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In Pack of Cards, Penelope Lively introduces the reader to slivers of the everyday world that are not always open to observation, as she delves into the minutiae of her characters' lives. Whether she writes about a widow on a visit to Russia, a small boy's consignment to boarding school, or an agoraphobic housewife, Penelope Lively takes the reader past the closed curtains, through the locked door, into a world that seems at first mundane and then, at second glance, proves to be uniquely memorable.
"Inspired . . . entertaining . . . an abundantly rich collection . . . Penelope Lively writes beautifully with meticulous detachment."-The New York Times Book Review
"The extraordinary power of Lively's writing is such that these small intrusions upon small lives take on a nearly surreal clarity and sense of horror. . . . Nearly every tale is flawless; nearly every one depends upon some sly or uncanny revelation."-The Washington Post Book World
"The precise image, the unexpected detail, compassion without sentimentality, are only a few of the elements that make these stories a celebration of narrative art."-Publishers Weekly
"These witty, profoundly civilized stories display Lively's compassion, intelligence, and versatility. . . . This captivatingly intelligent collection confirms Lively's place as one of Britain's most imaginative and important contemporary writers."-Library Journal
"Pack of Cards confirms her as the most original and piercing writer now working in that most unsparing of genres [short stories]. . . . She leaves her characters sustaining each other precariously, connected by familiarity, if not emotion. However wicked her insight into pretension, her compassion always rules. These vignettes of the human condition and of very human responses to it are absorbing, caring, and careful."-The Times (London)
Penelope Lively was born in Cairo in 1933 and spent her childhood there. She holds a degree in modern history from Oxford University and is the author of eleven acclaimed novels, including According to Mark, Judgement Day, Perfect Happiness, Passing On, The Road to Lichfield, and the Booker Prize winner, Moon Tiger. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Penelope Lively is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and a member of PEN and the Society of Authors. She was married to the late Professor Jack Lively, has a daughter, a son, three granddaughters and three grandsons, and lives in London. She has written many prize-winning novels and collections of short stories for both adults and children. Moon Tiger won the 1987 Booker Prize. Penelope Lively's most recent book, Making It Up, is available now in Penguin paperback.