Penelope Fitzgerald: A Life

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9780099546597: Penelope Fitzgerald: A Life

Penelope Fitzgerald (1916-2000) was a great English writer, who would never have described herself in such grand terms. Her novels were short, spare masterpieces, self-concealing, oblique and subtle. She won the Booker Prize for her novel Offshore in 1979, and her last work, The Blue Flower, was acclaimed as a work of genius. The early novels drew on her own experiences - a boat on the Thames in the 1960s; the BBC in war time; a failing bookshop in Suffolk; an eccentric stage-school. The later ones opened out to encompass historical worlds which, magically, she seemed to possess entirely: Russia before the Revolution; post-war Italy; Germany in the time of the Romantic writer Novalis.

Fitzgerald's life is as various and as cryptic as her fiction. It spans most of the twentieth century, and moves from a Bishop's Palace to a sinking barge, from a demanding intellectual family to hardship and poverty, from a life of teaching and obscurity to a blaze of renown. She was first published at sixty and became famous at eighty. This is a story of lateness, patience and persistence: a private form of heroism.

Loved and admired, and increasingly recognised as one of the outstanding novelists of her time, she remains, also, mysterious and intriguing. She liked to mislead people with a good imitation of an absent-minded old lady, but under that scatty front were a steel-sharp brain and an imagination of wonderful reach. This brilliant account - by a biographer whom Fitzgerald herself admired - pursues her life, her writing, and her secret self, with fascinated interest.

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Product Description:

WINNER OF THE JAMES TAIT BLACK MEMORIAL PRIZE FOR BIOGRAPHY 2014

'Brilliant and passionate...a haunting tale of blighted hope, personal tragedy and rare, late fulfilment'Observer

Penelope Fitzgerald published her first book aged sixty. She went on to become one of the greatest of English novelists. Her remarkable life spans most of the twentieth century, and moves from a Bishop's Palace to a sinking barge, from a demanding intellectual family to hardship and poverty, from a life of teaching and obscurity to a blaze of renown. She was awarded the Booker Prize in 1979 for her novel Offshore, and her last work, The Blue Flower, is widely acclaimed as a work of genius.

This brilliant account - by a biographer whom Fitzgerald herself admired - pursues her life, her writing, and her secret self, with fascinated interest, and has become one of the most celebrated literary biographies of recent times.

Review:

" Excellent... [Hermione] Lee is a perfect choice as Fitzgerald's biographer. She has done a superb job, capturing an elusive personality and a complex, sometimes rather harrowing story." (Philip Hensher Guardian)

" Lee elucidates the depth of [Fitzgerald's] achievement, and ties it enthrallingly to a life and personality more complex and difficult than anyone imagined. In a perfect literary biography, Lee plumbs the creative mind beneath that persona, tracing the metamorphosis of messy experience into crystalline art." ( Financial Times)

" Brilliant and passionate...a haunting tale of blighted hope, personal tragedy and rare, late fulfilment. Thanks to this sympathetic biography, [Fitzgerald's] afterlife shows signs of becoming finally blessed with understanding, admiration and respect." (Robert McCrum Observer)

" Admirable and perceptive... Hermione Lee non-judgmentally excavates this extraordinary life. Her biography is very good indeed" (Susan Hill The Times)

" A worthy monument to one of the finest English novelists of the second half of the 20th century" (Jonathan Derbyshire Prospect)

" Adroitly executed and meticulously researched... insightful... Ms Lee's shrewd examination makes this a riveting biography" ( Economist)

" Lee's absorbing biography is the story of a late starter... [She] is partisan in her project: she means to expose a truth she is certain of -- that Fitzgerald is "a great English writer". Her feat is to have woven an involving narrative out of such a skeletal life....Excellent...." (Nicholas Shakespeare Telegraph)

" This book will hold insights and treats for any admirer of [Fitzgerald's] fiction, and recruit converts to this reticent, witty, ferocious champion of the utterly downtrodden." (Emma Townshend Independent)

"Her book is in the very best tradition of critical literary biography. Phenomenally well researched and elegantly written, with a fine, dynamic fluency and lucid understanding, this is a very good biography indeed." ( The Tablet)

"This elegant, richly researched biography tells a tale of misfortunes borne with dignity, humour and courage, and finally of quiet triumphs" (Michèle Roberts i)

"The literary biography of the year" (Philip Hensher Spectator)

"A perfect match of author and subject" (Leo Robson New Statesman)

"Lee’s book has had more influence on my reading than anything else this year" (John Lanchester Guardian)

"A compelling account of the life and work of Penelope Fitzgerald" (Mark Lawson Guardian)

"A masterly discussion of the work of that fine novelist and an illuminating account of the life of a complex and elusive person" (Penelope Lively Guardian)

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Book Description Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 2014. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 198 x 130 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. Winner of the James Tait Black Prize for Biography 2014. Winner of the Plutarch Award for Best Biography. New York Times Book Review s 10 Best Books of the Year. Penelope Fitzgerald (1916-2000) was a great English writer, who would never have described herself in such grand terms. Her novels were short, spare masterpieces, self-concealing, oblique and subtle. She won the Booker Prize for her novel Offshore in 1979, and her last work, The Blue Flower, was acclaimed as a work of genius. The early novels drew on her own experiences - a boat on the Thames in the 1960s; the BBC in war time; a failing bookshop in Suffolk; an eccentric stage-school. The later ones opened out to encompass historical worlds which, magically, she seemed to possess entirely: Russia before the Revolution; post-war Italy; Germany in the time of the Romantic writer Novalis. Fitzgerald s life is as various and as cryptic as her fiction. It spans most of the twentieth century, and moves from a Bishop s Palace to a sinking barge, from a demanding intellectual family to hardship and poverty, from a life of teaching and obscurity to a blaze of renown. She was first published at sixty and became famous at eighty. This is a story of lateness, patience and persistence: a private form of heroism. Loved and admired, and increasingly recognised as one of the outstanding novelists of her time, she remains, also, mysterious and intriguing. She liked to mislead people with a good imitation of an absent-minded old lady, but under that scatty front were a steel-sharp brain and an imagination of wonderful reach. This brilliant account - by a biographer whom Fitzgerald herself admired - pursues her life, her writing, and her secret self, with fascinated interest. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780099546597

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Book Description Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 2014. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 198 x 130 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. Winner of the James Tait Black Prize for Biography 2014. Winner of the Plutarch Award for Best Biography. New York Times Book Review s 10 Best Books of the Year. Penelope Fitzgerald (1916-2000) was a great English writer, who would never have described herself in such grand terms. Her novels were short, spare masterpieces, self-concealing, oblique and subtle. She won the Booker Prize for her novel Offshore in 1979, and her last work, The Blue Flower, was acclaimed as a work of genius. The early novels drew on her own experiences - a boat on the Thames in the 1960s; the BBC in war time; a failing bookshop in Suffolk; an eccentric stage-school. The later ones opened out to encompass historical worlds which, magically, she seemed to possess entirely: Russia before the Revolution; post-war Italy; Germany in the time of the Romantic writer Novalis. Fitzgerald s life is as various and as cryptic as her fiction. It spans most of the twentieth century, and moves from a Bishop s Palace to a sinking barge, from a demanding intellectual family to hardship and poverty, from a life of teaching and obscurity to a blaze of renown. She was first published at sixty and became famous at eighty. This is a story of lateness, patience and persistence: a private form of heroism. Loved and admired, and increasingly recognised as one of the outstanding novelists of her time, she remains, also, mysterious and intriguing. She liked to mislead people with a good imitation of an absent-minded old lady, but under that scatty front were a steel-sharp brain and an imagination of wonderful reach. This brilliant account - by a biographer whom Fitzgerald herself admired - pursues her life, her writing, and her secret self, with fascinated interest. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780099546597

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Book Description 2014. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 129mm x 198mm x 33mm. Paperback. Winner of the James Tait Black Prize for Biography 2014. Winner of the Plutarch Award for Best Biography. New York Times Book Review's 10 Best Books of the Year. Penelope Fitzgerald (1916-.Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 544 pages. 0.458. Bookseller Inventory # 9780099546597

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Book Description Vintage. Book Condition: New. Penelope Fitzgerald published her first book aged sixty. She went on to become one of the greatest of English novelists. Her remarkable life spans most of the 20th century, and moves from a Bishop's Palace to a sinking barge, from a demanding intellectual family to hardship and poverty, from a life of teaching and obscurity to a blaze of renown. Num Pages: 544 pages, illustrations (black and white). BIC Classification: BGL. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 198 x 140 x 35. Weight in Grams: 460. . 2014. Paperback. . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9780099546597

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Book Description Vintage, 2014. Book Condition: New. Penelope Fitzgerald published her first book aged sixty. She went on to become one of the greatest of English novelists. Her remarkable life spans most of the 20th century, and moves from a Bishop's Palace to a sinking barge, from a demanding intellectual family to hardship and poverty, from a life of teaching and obscurity to a blaze of renown. Num Pages: 544 pages, illustrations (black and white). BIC Classification: BGL. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 198 x 140 x 35. Weight in Grams: 460. . 2014. Paperback. . . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9780099546597

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Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: New. Not Signed; Winner of the James Tait Black Prize for Biography 2014. Winner of the Plutarch Award for Best Biography. New York Times Book Review's 10 Best Books of the Year. Penelope Fitzgerald (1916-2000) was a great English writer, who would never have described herself in such grand terms. Her novels were sh. book. Bookseller Inventory # ria9780099546597_rkm

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Book Description Vintage Publishing. Paperback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, Penelope Fitzgerald: A Life, Hermione Lee, This is the winner of the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for biography 2014. "Brilliant and passionate .a haunting tale of blighted hope, personal tragedy and rare, late fulfilment". (Observer). Penelope Fitzgerald published her first book aged sixty. She went on to become one of the greatest of English novelists. Her remarkable life spans most of the twentieth century, and moves from a Bishop's Palace to a sinking barge, from a demanding intellectual family to hardship and poverty, from a life of teaching and obscurity to a blaze of renown. She was awarded the Booker Prize in 1979 for her novel Offshore, and her last work, The Blue Flower, is widely acclaimed as a work of genius. This brilliant account - by a biographer whom Fitzgerald herself admired - pursues her life, her writing, and her secret self, with fascinated interest, and has become one of the most celebrated literary biographies of recent times. Bookseller Inventory # B9780099546597

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