Ammonites and Leaping Fish: A Life in Time

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Penguin Books Limited, Oct 10, 2013 - Biography & Autobiography - 240 pages
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A memoir that addresses ageing, memory, time and a life in the 20th century, by one of our greatest writers, Penelope Lively.

'This is not quite a memoir. Rather, it is the view from old age. And a view of old age itself, this place at which we arrive with a certain surprise - ambushed, or so it can seem. One of the few advantages of age is that you can report on it with a certain authority; you are a native now, and know what goes on here.'

In this charming but powerful memoir, Penelope Lively reports from beyond the horizon of old age. She describes what old age feels like for those who have arrived there and considers the implications of this new demographic. She looks at the context of a life and times, the history and archaeology that is actually being made as we live out our lives in real time, in her case World War II; post war penny-pinching Britain; the Suez crisis; the Cold War and up to the present day. She examines the tricks and truths of memory. She looks back over a lifetime of reading and writing. And finally she looks at her identifying cargo of possessions - two ammonites, a cat, a pair of American ducks and a leaping fish sherd, amongst others. This is an elegant, moving and deeply enjoyable memoir by one of our most loved writers.

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About the author (2013)

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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