Penguin Press is launching a new classics series of 50 short books costing £1 to celebrate the “pioneering spirit and diversity of 20th century literature”.
The Penguin Modern series has been selected by 10 of the publishers’ editors and includes avant-garde essays, radical polemics, Blues lyrics, newly translated poetry and powerful fiction. The collection will be published on 22nd February 2018.
A Penguin Press spokesperson said that it was important to avoid “just the usual suspects” and instead feature a “really interesting mix which covers old favourites” including George Orwell, James Baldwin, Carson McCullers, Franz Kafka as well as introducing some writers many readers may be less familiar with” such as Kathy Acker, Clarice Lispecter, Yuko Tshushima and Audre Lorde.
Titles include The Veiled Woman by Anaïs Nin, The Breakthrough by Daphne du Maurier, Martin Luther King Jr's Letter from Birmingham Jail and The End by Samuel Beckett. Leonora Carrington's The Skeleton's Holiday by Leonora Carrington and Audre Lorde's The Master's Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master's House are also included in the collection, both writers recently published by feminist indie Silver Press, formed earlier this year.
There will be a major campaign behind the series including advertising, point-of-sale and brand partnerships as well as high profile publicity and events.