Penelope Lively

“It becomes more and more difficult to credit Lisa with being a quarter Russian. Somewhere and within and behind this quintessentially middle-class middle- England figure in her Jaeger suit and floppy-bowed silk shirt and her neat polished shoes lies the most tormented people in the history of the world. Somewhere in Lisa's soul, though she knows little of it and cares less, are whispers of St Petersburg, of the Crimea, of Pushkin, of Turgenev, of million upon million enduring peasants, of relentless winters and parched summers, of the most glorious language ever spoken, of samovars and droshkys and the sad sloe-eyed faces of a thousand icons. Lisa carried in her spirit matters she knows not of. I look at Lisa and wolves howl across the steppe, the blood flows at Borodino, Irina sighs for Moscow. All derivative, all in the mind - the confection of fact and fantasy that is how we know the world.”

Penelope Lively, Moon Tiger
tags: ancestry
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Moon Tiger Moon Tiger by Penelope Lively
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