40 by Various (eBook ISBN 9781782112747) book cover

Available as eBook

‘Forty is a fine age, a young, strong powerful, prime-of-life age, a frisky age, a coming-to-maturity age when all things are possible. But beware, it is also an apocalyptic number, a number full of climactic warnings’ - Margaret Drabble.
40 is a truly meaningful and fascinating number. For example, the number forty is used in Jewish, Christian, Islamic, and other Middle Eastern traditions to represent a large, approximate number: ‘umpteen’; forty is the number of weeks for an average term of pregnancy; forty is the customary number of hours in a working week; rain fell for ‘forty days and forty nights’ during the Flood; forty is the only number with its letters in alphabetical order; Jesus fasted for forty days and nights …

Inspired by 40, this collection contains thrilling contributions from some of the most high-profile writers, artists and illustrators of our time and is beautifully illustrated by Tom Gauld.
And to celebrate Canongate’s 40th anniversary you can have this fantastic little ebook for free! It’s on us! Enjoy…


Featuring Richard Holloway, Olivia Laing, David Shrigley, Patience Agbabi, Karl Pilkington, Charles M. Schulz, Matt Haig, Margaret Drabble, Steven Hall, Dave Brown, Ruth Ozeki, Lemn Sissay, Rebecca Miller, Geoff Dyer, Tao Lin, Patrick Ness, Margaret Atwood, Yann Martel, Ben Brooks, Carol Birch, Simon Garfield, Michel Faber, Oliver Burkeman, Angus Hyland and Marion Deuchars, Tahmima Anam, Claudia Hammond, Ella Berthoud and Susan Elderkin, Simon Tofield, Philip Pullman, Lily Vanilli, Alasdair Gray, David Eagleman, Stephanie Wolfe Murray and Jamie Byng