Through the lens of fiction, readers are invited to experience the sights, smells and surrounds of times and places real and imagined. And when authors fill in the blanks, colouring significant real-life past occurrences with vibrant detail, they can breathe history into life once more. Here are some books where the incredible plotlines came pre-prepared by actual world events.
In War and Peace (1868-9), Tolstoy entwines grand themes - conflict and love, birth and death, free will and fate - with unforgettable scenes of nineteenth-century Russia, to create a magnificent epic of human life in all its imperfection and grandeur.
A fictional recreation of one of the greatest voyages of discovery ever made, by award-winning author Anthony Hill.
The heartbreaking story of Korea during the Second World War is brought to life in this gripping, redemptive debut about two sisters
Pat Barker's award-winning Regeneration Trilogy - comprising Regeneration, The Eye in the Door and The Ghost Road - is the heart-rending story of the last two years of the First World War seen through the eyes of army psychologist William Rivers and damaged soldier Billy Prior.
Based on true events, The Midnight Watch is at once a heart-stopping mystery and a deeply knowing novel — frailty of men, the strength of women, the capriciousness of fate and the price of loyalty.
An international bestseller and a truly unforgettable and life-changing story.
One of the great novels of the century.
A searing and gripping thriller set in Communist Russia from prize-winning novelist David Szalay.
As the centenary of the 1918 Armistice approaches, a hardcover edition of the most famous novel to come out of World War I, drawing on the author's personal experience of trench warfare as a young conscript in the German army.
ONE OF FIVE NEW VINTAGE FUTURE CLASSICS READING GUIDE EDITIONS
Enter a vanished and unjust world: Jackson, Mississippi, 1962. Where black maids raise white children, but aren't trusted not to steal the silver . . .
'Captivating and compelling. A masterpiece' Independent on Sunday
Books for the independent masters of self-control born 22 December – 19 January.
Books for the open-minded, philosophical enthusiasts born 22 November – 21 December.
Books for the assertive, resourceful decision-makers born 23 October – 21 November.