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- Publisher: Canongate Books Ltd
- Format: Paperback | 288 pages
- Dimensions: 128mm x 196mm x 26mm | 222g
- Publication date: 5 July 2007
- Publication City/Country: Edinburgh
- ISBN 10: 1841959952
- ISBN 13: 9781841959955
- Edition: New edition
- Edition statement: Main ed
- Sales rank: 18,221
Shielded from emotional and physical abuse by layers of fat, Lilian struggles to escape a suffocating existence in the home of her tyrannical Victorian father and her elegant but ineffectual mother. Madness, cruelty and sexuality permeate the family's upper-crust Australian world. Lilian Una Singer starts life at the beginning of the twentieth century as the daughter of a prosperous middle-class Australian family. She ends it as a cheerfully eccentric bag-lady living on the streets, quoting Shakespeare. This book traces the progress of her life's journey, and why she made the choices she did. She's a person large in spirit as well as body, who wants to invent her own story, rather than allow it to be invented for her. Life presents her with many obstacles including the sinister advances of her father - but in spite of this she succeeds. Triumphantly, she makes her life her own, savouring every moment with the reminder that 'everything matters'.
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Kate Grenville was born in Sydney, Australia. Her novel The Idea of Perfection won the Orange Prize and became a long-running best-seller. Her other works of fiction have been published to acclaim in Australia and overseas and have won state and national awards. Most recently, The Secret River, also published by Canongate, was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize (2006). Kate lives in Sydney with her family.
"Kate Grenville has transformed an Australian myth into a dazzling fiction of universal appeal. It is a pleasure to be able to praise a true novelist." Patrick White "Here is someone who can really write." Peter Carey "Lilian's Story... takes you into another world, which is rare." Guardian"