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Penelope Fitzgerald: A Life
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Intimate, perceptive, critically acute, funny and moving, this is the first full biography of one of the finest English novelists of the last century.

Promotional Information

Intimate, perceptive, critically acute, funny and moving, this is the first full biography of one of the finest English novelists of the last century.

About the Author

Hermione Lee is a biographer, critic, and teacher of literature. Her previous books include the internationally acclaimed biography, Virginia Woolf ('One of the most impressive biographies of the decade- moving, eloquent, powerful', Financial Times) and Edith Wharton ('A feat of exhaustive research... a glorious biography', Independent on Sunday), as well as books on Elizabeth Bowen, Willa Cather and Philip Roth. Her collection of essays on life-writing, Body Parts, was published in 2005, and her Biography- A Very Short Introduction in 2009. She is the President of Wolfson College Oxford. In 2013 she was made a Dame for services to Literary Scholarship. She lives in Oxford and Yorkshire.

Reviews

"Excellent... [Hermione] Lee is a perfect choice as Fitzgerald's biographer. She has done a superb job, capturing an elusive personality and a complex, sometimes rather harrowing story." -- Philip Hensher * Guardian *
"Lee elucidates the depth of [Fitzgerald's] achievement, and ties it enthrallingly to a life and personality more complex and difficult than anyone imagined. In a perfect literary biography, Lee plumbs the creative mind beneath that persona, tracing the metamorphosis of messy experience into crystalline art." * Financial Times *
"Brilliant and passionate...a haunting tale of blighted hope, personal tragedy and rare, late fulfilment. Thanks to this sympathetic biography, [Fitzgerald's] afterlife shows signs of becoming finally blessed with understanding, admiration and respect." -- Robert McCrum * Observer *
"Admirable and perceptive... Hermione Lee non-judgmentally excavates this extraordinary life. Her biography is very good indeed" -- Susan Hill * The Times *
"A worthy monument to one of the finest English novelists of the second half of the 20th century" -- Jonathan Derbyshire * Prospect *
"Adroitly executed and meticulously researched... insightful... Ms Lee's shrewd examination makes this a riveting biography" * Economist *
"Lee's absorbing biography is the story of a late starter... [She] is partisan in her project: she means to expose a truth she is certain of -- that Fitzgerald is "a great English writer". Her feat is to have woven an involving narrative out of such a skeletal life....Excellent...." -- Nicholas Shakespeare * Telegraph *
"This book will hold insights and treats for any admirer of [Fitzgerald's] fiction, and recruit converts to this reticent, witty, ferocious champion of the utterly downtrodden." -- Emma Townshend * Independent *
"Her book is in the very best tradition of critical literary biography. Phenomenally well researched and elegantly written, with a fine, dynamic fluency and lucid understanding, this is a very good biography indeed." * The Tablet *
"This elegant, richly researched biography tells a tale of misfortunes borne with dignity, humour and courage, and finally of quiet triumphs" -- Michele Roberts * i *
"The literary biography of the year" -- Philip Hensher * Spectator *
"A perfect match of author and subject" -- Leo Robson * New Statesman *
"Lee's book has had more influence on my reading than anything else this year" -- John Lanchester * Guardian *
"A compelling account of the life and work of Penelope Fitzgerald" -- Mark Lawson * Guardian *
"A masterly discussion of the work of that fine novelist and an illuminating account of the life of a complex and elusive person" -- Penelope Lively * Guardian *

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