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Making it Up

Lively, Penelope

546 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0670915793 / ISBN 13: 9780670915798
Published by Viking, London, United Kingdom, 2005
Condition: Fine Hardcover
From TransAtlantic Books (Wilton Manors, FL, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

The true first edition(UK), as new copy, in protective dust jacket cover. Bookseller Inventory # 9537A

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Making it Up

Publisher: Viking, London, United Kingdom

Publication Date: 2005

Binding: Hard Cover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Signed: Signed by Author

Edition: First Edition.

About this title

Synopsis:

A highly original work, in Making it Up, Penelope Lively examines alternative destinies, choices and the moments in our lives when we could have chosen a different path. In this fascinating piece of fiction, Penelope Lively takes moments from her own life and asks 'what if' she had made other choices: what if she hadn't escaped from Alexandria at the outbreak of WWII? What would her life have been like if she had become pregnant when she was 18? If she had married someone else? If she taken a different job? If she had lived her life abroad? '[A] highly original form of fictional autobiography as well as a fascinating insight into the seemingly random nature of destiny' Daily Mail '[Lively's] writing has always tackled deep questions of identity, memory, love and loss . . . These elegant 'confabulations', as she calls them, allow Lively's talents full range. Intelligent, limpidly well-written and full of human understanding, they evoke the times she has seen and the richness of other lives as well as her own' Sunday Telegraph Penelope Lively is the author of many prize-winning novels and short-story collections for both adults and children. She has twice been shortlisted for the Booker Prize: once in 1977 for her first novel, The Road to Lichfield, and again in 1984 for According to Mark. She later won the 1987 Booker Prize for her highly acclaimed novel Moon Tiger. Her other books include Going Back; Judgement Day; Next to Nature, Art; Perfect Happiness; Passing On; City of the Mind; Cleopatra's Sister; Heat Wave; Beyond the Blue Mountains, a collection of short stories; Oleander, Jacaranda, a memoir of her childhood days in Egypt; Spiderweb; her autobiographical work, A House Unlocked; The Photograph; Making It Up; Consequences; Family Album, which was shortlisted for the 2009 Costa Novel Award, and How It All Began. She is a popular writer for children and has won both the Carnegie Medal and the Whitbread Award. She was appointed CBE in the 2001 New Year's Honours List, and DBE in 2012. Penelope Lively lives in London.

Review:

Making It Up, Booker Prize-winning author Penelope Lively's cleverly termed "anti-memoir," is an enthralling examination of how both fate and free will can dramatically alter the lives of each and every one of us. Each of Lively's expertly crafted stories reveals the life she could have lived, had she, or another, chosen a different path. Yet in answering a series of "what if" questions, Lively does more than indulge her imagination; rather, she challenges her readers to examine the consequences of both the significant, and the seemingly trivial decisions we make every day.

Each of the stories in Making It Up deals with a different stage of Lively's life, and examines fictional alternatives to the roads she and others traveled. The Mozambique Channel charts the course of Shirley, a British nanny who accompanies her employer's family to Capetown following the German invasion of Egypt in 1942. In reality, Lively's family emigrated to Palestine; in this alternative universe, the family encounters tragedy on the open seas. The Battle of the Imjin River sends Lively's husband off to fight in the Korean War, thus changing his fate and in turn her destiny. Most compelling of all is Comet, in which the fictional Lively's untimely death is the catalyst for a half sister's second chance at love.

At the end of most narratives, Lively makes a point of reminding readers that while these stories are fictional, they are not impossible. Perhaps is this sense of endless possibility, so expertly conveyed by this talented veteran, that makes this collection so completely riveting. In the end, we are all the ones "for whom things might have spun off elsewhere, who might have become someone else." --Gisele Toueg

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