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One day Frank’s wife Nellie takes the train back to England, with no explanation, leaving him with their three young children. Into his life comes Lisa Ivanovna, a country girl, untroubled to the point of seeming simple. But is she? And why has Frank’s accountant Selwyn, gone to such lengths to bring them together? And who is the passionate Volodya, who breaks into the press at night?
Frank sees, but only dimly, that he is a rational man in Moscow, a city where love, and friendship, power and politics, are at their most unfathomable.
'For the life of me I can't decide how properly to respond to this book. Whether it contains a latent moral or allegorical message, or whether it is simply a tour de force of craft and imagination I have not the faintest idea. I only know that it is one of the most skilful and utterly fascinating novels I have read for years. I cannot imagine any kind of reader who would not get a thrill from this gloriously peculiar book.' jan morris, Independent 'Penelope Fitzgerald has produced a real Russian comedy, at once crafty and scatty. She has mastered a city, a landscape and a vanished time. She has written something remarkable, part novel, part evocation, and done so in prose that never puts a foot wrong. She is so unostentatious a writer that she needs to be read several times. What is impressive is the calm confidence behind the apparent simplicity of utterance. The Beginning of Spring is her best novel to date.' anita brookner, Spectator 'Penelope Fitzgerald writes discreet, brief, perfect tales... Jane Austen's nearest heir.' A.S. BYATT 'There are twenty perfectly competent novelists at work in Britain today, but only a handful producing what one could plausibly call works of literature. Of this handful, Penelope Fitzgerald possesses what one can call the purest imagination.' Evening Standard
ISBN: 9780006543701 ISBN-10: 0006543707 Audience:
Number Of Pages: 256 Published: 1st August 2002 Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Country of Publication: GB Dimensions (cm): 19.6 x 14.1
Weight (kg): 0.15
About the Author
Penelope Fitzgerald was one of the most elegant and distinctive voices in British fiction. Three of her novels, The Bookshop, The Beginning of Spring and The Gate of Angels, have been shortlisted for the Booker Prize. She won the Prize in 1979 for Offshore. Her last novel, The Blue Flower, was the most admired novel of 1995, chosen no fewer than nineteen times in the press as the ′Book of the Year′. It won America′s National Book Critics′ Circle Award, and this helped to introduce her to a wider international readership. She died in April 2000, at the age of eighty-three.