Throughout the last two decades, PENELOPE FITZGERALD has written a number of little books that have received enormous popular and critical praise. Her novels have sold over 300,000 copies, and portraits of her life have appeared in The New Yorker and The New York Times Magazine. Her work Offshore received the Booker Prize in 1979, and her novel The Blue Flower won the National Book Critics Circle Prize in 1998. Despite the fact that Fitzgerald began her writing career in her 60s, her work was recognized as the strongest argument... for a late-career publishing debut (New York Times Book Review).
She told the New York Times Magazine, I might have written books in all that time and I didn't. I believe that you can write at any point in your life. Dinitia Smith quoted Penelope Fitzgerald from 1998 in her New York Times obituary on May 3, 2000, saying, I have remained faithful to my deepest convictions, I mean to the courage of those who are born to be vanquished, the vulnerabilities of the strong, and the tragedy of misunderstandings and squandered opportunities, which I have done my best to present as comedy, because how else can we bear it?