The Book of Strange New Things is a great book to read without knowing a thing about it. If Michel Faber is enough of a recommendation to you, stop reading this review. Go pick up the book. Read. Enjoy. If that isn’t enough for you, if, say, you’ve only read The Crimson Petal and the White, or saw Under the Skin at the cinema and have been meaning to get round to reading something by Michel Faber, and need a little more to go off, we’ll give you a little more (but know, as you read a little more, that you are robbing yourself of unusual pleasures, grain by grain).
‘A biography that is as fascinated by its subject as any reader of Penelope Fitzgerald will be’ – Penelope Fitzgerald: A Life by Hermione Lee
‘Fitzgerald’s character was formed by the Victorianism of William Morris, devoted to a belief in an art based on craftsmanship, while her own extraordinary, intellectually curious, inner life sustained her through decades of poverty. Out of the mass of domestic details, and cataloguing of family life, Hermione Lee builds an intimate portrait while always keeping an eye out for the moments when Fitzgerald’s imagination would transmute her daily experience into novels’ – James Doyle reviews Penelope Fitzgerald: A Life by Hermione Lee