Collected here in a stunning box set, these ten books – novels, memoirs and one very unusual biography – that make up our Matchbook Classics’ series, a beautifully redesigned collection of some of the best loved titles on our backlist. In the mid-twentieth century, the matchbox industry was booming. Companies had to stand out, so they began commissioning designers and illustrators to create works of graphic art for their labels. Despite its limitations, the tiny canvas did not inhibit artists’ imaginations: foxes skipping through Polish forests, celebrations of Russia’s space race successes and orchards coming into blossom. These micro-masterpieces serve as the inspiration for the  4th Estate Matchbook Classics series. The ten books – novels, memoirs and one very unusual biography – are some of the best loved and most admired that 4th Estate has published. Revolutions, mental illness, a vicarage upbringing, families caught in civil war, soldiers in Vietnam and a man who can only communicate by blinking his left eyelid: these books display a full range of the human experience and thrillingly bring it to life. Each can be considered one of the great books of our time, as unique as the matchbox that inspired its cover. Contains: Empire of the Sun by J.G. Ballard The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby Blue Flower by Penelope Fitzgerald The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen A Place of Greater Safety by Hilary Mantel Stuart: A Life Backwards by Alexander Masters Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien The Shipping News by Annie Proulx Bad Blood by Lorna Sage
Les mer
Collected here in a stunning box set, these ten books – novels, memoirs and one very unusual biography – that make up our Matchbook Classics’ series, a beautifully redesigned collection of some of the best loved titles on our backlist.
Les mer


Fourth Estate Ltd
4300 gr
198 mm
129 mm
138 mm
00, G, 01
Product language
Product format
Annet format
Antall sider

Biographical note

J. G. Ballard was born in 1930 in Shanghai, where his father was a businessman. After internment in a civilian prison camp, he and his family returned to England in 1946. He published his first novel, The Drowned World, in 1961. His 1984 bestseller Empire of the Sun won the Guardian Fiction Prize and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. His memoir Miracles of Life was published in 2008. J. G. Ballard died in 2009. Bauby Jean-Dominique Bauby was born in Paris in 1952. In 1996 he set up ALIS (Association du Locked-In Syndrome). Bauby died on 9 March 1997. He leaves a wife and two children. Penelope Fitzgerald was one of the most distinctive voices in British literature. The prize-winning author of nine novels, three biographies and one collection of short stories, she died in 2000. Jonathan Franzen’s work includes four novels (The Twenty-Seventh City, Strong Motion, The Corrections, Freedom), two collections of essays (Farther Away, How To Be Alone), a memoir (The Discomfort Zone), and, most recently, The Kraus Project. He is recognised as one of the best American writers of our age and has won many awards. He lives in New York City and Santa Cruz, California. Hilary Mantel is the author of seventeen books, including A Place of Greater Safety, Beyond Black, the memoir Giving Up the Ghost and the short story collection The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher. Her latest novel, The Mirror & the Light, won the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction, while Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies were both awarded the Booker Prize. Alexander Masters is an author and homeless worker. He is the author of Stuart: A Life Backwards and The Genius in My Basement. Stuart: a Life Backwards, was a Sunday Times bestseller and the winner of the Guardian First Book Award and Whitbread Book of the Year 2005 in the Biography category. He recently adapted Stuart: a Life Backwards for a BBC film. Alexander Masters lives in London. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is the author of Purple Hibiscus, which was longlisted for the Booker Prize, Half of a Yellow Sun, which won the Orange Prize for Fiction; and acclaimed story collection The Thing Around Your Neck. Americanah, was published around the world in 2013, received numerous awards and was named one of New York Times Ten Books of the Year. A recipient of a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, she divides her time between the United States and Nigeria. Tim O’Brien was born in Minnesota and graduated from Macalester College in St Paul. He established himself as one of the leading writers of his generation in 1973 when he published ‘If I Die In A Combat Zone’, the compelling account of his own tour of duty in Vietnam, and is widely regarded as the finest novelist the Vietnam War has produced. Annie Proulx is the author of nine books, including the novel The Shipping News, Barkskins and the story collection Close Range. Her many honors include a Pulitzer Prize, a National Book Award, the Irish Times International Fiction Prize, and a PEN/Faulkner award. Her story ‘Brokeback Mountain,’ which originally appeared in The New Yorker, was made into an Academy Award-winning film. She lives in New Hampshire. Lorna Sage’s books include ‘Women in the House of Fiction’ (1992), ‘The Cambridge Guide to Women’s Writing in English’ (1999), a short monograph on Angela Carter, and ‘Bad Blood’, which won the 2000 Whitbread Biography Award and became a number one bestseller. She died in January 2001.

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