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At Penguin General we aim to publish good books that can be picked up and enjoyed by everyone. Our many readers, like our authors, stretch around the globe, and what unites both is an intelligent curiosity about the world around us, as well as a love of great storytelling.

More about Penguin General

Our aim as a division is closely aligned to that of Penguin’s founder, Allen Lane: to publish good books for everyone. We are a broad church for anyone who is culturally inquisitive. Our publishing incorporates bestsellers and prize-winners, books of quality written for a wide audience. Our books can be scholarly, but they are always accessible; they may be literary but also inclusive. Our authors are storytellers from all over the globe, and our simple mission is to connect them with a large and appreciative readership.

Photo of Joanna Prior Managing Director of Penguin General


Joanna Prior

 Managing Director of Penguin General

We publish prize-winning novelists and top 10 bestsellers; we embrace traditionalists and mould-breakers; we welcome authors from all over the world: giants of the literary firmament and new voices breaking out for the first time.   We are home to experts who are great communicators of ideas: historians, economists, philosophers, business leaders, scientists and to people who are known for their achievements on the sports field, in the kitchen, or on stage.

Meet our Authors

Penguin General publishes the widest possible range of literary fiction and non-fiction. Our fiction list includes John le Carré, Zadie Smith, Nick Hornby, Ali Smith, Colm Tóibín, Arundhati Roy, Elif Shafak, William Trevor, Nina Stibbe, Jonathan Coe, Javier Marias and Joshua Ferris. In non-fiction, the range covers current affairs, history, biography, memoir, economics, science, narrative non-fiction, music, art and sport. Our authors include Antony Beevor, Robert Macfarlane, Clare Balding, Alain de Botton, Susan Cain, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Daniel Levitin, Ben Macintyre, Laurence Rees, Claire Tomalin, Noam Chomsky and Jonathan Dimbleby.

Our backlist authors includes Anne Frank’s diary and books by Mahatma Gandhi, Gabriel García Márquez, George Orwell, J. D. Salinger, John Steinbeck, Malcolm X and Elie Wiesel.

Photo of Penguin General author John le Carré


John le Carré was born in 1931. His third novel, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, secured him a worldwide reputation, which was consolidated by the acclaim for his trilogy Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, The Honourable Schoolboy and Smiley’s People. His recent novels include A Most Wanted Man, Our Kind of Traitor and A Delicate Truth.

Photo of Penguin General author Nick Hornby


Nick Hornby is the author of six bestselling novels (High Fidelity, About a Boy, How To Be Good, A Long Way Down, Juliet, Naked and Funny Girl) and four works of acclaimed non-fiction: Fever Pitch, 31 Songs, The Complete Polysyllabic Spree and Stuff I’ve Been Reading. His most recent novel is Funny Girl.


Photo of Penguin General author Emma Healey


Emma Healey completed an MA in Creative Writing at UEA in 2010. Elizabeth is Missing is her first novel; it won the Costa First Novel Award 2014 and was shortlisted for several other awards including the Desmond Elliott Prize and the National Book Awards Popular Fiction Book of the Year. Emma Healey was also shortlisted as an NBA New Writer of the Year.


Photo of Penguin General author Zadie Smith


Born in London in 1975, Zadie now lives in New York and teaches on the Creative Writing programme at NYU. Zadie won the Whitbread Prize for a First Novel for White Teeth, as well as the Overall Commonwealth Writers’ Prize. Recently she has been working on a selection of essays titled Feel Free, due for publication in August 2016.

Photo of Penguin General author Colm Tóibín


Colm Tóibín was born in Enniscorthy in 1955. He is the author of eight novels, including The Blackwater Lightship, The Master and The Testament of Mary, all three of which were nominated for the Booker Prize, Brooklyn which won the Costa Novel Award and Nora Webster which was nominated for the Costa Novel Award and the Folio Prize. 

Photo of Penguin General author Ali Smith


Born in Inverness in 1962, Ali’s works include Artful, There but for the, Hotel World, The Accidental and Girl Meets Boy. Ali won the 2014 Goldsmiths Prize, the 2014 Costa Novel Award and the 2015 BAILEYS Women’s Prize for Fiction for her most recent novel, How to be both.

Photo of Penguin General author Marina Lewycka


Marina was born in Germany and moved to England as a child. Her first novel, A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian, sold more than a million copies in the UK, winning the Bollinger Everyman Prize for Comic Fiction.                                                                             

Photo of Penguin General author Antony Beevor


Antony Beevor is the renowned author of Stalingrad, which won the Samuel Johnson Prize, the Wolfson Prize for History and the Hawthornden Prize for Literature, and Berlin, which received the first Longman-History Today Trustees’ Award. His books have appeared in 30 foreign editions and sold over six million copies. His most recent book is Ardennes 1944: Hitler’s Last Gamble


Photo of Penguin General author Robert Macfarlane

Robert Macfarlane

A Fellow of Emmanuel College Cambridge, Robert has authored the award-winning Mountains of the Mind, The Wild Places and The Old Ways. Robert’s most recent work Landmarks delves into the relationship between language and landscape.

Photo of Penguin General author Sinéad Moriarty


Sinéad has been a consistent chart-topper with her warm, funny, thought-provoking and engaging family stories. She is among Ireland’s top five bestselling authors of women’s fiction and was a Richard and Judy Book Club pick for her novel Mad About You




Recent Penguin General News

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The Face of Britain by Simon Schama

A portrait opens a window into a person's life: who they were and wanted to be, who the artist saw – and how everyone else looked on.

From the divine paintings of Elizabeth I to the iconic photograph of 'bulldog' Churchill; from Victorian portraits of dead children to Hockney’s of his elderly parents; from anonymous workers to the artists themselves, Simon Schama uses a stunning and surprising array of images to tell the story of the British from the Tudors to the present day. He will change the way we see Britain and each other.

Click here for more information

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Most Recent Penguin General Catalogues

  • Penguin General Autumn 2017

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  • Penguin General Spring 2018.pdf

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  • Penguin General Autumn 2018

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