The Purple Swamp Hen and Other Stories Paperback – 4 May 2017
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Carefully thought-out stories. . . Patterns of interaction between past and present are sounded out to good effect. (Sunday Times)
Lively has guts and style. . . You are in the hands of a master (Daily Mail)
Her new collection of short stories is perfect. It is a very wide range of short stories and each one has an unexpected twist in the tale. (Kirsty Lang)
Thoughtful, intelligent and light of touch . . . Lively has the gift, rare and wonderful, of being able to peel back the layers one by one and set them before us, translucent and gleaming. (Sunday Telegraph)
Spry and world-wise, The Purple Swamp Hen is an enchanting story that sets the tone for the rest of this stellar collection. (Observer)
More stylish than many writers half her age . . . Lively knows a thing or two about storytelling. (The Times on How It All Began)
Lively is now nearly 80 but, as How It All Began shows, there is no diminution of her skills . . . Lively is a writer of craft and sagacity and such old fashioned virtues trump the chic but meretricious every time. (Financial Times on How It All Began)
Penelope Lively at her best, sharp-eyed but sympathetic, deftly steering the reader from one point of view to another. This novel should delight her regular readers and ensnare new ones. (Evening Standard on Family Album)
Lively skilfully mingles past and present, as she peels away the layers to uncover a family secret of which no one speaks...Lively's astute skewering of family relations reverberates in the mind long afterwards. (Daily Mail on Family Album)
Gorgeous (David Vann on Family Album, Guardian Books of the Year)
From the Back Cover
'No language passed but perfect understanding . . .'
In Penelope Lively's fifth collection of short stories this celebrated author roams far and wide in fifteen tales that are subtle, smart, scary, funny and full of secrets. Among others we meet the purple swamp hen preserved in a Roman fresco and learn of the slave girl to whom it shares a connection beyond words; the old lady who surprises the life out of her carer during a trip to the shops; the ex-wife who, twenty-five years after her marriage broke up, discovers exactly why it went so wrong.
'You are in the hands of a master' Daily Mail
'Thoughtful, intelligent and light of touch. Lively has the gift, rare and wonderful, of being able to peel back the layers one by one and set them before us, translucent and gleaming' Sunday Telegraph
'Spry and world-wise' ObserverSee all Product description
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