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Persephone books or alternatives

(10 Posts)
KurriKurri Wed 22-Jun-11 16:04:31

My mother has her 89th birthday coming up soon, and I thought I'd get her a few of these. Can anyone suggest any titles which they've enjoyed?

Aternatively is there anything else that might be suitable? she tends to read stuff like A S Byatt, Margaret Drabble, Iris Murdoch, David Lodge She likes biographies (not modern though, usually about writers or scientists, e.g Virginia Woolf, Marie Curie). Or a science based novel maybe (she's a biologist, she's read stuff like the Selfish Gene etc.)


justagirlfromedgware Wed 22-Jun-11 16:10:39

I highly recommend Little Boy Lost, by Marghanita Laski

''Hilary Wainwright, poet and intellectual, returns after the war to a blasted and impoverished France in order to trace a child lost five years before. The novel asks: is the child really his? And does he want him? These are questions you can take to be as metaphorical as you wish: the novel works perfectly well as straight narrative. It's extraordinarily gripping: it has the page-turning compulsion of a thriller while at the same time being written with perfect clarity and precision.'

Truly wonderful!

'The Winds of Heaven' by Monica Dickens is good too, but not in the same league.

KurriKurri Wed 22-Jun-11 21:54:10

thank you Justagirl, that sounds just the sort of thing she'd like smile

dweezle Sun 26-Jun-11 10:53:24

How about Muriel Spark or Barbara Comyns, Lynne Reid Banks.

I second Monica Dickens.

Also E M Delafield, Katharine mansfield, maybe Mary Wesley, and a younger author I really like, Catherine Fox, particularly Angels and Men.

londonartemis Mon 27-Jun-11 20:24:56

Some Dorothy Whipple books are published under Persephone. Also, Mollie Panter-Downes has two volumes of short stories, which are great (also Persephone.)

ColonelBrandonsBiggestGroupie Sat 02-Jul-11 16:39:47

The Knife Man by Wendy Moore is about the surgeon, John Hunter and is v good.

There's a novel called The Coral Thief which is by Rebecca somebody and is about thieves in Paris but takes in transformism, pre-Darwin theories etc.

This Thing Of Darkness is a novel about Darwin and Fitzroy and is fantastic.

KurriKurri Sun 03-Jul-11 15:30:56

Thank you all, in the end I didn't have time to buy online and waterstones had limited choice, but I bought Miss Pettigrew Lives For a Day, which I think she'll enjoy, and I'm noting down all your other suggestions for future gifts. The ones you suggest sound right up her street Colonel. smile
I'm definitely going to get her the Marghanita Laski one at some point too.

She's read quite a lot of Barbara Comyns, and some Monica Dickens - and enjoyed them, if anyone else is looking for recommendations.

ColonelBrandonsBiggestGroupie Sun 03-Jul-11 15:53:57

Miss Pettigrew is fabbo - and the film is good too. smile

elkiedee Fri 08-Jul-11 13:49:17

I assume she read Barbara Comyns in Virago Modern Classics editions, unless she acquired them when they were first published in the 1950s and reread them later (which is totally possible). I understand that Virago plan to reprint some Comyns next year.

They've just reprinted lots of Winifred Holtby, notably South Riding but others too.

Another small series of reprints is Bloomsbury's Bloomsbury Group books.

KurriKurri Fri 08-Jul-11 19:27:18

I think it was the Virago editions elkiedee - probably about 30yrs ago (I remember borrowing them from her, when I was living at home).

I think I might give them a re read.

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