Category Archives: Lively, Penelope

A Tether In Time: Penelope Lively, Dancing Fish and Ammonites

Memory and anticipation. What has happened, and what might happen. The mind needs its tether in time, it must know where it is — in the perpetual slide of the present, with the ballast of what has been and the hazard of what is to come. I mostly enjoyed Penelope Lively’s Dancing Fish and Ammonites — […]

“History is True”: Penelope Lively, Moon Tiger

“When the times are out of joint it is brought uncomfortably home to you that history is true and that unfortunately you are a part of it. One has this tendency to think oneself immune.” I have often mentioned Moon Tiger as one of my favorite novels, but I haven’t read it through for at least […]

“A Medley of Allusions”: Penelope Lively, Oleander, Jacaranda

Penelope Lively’s Oleander, Jacaranda: A Childhood Perceived turned out to be an apt book to be reading on my birthday, which is a day that inevitably recalls memories of its earlier childhood iterations. Lively’s book is a memoir, but it’s a markedly impressionist one, composed of anecdotes and recollections held together with a light stitching of […]

The Butterfly Effect: Penelope Lively, How It All Began

I’m a long-time fan of Penelope Lively’s Booker-winning 1987 novel Moon Tiger.  In my first year teaching at Dalhousie, it was one of the novels I assigned in a seminar on women and historical writing (IIRC, I also assigned Daphne Marlatt’s Ana Historic — these details date me as much as the seminar!). I’ve read a number […]

Recent Reading: Lodge and Lively

I enjoyed both David Lodge’s Deaf Sentence and Penelope Lively’s Cleopatra’s Sister. Both take what turns out to be a deceptively light tone to explore ideas that are actually quite serious and interesting. Deaf Sentence lures us in with the funny side of deafness, particularly the misunderstandings, frustrations, and mishaps that arise from Desmond Bates’s […]

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