From the Booker Prize winner and national bestselling author, reflections on gardening, art, literature, and life
Penelope Lively takes up her key themes of time and memory, and her lifelong passions for art, literature, and gardening in this philosophical and poetic memoir. From the courtyards of her childhood home in Cairo to a family cottage in Somerset, to her own gardens in Oxford and London, Lively conducts an expert tour, taking us from Eden to Sissinghurst and into her own backyard, traversing the lives of writers like Virginia Woolf and Philip Larkin while imparting her own sly and spare wisdom. "Her body of work proves that certain themes never go out of fashion," writes the New York Times Book Review, as true of this beautiful volume as of the rest of the Lively canon.
Now in her eighty-fourth year, Lively muses, "To garden is to elide past, present, and future; it is a defiance of time."
About the Author
Penelope Lively is an award-winning novelist and author of children's literature. She received the Booker Prize for her novel Moon Tiger and wide acclaim for The Photograph and How It All Began. Lively is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and a member of PEN and the Society of Authors. In recognition of her contributions to British literature, she has been appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire.
Praise for Penelope Lively
“Lively writes with an astringent blend of sympathy and detachment, emotional wisdom and satiric wit.”
—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
“One of our most talented writers.”
—The New York Times Book Review
“A consummate storyteller.”
—The Seattle Times
“In her own late seventies now, with a legion of regular readers and newcomers with every book, Lively continues to surprise and illuminate, writing to ever more dazzling effect.”
—The Boston Globe
“Witty, gentle-humored, sharp . . . Lively is a keen observer and an engaging narrator.”
—NPR’s All Things Considered