Live a Little
A wickedly observed novel about falling in love at the end of your life, by the Man Booker Prize-winning author of The Finkler Question.
At the age of ninety-something, Beryl Dusinbery is forgetting everything – including her own children. She spends her days stitching morbid samplers and tormenting her two long-suffering carers, Nastya and Euphoria, with tangled stories of her husbands and love affairs.
Shimi Carmelli can do up his own buttons, walks without the aid of a frame and speaks without spitting. Among the widows of North London, he’s whispered about as the last of the eligible bachelors. Unlike Beryl, he forgets nothing – especially not the shame of a childhood incident that has hung over him like an oppressive cloud ever since.
There’s very little life remaining for either of them, but perhaps just enough to heal some of the hurt inflicted along the way, and find new meaning in what’s left. Told with Jacobson’s trademark wit and style, Live a Little is in equal parts funny, irreverent and tender – a novel to make you consider all the paths not taken, and whether you could still change course.
Kate Cooper manages the translation rights for Live a Little
Contact Luke Speed for more information
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Wise, witty, and deftly crafted.
Live a Little is ... a novel that nonetheless feels urgent ...
it’s rarely less than bitterly funny in its determination to face up to the obliteration that awaits us all.
Live a Little is about growing old, but it’s also about gender, race, love and politics, penned in a playful and genuine way ... the book also comes to a surprisingly tender conclusion and delivers some extremely astute home truths.
Just look at the way he makes the English language dance for us ... the characters, as they converse, striking sparks of each other.Nicholas Lezard
A joyous new novel ... a life-affirming tale of late-flowering love ... if we manage to live a little longer we might have the privilege of enjoying more novels such as this one.Alexander Nurnberg
This book is alive. It pulses with warmth and intelligence.Johanna Thomas-Corr
Brilliantly observed ... no other novelist writing in Britain could dramatise this nonagenarian love story with greater verve and tenderness.Tim Adams
A thoroughly enjoyable read ... there is a lot to feast on.Holly Baxter
Howard Jacobson is a rather rare bird among contemporary novelists ... one opens a new Jacobson novel in the expectation of pleasure.Allan Massie
Fast and clever ... brilliant.David Herman
Witty and razor sharp.Ian Critchley
Tender and funny.Grazia
Unparalleled linguistic verve .. Vintage Jacobson.Hephzibah Anderson
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