Ammonites and Leaping Fish

Author: Penelope Lively

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9780241146385

Category: Novelists, English

Page: 234

View: 1233


This is not quite a memoir. Rather, it is the view from old age. And a view of old age itself, this place at which we arrive with a certain surprise - ambushed, or so it can seem. One of the few advantages of age is that you can report on it with a certain authority; you are a native now, and know what goes on here. In this charming but powerful memoir, Penelope Lively reports from beyond the horizon of old age. She describes what old age feels like for those who have arrived there and considers the implications of this new demographic. She looks at the context of a life and times, the history and archaeology that is actually being made as we live out our lives in real time, in her case World War II; post war penny-pinching Britain; the Suez crisis; the Cold War and up to the present day. She examines the tricks and truths of memory. She looks back over a lifetime of reading and writing. And finally she looks at her identifying cargo of possessions - two ammonites, a cat, a pair of American ducks and a leaping fish sherd, amongst others. This is an elegant, moving and deeply enjoyable memoir by one of our most loved writers.

Ammonites and Leaping Fish

Author: Penelope Lively

Publisher: Penguin UK

ISBN: 024196699X

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 240

View: 2773


A memoir that addresses ageing, memory, time and a life in the 20th century, by one of our greatest writers, Penelope Lively. 'This is not quite a memoir. Rather, it is the view from old age. And a view of old age itself, this place at which we arrive with a certain surprise - ambushed, or so it can seem. One of the few advantages of age is that you can report on it with a certain authority; you are a native now, and know what goes on here.' In this charming but powerful memoir, Penelope Lively reports from beyond the horizon of old age. She describes what old age feels like for those who have arrived there and considers the implications of this new demographic. She looks at the context of a life and times, the history and archaeology that is actually being made as we live out our lives in real time, in her case World War II; post war penny-pinching Britain; the Suez crisis; the Cold War and up to the present day. She examines the tricks and truths of memory. She looks back over a lifetime of reading and writing. And finally she looks at her identifying cargo of possessions - two ammonites, a cat, a pair of American ducks and a leaping fish sherd, amongst others. This is an elegant, moving and deeply enjoyable memoir by one of our most loved writers.

Dancing Fish and Ammonites

Author: Penelope Lively

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 0698140141

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 224

View: 1148


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.

Women and Ageing

Author: Margaret O’Neill,Michaela Schrage-Früh

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 100024461X

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 136

View: 7969


This edited collection considers the ways older women’s life narratives redefine culturally imposed conceptions of what it means to grow older. Drawing on research from age studies as well as social and cultural gerontology, the contributors explore the subjective accounts and diverse voices of older women. In doing so, they examine the tensions between older women’s social identities versus their individual narratives. In their chapters, the contributors acknowledge, explore and contextualise women’s experiences of growing older, thus counterbalancing the often one-sided, negative representations of ageing perpetuated by dominant cultural discourse. They focus on diverse forms of life writing including memoirs and (auto)biography, digital and visual forms of life narrative as well as autoethnographic accounts. As the chapters in this collection demonstrate, life writing by and about older women often necessitates opening out literary forms and modes of critique, searching for narrative and performative strategies, and creating spaces in which to inscribe subjective experiences. Relationships, intergenerational connections, and visual and material cues are often integral to these analyses, which assert the richness of older women’s life narratives. The chapters in this book were originally published as a special issue of Life Writing.

Why Women Read Fiction

Author: Helen Taylor

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0192562673

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 224

View: 984


Ian McEwan once said, 'When women stop reading, the novel will be dead.' This book explains how precious fiction is to contemporary women readers, and how they draw on it to tell the stories of their lives. Female readers are key to the future of fiction and—as parents, teachers, and librarians—the glue for a literate society. Women treasure the chance to read alone, but have also gregariously shared reading experiences and memories with mothers, daughters, grandchildren, and female friends. For so many, reading novels and short stories enables them to escape and to spread their wings intellectually and emotionally. This book, written by an experienced teacher, scholar of women's writing, and literature festival director, draws on over 500 interviews with and questionnaires from women readers and writers. It describes how, where, and when British women read fiction, and examines why stories and writers influence the way female readers understand and shape their own life stories. Taylor explores why women are the main buyers and readers of fiction, members of book clubs, attendees at literary festivals, and organisers of days out to fictional sites and writers' homes. The book analyses the special appeal and changing readership of the genres of romance, erotica, and crime. It also illuminates the reasons for British women's abiding love of two favourite novels, Pride and Prejudice and Jane Eyre. Taylor offers a cornucopia of witty and wise women's voices, of both readers themselves and also writers such as Hilary Mantel, Helen Dunmore, Katie Fforde, and Sarah Dunant. The book helps us understand why—in Jackie Kay's words—'our lives are mapped by books.'

Shame and the Aging Woman

Author: J. Brooks Bouson

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 3319317113

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 212

View: 311


This book brings together the research findings of contemporary feminist age studies scholars, shame theorists, and feminist gerontologists in order to unfurl the affective dynamics of gendered ageism. In her analysis of what she calls “embodied shame,” J. Brooks Bouson describes older women’s shame about the visible signs of aging and the health and appearance of their bodies as they undergo the normal processes of bodily aging. Examining both fictional and nonfiction works by contemporary North American and British women authors, this book offers a sustained analysis of the various ways that ageism devalues and damages the identities of otherwise psychologically healthy women in our graying culture. Shame theory, as Bouson shows, astutely explains why gendered ageism is so deeply entrenched in our culture and why even aging feminists may succumb to this distressing, but sometimes hidden, cultural affliction.

Re-Imagining Old Age: Wellbeing, care and participation

Author: Marian Barnes,Beatrice Gahagan,Lizzie Ward

Publisher: Vernon Press

ISBN: 1622730712

Category: Social Science

Page: 214

View: 7277


The understanding that humans are relational beings is central to the development of an ethical perspective that is built around the significance of care in all our lives. Our survival as infants is dependent on the care we receive from others. And for all of us, in particular, in older age, there are times when illness, emotional or physical frailty, mean that we require the care of others to enable us to deal with everyday life. With this in mind, this book presents the findings of a project that seeks to understand what wellbeing means to older people and to influence the practice of those who work with older people. Its starting point was a shared commitment amongst researchers and an NGO collaborator to the value of working with older people in both research and practice, to learn from them and be influenced by them rather than seeing them as the ‘subjects’ of a research project. Theoretically, the authors draw upon a range of studies in critical gerontology that seek to understand how experiences of ageing are shaped by their social, economic, cultural and political contexts. By employing a broad body of work that challenges normative assumptions of ‘successful’ ageing,’ the authors draw attention to how these assumptions have been constructed through neo-liberal policies of ‘active ageing.’ Notably, they also apply insights from feminist ethics of care, which are based on a relational ontology that challenges neo-liberal assumptions of autonomous individualism. Influenced by relational ethics, they are attentive to older people both as co-researchers and research respondents. By successfully applying this perspective to social care practice, they facilitate the need for practitioners to reflect on personal aspects of ageing and care but also to bridge the gap between the personal and the professional.

Ageing, Popular Culture and Contemporary Feminism

Author: I. Whelehan,J. Gwynne

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 1137376538

Category: Social Science

Page: 254

View: 7244


How has popular film, television and fiction responded to the realities of an ageing Western population? This volume analyses this field of representation to argue that, while celebrations of ageing as an inspirational journey are increasing, most depictions still focus on decline and deterioration.

The Purple Swamp Hen and Other Stories

Author: Penelope Lively

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 0735222045

Category: Fiction

Page: 208

View: 2570


A glimmering collection of new short fiction from the Booker Prize winner. “Lively writes with an astringent blend of sympathy and detachment, emotional wisdom and satiric wit.” —Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times In such acclaimed novels as The Photograph, Family Album, and How It All Began, Penelope Lively has captivated readers with her singular blend of wisdom, elegance, and humor. Now, in her first story collection in decades, Lively takes up themes of history, family, and relationships across varied and vividly rendered settings. In the title story, a Mediterranean purple swamp hen chronicles the secrets and scandals of Quintus Pompeius’s villa, culminating with his narrow escape from the lava and ash of Vesuvius. “Abroad” captures the low point of an artist couple’s tumultuous European road trip, trapped in a remote Spanish farmhouse and forced to paint a family mural and pitch in with chores to pay for repairs to their broken-down car. Other stories reveal friends and lovers in fateful moments of indiscretion, discovery, and even retribution—as in “The Third Wife,” when a woman learns her husband is a serial con artist and turns a house-hunting trip into an elaborately staged revenge trap. Each of these delightful stories is elevated by Lively’s signature graceful prose and eye for the subtle yet powerfully evocative detail. Wry, charming, and keenly insightful, The Purple Swamp Hen and Other Stories is a masterful achievement from one of our most beloved writers.

The Past Is a Foreign Country – Revisited

Author: David Lowenthal

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1139915665

Category: History

Page: N.A

View: 3647


The past remains essential - and inescapable. A quarter-century after the publication of his classic account of man's attitudes to his past, David Lowenthal revisits how we celebrate, expunge, contest and domesticate the past to serve present needs. He shows how nostalgia and heritage now pervade every facet of public and popular culture. History embraces nature and the cosmos as well as humanity. The past is seen and touched and tasted and smelt as well as heard and read about. Empathy, re-enactment, memory and commemoration overwhelm traditional history. A unified past once certified by experts and reliant on written texts has become a fragmented, contested history forged by us all. New insights into history and memory, bias and objectivity, artefacts and monuments, identity and authenticity, and remorse and contrition, make this book once again the essential guide to the past that we inherit, reshape and bequeath to the future.