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Authors we love, and some we don’t: 50 of the best writers of modern fiction are showcased in this collection of 50 little books as Penguin Modern Classics celebrates it’s fiftieth birthday. Which one will you choose?

There it is folks, an entire library of modern literary fiction in one compact little box. How convenient! Having read ‘Hell Screen’ by Akutagawa and ‘The Lady in the Looking Glass’ by Virginia Woolf, I have fallen in love with Penguin’s concept of bringing us tidbits of the best of contemporary fiction. I’m a sucker for short stories.

I am currently taking up the challenge to read ALL of the books in the series which won’t take long provided I can find them all. The great thing about this collection is that they contain stories that not only showcase an authors differing styles (as was the case with Virginia Woolf) but they also bring to light some of the lesser-known, but equally as good works too.

If you want to take up the challenge too then you can find more information abotu the books at the Penguin Modern Classics website or you can purchase the entire set at Amazon or Waterstone’s.

For those interested, here’s a list of all the book’s in the series:

RYUNOSUKE AKUTAGAWA Hell Screen

KINGSLEY AMIS Dear Illusion

DONALD BARTHELME Some of Us Had Been Threatening Our Friend Colby

SAMUEL BECKETT The Expelled

SAUL BELLOW Him With His Foot in His Mouth

JORGE LUIS BORGES The Widow Ching – Pirate

PAUL BOWLES The Delicate Prey

ITALO CALVINO The Queen’s Necklace

ALBERT CAMUS The Adulterous Woman

TRUMAN CAPOTE Children on Their Birthdays

ANGELA CARTER Bluebeard

RAYMOND CHANDLER Killer in the Rain

EILEEN CHANG Red Rose, White Rose

G. K. CHESTERTON The Strange Crime of John Boulnois

JOSEPH CONRAD Youth

ROBERT COOVER Romance of the Thin Man and the Fat Lady

ISAK DINESEN [KAREN BLIXEN] Babette’s Feast

MARGARET DRABBLE The Gifts of War

HANS FALLADA Short Treatise on the Joys of Morphinism

F. SCOTT FITZGERALD Babylon Revisited

IAN FLEMING The Living Daylights

E. M. FORSTER The Machine Stops

SHIRLEY JACKSON The Tooth

HENRY JAMES The Beast in the Jungle

M. R. JAMES Canon Alberic’s Scrap-Book

JAMES JOYCE Two Gallants

FRANZ KAFKA In the Penal Colony

RUDYARD KIPLING ‘They’

D. H. LAWRENCE Odour of Chrysanthemums

PRIMO LEVI The Magic Paint

H. P. LOVECRAFT The Colour Out of Space

MALCOLM LOWRY Lunar Caustic

KATHERINE MANSFIELD Bliss

CARSON MCCULLERS Wunderkind

ROBERT MUSIL Flypaper

VLADIMIR NABOKOV Terra Incognita

R. K. NARAYAN A Breath of Lucifer

FRANK O’CONNOR The Cornet-Player Who Betrayed Ireland

OROTHY PARKER The Sexes

LUDMILLA PETRUSHEVSKAYA Through the Wall

JEAN RHYS La Grosse Fifi

SAKI Filboid Studge, the Story of a Mouse That Helped

ISAAC BASHEVIS SINGER The Last Demon

WILLIAM TREVOR The Mark-􀀍 Wife

JOHN UPDIKE Rich in Russia

H. G. WELLS The Door in the Wall

EUDORA WELTY Moon Lake

P. G. WODEHOUSE The Crime Wave at Blandings

VIRGINIA WOOLF The Lady in the Looking-Glass

STEFAN ZWEIG Chess

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