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By Charles Dickens

The essential novel from England's so much cherished novelist, David Copperfield is the tale of a tender man's adventures on his trip from an unsatisfied and impoverished early life to the invention of his vocation as a winning writer.

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Sample text

I was born at Blunderstone, in Suffolk, or “thereby,” as they say in Scotland. I was a posthumous child. My father’s eyes had closed upon the light of this world six months, when mine opened on it. There is something strange to me, even now, in the reflection that he never saw me, and something stranger yet in the shadowy remembrance that I have of my first childish associations with his white grave-stone in the churchyard, and of the indefinable compassion I used to feel for it lying out alone there in the dark night, when our little parlour was warm and bright with fire and candle, and the doors of our house were—almost cruelly, it seemed to me sometimes—bolted and locked against it.

Come! ” said the gentleman, laughing. ” My right hand was in my mother’s left, so I gave him the other. ” laughed the gentleman. My mother drew my right hand forward, but I was resolved, for my former reason, not to give it him, and I did not. I gave him the other, and he shook it heartily, and said I was a brave fellow, and went away. At this minute I see him turn round in the garden, and give us a last look with his ill-omened black eyes, before the door was shut. Peggotty, who had not said a word or moved a finger, secured the fastenings instantly, and we all went into the parlour.

Gish Jen was born in New York, New York, and graduated from Harvard University. She is the author of the novels Typical American (1991), Mona in the Promised Land (1996), and The Love Wife (2004), as well as the short story collection Who’s Irish? (1999). Her shorter work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New Republic, and The New York Times, and in The Best American Short Stories of the Century. , 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England Penguin Ireland, 25 St. ) Penguin Group (Australia), 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124, Australia (a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty.

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