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About Penelope Fitzgerald

Over the past two decades, Penelope Fitzgerald wrote many books small in size but enormous in popular and critical acclaim. Over 300,000 copies of her novels are in print, and profiles of her life appeared in both The New Yorker and The New York Times Magazine. In 1979, her novel Offshore  won Britain's Booker Prize, and in 1998 she won the National Book Critics Circle Prize for The Blue Flower. Though Fitzgerald embarked on her literary career when she was in her 60's, her career was praised as "the best argument.. for a publishing debut made late in life" (New York Times Book Review). She told the New York Times Magazine, "In all that time, I could have written books and I didnít. I think you can write at any time of your life." She is the author of nine books published by Houghton Mifflin and Mariner Books, two unabridged audios, one boxed set, and a forthcoming collection of stories.

In October 2000, Houghton Mifflin will publish The Means of Escape, a brand new hardcover collection of short stories (including pieces published only in British periodicals) by Penelope Fitzgerald -- her first new book since The Blue Flower. Never before have her short stories been collected in book form, and none of them has ever appeared in the United States.

Dinitia Smith, in her New York Times Obituary of May 3, 2000, quoted Penelope Fitzgerald from 1998 as saying, "I have remained true to my deepest convictions, I mean to the courage of those who are born to be defeated, the weaknesses of the strong, and the tragedy of misunderstandings and missed opportunities, which I have done my best to treat as comedy, for otherwise how can we manage to bear it?"

Houghton Mifflin Company and Mariner Books mourn the passing of a literary star and a beloved author.

Praise for Penelope Fitzgerald:

"Among the two or three best novelists in England today ... the breadth of her knowledge, the lucidity of her intelligence and the quirkiness of her characters provide the satisfaction of a 19th-century novel, yet there is nothing musty or old fashioned about any of her books..." -- The New York Times Magazine

Several of her novels are currently available from Mariner Books, including:


Penelope Fitzgerald Boxed Set
(includes three of her novels: The Blue Flower, The Bookshop, and Offshore)


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