Dame Penelope Margaret Lively, DBE, FRSL (born 17 March 1933) is a prolific, popular and critically acclaimed author of fiction for both children and adults. She has won both the Booker Prize for British novels (Moon Tiger, 1987) and the Carnegie Medal for British children's books (The Ghost of Thomas Kempe, 1973).
Penelope Low was born in Cairo in 1933. 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 Penelope Lively now lives in north London.
Penelope Lively's writing is strongly influenced by her appreciation of the sweeping social changes in Britain during the twentieth century. In this she matches her peers Margaret Drabble, Nina Bawden, A. S. Byatt and others.
Children's fiction 
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.
Adult works 
Her first novel for adults, The Road to Lichfield, was published in 1977 and made the shortlist for the Booker Prize. She repeated the feat in 1984 with According to Mark, and won the 1987 prize for Moon Tiger, which tells the story of a woman's tempestuous life as she lies dying in a hospital bed. As with all of her fiction, Moon Tiger is marked by a close attention to the power of memory, the impact of the past upon the present, and the tensions between 'official' and personal histories. She explored the same themes more explicitly in her nonfiction works including A House Unlocked (2001) and Oleander, Jacaranda: A Childhood Perceived (1994), a memoir of her Egyptian childhood.
Beside novels and short stories, Penelope Lively has also written radio and television scripts, presented a radio programme and contributed reviews and articles to various newspapers and journals.
She was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1989, Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 2001, and Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in the 2012 New Year Honours for services to literature.
Fiction for children 
- Astercote (1970)
- The Whispering Knights (1971)
- The Wild Hunt of Hagworthy (1971)
- The Driftway (1972)
- The Ghost of Thomas Kempe (1973, Carnegie Medal winner)
- The House in Norham Gardens (1974)
- Going Back (1975)
- Boy Without a Name (1975)
- A Stitch in Time (1976, Whitbread Award winner)
- The Stained Glass Window (1976)
- Fanny's Sister (1976)
- The Voyage of QV66 (1978)
- Fanny and the Monsters (1978)
- Fanny and the Battle of Potter's Piece (1980)
- The Revenge of Samuel Stokes (1981)
- Uninvited Ghosts and other stories (1984)
- Dragon Trouble (1984)
- Debbie and the Little Devil (1987)
- A House Inside Out (1987)
- Princess by Mistake (1993)
- Judy and the Martian (1993)
- The Cat, the Crow and the Banyan Tree (1994)
- Good Night, Sleep Tight (1995)
- Two Bears and Joe (1995)
- Staying with Grandpa (1995)
- A Martian Comes to Stay (1995)
- Lost Dog (1996)
- One, Two, Three...Jump! (1998)
- In Search of a Homeland; The Story of The Aeneid (2001)
Fiction for adults 
- The Road to Lichfield (1977, shortlisted for the Booker Prize)
- Nothing Missing but the Samovar, and other stories (1978, Southern Arts Literature Prize winner)
- Treasures of Time (1979, Arts Council National Book Award winner)
- Judgement Day (1980)
- Next to Nature, Art (1982)
- Perfect Happiness (1983)
- Corruption, and other stories (1984)
- According to Mark (1984, shortlisted for the Booker Prize)
- Pack of Cards, Stories 1978–86 (1986)
- Moon Tiger (1987, Booker Prize winner, shortlisted for the Whitbread Award)
- Passing On (1989)
- City of the Mind (1991)
- Cleopatra's Sister (1993)
- Heat Wave (1996)
- Spiderweb (1998)
- The Photograph (novel) (2003)
- Making it up (2005)
- Consequences (2007)
- Family Album (2009), shortlisted for the 2009 Costa Book Awards
- How It All Began (November 2011 - UK)
- The Presence of the Past: An introduction to landscape history (1976)
- Oleander, Jacaranda: a Childhood Perceived (1994)
- A House Unlocked (2001)
See also 
- (Carnegie Winner 1973). Living Archive: Celebrating the Carnegie and Greenaway Winners. CILIP. Retrieved 17 August 2012.
- "Friends of the British Library Annual Report 2006/07". Retrieved 7 September 2009.
- The London Gazette: . 31 December 2011.
- Official website
- Penelope Lively at Contemporary Writers
- Penelope Lively at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
- Audio slideshow interview with Penelope Lively talking about Family Album on The Interview Online