This is a lesson I learned long ago, but our Library of Forgotten Books project drilled the knowledge into me yet again. For the project, I (like everyone else in the store) had to choose a favorite book that had fallen out of the public eye and spotlight it so that a new audience could find the same joy in it that I did. Easy peasy. I’m often paralyzed by choice, but in this case I knew immediately who to turn to: Penelope Fitzgerald.Born in England in 1916, she didn’t begin publishing fiction until she was in her sixties, but still produced nine classic novels along with several works of non-fiction and a pair of story collections. Before her death in 2000 she’d achieved considerable acclaim and even won a Booker Prize, but she modestly eschewed self-promotion and never reached as many readers as she deserved. And she deserves as many as she can get. Her work is always substantial, yet effortless to read, each novel a marvel of comic deftness....Read More
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