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Inventory of a Life Mislaid


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About the Author

Marina Warner's study of the Arabian Nights, Stranger Magic (2011) won the Truman Capote Award for Literary Criticism and the Sheikh Zayed Book Award in 2013; in 2015 she was awarded the Holberg Prize in the Arts and Humanities and was made DBE. She is a Professor of English and Creative Writing at Birkbeck College, a Fellow of the British Academy and President of the Royal Society of Literature.


'Wonderful - a brave, inventive, touching distillation of memory and imagination, shimmering with images, sounds and scents, conjuring a clash of lives, worlds and words'
Jenny Uglow

'As delicate as the lace her mother hemmed, as sharp as the facets of the diamond rings her mother lost, Marina Warner's Inventory of a Life Mislaid is a captivating re-creation of her childhood in a lost Cairo, so incomparably louche, sensuous and fragrant, and of her parents' improbable marriage'
Ferdinand Mount

'An entrancing weave of memoir, history, autobiography and fiction, this adventurous book voyages through time and space to re-discover, re-imagine and reinvent a lost world. One of Marina Warner's most beautiful works'
Michele Roberts

'Moving and original ... Warner's view of the past is always precise, at once generous and exacting. She has a gift for using objects to conjure up characters, feelings and atmospheres ... Poignant and exquisitely crafted, Inventory of a Life Mislaid is bound to become a classic'
Catriona Seth

'A poignant and imaginatively transgressive exploration of her parents' marriage, a war time love match between Southern Italy and upper class England ... Evocative'
Margaret Drabble

'High-risk and multidimensional ... Warner brings to these pages a lifetime of thinking about stories and the ways in which they shape our lives'
Literary Review

'This is a wonderful rich, partly mythical memoir that sifts through the past to connect a family's secrets to the deep-rooted colonial assumptions that still resonate in a post-Brexit Britain ... never dull ... Eloquent and heartbreaking'

'Poignant and mythical'
New Statesman

'Warner is such a skilful and imaginative writer that much of ...the book reads like lived experience ... the happiest of concoctions, a mix of fiction and fact, observation and speculation ...This brave, painful, dazzling memoir is riveting'

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