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Ammonites and Leaping Fish: A Life in Time Hardcover – 10 Oct 2013
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Fascinating, lucid . . . Authority, yes; and wit, thoughtfulness, a tender attention to the natural world, an incisive but deeply humane imagination: Ammonites and Leaping Fish is full of all of these (Helen Dunmore The Times)
Like old age itself this book is not for sissies. Luckily for us Lively is one of our most gifted writers . . . This is Lively at her best (Sunday Express)
Lively's memoir about age and the pleasures and pains of seniority is informative, instructive, unexpected and beautifully observed (Vogue)
Rich in observations and recollections. It should be read slowly because there is much to invite reflection (Herald Scotland)
An elegant and thoughtful dissection of a subject few writers dare dwell on (Times Magazine)
A fascinating portrait not only of the author but of the times through which she has lived . . . sharp, unsentimental and ruefully funny (Daily Telegraph)
Other brilliant women writers (Joyce Carol Oates, Joan Didion . . .) have written whole volumes on widowhood, but Penelope Lively's description of that condition is all the more affecting by being sparse . . . Will delight all those who love Lively's novels . . . It's all enthralling: autobiography in miniature (Daily Mail)
Ammonites & Leaping Fish is powerfully consoling. Lively is certainly sagacious, her words careful and freighted. But there is girlishness here, too. Things still catch her eye, her attention. New books. Old stories. Another day for the taking (Rachel Cooke Observer)
About the Author
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; Beyond the Blue Mountains; Oleander, Jacaranda; Spiderweb; 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 was appointed CBE in the 2001 New Year's Honours List, and DBE in 2012.
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Here is someone with plenty to say about what it is to have lived in a particular period of time. It's about as far away from the empty-headed, ghost written "celebrity" memoirs that litter the shelves these days as you could possibly imagine. An interesting and thought-provoking read for anyone interested in the passage of time and the impact it has on all of us. One Amazon reviewer has said that this is a book to read only if you're in your seventies and apparently approaching the end of your own life - utter nonsense.
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