Search: Penelope Lively

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Ammonites and Leaping Fish

Penelope Lively (Author)

'Sharp, unsentimental and ruefully funny. A fascinating portrait not only of Lively but of the times through which she has lived' Daily Telegraph

'Clever and poignant . . . there is much to enjoy. This is Lively at her best' Sunday Express

In this powerful and compelling 'view from old age', Penelope Lively, at eighty, reports back on what she finds. There are meditations on what it is like to be old as well as on how memory shapes us. There are intriguing examinations of key personal as well as historical moments she has lived through and her thoughts on her own bookishness - both as reader and writer. Lastly, she turns to six treasured possessions to speak eloquently about who she is and where she's been - fragments of memories from a life well lived.

'A superb study of memory and of her own voyage into the ninth decade of her life. Lively is a compelling, vitally interested witness to time past' Helen Dunmore, Observer, Books of the Year

'Enthralling. Will delight all those who love Lively's novels' Daily Mail

A House Unlocked

Penelope Lively (Author)

A House Unlocked is Booker Prize winning author Penelope Lively's classic memoir.

The only child of divorced parents, Penelope Lively was often sent to stay at her grandparents' country house Golsoncott. Years later, as the house was sold out of the family, she began to piece together the lives of those she knew fifty years before.

In a needlework sampler, she sees her grandmother and the wartime children that she sheltered under her roof in 1940. Potted meat jars remind her of the ritual of doing the flowers for church. The smell of the harness room brings her Aunt Rachel - avant-garde artist, fervent horserider - vividly back to life.

In A House Unlocked, Penelope Lively delves into the domestic past of her former home, and tells of her own youth and the contrasts between life today and the way they lived then.

'Wonderful. Lively is brilliant and original . . . Every page of this book captures your attention' Daily Mail

'Remarkable, richly enjoyable . . . a captivating memoir' Helen Dunmore, The Times

'Engaging, curious, compelling, remarkable . . . Any time spent with Penelope Lively is a joy' Observer

Penelope Lively is the author of many prize-winning novels and short-story collections for both adults and children. She has twice been shortlisted for the Booker Prize: once in 1977 for her first novel, The Road to Lichfield, and again in 1984 for According to Mark. She later won the 1987 Booker Prize for her highly acclaimed novel Moon Tiger. Her other books include Going Back; Judgement Day; Next to Nature, Art; Perfect Happiness; Passing On; City of the Mind; Cleopatra's Sister; Heat Wave; Beyond the Blue Mountains, a collection of short stories; Oleander, Jacaranda, a memoir of her childhood days in Egypt; Spiderweb; her autobiographical work, A House Unlocked; The Photograph; Making It Up; Consequences; Family Album, which was shortlisted for the 2009 Costa Novel Award, and How It All Began. She is a popular writer for children and has won both the Carnegie Medal and the Whitbread Award. She was appointed CBE in the 2001 New Year's Honours List, and DBE in 2012. Penelope Lively lives in London.

Oleander, Jacaranda

Penelope Lively (Author)

This autobiography is about growing up in Egypt. It is also an investigation into childhood perception in which the author uses herself and her memories as an insight into how children see and know. It is a look at Eygpt up to, and including, World War II from a small girl's point of view, which is also, ultimately, a moving and rather sad picture of an isolated and lonely little girl.

Arctic Dreams

Barry Lopez (Author) , Robert Macfarlane (Introducer)

WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY ROBERT MACFARLANE

Lopez’s journey across our frozen planet is a celebration of the Arctic in all its guises. A hostile landscape of ice, freezing oceans and dazzling skyscapes. Home to millions of diverse animals and people. The stage to massive migrations by land, sea and air. The setting of epic exploratory voyages. And, in crystalline prose, Lopez captures the magic of the Arctic – the essential mystery and beauty of a continent that has enchanted man’s imagination and ambition for centuries.

My Life in Houses

Margaret Forster (Author)

‘I was born on 25th May, 1938, in the front bedroom of a house in Orton Road, a house on the outer edges of Raffles, a council estate. I was a lucky girl.’

So begins Margaret Forster’s journey through the houses she’s lived in, from that sparkling new council house, to her beloved London home of today. This is not a book about bricks and mortar though. This is a book about what houses are to us, the effect they have on the way we live our lives and the changing nature of our homes: from blacking grates and outside privies; to cities dominated by bedsits and lodgings; to the houses of today converted back into single dwellings. Finally, it is a gently insistent, personal inquiry into the meaning of home.

Charlotte Brontë

Claire Harman (Author)

Raised motherless on remote Yorkshire moors, watching five beloved siblings sicken and die, haunted by unrequited love: Charlotte Brontë's life has all the drama and tragedy of the great Gothic novels it inspired.

Charlotte was a literary visionary, a feminist trailblazer and the driving force behind the whole Brontë family. She pushed Emily to publish Wuthering Heights and took charge of their precarious finances when her feckless brother turned to opium. In Jane Eyre she introduced the world to a brand new kind of heroine, modelled on herself: quiet but fiercely intelligent, burning with passion and potential.

This is the definitive biography of one of Britain's best loved writers.

A Country of Refuge

Lucy Popescu (Edited by)

A Country of Refuge is a poignant, thought-provoking and timely anthology of writing on asylum seekers from some of Britain and Ireland’s most influential voices.

Compiled and edited by human rights activist and writer Lucy Popescu, this powerful collection of short fiction, memoir, poetry and essays explores what it really means to be a refugee: to flee from conflict, poverty and terror; to have to leave your home and family behind; and to undertake a perilous journey, only to arrive on less than welcoming shores.

These writings are a testament to the strength of the human spirit. The contributors articulate simple truths about migration that will challenge the way we think about and act towards the dispossessed and those forced to seek a safe place to call home.


‘A powerful, and frequently harrowing, collection … I read it with fascination’ – Penelope Lively

‘A beautiful insight into the painful individuality of the refugee’ – Jon Snow

Shaken and Stirred

Diana Secker Tesdell (Edited by)

In this lively collection, wine snobs receive their comeuppance at the hands of Roald Dahl and Edgar Allan Poe; innocents over-imbibe in tales by Jack London and Alice Munro; riotous partying exacts a comic price in stories by P. G. Wodehouse and Kingsley Amis; Charles Jackson and Jean Rhys chronicle liquor-soaked epiphanies; while John Cheever, Vladimir Nabokov and Robert Coover set their characters afloat on surreal, soul-revealing adventures. Here, too, are well-lubricated tales by Dickens, Twain, Beckett, Colette, Dorothy Parker, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Doris Lessing, Frank O'Connor, Penelope Lively, and many more.

The settings include hotels and restaurants, a wine cellar in Italy, a café in Paris, a bar in Dublin, a New York nightclub, Jazz Age speakeasies, suburban lawn parties and the occasional gaol cell, and are peopled by lovers and loners, barmen and chorus girls, youths taking their first sips and experienced tipplers nursing hangovers.

Whether living it up or drowning their sorrows, the vividly drawn characters in these sparkling pages will leave you shaken and stirred.

The Old Ways

Robert Macfarlane (Author)

The Old Ways is the stunning fourth book by acclaimed nature writer Robert Macfarlane.

Shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson prize 2012

Following the tracks, holloways, drove-roads and sea paths that form part of a vast ancient network of routes criss-crossing the British Isles and beyond, Robert Macfarlane discovers a lost world - a landscape of the feet and the mind, of pilgrimage and ritual, of stories and ghosts; above all of the places and journeys which inspire and inhabit our imaginations.

'Really do love it. He has a rare physical intelligence and affords total immersion in place, elements and the passage of time: wonderful' Antony Gormley

'A marvellous marriage of scholarship, imagination and evocation of place. I always feel exhilarated after reading Macfarlane' Penelope Lively

'Macfarlane immerses himself in regions we may have thought familiar, resurrecting them newly potent and sometimes beautifully strange. In a moving achievement, he returns our heritage to us' Colin Thubron

'Every Robert MacFarlane book offers beautiful writing, bold journeys . . . With its global reach and mysterious Sebaldian structure, this is MacFarlane's most important book yet' David Rothenberg, author of Survival of the Beautiful and Thousand Mile Song

'Luminous, possessing a seemingly paradoxical combination of the dream-like and the hyper-vigilant, The Old Ways is, as with all of Macfarlane's work, a magnificent read. Each sentence can carry astonishing discovery' Rick Bass, US novelist and nature writer

'The Old Ways confirms Robert Macfarlane's reputation as one of the most eloquent and observant of contemporary writers about nature' Scotland on Sunday

'Sublime writing . . . sets the imagination tingling . . . Macfarlane's way of writing [is] free, exploratory, rambling and haphazard but resourceful, individual, following his own whims, and laying an irresistible trail for readers to follow' Sunday Times

'Macfarlane relishes wild, as well as old, places. He writes about both beautifully . . . I love to read Macfarlane' John Sutherland, Financial Times

'Read this and it will be impossible to take an unremarkable walk again' Metro

The Dangerous Edge Of Things

Candida Lycett Green (Author)

1949: one year in the childhood of Candida Lycett Green in the remote village of Farnborough in Berkshire. Here she lives with her father John Betjeman and her mother Penelope Chetwode, in one of the bleakest and highest spots on the windswept downland.Candida runs wild with the 'gang' of village children. Stimulated by regular excursions to the cinema in Wantage, Candida and her best friend June became fascinated by the idea of love. Their romantic imagination is fuelled by the beautiful Ruby Mason, who cleans the cottage of a reclusive scientist, Dr Fox, employed at the neighbouring Harwell Atomic Research Centre. They stealthily engineer a romance between the two - until it is revealed that none of the children's special adult friends are what they seem, and the real world shockingly intervenes to overturn their innocence.

North by Northamptonshire: Series 2

Katherine Jakeways (Author) , Full Cast (Read by), Mackenzie Crook (Read by), Penelope Wilton (Read by), Sheila Hancock (Read by)

The complete second series of Katherine Jakeways' heartwarming BBC Radio 4 comedy, starring Sheila Hancock as the Narrator.

Wadenbrook is a small market town in a corner of Northamptonshire, whose inhabitants live quiet but by no means uneventful lives. In these six episodes, as they build up to a Dickensian Festival weekend complete with mob caps, cravats and shawls which are usually used as cat blankets, narrator Sheila Hancock shines a light on their loves, laughs and loneliness.

Jan has Helen back home, but is it what she really wants? Meanwhile, a visiting choir sets the local ladies' hearts aflutter and Mary's dad, Norman, has an adventure of his own. Esther has a big question to ask Ken and Keith, and Angela and Helen both have news to divulge. And as the dawn of the festival brings chaos to Wadenbrook, love blossoms for a most unlikely couple...

Sheila Hancock is the Narrator of this funny and touching comedy series, also starring Mackenzie Crook, Kevin Eldon, Geoffrey Palmer, Penelope Wilton and Felicity Montagu. Duration: 3 hours.

Through the Window

Julian Barnes (Author)

In these seventeen essays (and one short story) the 2011 Man Booker Prize winner examines British, French and American writers who have meant most to him, as well as the cross-currents and overlappings of their different cultures. From the deceptiveness of Penelope Fitzgerald to the directness of Hemingway, from Kipling's view of France to the French view of Kipling, from the many translations of Madame Bovary to the fabulations of Ford Madox Ford, from the National Treasure Status of George Orwell to the despair of Michel Houellebecq, Julian Barnes considers what fiction is, and what it can do. As he writes in his preface, 'Novels tell us the most truth about life: what it is, how we live it, what it might be for, how we enjoy and value it, and how we lose it.'

When his Letters from London came out in 1995, the Financial Times called him 'our best essayist'. This wise and deft collection confirms that judgment.

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