Happy Birthday, Penelope Lively, born 17 March 1933
- You learn a lot, writing fiction.
- You write out of experience, and a large part of that experience is the life of the spirit; reading is the liberation into the minds of others.
- I’m intrigued by the way in which physical appearance can often direct a person’s life; things happen differently for a beautiful woman than for a plain one.
- All history, of course, is the history of wars.
- The pleasure of writing fiction is that you are always spotting some new approach, an alternative way of telling a story and manipulating characters; the novel is such a wonderfully flexible form.
- It seems to me that anyone whose library consists of a Kindle lying on a table is some sort of bloodless nerd.
- All I know for certain is that reading is of the most intense importance to me; if I were not able to read, to revisit old favourites and experiment with names new to me, I would be starved - probably too starved to go on writing myself.
- I do like to embed a fictional character firmly in an occupation.
- I’ve always been fascinated by the operation of memory - the way in which it is not linear but fragmented, and its ambivalence.
- Language tethers us to the world; without it we spin like atoms.
- History is a slippery business; the past is not a constant but a landscape that mutates according to argument and opinion.
- For me, reading is my essential palliative, my daily fix.
Lively is a popular and critically acclaimed author of fiction for children and adults. She won both the Booker Prize for Moon Tiger and the Carnegie Medal for The Ghost of Thomas Kempe.
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