The Afterlife: Essays and Criticism (Paperback)

The Afterlife: Essays and Criticism By Penelope Fitzgerald Cover Image

The Afterlife: Essays and Criticism (Paperback)


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A posthumous collection of literary essays explores the "afterlife" of the writing community, defined as a legacy experienced in the minds and hearts of their readers; in a volume that includes introductions to major works of literature, reviews of fellow authors, and explorations of lesser-known writers.

From the late novelist and biographer Penelope Fitzgerald, a collection of essays-almost all of them unknown to her countless American admirers-on books, travel, and her own life and work. A good book, wrote John Milton, is the precious life-blood of a master-spirit, embalmed and treasured up on purpose to a life beyond life. In this generous posthumous collection of her literary essays and reviews, Penelope Fitzgerald celebrates the life beyond life of dozens of master-spirits--their afterlife not only in the pages of their works but in the minds of their readers, critics, and biographers.

Here are Fitzgerald's brilliant introductions to the classics--Jane Austen's Emma, George Eliot's Middlemarch, the works of Mrs. Oliphant--as well as considerations of recent novels by Barbara Pym, Carol Shields, Roddy Doyle, and Amy Tan. Here too are reviews of several late-twentieth-century literary biographies, including Richard Holmes's Coleridge, A. N. Wilson's C. S. Lewis, and Martin Stannard's Evelyn Waugh-reviews that together form a memorable criticism both of life and the art of life-writing.
Penelope Fitzgerald (1918-2000) is the author of nine novels, three works of biography, and a posthumously published collection of short fiction. The Blue Flower won the NBCC Award for Fiction and was chosen by the editors of The New York Times Book Review as one of the eleven best books of 1997. Offshore won the Booker Prize, and three of her other novels have made the Booker short list. For almost all her life she lived in London.

Terence Dooley is a poet and the literary executor of the Estate of Penelope Fitzgerald. He lives with his wife, Penelope Fitzgerald's older daughter Tina, in Cornwall, England.

Mandy Kirkby is an editor at Flamingo, an imprint of HarperCollins UK. She lives in London.
Product Details ISBN: 9781582433202
ISBN-10: 1582433208
Publisher: Counterpoint
Publication Date: September 22nd, 2004
Pages: 418
Language: English
"A great and welcome treasure for the Fitzgerald devotee." --The Boston Globe

"Fitzgerald fans searching for clues about this master of reticence would do well to look here." --San Francisco Chronicle

"She achieves the best in first-person erasure." --The Village Voice

"Treating serious things gracefully is also the hallmark of Penelope Fitzgerald and of this fine collection." --The Washington Post

"Unusually intelligent and sensitively selected collection of her criticism." --The Atlantic