Human Voices

Mark Damazer and Penelope Fitzgerald

The human voices of Penelope Fitzgerald’s novel are those of the BBC in the first years of the World War II, the time when the Concert Hall was turned into a dormitory for both sexes, the whole building became a target for enemy bombers, and in the BBC – as elsewhere – some had to fail and some had to die, but where the Nine O’Clock News was always delivered, in impeccable accents, to the waiting nation.

Reviews of Human Voices

    • ‘Reading a Penelope Fitzgerald novel is like being taken for a ride in a peculiar kind of car. Everything is of top quality – the engine, the coachwork and the interior all fill you with confidence. Then, after a mile or so, someone throws the steering-wheel out of the window.’ Sebastian Faulks
    • ‘Wise and ironic, funny and humane, Fitzgerald is a wonderful, wonderful writer.’ David Nicholls
    • ‘Of all the novelists of the last quarter-century, she has the most unarguable claim on greatness. [It has been] a career we, as readers, can only count ourselves lucky to have lived through.’ Philip Hensher, Spectator
    • ‘One of the pleasures of reading Penelope Fitzgerald is the unpredictability of her intelligence, which never loses its quality, but springs constant surprises, and if you make the mistake of reading her fast because she is so readable, you will miss some of the best jokes. This is a very funny novel.’ The Times
    • ‘Comic, and sometimes extraordinarily sad.’ A.S. Byatt, TLS