Picador relaunches its ‘greatest novels’

To celebrate its 40th anniversary, Pan Macmillan imprint Picador is re-issuing 12 of its ‘greatest novels’ in March.

This one-off list, which is being spearheaded by Picador UK, draws on prize-winning and bestselling authors from 40 years of publishing, including Bret Easton Ellis, Cormac McCarthy, Alice Sebold, Helen Fielding, Graham Swift, Alan Hollinghurst and Australia’s Tim Winton.

‘It’s an incredible list,’ says Picador Australia publisher Alex Craig. ‘Man Booker Prize winners (Last Orders, The Sea, The Line of Beauty), cultural game changers (American Psycho, Bridget Jones’s Diary), classics (All the Pretty Horses) and bestsellers (The Lovely Bones, Room).’

In Australia, the list includes three local titles—Tim Winton’s Dirt Music (which is part of the UK-selected top 12), Kim Scott’s That Deadman Dance and Carrie Tiffany’s Everyman’s Rules for Scientific Living. These hand-picked titles have been chosen to reflect ‘the spirit of the anniversary—representing the past, the present and the future of the imprint’, says Craig. ‘All three novels engage with Australian themes and concerns deeply rooted in our landscape, history and psyche. All are stunning novelists at the forefront of Australian literature.’

As with any new series, the design is crucial. Picador has chosen black-and-white jackets as a nod to the ‘distinctive white spines and black type’ of Picador’s early paperbacks. Each title includes extra content such as reading-group notes, interviews and articles from the authors (all published around the time the novels were released), and is priced between $19.99 and $22.99.

For more information on the series go here.

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In 1835 an illegal squatter camp was established on the banks of the Yarra River. In defiance of authorities in London and Sydney, Tasmanian speculators began sending men and sheep across Bass Strait–and so changed the shape of Australian history. So goes the story that author James Boyce weaves in his nonfiction title 1835: The Founding of Melbourne and the Conquest of Australia (Black Inc.). Booker prize winner Alan Hollinghurst is back with a new novel called The Stranger’s Child (Picador). Spanning 100 years, it tells the story of Cecil Valance, a poet killed in the First World War, and how the truth is compromised over time. Nigel Brennan, Nicole Bonney & Kellie Brennan’s The Price of Life (Penguin), Tim Bonyhady’s Good Living Street (A&U) and Maya Ward’s The Comfort of Water: A River Pilgrimage (Transit Lounge) were also listed on the most mentioned chart this week–Media Extra.