Sally Phipps - Molly Keane - Little, Brown Book Group

Time remaining

  • -- days
  • -- hours
  • -- minutes
  • -- seconds
Other Formats
  • Paperback
    More information
    • ISBN:9780349007540
    • Publication date:25 Jan 2018
  • E-Book £P.O.R.
    More information
    • ISBN:9780349007557
    • Publication date:26 Jan 2017

Molly Keane

A Life

By Sally Phipps

  • Hardback
  • £20.00

A wonderfully honest and deeply accomplished tribute to a complicated, talented mother and writer - 'An Irish writer whose only equal is Elizabeth Bowen' (Bookseller) - by her daughter.

Molly Keane (1904 - 96) was an Irish novelist and playwright (born in County Kildare) most famous for Good Behaviour which was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. Hailed as the Irish Nancy Mitford in her day; as well as writing books she was the leading playwright of the '30s, her work directed by John Gielgud. Between 1928 and 1956, she wrote eleven novels, and some of her earlier plays, under the pseudonym M.J. Farrell. In 1981, aged seventy, she published Good Behaviour under her own name. The manuscript, which had languished in a drawer for many years, was lent to a visitor, the actress Peggy Ashcroft, who encouraged Keane to publish it.

Molly Keane's novels reflect the world she inhabited; she was from a 'rather serious hunting and fishing, church-going family'. She was educated, as was the custom in Anglo-Irish households, by a series of governesses and then at boarding school. Distant and awkward relationships between children and their parents would prove to be a recurring theme for Keane. Maggie O'Farrell wrote that 'she writes better than anyone else about the mother-daughter relationship, in all its thorny, fraught, inescapable complexity.'

Here, for the first time, is her biography and, written by one of her two daughters, it provides an honest portrait of a fascinating, complicated woman who was a brilliant writer and a portrait of the Anglo-Irish world of the first half of the twentieth century.

Biographical Notes

Sally Phipps is Molly Keane's daughter.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9780349007526
  • Publication date: 26 Jan 2017
  • Page count: 352
  • Imprint: Virago
A vivid and sensitive portrait of Anglo-Irish society . . . finely attuned to the complexities of her mother's character, and captures the mix of "courage, glamour and fantasy" that sustained her class. This biography lays down new critical avenues for reappraising Molly Keane's considerable oeuvre — Irish Times
Sally Phipps has written an intimate, affectionate life . . . a fascinating book that really needed to be written, and it fills a big gap. Not enough is known about the Anglo-Irish in the twentieth century. Let's hope it leads to a Molly Keane revival — Spectator
In this exceptional Life of the Anglo-Irish novelist Molly Keane, written by her own daughter, there are few dates, fewer sources and no dull patches at all. Keane told Phipps to make it "as much like a novel as possible", and worried that she wouldn't be "nasty enough". But Phipps, in recounting her rackety mother's huntin' dancin' drinkin' life, the sparkle of her early novels and the darkness of her late, is better than nasty - she is forgiving and acute — Sunday Telegraph
Her daughter's incisive portrait of her 'enchanting and troubled personality' delivers real understanding — Country Life
Sally Phipps almost pulls off the impossible: she light-footedly brings Molly Keane back to life, and makes one grateful for the illusion of having met her — Kate Kellaway, Observer
An arrestingly graceful, truthful and compassionate portrait — Times Literary Supplement
Sally Phipps, the novelist's daughter, and herself a born writer, has given us an astonishing glimpse into her mother's lost world in this beautiful biography . . . what Phipps has achieved in this book is uncanny and thrilling. No daughter has ever written about a mother with such pitiful honesty . . . If you are to read only one biography this year, make it Sally Phipps's Molly Keane: A Life. I assure you, this is memoir as work of art — Irish Examiner
Molly Keane, Sally Phipps's life of her mother, is as fresh and true and eccentric as any of Keane's novels, and shows just how good biography can be in the hands of a natural writer — Frances Wilson, Spectator
A delight and a phenomenon; the literary biography of a novelist . . . by her writer daughter, who manifests herself quite as observant compassionate original and dauntless as her mother — Candia McWilliam, Herald
Beautifully written . . . this sparking biography serves her memory and achievement fairly, fondly, and as one suspects, truthfully — Irish Sunday Times
Fleet

Sharp

Michelle Dean
Authors:
Michelle Dean
Sphere

The Inaugural Meeting of the Fairvale Ladies Book Club

Sophie Green
Authors:
Sophie Green

You are warmly invited to . . . The Inaugural Meeting of the Fairvale Ladies Book ClubSunday 25th June 1978, 10 o'clockRSVP to Sybil Baxter - ask the operator for 'Fairvale'---------------------------------------------------'Brimming with atmosphere and warmth' Jenny Ashcroft, author of Island in the East'An absolute gem of a novel' Better Reading Australia In 1978, in Australia's vast and remote Northern Territory, a group of five very different women are searching for a way to connect.At Fairvale Station, Sybil is missing her absent son, while Kate, Sybil's daughter-in-law is finding it hard to adjust to her new life. In a dusty town, Sallyanne dreams of a life far removed from her troubled marriage. Della, a Texan who came to the country looking for adventure, has encountered challenges she didn't expect. And Rita, far away in Alice Springs, is working hard for the Flying Doctors.Meeting as the Fairvale Ladies Book Club, these women come together to bond over their favourite stories - and to share a few of their own. In doing so they will form friendships able to overcome incredible distances, weather all seasons and last a lifetime.'A sweet tale, and wonderfully atmospheric' Sunday Mirror'A warm hearted, generous book . . . it was a pleasure and sometimes a comfort to come back to the characters each night' Virginia McGregor, author of Before I Was Yours'Heartwarming and fulfilling' Australian Women's Weekly

Grand Central Publishing

Mr. Right-Swipe

Ricki Schultz
Authors:
Ricki Schultz

Rae Wallace would rather drown in a vat of pinot greezh and be eaten by her own beagle than make another trip down the aisle--even if it is her best friend's wedding. She's too busy molding the minds of first graders and polishing that ol' novel in the drawer to waste time on any man, unless it's Jason Segel.But when her be-fris stage an intervention, Rae is forced to give in. After all, they've hatched a plan to help her find love the 21st century way: online. She's skeptical of this electronic chlamydia catcher, but she's out to prove she hasn't been too picky with men.However, when a familiar fella's profile pops up--the dangerously hot substitute teacher from work (Nick)--Rae swipes herself right into a new problem...

Constable

The Puppet Show

M. W. Craven
Authors:
M. W. Craven

'Fantastic' Martina Cole'Dark, sharp and compelling' Peter James'A thrilling curtain raiser for what looks set to be a great new series' Mick HerronWelcome to the Puppet Show . . . A serial killer is burning people alive in the Lake District's prehistoric stone circles. He leaves no clues and the police are helpless.When his name is found carved into the charred remains of the third victim, disgraced detective Washington Poe is brought back from suspension and into an investigation he wants no part of. Reluctantly partnered with the brilliant, but socially awkward, civilian analyst, Tilly Bradshaw, the mismatched pair uncover a trail that only he is meant to see. The elusive killer has a plan and for some reason Poe is part of it.As the body count rises, Poe discovers he has far more invested in the case than he could have possibly imagined. And in a shocking finale that will shatter everything he's ever believed about himself, Poe will learn that there are things far worse than being burned alive ...'A powerful thriller from an explosive new talent. Tightly plotted, and not for the faint hearted!' David Mark'A gripping start to a much anticipated new series' Vaseem Khan'Satisfyingly twisty and clever and the flashes of humour work well to offer the reader respite from the thrill of the read.' Michael J. Malone 'Nothing you've ever read will prepare you for the utterly unique Washington Poe' Keith Nixon

Piatkus

The Palace of Lost Dreams

Charlotte Betts
Authors:
Charlotte Betts
Constable

'Rock and Roll is Life'

D.J. Taylor
Authors:
D.J. Taylor
Piatkus

Ask a Manager

Alison Green
Authors:
Alison Green

'Ask A Manager is the book I wish I'd had in my desk drawer when I was starting out (or even, let's be honest, fifteen years in).' - Sarah Knight, New York Times bestselling author of The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck and Get Your Sh*t Together'I am a HUGE fan of Alison Green's "Ask a Manager" column. I never miss it and always want more. This book is even better.' - Robert Sutton, bestselling author of Good Boss, Bad Boss and The No Asshole RuleWhat do you say when your new job is very different from what you agreed to? How do you tell your boss that your workload is too heavy, or that you need more training? How do you deal with a colleague whose loud speaker phone calls are driving you insane? And how do you repair your reputation after getting drunk at the company holiday party? Ten years of writing a workplace advice column have taught Green that people tend to avoid difficult conversations in the office because we simply don't know what to say. But the stakes are just as high if we don't speak up, because problems that could be solved with a simple conversation can fester if they aren't addressed. In this witty and practical guide, Green tackles 200 of those delicate discussions that you need to have, but might not be sure how to begin - and arms you with the wording to do it. Along the way, she shares some of the most outlandish and hilarious letters she's received from readers over the years - from an employee who placed a black magic 'curse' on her coworkers to a boss who repeatedly stole an employee's lunch.You'll learn what to say when:*Your coworker keeps pushing her work on you*Your new job is very different than what you agreed to*Your boss seems unhappy with your work*You catch an employee in a lie*Colleagues keep making judgemental comments about your diet*Your coworker's loud speaker phone calls are making you homicidal . . . and plenty more difficult or awkward situations you might find yourself in!

Sphere

The Mitford Murders

Jessica Fellowes
Authors:
Jessica Fellowes

'A lively, well-written, entertaining whodunit' THE TIMES***You can now preorder Bright Young Dead, the thrilling second book in The Mitford Murders series***Lose yourself in the sumptuous first novel in a new series of Golden Age mysteries set amid the lives of the glamorous Mitford sisters.It's 1919, and Louisa Cannon dreams of escaping her life of poverty in London, and most of all her oppressive and dangerous uncle.Louisa's salvation is a position within the Mitford household at Asthall Manor, in the Oxfordshire countryside. There she will become nurserymaid, chaperone and confidante to the Mitford sisters, especially sixteen-year-old Nancy - an acerbic, bright young woman in love with stories.But when a nurse - Florence Nightingale Shore, goddaughter of her famous namesake - is killed on a train in broad daylight, Nancy and amateur sleuth Louisa find that in postwar England, everyone has something to hide . . . Written by Jessica Fellowes, author of the number one-bestselling Downton Abbey books, The Mitford Murders is the perfect new obsession for fans of Daisy Goodwin, Anthony Horowitz and Agatha Christie - and is based on a real unsolved crime.'An extraordinary meld of fact and fiction' GRAHAM NORTON'True and glorious indulgence. A dazzling example of a Golden Age mystery'DAISY GOODWIN'Exactly the sort of book you might enjoy with the fire blazing, the snow falling. The solution is neat and the writing always enjoyable'ANTHONY HOROWITZ'Oh how delicious! This terrific start to what promises to be a must-read series is exactly what we all need in these gloomy times. Inventive, glittering, clever, ingenious. I devoured The Mitford Murders... so will you. Give it to absolutely everyone for Christmas, then pre-order the next one'SUSAN HILL'All the blissful escapism of a Sunday-night period drama in a book'THE POOL'Keeps the reader guessing to the very end. An accomplished crime debut and huge fun to read'EVENING STANDARD'This story is drenched in detail and feels both authentic and fun. Curl up in your favourite reading spot and enjoy'HEAT'The plan is that each book will focus on a different Mitford sister. On the strength of this initial entry, success is assured'FINANCIAL TIMES'Elegant, whipsmart and brilliantly twisty-turny, this Downton-style mystery had me hooked from the first page'VIV GROSKOP'Full of period pleasure'WOMAN & HOME'An audacious and glorious foray into the Golden Age of mystery fiction. Breathtaking'ALEX GRAY'A real murder, a real family and a brand new crime fiction heroine are woven together to make a fascinating, and highly enjoyable, read. I loved it'JULIAN FELLOWES'Jessica Fellowes' deliciously immersive, effortlessly easy novel has a strong feel for period and a rollicking plot'METRO'What a captivating crime novel and heroine Jessica has created in The Mitford Murders. The instant reassurance of being in the hands of a true storyteller with a feel for period detail makes this a real treat'AMANDA CRAIG'This is a chocolate soufflé of a novel: as the enthralling mystery heats up, so the addictive deliciousness of the story rises. The sort of book you never want to end'JULIET NICOLSON

Abacus

A Backward Place

Ruth Prawer Jhabvala
Authors:
Ruth Prawer Jhabvala

Six colourful, comic characters inhabit A Backward Place. All but one are Westerners who have come to Delhi to experience an alternative way of life. But, far from being hippies, their ability to adapt to this exotic culture often leaves something to be desired. Etta, an aristocratic, faded beauty maintains her Parisian chic while Clarissa talks enthusiastically about the simple life but stops short of ever roughing it herself. On the other hand Bal, the one Indian protagonist, holds quite Western aspirations to Hollywood glamour.A Backward Place humorously explores contradictions in attitudes and lifestyles and the interplay between culture and individuality. But it is also a Dickensian drama, charting the highs and lows of everyday life against the enchanting backdrop of a bustling Indian city.

Fleet

Prairie Fires

Caroline Fraser
Authors:
Caroline Fraser
Virago

Outsiders

Lyndall Gordon
Authors:
Lyndall Gordon

Outsiders tells the stories of five novelists - Mary Shelley, Emily Brontë, George Eliot, Olive Schreiner, Virginia Woolf - and their famous novels.We have long known their individual greatness but in linking their creativity to their lives as outsiders, this group biography throws new light on the genius they share. 'Outsider', 'outlaw', 'outcast': a woman's reputation was her security and each of these five lost it. As writers, they made these identities their own, taking advantage of their separation from the dominant order to write their novels.All five were motherless. With no female model at hand, they learnt from books; and if lucky, from an enlightened man; and crucially each had to imagine what a woman could be in order to invent a voice of their own. They understood female desire: the passion and sexual bravery in their own lives infused their fictions.What they have in common also is the way they inform one another, and us, across the generations. Even today we do more than read them; we listen and live with them.Lyndall Gordon's biographies have always shown the indelible connection between life and art: an intuitive, exciting and revealing approach that has been highly praised and much read and enjoyed. She names each of these five as prodigy, visionary, outlaw, orator and explorer and shows how they came, they saw and left us changed.

Corsair

Soot

Andrew Martin
Authors:
Andrew Martin

'An enticing and clever book, inside and out' Book Of The Month - The TimesYork, 1799. In August, an artist is found murdered in his home - stabbed with a pair of scissors. Matthew Harvey's death is much discussed in the city. The scissors are among the tools of his trade - for Harvey is a renowned cutter and painter of shades, or silhouettes, the latest fashion in portraiture. It soon becomes clear that the murderer must be one of the artist's last sitters, and the people depicted in the final six shades made by him become the key suspects. But who are they? And where are they to be found?Later, in November, a clever but impoverished young gentleman called Fletcher Rigge languishes in the debtor's prison, until a letter arrives containing a bizarre proposition from the son of the murdered man. Rigge is to be released for one month, but in that time, he must find the killer. If he fails, he will be incarcerated again, possibly for life.And so, with everything at stake, and equipped only with copies of the distinctive silhouettes, Fletcher Rigge begins his search across the snow-covered city, and enters a world of shadows...

Robinson

Back, Sack & Crack (& Brain)

Robert Wells
Authors:
Robert Wells

A story that brings tears to your eyes, in more ways than one. It touches you so much you it makes you want to cross your legs in sympathy - Nev Fountain, writer at Dead Ringers, author of PainkillerRob Wells has spent much of his adult life coping with chronic pain of different kinds - an embarrassing bowel problem in his early 20s, recurring testicular pain in his late 20s and 30s, and back problems requiring spinal surgery in his early 40s. Consistent through these experiences has been a feeling of being passed from pillar to post by the medical community, seemingly at a loss to explain the cause of these issues, or to find a lasting solution for them. This hilarious and brutally frank graphic memoir tells Rob's story, taking us through emergency surgery for a misdiagnosed twisted testicle, the extremes of weight loss and weight gain, the insides of far too many public toilets, and having to resort to walking with a cane. As Rob's back, sack and crack all became causes for concern so too did his brain, as his recurring problems unsurprisingly left him with depression and agoraphobia.This is the warm and witty story of a man's battle with his own body, and with the medical industry that couldn't quite appreciate the problem. For anyone who has ever felt let down by their doctors, or who has suffered with chronic pain that shows no sign of subsiding, Rob Wells bravely invites you to really get to grips with his balls.

Fleet

The First Day

Phil Harrison
Authors:
Phil Harrison

Outside an east Belfast mission hall, pastor and family man Samuel Orr meets Anna, a young Beckett scholar. They embark on an intense love affair, their connection fuelled by their respective passions. When Anna falls pregnant, the affair is revealed. The repercussions are slow to emerge but inescapable, and the fallout is shocking, cruel and violent.More than thirty years later Sam, their son, is in New York, living a steady, guarded life, his childhood and family safely abandoned.But the sins of the fathers are not to be so easily buried; the past crashes inevitably into the present, and Sam is forced to confront the fears he has kept close for decades.

Piatkus

The Dressmaker's Secret

Charlotte Betts
Authors:
Charlotte Betts

A sumptuously romantic story bursting with historical colour and flavour, perfect for readers of Dinah Jefferies, Lucinda Riley and Jenny Ashcroft.'Romantic, engaging and hugely satisfying' Katie Fford on The Apothecary's Daughter*****Italy, 1819. Emilia Barton and her mother Sarah live a nomadic existence, travelling from town to town as itinerant dressmakers to escape their past. When they settle in the idyllic coastal town of Pesaro, Emilia desperately hopes that, this time, they have found a permanent home. But when Sarah is brutally attacked by an unknown assailant, a deathbed confession turns Emilia's world upside down.Seeking refuge as a dressmaker in the eccentric household of Princess Caroline of Brunswick, Emilia experiences her first taste of love with the charming Alessandro. But her troubling history gnaws away at her. Might she, a humble dressmaker's daughter, have a more aristocratic past than she could have imagined? When the Princess sends her on an assignment to London, she grasps the opportunity to unravel the truth.Caught up in a web of treachery and deceit, Emilia is determined to discover who she really is - even if she risks losing everything . . .*****Reader reviews:'You will never be disappointed with a Charlotte Betts book!' Amazon reviewer'Well-written and thought-provoking' Goodreads reviewer'A fantastic story loaded with history' Amazon reviewer

Seal Press

A Girl Walks Into a Book

Miranda K. Pennington
Authors:
Miranda K. Pennington

How many times have you heard readers argue about which is better, Jane Eyre or Wuthering Heights? The works of Charlotte, Emily, and Anne continue to provoke passionate fandom over a century after their deaths. Brontë enthusiasts, as well as those of us who never made it further than those oft-cited classics, will devour Miranda Pennington's delightful literary memoir.Pennington, today a writer and teacher in New York, was a precocious reader. Her father gave her Jane Eyre at the age of 10, sparking what would become a lifelong devotion and multiple re-readings. She began to delve into the work and lives of the Brontës, finding that the sisters were at times her lifeline, her sounding board, even her closest friends. In this charming, offbeat memoir, Pennington traces the development of the Brontës as women, as sisters, and as writers, as she recounts her own struggles to fit in as a bookish, introverted, bisexual woman. In the Brontës and their characters, Pennington finally finds the heroines she needs, and she becomes obsessed with their wisdom, courage, and fearlessness. Her obsession makes for an entirely absorbing and unique read. A Girl Walks Into a Book is a candid and emotional love affair that braids criticism, biography and literature into a quest that helps us understand the place of literature in our lives; how it affects and inspires us.

Da Capo Lifelong Books

Organized Enough

Amanda Sullivan
Authors:
Amanda Sullivan

If you're looking to clean up but not clean out, if you want to declutter but don't want to throw out eighty percent of your stuff, if you want to be able to find matching socks in the morning but don't want a color-coded sock drawer, you've come to the right place. Organized Enough offers a groundbreaking, science-driven method for getting--and staying--organized. Amanda Sullivan's proven approach will teach you the lifelong habits of the organized, showing you how to make cleaning up effortless and automatic. With seven concepts to help you define your goals and seven essential habits to keep chaos and clutter at bay, Organized Enough will teach you to reframe how you think about your space, your stuff, and your life. You'll learn how to:* Sort the "stuff" from the sentimental* Become a paper-filing ninja* Cultivate consistency, not chaos* Set up systems that can run on autopilot* Let go of guilt and start enjoying your home* ...and more

Basic Books

Flaubert in the Ruins of Paris

Peter Brooks
Authors:
Peter Brooks
Black Dog & Leventhal

My Bookstore

Ronald Rice
Authors:
Ronald Rice

My Bookstore our favorite writers-from Elin Hilderbrand, to John Grisham, to Dave Eggers-express their adoration and admiration for their favorite bookstores and booksellers. The relationship between a writer and her local bookstore can last for years or even decades. Often it is the author's local store that supported her during the early days of her career and that works tirelessly to introduce her work to new readers. But authors are also readers and customers, just like us. For them, as for most of us, bookstores serve as the anchor for our communities, the place that introduces us to new ideas (and new neighbors), and that sets our children on the path to becoming lifelong readers and lovers of books. Brimming with original, deeply moving, funny, and exceedingly well-crafted tributes to bookstores, from Longfellow Books in Portland, Maine (Ron Currie, Jr.) to Powells City of Books in Portland, Oregon (Chuck Palahniuk) and everywhere in between, My Bookstore is a joyful celebration of our bricks-and-mortar stores and a clarion call to readers everywhere at a time when the value and importance of these stores should be shouted from the rooftops.

Hachette Australia

Love Your Sister

Samuel Johnson, Connie Johnson
Authors:
Samuel Johnson, Connie Johnson

A searingly honest memoir of family and love, this is the unforgettable tale of two inspiring Australians - Connie and Samuel Johnson. Connie had a love/hate relationship with cancer. She hated cancer but cancer loved her. It sought her out at twelve, again at twenty-two and then, at thirty-three, as a mother of two young boys, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and told she would die. In the shadow of that terminal diagnosis, Connie came up with an insane dare for her brother, actor Samuel Johnson, to unicycle around the entire country in an effort to remind every young mum in the land to be breast aware.Who says no to a dying wish?When Samuel said the inescapable 'yes', Love Your Sister was born. Sam became the world's most determined unicyclist, covering almost 16,000 kilometres in 364 days. What started as a promise to his dying sister turned into a pledge to everyone suffering from cancer. After his turn as Molly Meldrum in the biopic Molly, Samuel promptly retired from acting to focus solely on raising $10 million towards cancer vanquishment. So far Love Your Sister has raised over $7 million ...Then, in September 2017, the woman who taught us all that every day is awesome took her last breath. But Connie always said 'It's not over when I die. It's over when mums stop dying from cancer'. So Sam, Em and the village aren't stopping.In this updated edition of the bestselling memoir, Sam and big sister Hilde share stories of Connie, the birth of The Stick and the Big Heart Project and remind us all yet again just how far people can go for the ones they love.