Born OTD in 1916, English novelist, poet, essayist and biographer, Penelope Fitzgerald. The novel, set mainly in 1959, centres around Florence Green, a middle-aged widow, who decides to open a bookshop in the small coastal town of Hardborough, Suffolk. The location she chooses is the Old House, an abandoned, damp property said to be haunted by a poltergeist. After many sacrifices, Florence manages to start her business, which grows for about a year after which sales slump…

Florence has tried to change the way things have always been done, and as a result, she has to take … More

Born OTD in 1932, American poet, novelist, and short-story writer, Sylvia Plath. The Bell Jar is Sylvia Plath’s only novel. Renowned for its intensity and outstandingly vivid prose, it broke existing boundaries between fiction and reality and helped to make Plath an enduring feminist icon. It was published under a pseudonym a few weeks before the author’s suicide.

It is a fine novel, as bitter and remorseless as her last poems …The world in which the events of … More

Born OTD in 1977, Nigerian novelist, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. “At the gates, Biafran soldiers were waving cars through. They looked distinguished in their khaki uniforms, boots shining, half of a yellow sun sewn on their sleeves.” This story tracks a family as they transition from a position of influence and privilege with large, comfortable homes in Nigeria, to become citizens of the newly formed republic of Biafra.

In 1960s Nigeria, Ugwu, a boy from a poor village, goes to work for Odenigbo, a radical university professor. Soon … More