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Oleander, Jacaranda A Childhood Perceived by Penelope Lively

Oleander, Jacaranda A Childhood Perceived

Part of the Penguin Modern Classics Series


Oleander, Jacaranda A Childhood Perceived by Penelope Lively

This autobiography is about growing up in Egypt. It is also an investigation into childhood perception in which the author uses herself and her memories as an insight into how children see and know. It is a look at Eygpt up to, and including, World War II from a small girl's point of view, which is also, ultimately, a moving and rather sad picture of an isolated and lonely little girl.


Vivid . . . forthright and witty. . . . [Lively] turns her hand to autobiography with the same depth of feeling and meaning that characterizes her fiction. -- New York Times Book Review The vivid confusions of childhood and the shadings that come with retrospect are seemingly blended. -- Merle Rubin, Wall Street Journal A quite stunning mediation on the archaeology of memory and time's predations. -- Kirkus Review (starred review)

About the Author

Penelope Lively grew up in Egypt but settled in England after the war and took a degree in history at St Anne's College, Oxford. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and a member of PEN and the Society of Authors. She was married to the late Professor Jack Lively, has a daughter, a son and four grandchildren, and lives in Oxfordshire and London.

Penelope Lively is the author of many prize-winning novels and short story collections for both adults and children. She has twice been shortlisted for the Booker Prize; once in 1977 for her first novel, The Road to Lichfield, and again in 1984 for According to Mark. She later won the 1987 Booker Prize for her highly acclaimed novel Moon Tiger. Her novels include Passing On, shortlisted for the 1989 Sunday Express Book of the Year Award, City of the Mind, Cleopatra's Sister, Heat Wave and her latest, Consequences. Many of her books, including Going Back, which first appeared as a children's book, and Oleander, Jacaranda, an autobiographical memoir of her childhood days in Egypt, are published in Penguin.

Penelope Lively has also written radio and television scripts and has acted as presenter for a BBC Radio 4 programme on children's literature. She is a popular writer for children and has won both the Carnegie Medal and the Whitbread Award.

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Book Info

Publication date

27th April 2006


Penelope Lively

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Penguin Classics an imprint of Penguin Books Ltd


192 pages


Autobiography: general
African history
20th century history: c 1900 to c 2000



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