjanja, it was not very...
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The Woman in Black
(Paperback)
Susan Hill
 
Proud and solitary, Eel Marsh House surveys the windswept reaches of the salt marshes beyond Nine Lives Causeway. Arthur Kipps, a junior solicitor, is summoned to attend the funeral Mrs...
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Moon Tiger
(Paperback)
Penelope Lively; Anthony Thwaite
 
Claudia Hampton lies dying in hospital. There is Gordon, her adored brother; Jasper, the charming, untrustworthy lover and father of Lisa, her cool, conventional daughter; and Tom, her one great...
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Schindler's Ark
(Paperback)
Thomas Keneally
 
Winner of the Booker Prize and international bestseller
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