According to Mark

According to Mark

by Penelope Lively
     
 

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A respected literary biographer, Mark is working on the life of Gilbert Strong - a writer about whom he thinks he knows everything. Happily married, and apparently dedicated to a life of letters, he nevertheless falls in love with Strong's granddaughter Carrie, a vague and unsophisticated young woman more interested in bedding plants than books or passion. As

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Overview

A respected literary biographer, Mark is working on the life of Gilbert Strong - a writer about whom he thinks he knows everything. Happily married, and apparently dedicated to a life of letters, he nevertheless falls in love with Strong's granddaughter Carrie, a vague and unsophisticated young woman more interested in bedding plants than books or passion. As Mark's obsessions develop over a hot, complicated summer, he begins to understand that nothing is ever what it seems; not Gilbert Strong, and certainly not himself. According to Mark is a witty and moving look at love, literature and the dangers of middle-aged folly.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Despite its title, the book isn't gospel, nor does its eponymous hero invoke any power higher than middle age for his infatuation with Carrie Summers, the papers of whose renowned grandfather he is researching for a biography. Carrie, a charming, freckled, half-educated maverick, has turned the great man's estate into a garden center and is more interested in the needs of her flowers than to Mark Lamming's importunings. In the event, however, he persuades her to drive with him to France to interview her flighty mother; on the way they make love, an activity in which Carrie participates with pagan-like wholeheartedness. But when Mark's wife joins them, Carrie runs away to Paris, there to meet a man for whom she feels a yearning so uncontrollable that, newly tender and perceptive, she grieves for poor Mark. Thus summarized, this accomplished novel seems little more than a variant on the triangle theme, but its virtues are distinctive. Mark's torment is genuine, Carrie's awkward grace appealing, the situation is handled with a blend of sentiment and fun. Lively (Perfect Happiness, etc.) has the gift of making readers care about her characters; this novel was short-listed for the 1984 Booker Prize. November 15
Library Journal
Lively is a British novelist ( Treasures of Time, Judgement Day, Perfect Hap piness ). In her latest novel, Mark Lam ming is writing the biography of an au thor, Gilbert Strong. He visits the late writer's home as part of his research and meets Carrie, his granddaughter, who runs a garden center there. Mark finds himself unexpectedly attracted to Carrie (he's unfortunately already mar ried to domineering Diane). Mark and Carrie take a trip to Franceostensibly to interview Carrie's motherwhich leads to a confrontation between Carrie and Diane. Interspersed with the plot are Mark's musings and research on Strong's mysterious past. Despite a dis appointing ending, Anglophiles will en joy According to Mark. Christine King, SUNY at Stony Brook Lib.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780060971991
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
03/08/1989
Series:
Harper Perennial
Pages:
224
Product dimensions:
5.33(w) x 8.19(h) x 0.60(d)

Meet the Author

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.

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Brief Biography

Hometown:
London, England
Date of Birth:
March 17, 1933
Place of Birth:
Cairo, Egypt
Education:
Honors Degree in Modern History, University of Oxford, England, 1955

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