Virago Modern Classics reveals 'Coming of Age' collection

Virago Modern Classics reveals 'Coming of Age' collection

Virago Modern Classics will publish a "coming-of-age" collection in August as its moves to target young adults.

The collection of six books, published as hardbacks and with colourful and interlinked jacket artwork, will publish on 2nd August, each priced at £12.99.

There are five novels: Emma Donoghue's Slammerkin; Rosamond Lehmann's Invitation to the Waltz, first published in 1932; Miles Franklin's My Brilliant Career, dating back to 1901; Sarah Waters' Tipping the Velvet; and Rumer Godden's The River.

The last, set in India, is considered the most autobiographical of Godden's novels. It will be the first of 15 novels by the author to be published by Virago, after the publisher acquired rights to the titles last year.

Maya Angelou's 1969 memoir of her early years, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, is also included in the collection.

Slammerkin, Tipping the Velvet and I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings have never before been available in Virago Modern Classics editions. It will also be Tipping the Velvet's first UK hardback edition.

The publisher said each of the selected books had been chosen "for its striking depiction of a time, a place, and of a young woman on the cusp of adulthood".

Commissioning editor Rowan Cope said: "We are trying to create a little collection that will showcase the best of Virago and mix up some names young people might be more familiar with, because they are quite recent, with others like Miles Franklin, which might be less familiar."

Cope said the publisher had had "great success" with previous designer hardbacks, and chose New York-based illustrator Mira Nameth for the latest offering because she "has done a lot of commercial magazine work and so has a look that's familiar to a younger readership".

Further Godden titles for adults and young adults are scheduled for 2013, as is a young adult series, The Tin Toys Trilogy, by Ursula Holden.