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“The world and its life are the abiding delight and fascination” of her days. Mrs. Lively has had her share of illness and sorrow; she lives in London without Jack, who died in 1998, but she does not appear to “rage against the dying of the light,” as Dylan Thomas would have it. She continues to enjoy her life, her memories, her family, her books and yes, now her eighth decade. Perhaps that reading and those memories will produce more fiction for her readers to enjoy in the coming years.

Corinna Lothar is a Washington writer and critic.