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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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Schindler's Ark
(Paperback)
Thomas Keneally
 
Winner of the Booker Prize and international bestseller
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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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Lanark: A Life in Four Books
(Paperback)
Alasdair Gray; William Boyd
 
Set in the disintegrating cities of Unthank and Glasgow, this book tells the interwoven stories of Lanark and Duncan Thaw, while offering a modern vision of hell. Its playful narrative...
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The Unbearable Lightness of Being
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Milan Kundera; Michael Henry Heim
 
A novel of irreconcilable loves and infidelities, which embraces all aspects of human existence, and addresses the nature of twentieth-century 'Being'.
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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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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
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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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The Satanic Verses
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Salman Rushdie
 
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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 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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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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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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Restoration
(Paperback)
Rose Tremain; Rose Tremain
 
Robert Merivel is a dissolute young medical student when an accident of fate leads him to the attention of King Charles II. Finding favour with the King, Merivel embarks on...
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The Swimming-pool Library
(Paperback)
Alan Hollinghurst
 
A tour de force: a darkly erotic work that centres on the friendship of William Beckwith, a young gay aristocrat who leads a life of privilege and promiscuity, and the...
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