Offshore: A Novel (Paperback)

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Offshore: A Novel By Penelope Fitzgerald Cover Image
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Booker Prize winner. A woman trying to raise two young daughters in a houseboat on the Thames in a downbeat shore community with an alcoholic husband in some flat in London. 

— From Kate's mostly novels mostly English Russian and Japanese but not only


"Dazzling. The novelistic equivalent of a Turner watercolor." —Washington Post

Penelope Fitzgerald's Booker Prize–winning novel of loneliness and connecting is set among the houseboat community of the Thames. This edition includes a new introduction from Alan Hollinghurst.

On the Battersea Reach, a mixed bag of the slightly disreputable, the temporarily lost, and the patently eccentric live on houseboats, rising and falling with the tides of the Thames.

There is good-natured Maurice, by occupation a male prostitute, by chance a receiver of stolen goods. And Richard, an ex-navy man whose boat, much like its owner, dominates the Reach. Then there is Nenna, an abandoned wife and mother of two young girls running wild on the muddy foreshore, whose domestic predicament, as it deepens, will draw this disparate community together.

A novel the Booker judges deemed "flawless," Offshore is one of Fitzgerald’s greatest triumphs.

About the Author

PENELOPE FITZGERALD wrote many books small in size but enormous in popular and critical acclaim over the past two decades. 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 didn’t. I think you can write at any time of your life." 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?"

Product Details
ISBN: 9780544361515
ISBN-10: 0544361512
Publisher: Harper Paperbacks
Publication Date: October 14th, 2014
Pages: 208
Language: English