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Offshore, Human Voices, The Beginning of Spring

Best Seller
Offshore, Human Voices, The Beginning of Spring by Penelope Fitzgerald
Hardcover $25.00
Sep 23, 2003 | ISBN 9781400041251

Also available from:

  • Sep 23, 2003 | ISBN 9781400041251

    Also available from:

Product Details


“[Offshore] is an astonishing book. Hardly more than 50,000 words, it is written with a manic economy that makes it seem even shorter, and with a tamped-down force that continually explodes in a series of exactly controlled detonations…A marvellous achievement: strong, supple, humane, ripe, generous, and graceful.” –The Times (London)

“[Human Voices is] a wonderful combination of deadpan English comedy and surreal farce.” –A. S. Byatt

“One of the pleasures of reading Penelope Fitzgerald is the unpredictability of her intelligence, which never loses its quality, but springs constant surprises.” –The Times (London)

“Awards are one thing, talent’s another, and Fitzgerald has it in spades. Warm and wry, her writing is as economical as it is perfect.” –Washington Post Book World

“[The Beginning of Spring] is one of the most skillful and utterly fascinating novels I have read for years. I cannot imagine any kind of educated reader who would not get a thrill from this gloriously peculiar book.” –Jan Morris, The Independent

The Beginning of Spring is a comedy lit by writing so precise and lilting that it can make you shiver, and an elegy that nods at what passes without lamentation or indifference.” –Los Angeles Times

Author Essay

It is rare indeed to begin a literary career after the age of sixty, and then to achieve reputation and fame as a novelist during the next decade. But Penelope Fitzgerald was a highly unusual and original sort of writer. Before she turned to writing she had married and raised a family, worked during the war at the BBC (the setting of her fourth novel, Human Voices), run a bookshop (an experience that also provided a novel), and taught school, including a school for theatre and drama training.

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