Tuesday, February 11, 2014

UK and US covers of Lively's Memoir

Penelope Lively wrote one of my favorite novels, Passing On, about a middle-aged brother and sister who live with their domineering mother until the mother dies, and what happens then:
nothing too dramatic but like replacing dark, heavy drapes with light muslin ones.

I was interested to see Lively has published a memoir at the age of eighty. Not quite a memoir, she says, "but a view from old age."

I searched for it at the library and couldn't find it by its title, Ammonites & Leaping Fish. It occurred to me it might have a different title in the US, so I searched by author, and sure enough, in the US it's called Dancing Fish and Ammonites.
Even the subtitle has changed, from A Life in Time to A Memoir.

It gets a different cover too. I like the US cover (me, a Pisces), but doesn't it seem spiritually sciencey, like Barbara Kingsolver? Or even slightly salacious, like Mary Renault?

In fact, Lively's writing isn't a saucy frolic; it is rather tight and dry, more like an ammonite, which is one of the things I love about her.

 USA cover, left; UK cover, right

I rarely buy new books, but since this is still on order at the local library, I just ordered it through A Site That Shall Remain Unnamed––a hardcover UK edition, only $11.16 + shipping ($3.99, though it ships from England).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

American fish don't leap, they DANCE! Dance, fish! You DESERVE it!
Have you seen the American release of "Bleak House"? It's called "House of Second Chances".