'A . . . tender love story . . . This book is alive. It pulses with warmth and intelligence' The Times
A wickedly observed novel about falling in love at the end of your life, by the Man Booker Prize-winning author of The Finkler Question.
At the age of ninety-something, Beryl Dusinbery is forgetting everything – including her own children. She spends her days stitching morbid samplers and tormenting her two carers with tangled tales of her husbands and affairs.
Shimi Carmelli can do up his own buttons, walks without a frame and speaks without spitting. Among the widows of North London, he’s whispered about as the last of the eligible bachelors. He forgets nothing –especially not the shame of a childhood incident that has long hung over him. There's very little left remaining for either of them. . . But perhaps just enough to heal some of the hurt inflicted along the way, and find new meaning in what's left.
*SHORTLISTED FOR THE WINGATE LITERARY PRIZE 2020*
A joyous new novel… A life-affirming tale of late-flowering love… if we manage to live a little longer, we might have the privilege of enjoying more novels such as this one.
Let’s pause to consider [Howard Jacobson’s] comic elegance and precision… Just look at the way he makes the English language dance for us… the characters, as they converse, striking sparks off one another.
Brilliantly observed… No other novelist writing in Britain could dramatise this nonagenarian love story with greater verve and tenderness, while never forgetting that this is a resplendently comedic form.
[Howard Jacobson] is not one to let the catastrophe of old age get in the way of a good laugh, or a surprisingly tender love story… [Live a Little is] merrily bonkers… This book is alive. It pulses with warmth and intelligence, and, unusually for a novel about old age, it has a lot of style.
A master of the slightly dark comedy… Jacobson brings this little pocket of North London to life superbly, and his two ageing protagonists are wonderful creations, depicted with wit and compassion.
Trying to crack that opening line? Got a first novel lingering in a drawer? This year, on penguin.co.uk and the Penguin Podcast, we've chatted to lots of authors about their craft. Here's some highlights to give you a helping hand.
'I wrote Pussy thinking only of how vexed I would be if I didn't write it'. Man Booker prize winner Howard Jacobson on the 'rush of passion' that drove him to pen his Trump-inspired novella.