Related to: 'Avenging Angels'

MacLehose Press

Defending the Motherland

Lyuba Vinogradova
Lyuba Vinogradova

Plucked from every background, and led by an N.K.V.D. Major, the new recruits who boarded a train in Moscow on 16th October 1941 to go to war had much in common with millions of others across the world. What made the 586th Fighter Regiment, the 587th Heavy-bomber Regiment and the 588th Regiment of light night-bombers unique was their gender: the Soviet Union was creating the first all-female active combat units in modern history.Drawing on original interviews with surviving airwomen, Lyuba Vinogradova weaves together the untold stories of the female Soviet fighter pilots of the Second World War. From that first train journey to the last tragic disappearance, Vinogradova's panoramic account of these women's lives follows them from society balls to unmarked graves, from landmark victories to the horrors of Stalingrad. Battling not just fearsome Aces of the Luftwaffe but also patronising prejudice from their own leaders, women such as Lilya Litvyak and Ekaterina Budanova are brought to life by the diaries and recollections of those who knew them, and who watched them live, love, fight and die.

Adam Gopnik

Adam Gopnik has been writing for the New Yorker since 1986. He is a three-time winner of the National Magazine Award for Essays and for Criticism, and the George Polk Award for magazine reporting. From 1995 to 2000 he lived in Paris; he now lives in New York City with his wife and their two children.

Alan Forrest

Alan Forrest is Professor of Modern History and Director of the Centre for Eighteenth Century Studies. He works on modern French history, especially the period of the French Revolution and Empire, and on the history of modern warfare. He serves on the editorial boards of French History and War in History, and is a member of the advisory committee for Annales historiques de la Revolution Française.

Andreï Makine

Andreï Makine was born in Siberia, but writes his novels in French. Le Testament Français was the winner of the Prix Goncourt and the Prix Medici, and the first novel to win both of these prestigious awards. Geoffrey Strachan has translated all Andreï Makine's novels published in English. He was awarded the Scott-Moncrieff Prize for Makine's Le Testament Français.

Andrew Roberts

Andrew Roberts is an eminent historian and writer. His authorial credits include the bestselling A History of English-speaking Peoples since 1900; Waterloo: Napoleon's Last Gamble and Eminent Churchillians

Andrey Kurkov

Born near Leningrad in 1961, Kurkov was a journalist, prison warder, cameraman and screenplay-writer before his novels took off. He received "hundreds of rejections" and was a pioneer of self-publishing, selling more than 75,000 copies of his books in a single year. His novel Death and the Penguin, his first in English translation, was an international bestseller, drawing acclaim from all quarters. He lives in Kiev with his English wife and their three children.

Caterina Pascual Söderbaum

Caterina Pascual Söderbaum, 1962-2015, lived between Sweden and Spain and worked as a translator of Swedish literature into Spanish. Her first book, a collection of short stories entitled Sonetten om andningen (The Sonett on Breathing) (Lejd förlag, 2002), won Sweden's Catapult Prize for best first work of fiction. The Oblique Place was to be her last novel, and was awarded the prestigious Sveriges Radios Novel Prize posthumously.

Damien Lewis

Damien Lewis has spent twenty years reporting from war, disaster and conflict zones around the world. He has written a dozen non-fiction and fiction books, topping bestseller lists worldwide, and is published in some thirty languages. Two of his books are being made into feature films.

David Potter

David Potter is Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Greek and Latin in the Department of Classical Studies at the University of Michigan.

Derek Robinson

Derek Robinson¿s acclaimed First World War trilogy and Piece of Cake have established him as the world¿s best aviation writer and one of the top authors of war fiction.

Diana Souhami

Diana Souhami is the author of many widely acclaimed books, and she has also written plays for radio and television. She won the Whitbread Biography Award for Selkirk's Island, her biography of Alexander Selkirk, or as he is better known, Robinson Crusoe.

Euan Cameron

Euan Cameron's translations include works by Julien Green, Simone de Beauvoir and Paul Morand, and biographies of Marcel Proust and Irène Némirovsky.

Hywel Williams

Hywel Williams is a renowned historian, newspaper columnist, political advisor and TV presenter. He is the author of the famous political exposé Guilty Men and the massive Cassell's Chronology of World History.

Laurie Graham

Laurie Graham is a former Daily Telegraph columnist and contributing editor of She magazine. The author of several acclaimed novels, most recently The Grand Duchess of Nowhere and The Night in Question (2015), Laurie lives in Dublin. Visit her website at

Massimo Ciancimino

Massimo Ciancimino was born in Palermo in 1963. He is the youngest son of Vito Ciancimino, and was barely eighteen when he was chosen by his father to be his aide and therefore initiated directly into the double life of the 'Mayor of the Corleones': a world that he was part of until his arrest on the 6th June 2006. Francesco La Licata is a journalist who has written for the Stampa since 1980. He recently collaborated with the national anti-mafia prosecutor, Pietro Grasso, to write Pizzini, veleni e cicoria: La mafia prima e dopo Provenzano (Feltrinelli 2008). N.S. Thompson is a poet, critic, and translator of Italian. Born in Manchester, he now lives and works in Oxford, UK, where he teaches literature at Christ Church.

Otto de Kat

Otto de Kat is the pen name of a Dutch publisher. His prize-winning previous work is published in Holland, Germany and France.

Philip Kerr

Philip Kerr is the author of the internationally bestselling Bernie Gunther novels. If the Dead Rise Not won the CWA Ellis Peters Award for Best Historical Novel. His other books include several stand-alone thrillers and acclaimed series for children. He lives in south-west London.

Prue Leith

As a cook, restaurateur, food writer and business woman, Prue Leith has played a key role in the revolution of Britain's eating habits since the 1960s, and was recently announced as one of the judges on Channel 4's Great British Bake Off. With twelve cookery books under her belt, Prue gave up writing about food to concentrate on fiction. She has written seven romantic novels and a memoir, Relish. The Prodigal Daughter is the second novel in a trilogy that began with The Food of Love. All Prue's books are in print with Quercus. She lives in Gloucestershire. Follow her on on Twitter @PrueLeith

Robert Lyman

Robert Lyman is a respected military history specialist and his previous books include The Longest Siege: Tobruk; Slim, Master of War; Operation Suicide and Into the Jaws of Death. He lives in Berkshire, England.

Rosie Archer

Rosie Archer was born in Gosport, Hampshire, where she still lives. She has had a variety of jobs including waitress, fruit picker, barmaid, shop assistant and market trader selling second-hand books. Rosie is the author of The Munitions Girls, The Canary Girls, The Factory Girls and The Gunpowder and Glory Girls as well as a series of gangster sagas under the name June Hampson.