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Celebrate English Language Day with the books that defy the conventions.

Apostrophes to indicate possession or contraction ONLY! Avoid exclamation points like the plague. ‘I’ before ‘e’ except after ‘c’. Never, ever mix your metaphors. And for goodness’ sake give every sentence a noun and a verb. English language ‘rules’ are great in theory. But for every convention there’s an exception. And for every stickler there’s an inventive author willing to test the boundaries of what’s possible. To honour English Language Day on April 23, here we’ve collected some books by writers who brazenly thumb their noses at the nitpickers, to dazzling effect.

  • Anthony Burgess

    This special edition of A Clockwork Orange restores the text of Anthony Burgess' novel as he originally wrote it, and includes a glossary of his teen slang 'Nadsat', pages from the original typescript, explanatory notes, interviews, articles and reviews, shedding light on the enduring fascination of the book's 'sweet and juicy criminality'.

  • True History of the Kelly Gang is Peter Carey's stunning, Booker Prize-winning novel about Australia's most famous outlaw.

  • One of the most important novels of the late 20th century - repackaged for a new generation.

  • One of the most shocking novels ever written, Naked Lunch is a cultural landmark, now in a restored edition incorporating Burroughs' notes on the text, alternate drafts and outtakes from the original.

  • `Anne Carson is, for me, the most exciting poet writing in English today. AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF RED is a wonderful, mongrel work, a strange and ambitious bridge between classical texts and contemporary autobiographical poetry. ' Michael Ondaatje

  • An iconic novel that continues to inspire millions of fans around the world, and now a major new Disney movie.

  • Meet Ice Cream Star: the spirited fifteen-year-old heroine of this mind-poppingly inventive post-apocalyptic adventure story and parable of modern America

  • A world beyond hope. A girl with a secret. One chance for survival. The Passage meets Mad Max in this stunning debut.

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