The Photograph

The Photograph

By Penelope Lively

Penguin Books, Paperback, 9780142004425, 240pp.

Publication Date: May 2004

Man Booker Prize-winning novelist Penelope Lively's latest masterpiece opens with a snapshot: Kath, before her death, at an unknown gathering, holding hands with a man who is not her husband. The photograph is in an envelope marked "DON'T OPEN--DESTROY." But Kath's husband does not heed the warning, embarking on a journey of discovery that reveals a tight web of secrets--within marriages, between sisters, and at the heart of an affair. Kath, with her mesmerizing looks and casual ways, moves like a ghost through the memories of everyone who knew her--and a portrait emerges of a woman whose life cannot be understood without plumbing the emotional depths of the people she touched.
Propelled by the author's signature mastery of narrative and psychology, The Photograph is Lively at her very best, the dazzling climax to all she has written before.

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, Family Album and How It All Began. Lively is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, a member of PEN and the Society of Authors and a recipient of the OBE and CBE. In recognition of her contributions to British literature, she was elevated in 2012 to Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire. She lives in London.

Praise For The Photograph

"One of Lively’s most satisfying novels: cleverly conceived, artfully constructed and executed with high intelligence and sensitivity." —Los Angeles Times

"An ingenious premise for a novel and Penelope Lively... spins it out with expert skill." —The Washington Post

"Engrossing... engaging." —San Francisco Chronicle

"Lively’s [novel] maintains the high standard her fans have come to expect. It’s another shining winner." —The Boston Globe

"Original... bracingly intelligent. Rarely has a subject as elusive as life’s messiness been pursued with such unflagging rigor." —The Atlantic Monthly

"In her delicate, spot-on prose, Penelope Lively ruthlessly takes her microscope below the surface of two middle-class marriages and magnifies whatever it is that is left behind when passion is gone, when couples become immune to one another." —The Times (London) 

"To read Penelope Lively's book is like slipping into the finest cashmere: beautifully wonven, fluid and expensive. Once experienced, it is impossible to enjoy inferior materials." —The Evening Standard (London)

"The Photograph is Penelope Lively's 14th novel, but she shows no sign of running out of inventiveness or of failing to write books that are hugely pleasurable to read. This one is deftly edged with humour."  —Independent on Sunday (UK)