Virago Modern Classics – Our Favourites



Three gorgeous Virago Modern Classics, this bundle makes a beautiful gift:

  • The Magic Toyshop by Angela Carter
  • The Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy
  • Heartburn by Nora Ephron

This book bundle comes beautifully wrapped at no additional charge.

Unless you specify otherwise on purchase, all three books will be wrapped as one package in Christmas-themed paper.


The Magic Toyshop by Angela Carter

One night Melanie walks through the garden in her mother’s wedding dress. The next morning her world is shattered.

Forced to leave the home of her childhood, she is sent to live with relatives she has never met: gentle Aunt Margaret, mute since her wedding day; and her brothers, Francie and Finn. Brooding over all is Uncle Philip, who loves only the toys he makes in his workshop: clockwork roses and puppets that are life-size – and uncannily life-like.

An beguiling fairy-tale for adults from one of Britain’s most imaginative writers. ‘Her writing is pyrotechnic – fuelled with ideas, packed with images and spangling the night sky with her starry language.’ Observer

The Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy

Sally Jay Gorce is a woman with a mission. It’s the 1950s, she’s young, and she’s in Paris. Having dyed her hair pink, she wears evening dresses in the daytime and vows to go native in a way not even the natives can manage. Embarking on an educational programme that includes an affair with a married man; nights in cabarets and jazz clubs in the company of assorted individuals; an entanglement with a charming psychopath; and a bit part in a film financed by a famous matador.

‘As delightful and delicate an examination of how it is to be twenty and in love and in Paris as I’ve ever read.’ Sunday Times.

Heartburn by Nora Ephron

Seven months into her pregnancy, Rachel discovers that her husband is in love with another woman. The fact that this woman has a ‘neck as long as an arm and a nose as long as a thumb’ is no consolation. Food sometimes is, though, since Rachel is a cookery writer, and between trying to win Mark back and wishing him dead, she offers us some of her favourite recipes.

Heartburn is a roller coaster of love, betrayal, loss and – most satisfyingly – revenge. A fictionalised version of Nora Ephron’s (screenwriter of When Harry Met Sally and Sleepless in Seattle) own life: ‘I always thought during the pain of the marriage that one day it would make a funny book,‘ she once said – and it has!

‘I have bought more copies of this book to give to people, in a frenzy of enthusiasm, than any other . . .Heartburn is the perfect, bittersweet, sobbingly funny, all-too-true confessional novel.’ Nigella Lawson

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