The Golden Child

Penelope Fitzgerald

Far be it for the hapless Waring Smith, junior officer at a prominent London museum, to expect any kind of thanks for his work on the opening of the year’s biggest exhibition – The Golden Child. But when he is nearly strangled to death by a shadowy assailant and packed off to Moscow to negotiate with a mysterious curator, he finds himself at the centre of a sinister web of conspiracy, fraudulent artifacts and murder…

Her first novel and a comic gem, ‘The Golden Child’ is written with the sharp wit and unerring eye for human foibles that mark Penelope Fitzgerald out as a truly inimitable author, and one to be cherished.

Reviews of The Golden Child

    • ‘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
    • ‘The Golden Child is rich in the qualities which have marked Fitzgerald’s subsequent career; a pleasantly uncluttered prose style; an eye for the absurd and pretentious; the knack of being able to give comedy an undertow of menace. Most museums take themselves too seriously: here is the perfect riposte.’ Sunday Telegraph
    • ‘Penelope Fitzgerald combines some gentle mockery of museum bureaucracy and procedures and some sharp parodies – of memos, structuralist lectures, children’s essays and committee jargon – with a more serious view of the responsibilities of museums. She shows culture off-handedly inflicted by curators on a patient, suffering public, who are depicted as endlessly queuing and being systematically denied information and tea.’ TLS
    • ‘Penelope Fitzgerald’s first novel degenerates amusingly into tortuous espionage, giving hints of the wit and wisdom to come in her later award-winning books.’ Mail on Sunday