Penelope Lively's website


Penguin Classics published two of Penelope Lively's books in paperback in 2006
Oleander, Jacaranda

'So vividly evocative that you can smell the dust ... wise, colourful and touching'               The Times

Life for a your English girl growing up in Egypt is a hazy world of strange sights, sounds and smells, the stifling heat, the white and blue scented oleander and jacaranda, the waving sugar-cane, the dusty paths trodden by donkeys and barefoot village children, the grand shuttered houses, the snake-charmer in the garden, the broad, brown Nile itself.


And for a child whose parents are preoccupied with the whirl of expatriate life and whose nanny is the centre of her universe, it can be bewildering and lonely. Penelope Lively's remarkable memoir of her colonial upbringing is a moving meditation on the perceptions, confusions and elusive joys of childhood, 'a headful of brilliant frozen moments'
Moon Tiger

' Leaves its traces in the air long after you've put it away '               Anne Tyler


Claudia Hampton, a beautiful, famous writer, lies dying in hospital. But, as the nurses tend to her with quiet condescension, she is plotting her greatest work: 'a history of the world………and, in the process, my own'. Gradually she re-creates the rich mosaic of her life and times, conjuring up those she's known. There is Gordon, her adored brother, and Jasper, her charming, untrustworthy lover and father of Lisa, her cool conventional daughter. Then there is Tom, her one great love, both found and lost in wartime Egypt. Penelope Lively's Booker Prize-winning novel weaves an exquisite mesh of memories, flashbacks and shifting voices, in a haunting story of loss and desire.