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The Standing Rabbit

Penelope Fitzgerald: A Life by Hermione Lee

Penelope Fitzgerald: A Life by Hermione Lee

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Penelope Fitzgerald:  A Life by Hermione Lee is a 488-page hardcover published in 2013 by Alfred A. Knopf, and is a stated first United States edition.  The book is in very good condition.

Book Summary

The acclaimed biographer of Edith Wharton and Virginia Woolf gives us an intimate portrait of one of the most quietly brilliant novelists of the twentieth century.

Penelope Fitzgerald was a great English writer whose career didn't begin until she was nearly sixty.  She would go on to win some of the most coveted awards in literature--the Booker Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award.

Now, in an impeccable match of talent between biographer and subject, Hermione Lee, a master biographer and one of Fitzgerald's greatest champions, gives us this remarkable writer's story.  Fitzgerald, born into an accomplished intellectual family, the granddaughter of two Bishops, led a life marked by dramatic twists of fate, moving from a Bishop's palace to a sinking houseboat to a last, late blaze of renown.  We see her childhood in the village of Hamstead; her oxford years, when she was known as "the blond bombshell"; her impoverished adulthood as a struggling wife, mother and schoolteacher, raising a family in difficult circumstances, and the long-delayed start to her literary career.

Fitzgerald's early novels draw on her own experiences--working at the BBC in wartime, at a bookshop in Suffolk, at an eccentric stage school in the 1960s--while her later books open out into historical worlds that she, magically, seems to entirely posses:  Russia before the Revolution, postwar Italy, Germany in the time of the romantic writer Novalis.  The novels are short, spare masterpieces, and Hermione Lee unfurls them her as worlds of genius.  

Penelope Fitzgerald is literary biography at its finest--an unforgettable story of lateness, persistence and survival.

ISBN:  978-0-385-35234-5

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