Dame Penelope Margaret Lively, DBE, FRSL (born 17 March 1933) is a prolific, popular and critically acclaimed writer of fiction for both children and adults. She has won both the Booker Prize (Moon Tiger, 1987) and the Carnegie Medal for British children's books (The Ghost of Thomas Kempe, 1973).
Penelope Low was born in 1933 to British parents in Cairo. She spent her early childhood in Egypt before being sent to boarding school in England at the age of twelve. She read Modern History at St Anne's College, Oxford. She married the academic Jack Lively in 1957 and they lived in Swansea and Oxford, among other places. He died in 1998, and she now lives in north London.
She first achieved success with children's fiction. Her first book, Astercote, was published by Heinemann in 1970. It is a low fantasy novel set in a Cotswolds village and the neighbouring woodland site of a medieval village wiped out by Plague. Since then she has published more than twenty books for children, achieving particular recognition with The Ghost of Thomas Kempe and A Stitch in Time. For the former she won the 1973 Carnegie Medal from the Library Association, recognising the year's best children's book by a British subject. For the latter she won the 1976 Whitbread Children's Book Award. The three novels feature local history, roughly 600, 300, and 100 years past, in ways that approach time slip but do not posit travel to the past...
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