The 50 Mini Modern Classics of Literature

Martin Chilton in The Telegraph:

In 2011 Penguin launched 50 Modern Mini Classics. Here is our guide to the books.

Summary_penguin_18_3158523bHELL SCREEN (1918) by Ryūnosuke Akutagawa

Japanese author Akutagawa's book was first published in English in 1948. It's a disturbing story about an artist who can paint only what he sees. When he decides to create a screen depicting the Buddhist hell, he proceeds to torture his apprentices and has to decide whether to burn his own daughter. Akutagawa committed suicide in 1927 at the age of 35. The book was made into a 1969 movie directed by Shiro Toyoda.

THE QUEEN'S NECKLACE (1952) by Italo Calvino

Calvino, the Cuban born novelist who died in 1985 aged 61, was brought up from the age of two in Italy and became one of that country's most distinguished writers. The short story is about two rivals who discover a treasure lost by the side of the road.

THE ADULTEROUS WOMAN (1957) by Albert Camus

Camus took the title for this story from John 8:3-11 and it's a tale of Janine and her husband Marcel and the frustrations of their life in Algeria. Camus, who died aged 46 in French Algeria in 1960, wrote the story in the year he won the Nobel Prize for Literature.

More here.