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Literary Moon Tiger by Penelope Lively
#1  sun surfer 01-15-2021, 10:28 PM
'The elderly Claudia Hampton, a best-selling author of popular history; lies alone in a London hospital bed. Memories of her life still glow in her fading consciousness, but she imagines writing a history of the world. Instead, Moon Tiger is her own history, the life of a strong, independent woman, with its often contentious relations with family and friends. At its center — forever frozen in time, the still point of her turning world — is the cruelly truncated affair with Tom, a British tank commander whom Claudia knew as a reporter in Egypt during World War II.'

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There are two phases of discussion. The first begins immediately and may contain conversations about anything pre-completion of the selection including reading progress, section thoughts, outside info, etc. The second begins on the 1st and also includes anything post-completion. These are recommended to help us discuss things in a similar timeframe but anyone can discuss any part or aspect at any time.


This is the MR Literary Club selection for January 2021. Everyone is welcome so feel free to start or join in the conversation at any time; the more the merrier!


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#2  sun surfer 01-18-2021, 08:13 PM
There weren't a huge amount of different editions and covers for this book, but almost all of them were really very lovely.
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#3  fantasyfan 01-19-2021, 02:16 PM
I look forward to this book. Penelope Lively has written award winning works for the YA genre such as the magnificent A Stitch In Time and The Ghost of Thomas Kempe. I have her A Pack of Cards an excellent short story collection for adult readers and her novel, Cleopatra’s Sister. Our selection—which I haven’t read is very highly regarded.
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#4  Bookworm_Girl 01-20-2021, 02:13 PM
I am looking forward to it too. I plan to start reading over the weekend.
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#5  Bookworm_Girl 01-24-2021, 01:31 PM
Just wanted to share that the book is available in both ebook and audio formats at Hoopla. It’s also available in audio only at Scribd.
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#6  sun surfer 01-28-2021, 03:27 AM
I'm about three quarters through so far and really enjoying it. I can't remember where I read it but remember seeing that when it first came out it was divisive and had some critical reviews although it also won the Booker that year. When it was nominated for Best of the Booker a little over a decade ago as one of the best Booker winners ever, it began to be reevaluated by critics, and the top Goodreads user reviews are basically very positive (the first page of reviews is almost all 5 star and none lower than 3). So as I've read I've wondered what might have caused the original divisiveness of opinion on it that was eventually overtaken by a coalition of positive sentiment.
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#7  sun surfer 01-30-2021, 05:00 PM
I've finished the audiobook. While I saw one certain revelation coming more or less, there were certainly some other unexpected parts of Claudia's story added towards the end.
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#8  Bookworm_Girl 01-31-2021, 06:05 PM
Quote sun surfer
I'm about three quarters through so far and really enjoying it. I can't remember where I read it but remember seeing that when it first came out it was divisive and had some critical reviews although it also won the Booker that year. When it was nominated for Best of the Booker a little over a decade ago as one of the best Booker winners ever, it began to be reevaluated by critics, and the top Goodreads user reviews are basically very positive (the first page of reviews is almost all 5 star and none lower than 3). So as I've read I've wondered what might have caused the original divisiveness of opinion on it that was eventually overtaken by a coalition of positive sentiment.
The answer may be literary snobbery. From what I’ve researched, the book was consider too “ordinary,” and the heroine was not “exceptional” enough to stand out. It sold well but was patronized as "the housewife's choice" and "suitable for the Harrods and Hatchard's market." It was competing against books by Iris Murdoch and Doris Lessing that critics thought were more deserving of such a prestigious literary award.
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#9  Bookworm_Girl 01-31-2021, 06:18 PM
The style is very interesting. It has an omniscient narrator mixed with the retelling of scenes by other characters after Claudia presents it.

The concept of time as a kaleidoscope is also intriguing. Not just a linear path by calendar but how mixing up people and places by shaking the kaleidoscope puts unexpected memories side by side. It made me think of how our photos exist in digital software and what a unique path we travel through in time when our apps create Memories for us that show up in the app timelines such as This Day in Time or Times You Went to a Place or Memories With This Person or Memories of Christmases Past or even searching by a keyword.
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#10  Bookworm_Girl 01-31-2021, 07:12 PM
Quote Bookworm_Girl
The answer may be literary snobbery. From what I’ve researched, the book was consider too “ordinary,” and the heroine was not “exceptional” enough to stand out. It sold well but was patronized as "the housewife's choice" and "suitable for the Harrods and Hatchard's market." It was competing against books by Iris Murdoch and Doris Lessing that critics thought were more deserving of such a prestigious literary award.
I was just sitting here thinking that this perspective is ironic considering that Claudia is patronized similarly for writing popular rather than academic history books!
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