Penguin to publish guide to its Modern Classics series

Penguin to publish guide to its Modern Classics series

Penguin will publish a guide to 20th-century literature to celebrate the 60th anniversary of its Modern Classics series. 

Particular Books will release The Penguin Modern Classics Book in November, celebrating more than 1,800 titles in the series. It will be the companion volume to the Penguin Classics Book published in 2018, and will be written by author and Classics editor Henry Eliot.

The publisher said: "For six decades the Penguin Modern Classics series has been era-defining, encompassing works by modernist pioneers, avant-garde iconoclasts, radical visionaries and timeless storytellers. This reader’s companion showcases every title ever published in the series, with more than 1,800 books and 600 authors, from Achebe and Adonis to Zamyatin and Zweig.

"Three years in the making, with more than 600 pages and 2,000 cover images, author and Classics editor Henry Eliot celebrates hundreds of great texts as well as many unjustly forgotten titles. His lively entries are accompanied by surprising reading lists, pull-out pieces on key literary movements and reactions by contemporary authors."

This year marks both the 60th anniversary of Penguin Modern Classics and the 75th anniversary of Penguin Classics. Together the two volumes cover the history of literature over 4,000 years through 3,000 books.

Eliot said: “Writing about the Penguin Modern Classics series has been a marvelous journey around the world, throughout the 20th century and across the literary spectrum, from poetry to politics, from reportage to fantasy, from stories of Auschwitz and the Gulag to novellas about chocolate-making and chicken farms. It has been a privilege to spend time with both the greatest authors of the modern age and some remarkable literary oddities, and my hope is that The Penguin Modern Classics Book will inspire every reader to discover their next favourite."

Richard Atkinson, editor, added: “Henry Eliot’s amazing, immersive volume is, like the very best bookshop in the world, a place to get lost in. Anyone with the slightest interest in literature will come away from it not only greatly enriched, but clutching a lengthy reading list.”