Happy Birthday to Penelope Lively! She’s a contemporary Booker Award and National Book Award-winning author. I love reading her work. She’s an expert in delving deep into character and in crafting beautifully written prose. To celebrate her special day, I chose an excerpt from The Photograph, one my favorites of her work. Although, I hope she celebrates with more festive affair than did her character, Glyn!
“It is Glyn’s birthday. He does not remember this until he notices the date on his newspaper. Birthdays never rated highly with Glyn. But he knows how old he is—sixty-two. This reminder of the relentless process is unwelcome. The passage of time is indeed his stock-in-trade, but when applied personally it is as though there were someone out there gleefully chuckling: You too—oh, dear me, yes, you too.
It is Saturday. He plans a weekend dealing with paperwork and ordering his thoughts on a projected article. This will be therapeutic. Glyn is in a curious state these days. He recognizes this, knows that he is not operating normally, that application requires an effort, that his mind wanders, that it is willful, that he cannot seem to control its direction. He has always been able to work; work has been the imperative, ever since he can remember. He has been able to switch into work mode under any circumstances. No, it is not like that. He stares for long minutes at the screen, he does not turn the pages of the book in his hand, or he reads without comprehension.
Kath. Her fault….” End of Excerpt, The Photograph by Penelope Lively
Join me next Wednesday for another Fodder for Fiction Author Birthday Bash!
Best to you,
Lisa Lipkind Leibow
Author of Smart Women’s Fiction