Search: Penelope Lively

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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.

Making It Up

Penelope Lively (Author)

A highly original work, in Making it Up, Penelope Lively examines alternative destinies, choices and the moments in our lives when we could have chosen a different path.

In this fascinating piece of fiction, Penelope Lively takes moments from her own life and asks 'what if' she had made other choices: what if she hadn't escaped from Alexandria at the outbreak of WWII? What would her life have been like if she had become pregnant when she was 18? If she had married someone else? If she taken a different job? If she had lived her life abroad?

'[A] highly original form of fictional autobiography as well as a fascinating insight into the seemingly random nature of destiny' Daily Mail

'[Lively's] writing has always tackled deep questions of identity, memory, love and loss . . . These elegant 'confabulations', as she calls them, allow Lively's talents full range. Intelligent, limpidly well-written and full of human understanding, they evoke the times she has seen and the richness of other lives as well as her own' Sunday Telegraph

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.

Moon Tiger

Penelope Lively (Author)

Penelope Lively's Booker Prize winning classic, Moon Tiger is a haunting story of loss and desire, published here as a Penguin Essential for the first time.

Claudia Hampton - beautiful, famous, independent, dying.

But she remains defiant to the last, telling her nurses that she will write a 'history of the world . . . and in the process, my own'. And it is her story from a childhood just after the First World War through the Second and beyond. But Claudia's life is entwined with others and she must allow those who knew her, loved her, the chance to speak, to put across their point of view. There is Gordon, brother and adversary; Jasper, her untrustworthy lover and father of Lisa, her cool conventional daughter; and then there is Tom, her one great love, found and lost in wartime Egypt.

'Leaves its traces in the air long after you've put it away' Anne Tyler

'A complex tapestry of great subtlety. Lively writes so well, savouring the words as she goes' Daily Telegraph

'Very clever: evocative, thought-provoking and hangs on the mind long after it is finished' Literary Review

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.

The Photograph

Penelope Lively (Author)

A seductive and hugely suspenseful novel about what can happen when you look too closely into the past; The Photograph is the thirteenth novel by Booker Prize winning author Penelope Lively.

Searching through a little-used cupboard at home, Glyn Peters chances upon a photograph he has never seen before. Taken in high summer, many years earlier, it shows his wife, Kath, holding hands with another man.

Glyn's work as a historian should have inured him to unexpected findings and reversals, but he is ill-prepared for this radical shift in perception. His mind fills with questions. Who was the man? Who took the photograph? Where was it taken? When? Had Kath planned for him to find out all along?

As Glyn begins to search for answers, he, and those around him, find the certainties of the past and present slip away, and the picture of the beautiful woman they all thought they knew distort.

'One of Britain's most talented and experienced writers. The closer you look the more mystery you see' The Times

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.

The Purple Swamp Hen and Other Stories

Penelope Lively (Author)

'Lively remains a sublime storyteller' Guardian on How It All Began

'More stylish than many writers half her age . . . Lively knows a thing of two about storytelling.' The Times on How It All Began

A dream house that is hiding something sinister; two women having lunch who share a husband; an old woman doing her weekly supermarket shop with a secret past that no one could guess; a couple who don't know each other at all even after fifteen years together; and, in the story from which this collection takes its name, a bird and a servant girl in ancient Pompeii who cannot converse, but share a perfect understanding.

In this new and varied collection of short stories, Penelope Lively shows that she remains a master of her craft, and one of our finest English writers.

The House in Norham Gardens

Penelope Lively (Author)

No.40 Norham Gardens, Oxford, is the home of Clare Mayfield, her two aged aunts and two lodgers. The house is a huge Victorian monstrosity, with rooms all full of old furniture, old papers, old clothes, memorabilia - it is like a living museum.
Clare discovers in a junk room the vividly painted shield which her great-grandfather, an eminent anthropologist, had brought back from New Guinea. She becomes obsessed with its past and determined to find out more about its strange tribal origins.
Dreams begin to haunt her - dreams of another country, another culture, another time, and of shadowy people whom she feels are watching her. Who are they, and what do they want?

Moon Tiger

Penelope Lively (Author) , Anthony Thwaite (Introducer)

Winner of the Booker Prize, Penelope Lively's Moon Tiger is the tale of a historian confronting her own, personal history, unearthing the passions and pains that have defined her life. This Penguin Modern Classics edition includes an introduction by Anthony Thwaite.

Claudia Hampton, a beautiful, famous writer, lies dying in hospital. But, as the nurses tend to her with quiet condescension, she is plotting her greatest work: 'a history of the world ... and in the process, my own'. Gradually she re-creates the rich mosaic of her life and times, conjuring up those she has known. There is Gordon, her adored brother; Jasper, the charming, untrustworthy lover and father of Lisa, her cool, conventional daughter; and Tom, her one great love, both found and lost in wartime Egypt. Penelope Lively's Booker Prize-winning novel weaves an exquisite mesh of memories, flashbacks and shifting voices, in a haunting story of loss and desire.

Penelope Lively (b. 1933) was born in Cairo. 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 novels include Passing On, City of the Mind, Cleopatra's Sister and Heat Wave, and many are published by Penguin.

If you enjoyed Moon Tiger, you might like L.P. Hartley's The Go-Between, also available in Penguin Modern Classics.

'It's a fine, intelligent piece of work, the kind that Leaves its traces in the air long after you've put it away'
Anne Tyler

'Funny, thoughtful ... a perfect example of the Lively art'
Mark Lawson, Independent

Part of the Spell

Rachel Heath (Author)

In a small English town, everyone is silently struggling to be the person they think they should be. Tacita is pretending to ignore her husband's affair; Theresa is determined to stay so busy she won’t have time to feel guilty; and Stella just wants everything to stay the same. But when Sheila, a widow, mother and grandmother, disappears from the town, their private lives start to collide and change ...

The Sea Lady

Margaret Drabble (Author)

The most recent novel by Margaret Drabble, The Sea Lady tells a story of first and last love, of evolution and the ebb and flow of time that gives shape to our lives.

Humphrey and Ailsa meet as children by a grey, northern sea. Humphrey is quiet, serious - and will in time explore the sea's mysteries; Ailsa is angry, a freckled cobra ready to strike. Yet they fascinate one another and when they meet again years later they fall briefly - and disastrously - in love.

Half a lifetime passes before Humphrey and Ailsa's paths finally re-cross. What will each make of their past? And of the future?

'The Sea Lady proves [Drabble] remains one of the most thought-provoking and intellectually challenging writers around' FT Magazine

'A pleasure to read . . . utterly engrossing' Guardian

'Drabble excels at describing the minute detail of human behaviour . . . The Sea Lady is a potent tribute to lost dreams and harsh realities' Independent

Margaret Drabble was born in 1939 in Sheffield, Yorkshire, the daughter of barrister and novelist John F. Drabble, and sister of novelist A.S. Byatt. She is the author of eighteen novels and eight works of non-fiction, including biographies of Arnold Bennett and Angus Wilson. Her many novels include The Radiant Way (1987), A Natural Curiosity (1989), The Gates of Ivory (1991), The Peppered Moth (2000), The Seven Sisters (2002) and The Red Queen (2004) all of which are published by Penguin. In 1980, Margaret Drabble was made a CBE and in 2008 she was made DBE. She is married to the biographer Michael Holroyd, and lives in London and Somerset.

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.

Burning Bright

Helen Dunmore (Author)

Burning Bright is bestselling author Helen Dunmore's second novel.

When Nadine runs away to London, innocence and corruption collide . . .

Nadine, a sixteen-year-old runaway new to London, is set up in a decaying Georgian house by her Finnish lover, Kai. Slowly, she begins t suspect that Kai's plans for her have little to do with love. 'Be Careful,' warns Enid, the elderly sitting tenant in the house, who knows all about survival and secrets. And when Nadine discovers Kai's true intentions, Enid's warning takes on a terrible and prophetic quality.

'A story of terrible innocence' Independent on Sunday

'The denouement is mesmerizing. One goes on addressing the problems of evil which Dunmore raises, long after one has finished her electrifying book' Sunday Times

'Outstanding. The plot unfolds with both tension and inevitability as Dunmore plays off past against present, rubs together contemporary themes of urban corruption with far-off memories of taboo passion' Sunday Telegraph

Helen Dunmore has published eleven novels with Penguin: Zennor in Darkness , which won the McKitterick Prize; Burning Bright; A Spell of Winter, which won the Orange Prize; Talking to the Dead ; Your Blue-Eyed Boy; With Your Crooked Heart; The Siege, which was shortlisted for the 2001 Whitbread Novel of the Year Award and for the Orange Prize for Fiction 2002; Mourning Ruby; House of Orphan; Counting the Stars and The Betrayal, which was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2010. She is also a poet, children's novelist and short-story writer.

The Rules of Engagement

Anita Brookner (Author)

The Rules of Engagement is the twenty second novel by Anita Brookner, the Booker Prize winning author of Hotel du Lac.

Elizabeth and Betsy are old school friends. Born in 1948 and unready for the sixties, they had high hopes of the lives they would lead, even though their circumstances were so different.

When they meet again in their thirties, Elizabeth, married to the safe, older Digby is relieving the boredom of a cosy but childless marriage with an affair. Betsy seems to have found real romance in Paris. Are their lives taking off, or are they just making more of the wrong choices without even realising it?

'One of the most observant moralists writing today. A dark, wintry work and there is plenty here to satisfy Brookner's fans' Guardian

'Her technique as a novelist is so sure and so quietly commanding' Hilary Mantel, Guardian

'She is one of the great writers of contemporary fiction' Literary Review

Anita Brookner was born in south London in 1928, the daughter of a Polish immigrant family. She trained as an art historian, and worked at the Courtauld Institute of Art until her retirement in 1988. She published her first novel, A Start in Life, in 1981 and her twenty-fourth, Strangers, in 2009. Hotel du Lac won the 1984 Booker Prize. As well as fiction, Anita Brookner has published a number of volumes of art criticism.

The Red Queen

Margaret Drabble (Author)

Set in 18th century Korea and the present day, Margaret Drabble's The Red Queen is a rich and atmospheric novel about love, and what it means to be remembered.

200 years after being plucked from obscurity to marry the Crown Prince of Korea, the Red Queen's ghost decides to set the record straight about her extraordinary existence - and Dr Babs Halliwell, with her own complicated past, is the perfect envoy. Why does the Red Queen pick Babs to keep her story alive, and what else does she want from her? A terrific novel set in 18th century Korea and the present day, The Red Queen is a rich and atmospheric novel about love, and what it means to be remembered

'Elegant . . . a seductive beguiling narrator . . . delicious history' Daily Express

'One of our foremost women writers' Guardian

'Carefully wrought and beautifully written The Red Queen is another fine addition to the Drabble oeuvre' Literary Review


Margaret Drabble was born in 1939 in Sheffield, Yorkshire, the daughter of barrister and novelist John F. Drabble, and sister of novelist A.S. Byatt. She is the author of eighteen novels and eight works of non-fiction, including biographies of Arnold Bennett and Angus Wilson. Her many novels include The Radiant Way (1987), A Natural Curiosity (1989), The Gates of Ivory (1991), The Peppered Moth (2000), The Seven Sisters (2002) and The Red Queen (2004) all of which are published by Penguin. In 1980, Margaret Drabble was made a CBE and in 2008 she was made DBE. She is married to the biographer Michael Holroyd, and lives in London and Somerset.

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.

The Pumpkin Eater

Penelope Mortimer (Author)

'Peter, Peter, Pumpkin eater
Had a wife and couldn't keep her...'

In this extraordinary, semi-autobiographical novel, Penelope Mortimer depicts a married woman's breakdown in 1960s London. With three husbands in her past, one in her present and a numberless army of children, Mrs Armitage is astonished to find herself collapsing one day in Harrods. Strange, unsettling and shot through with black comedy, this is a moving account of one woman's realisation that marriage and family life may not, after all, offer all the answers to the problems of living.

The World Before Us

Aislinn Hunter (Author)

'A tantalising mystery... beguiling and richly suggestive' Metro

Jane was fifteen when her life changed for ever. In the woods surrounding a Yorkshire country house, she took her eyes off the little girl she was minding and the girl slipped into the trees - never to be seen again.

Now an adult, Jane is obsessed with another disappearance: that of a young woman who walked out of a Victorian lunatic asylum one day in 1877. As Jane pieces together moments in history, forgotten stories emerge - of sibling jealousy, illicit affairs, and tragic death . . .

'Strange and absorbing . . . I relished this book' - Penelope Lively, The New York Times Book Review

'Sensitive, melancholy, sharply observant. A work of great power' - Guardian

'Ambitious, inticate . . . cleverly innovates while tipping a nod to classic Gothic tropes: dynastic rivalries, crumbling country houses, madhouses and vanished girls' National Post (Canada)

'A brilliant work of humanity and imagination, artful and breathtakingly beautiful. It will continue to haunt long after you have finished reading' Helen Humphreys, author of Nocturne

'Powerful, thought-provoking, haunting and haunted . . . Reminiscent of A.S. Byatt's Possession, it forces you to look at the world - the people around you, the objects they hold dear - in a different light' Globe and Mail (Canada)

The German Boy

Tricia Wastvedt (Author)

A moving, inter-war family saga The German Boy from Patricia Wastvedt, the Orange Prize Longlisted author of The River.

In 1947, Elisabeth Mander's German nephew comes to stay: Stefan Landau, her dead sister's teenage son, whom she hates and loves before she's even set eyes on him.

Orphaned by the war and traumatised by the last, vicious battles of the Hitler Youth, Stefan brings with him to England only a few meagre possessions. Among them a portrait of a girl with long copper hair by a young painter called Michael Ross - and with it the memory, both painful
and precious, of her life and that time between the wars.

Spanning decades and generations, The German Boy tells the moving story of two families entangled by love and friendship, divided by prejudice and war, and of a brief encounter between a woman and a man that touched each of their lives forever.

'An absorbing literary saga ... a sophisticated and subtly woven story' Daily Mail

'Hypnotic, atmospheric and exquisitely written. A novel I won't forget' Lucinda Riley, author of Hothouse Flower

'A love story at its centre which will make your heart ache' Julia Green, author of Blue Moon

'A heart-rending story of epic proportions, thrilling and utterly captivating. I am haunted by it still' Suzannah Dunn, author of The Confession of Katherine Howard

Born in 1954, Patricia Wastvedt grew up in Blackheath, south London, and spent her summers in Kent. She has a degree in Creative Arts and an MA in Creative Writing, and her first novel, The River, written in her late forties, was long-listed for the Orange Prize. She teaches at Bath Spa University, and is also a manuscript editor. She lives and writes in a cottage in Somerset.

The Tenth Man

Graham Greene (Author)

In a prison in Occupied France one in every ten men is to be shot. The prisoners draw lots among themselves - and for rich lawyer Louis Chavel it seems that his whole life has been leading up to an agonising and crucial failure of nerve. Hysterical with panic, fear, and a sense of injustice, he offers to barter everything he owns for someone to take his place.

Graham Greene wrote The Tenth Man in 1944, when he was under a two-year contract to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and the manuscript lay forgotten in MGM's archives until 1983. It was published two years later with an introduction by the author.

The Woman In The Fifth

Douglas Kennedy (Author)

Harry Ricks is a man who has lost everything.

A romantic mistake at the small American college where he used to teach has cost him his job and his marriage. And when the ensuing scandal threatens to completely destroy him, he flees to Paris.

He arrives in the French captial in the bleak midwinter, and ends up having to work as a night guard to make ends meet. Then Margit, a beautiful, mysterious stranger, walks into his life. But their passionate and intense relationship triggers a string of inexplicable events, and soon Harry finds himself in a nightmare from which there is no easy escape.

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