Making It Up
by Penelope Lively (2005)
MAKING IT UP, was published in July 2005. This work of fiction is a form of anti-memoir, in which she imagines some of the alternative outcomes, had she gone down a different road at crucial points in her life. A ship travelling to Cape Town during the second world war, an archeological dig in the nineteen seventies, Cairo in the early fifties - these are some of the roads not taken, through which winds the thread of what really happened.
These elegant confabulations, as she calls them, allow Lively's talents full range, intelligent, limpidly well-written and full of human understanding, they evoke the times she has seen and the richness of other lives as well as her own. (Anne Chisholm, Sunday Telegraph)
Lively is one of our longest-standing and best-loved novelists, and rightly so, for she manages to sustain a true interest not only in the real life on which she gives us her fictional slant but also in the form of her own art. . MAKING IT UP is a truly novel book . . . . (Salley Vickers, The Times)
At a time when the confessional tone has become ubiquitous Lively skilfully play with ideas around memory. Many of the stories are linked by the very act of remembrance, whether it's the significance of a long-lost locket or a woman reflecting on a marriage that has ended. (Louise France, The Observer)
MAKING IT UP is an intriguing and provocative version of memoir . . . .a risky enterprise in which fact and fiction could have pulled against each other, leaving us wanting one or the other. As it is, Penelope Lively has produced something as compelling as it is unsettling. (Lavinia Greenlow - The Telegraph)
This book is everybody's daydreams made real, and is a complete joy. (Heather Preen - Daily Express)