Dancing Fish and Ammonites

By Penelope Lively
(Viking Books, Hardcover, 9780670016556, 234pp.)

Publication Date: February 6, 2014

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Description
The beloved and bestselling author takes an intimate look back at a life of reading and writing
"The memory that we live with . . . is the moth-eaten version of our own past that each of us carries around, depends on. It is our ID; this is how we know who we are and where we have been."
Memory and history have been Penelope Lively's terrain in fiction over a career that has spanned five decades. But she has only rarely given readers a glimpse into her influences and formative years.
"Dancing Fish and Ammonites "traces the arc of Lively's life, stretching from her early childhood in Cairo to boarding school in England to the sweeping social changes of Britain's twentieth century. She reflects on her early love of archeology, the fragments of the ancients that have accompanied her journey--including a sherd of Egyptian ceramic depicting dancing fish and ammonites found years ago on a Dorset beach. She also writes insightfully about aging and what life looks like from where she now stands.



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.


NPR
Monday, Mar 17, 2014

In Dancing Fish And Ammonites, the British writer reflects on growing older. She tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross about adjusting to her husband's death and losing the desire for new things. More at NPR.org

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NPR
Monday, Feb 10, 2014

For 44 years, British author Penelope Lively has been publishing children's books, short stories and novels. Her latest book, Dancing Fish and Ammonites, is subtitled "A Memoir," but critic Ellah Allfrey says it is "more a collection of thoughts, a scattering of advice and a reading list to treasure." More at NPR.org

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