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Penelope Fitzgerald Book and Novel

Penelope Fitzgerald - Author


Penelope Fitzgerald was one of the most elegant and distinctive voices in British fiction. She was the author of nine novels, three of which – The Bookshop, The Beginning of Spring and The Gate of Angels – were shortlisted for the Booker Prize. She won the prize in 1979 for Offshore. Her last novel, The Blue Flower, was the most admired novel of 1995, chosen no fewer than nineteen times in the press as the 'Book of the Year'. It won America's National Book Critics' Circle Award, and this helped introduce her to a wider international readership.

A superb biographer and critic, Penelope Fitzgerald was also the author of lives of the artist Edward Burne-Jones (her first book), the poet Charlotte Mew and The Knox Brothers – a study of her remarkable father Edmund Knox, editor of Punch, and his equally remarkable brothers.

Penelope Fitzgerald did not embark on her literary career until the age of sixty. After graduating from Somerville College, Oxford, she worked at the BBC during the war, edited a literary journal, ran a bookshop and taught at various schools, including a theatrical school; her early novels drew upon many of these experiences.

She died in April 2000, at the age of eighty-three.

Click here to read Penelope Fitzgerald's son-in-law discuss her legacy to coincide with the 100th anniversary of her birth.

Fellow novelist Katharine McMahon on Penelope Fitzgerald...

I was introduced to this author just as I began to be published, and I love her wit, and her quirky approach to plot. The Beginning of Spring is a delicious novel, and it's as if the entire book is pitched towards the very last few lines. This reads like a small, perfectly formed, Russian novel, but amazingly is written by a very English author.

If you like Penelope Fitzgerald you might also like to read books by Anita Brookner and Esther Freud.

Featured Books, with extracts, by Penelope Fitzgerald

Offshore by Penelope Fitzgerald
Offshore
Penelope Fitzgerald
Winner of the Booker Prize 1979. Penelope Fitzgerald's Booker Prize-winning novel of loneliness and connecting is set among the houseboat community of the Thames and has a new Introduction from Alan Hollinghurst. Click here to read Penelope Fitzgerald's son-in-law discuss her...
Format: Paperback - Released: 20/08/2009
The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald
The Bookshop
Penelope Fitzgerald
Shortlisted for the Booker Prize. Hardborough becomes a battleground. Florence has tried to change the way things have always been done, and as a result, she has to take on not only the people who have made themselves important, but...
Format: Paperback - Released: 03/01/1998
The Blue Flower by Penelope Fitzgerald
The Blue Flower
Penelope Fitzgerald
One of the most admired of all Penelope Fitzgerald's books, The Blue Flower was chosen as Book of the Year more than any other in 1995. Her final book, it confirmed her reputation as one of the finest novelists of the century....
Format: Paperback - Released: 05/08/1996
The Beginning of Spring by Penelope Fitzgerald
The Beginning of Spring
Penelope Fitzgerald
One of Katharine McMahon's favourite books. Highly evocative of time and place this wonderful novel set in the early 20th century is funny, touching and curious. A real treasure of a novel. A "Piece of Passion" from the...
Format: Paperback - Released: 27/04/1989

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