Passing on

Front Cover
Penguin, 1990 - English literature - 210 pages
1 Review

Passing On is the eighth novel by Booker Prize winning author Penelope Lively.

Helen is fifty-two and Edward forty-nine when Dorothy, their mother, dies, ending her reign of terror and leaving them ill-equipped to deal with their lives. Timid, cautious and naive, Helen makes the charming Giles Carnaby, familiy solicitor, the object of a belated schoolgirl crush, while Edward, free to express his sexuality at last, finds it gets the better of him. Dorothy may be dead and buried, but her iron grip continues to hold them in its power.

'Passing On is about the essential difficulty of being English, of coping with peculiarly English varieties of guilt, nostalgia, frustration and desire' Observer

'Lively is at her sharpest, alert to every conceivable irony' Jonathan Coe, Guardian

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.

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - pdebolt - LibraryThing

Penelope Lively writes with grace and precision. I always feel as if I have spent time in the English countryside when I read her books, and Passing On is no exception. It is the story of three ... Read full review

PASSING ON 7K

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Having won both the Booker Prize (Moon Tiger, LJ 5/15/88) and the Carnegie Medal (The Ghost of Thomas Kempe, 1973), Lively has already proven herself to be one of Britain's finest authors. Passing On ... Read full review

Other editions - View all

About the author (1990)

Penelope Lively has written over 18 books for children, and over 15 titles for adults, distinguishing herself on both levels. Among the awards she has received are the coveted Booker Prize for the adult novel "Moon Tiger" (1987) and the Carnegie Medal for the highly acclaimed juvenile work, "The Ghost of Thomas Kempe" (1973). In Lively's writing, for both adults and children, the recurrent theme is interpreting the past through exploring the function of memory. "My particular preoccupation as a writer is with memory. Both with memory in the historical sense and memory in the personal sense." Beginning her writing career in the early 1970's, Lively wrote exclusively for children for over a decade. Because children have limited memories, devices were used to explore their perceptions of the past, such as ghosts in "Uninvited Ghosts and Other Stories" (1985), and a sampler in "A Stitch in Time' (1976). Lively's first adult novel, "The Road to Lichfield" (1977) was the result of turning to an older audience when she felt inspiration running out. Her adult novels include "Passing On" (1995), the story of a mother's legacy to her children and 'Oleander, Jacarandi: A Childhood Perceived' (1994) which is a memoir of Lively's childhood. Penelope (Low) Lively, born March 17, 1933 in Cairo, Egypt, had a most unusual childhood. She grew up in Cairo with no formal education until age 12, when her family put her in boarding school in England. After earning a B.A. in history at Oxford in 1955, she married Jack Lively, a university professor, whom she calls her most useful critic. They have a son and a daughter, Adam and Josephine.

Bibliographic information