The Penguin Ink series: timeless stories, enduring design…

by |August 15, 2011

From Penguin…
“For seventy-five years, Penguin has united the best in literature with the best in graphic design, creating some of the world’s most recognizable books. To help celebrate our anniversary, we’ve chosen a few of our favorite books and are presenting them with new covers specially designed by some of the world’s best artists working in the world of tattoos and illustration. These striking new covers, perfectly reflecting the timeless stories within, document Penguin’s efforts to bring new readers to great books.”

White Teeth

Early in the morning, late in the century, Cricklewood Broadway.

One of the most talked about first novels ever, White Teeth is a funny, generous, big-hearted novel, adored by critics and readers alike. Dealing – among many other things – with friendship, love, war, three cultures and three families over three generations, one brown mouse, and the tricky way the past has of coming back and biting you on the ankle, it is a life-affirming, riotous must-read of a book.

About The Author

Zadie Smith was born in London in 1975. She is the author of three novels, White Teeth, The Autograph Man and On Beauty; a collection of essays, Changing My Mind; and the editor of a book of stories, The Book of Other People.

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Notes on a Scandal

We don’t have secrets, Sheba and I

From the first day that the beguiling Sheba Hart joins the staff of St George’s, history teacher Barbara Covett is convinced that she has found a kindred spirit. Barbara’s loyalty to her new friend is passionate and unstinting and when Sheba is discovered having an illicit affair with one of her young pupils, Barbara quickly elects herself as Sheba’s chief defender. But all is not as at first it seems in this dark story and, as Sheba will soon discover, a friend can be just as treacherous as any lover.

About The Author

Zoe Heller is the author of three novels: Everything You Know; Notes on a Scandal, which was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2003; and The Believers. She lives in New York.

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The Accidental

I was born in a trunk. It was during the matinée on Friday. I stopped the show.

Arresting and wonderful, The Accidental pans in on the Norfolk holiday home of the Smart family one hot summer. There, a beguiling stranger called Amber appears at the door bearing all sorts of unexpected gifts, trampling over family boundaries and sending each of the Smarts scurrying from the dark into the light.

A novel about the ways that seemingly chance encounters irrevocably transform our understanding of ourselves, The Accidental explores the nature of truth, the role of fate and the power of storytelling.

About The Author

Ali Smith was born in Inverness in 1962. She is the author of Free Love, Like, Other Stories and Other Stories, Hotel World, The Whole Story and Other Stories, The Accidental, The First Person and Other Stories and There but for the. She lives in Cambridge.

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The Rotters’ Club

At 8.20 precisely, the timing device set off the trigger, the battery pack sent power running through the cables, and thirty pounds of gelignite exploded on the far side of the pub.

And that was how it all ended, for the chick and the hairy guy.

The tale of Benjamin Trotter and his friends’ coming of age during the 1970s is a heartfelt celebration of the joys and agonies of growing up. Featuring, among other things, IRA bombs, prog rock, punk rock, bad poetry, first love, love on the side, prefects, detention, a few bottles of Blue Nun, plenty of brown wallpaper, industrial strife, and divine intervention in the form of a pair of swimming trunks, it is firmly and mischievously located in the midst of the decade’s many struggles and upheavals.

Tragic and riotous by turns, packed with thwarted romance and furtive sex, The Rotters’ Club is for anyone who ever experienced adolescence the hard way.

About The Author

Jonathan Coe was born in Birmingham in 1961. He is the author of eight bestselling novels, including What a Carve Up! and The Rotters’ Club, and a biography of the novelist B. S. Johnson. He lives in London.

Order your copy here

Click here to see the full range of Penguin Ink books

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About the Contributor

While still in his twenties, John Purcell opened a second-hand bookshop in Mosman, Sydney, in which he sat for ten years reading, ranting and writing. Since then he has written, under a pseudonym, a series of very successful novels, interviewed hundreds of writers about their work, appeared at writers’ festivals, on TV (most bizarrely in comedian Luke McGregor’s documentary Luke Warm Sex) and has been featured in prominent newspapers and magazines. ​Now, as the Director of Books at, Australia’s largest online bookseller, he supports Australian writing in all its forms. He lives in Sydney with his wife, two children, three dogs, five cats, unnumbered gold fish and his overlarge book collection. His novel, The Girl on the Page, will be published by HarperCollins Australia in October, 2018.

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