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The Afterlife: Essays and Criticism

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The Afterlife: Essays and Criticism Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

From one of the best-loved contemporary novelists, previously uncollected essays on books, writers, places, and the author's own life and works.

In this generous, posthumous collection of her literary essays, Penelope Fitzgerald explores what John Milton called the "life beyond life" of writers — their afterlife in the hearts and minds of readers and in the imaginations of their critics and biographers. Here are Fitzgerald's brilliant introductions to Jane Austen's Emma and George Eliot's Middlemarch. Here are a marvelously quick-witted literary journalist's reviews of her fellow fiction writers (Brookner, Ishiguro, Amy Tan) and fellow biographers (Holroyd, Karl, Holmes). Here, especially, are extended explorations of "minor" writers — the authors of modest, overlooked, but fully achieved imaginative works — the celebration of which reveals so much about Penelope Fitzgerald's own literary sensibility: the lyric poet Charlotte Mew, the ghost-story writer M. R. James, and the cartoonists and humorists of Punch. Rounded out by travel pieces, autobiography, and essays on the craft of fiction, The Afterlife is one of the most engaging books about books since Virginia Woolf's The Common Reader.

Review:

"Treating serious things gracefully is also the hallmark of Penelope Fitzgerald and of this fine collection, compiled by her son-in-law and her American and British editors." Michael Dirda, The Washington Post Book World

Review:

"[Fitzgerald's] sidelong journeys through the stalls and stacks, pointing out treasures and private passions, will delight those Virginia Woolf honored with the designation 'the common reader,' who are, of course, none-too-common these days." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"[L]ots of subtly erudite, covertly witty, and altogether invigorating essays and reviews....[In] this unprecedented and enlivening collection, her piercing intelligence, precision, humor, and unwavering compassion are in full and resplendent force." Donna Seaman, Booklist

Review:

"This scintillating patchwork of her literary essays celebrates [Fitzgerald's] range of writing styles as well as interests....Seductively abstruse, Fitzgerald was a master at creating a unique interweaving of literature and memoir." Library Journal

Synopsis:

"Taken as a whole, Fitzgerald's pieces on Delafield, Sylvia Townsend Warner, the Punch writers, Mrs. Oliphant (who excelled at what she called the 'tragi-farce,' a form Fitzgerald clearly loved), J. L. Carr, and Barbara Pym define a writerly sensibility of which Fitzgerald herself was, sadly, among the last adherents. This book is worth its price just for Fitzgerald's spot-on description of Pym's mordant vision of the distance between the sexes..." Benjamin Schwarz, The Atlantic Monthly (read the entire Atlantic review)

About the Author

Penelope Fitzgerald won the National Book Critics Circle Award for The Blue Flower and the Booker Prize for Offshore. She died in London in April 2000 at the age of eighty-three.

Terence Dooley, a poet and translator, is Penelope Fitzgerald's son-in-law and literary executor. He lives in Cornwall.

Mandy Kirkby is an editor at Flamingo, a division of HarperCollins UK. She lives in London.

Table of Contents

Introduction
Editors' Note
Jane Austen 3
William Blake 8
Samuel Taylor Coleridge 12
Sarah Orne Jewett 16
George Eliot 20
Mrs. Oliphant 29
The Victorians 54
William Morris 75
Arts and Crafts 91
Rhyme and Meter 100
M. R. James 134
The World of Punch 141
Yeats and His Circle 153
New Women and Newer 166
Bloomsbury 197
Moderns and Anti-Moderns 209
The Forties and After 236
Writers 275
Witnesses 300
The Grange 311
The Moors 319
Canaletto's Venice 325
The Holy Land 331
Curriculum Vitae 337
Scenes of Childhood 348
Aspects of Fiction 358
Why I Write 368
How I Write: Daisy's Interview 369
Last Words 379
Index 385

Product Details

ISBN:
9781582431987
Subtitle:
Essays and Criticism
Editor:
Dooley, Terence
With:
Kirkby, Many
Publisher:
Counterpoint Press
Location:
New York
Subject:
General
Subject:
Essays
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st ed.
Series Volume:
2432
Publication Date:
October 2003
Binding:
Hardcover
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
9.56x6.51x1.32 in. 1.57 lbs.

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

The Afterlife: Essays and Criticism
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 320 pages Counterpoint Press - English 9781582431987 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Treating serious things gracefully is also the hallmark of Penelope Fitzgerald and of this fine collection, compiled by her son-in-law and her American and British editors."
"Review" by , "[Fitzgerald's] sidelong journeys through the stalls and stacks, pointing out treasures and private passions, will delight those Virginia Woolf honored with the designation 'the common reader,' who are, of course, none-too-common these days."
"Review" by , "[L]ots of subtly erudite, covertly witty, and altogether invigorating essays and reviews....[In] this unprecedented and enlivening collection, her piercing intelligence, precision, humor, and unwavering compassion are in full and resplendent force."
"Review" by , "This scintillating patchwork of her literary essays celebrates [Fitzgerald's] range of writing styles as well as interests....Seductively abstruse, Fitzgerald was a master at creating a unique interweaving of literature and memoir."
"Synopsis" by , "Taken as a whole, Fitzgerald's pieces on Delafield, Sylvia Townsend Warner, the Punch writers, Mrs. Oliphant (who excelled at what she called the 'tragi-farce,' a form Fitzgerald clearly loved), J. L. Carr, and Barbara Pym define a writerly sensibility of which Fitzgerald herself was, sadly, among the last adherents. This book is worth its price just for Fitzgerald's spot-on description of Pym's mordant vision of the distance between the sexes..." Benjamin Schwarz, The Atlantic Monthly (read the entire Atlantic review)
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