Synopses & Reviews
Set in the age of Goethe, in the small towns and great universities of late-eighteenth-century Germany, THE BLUE FLOWER tells the true story of a passionate, impetuous student of philosophy who will later gain fame as the Romantic poet Novalis, and of his curious obsession for his one "true philosophy" -- the plain and simple twelve-year-old Sophie. The irrationality of love and the clarity of purpose that come with knowing one's own fate -- these are the themes that Penelope Fitzgerald explores here with her trademark mix of wit, grace, and mischievous humor.
Winner of the 1997 National Book Critics Circle Award in fiction, "The Blue Flower" recounts the story of the curious obsession of the poet Novalis for his one "true philosophy", the plain and decidedly simple 12-year-old Sophie. Unabridged.
About the Author
Penelope Fitzgerald wrote many books small in size but enormous in popular and critical acclaim over the past two decades. Over 300,000 copies of her novels are in print, and profiles of her life appeared in both The New Yorker and The New York Times Magazine. In 1979, her novel OFFSHORE won Britain's Booker Prize, and in 1998 she won the National Book Critics Circle Prize for THE BLUE FLOWER. Though Fitzgerald embarked on her literary career when she was in her 60's, her career was praised as "the best argument.. for a publishing debut made late in life" (New York Times Book Review). She told the New York Times Magazine, "In all that time, I could have written books and I didnt. I think you can write at any time of your life." Dinitia Smith, in her New York Times Obituary of May 3, 2000, quoted Penelope Fitzgerald from 1998 as saying, "I have remained true to my deepest convictions, I mean to the courage of those who are born to be defeated, the weaknesses of the strong, and the tragedy of misunderstandings and missed opportunities, which I have done my best to treat as comedy, for otherwise how can we manage to bear it?"