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  • Published: 1 May 2007
  • ISBN: 9780099496861
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 352
  • RRP: $19.99

Keeping the World Away



‘Forster-lovers will not be disappointed by her depiction of a cornered creativity and its persisting power to subvert and enchant’ - Sally Vickers, Guardian.

Lost, found, stolen, strayed, sold, fought over… This engrossing, beautifully crafted novel follows the fictional adventures, over a hundred years, of an early 20th-century painting and the women whose lives it touches. It opens with bold, passionate Gwen, struggling to be an artist, leaving for Paris where she becomes Rodin’s lover and paints a small, intimate picture of a quiet corner of her attic room… Then there’s Charlotte, a dreamy intellectual Edwardian girl, and Stella, Lucasta, Ailsa and finally young Gillian, who share an unspoken desire to have for themselves a tranquil golden place like that in the painting. Quintessential Forster, this is a novel about women's lives, about what it means and what it costs to be both a woman and an artist, and an unusual, compelling look at a beautiful painting and its imagined afterlife.

  • Published: 1 May 2007
  • ISBN: 9780099496861
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 352
  • RRP: $19.99

About the author

Margaret Forster

Born in Carlisle, Margaret Forster was the author of many successful and acclaimed novels, including Have the Men Had Enough?, Lady's Maid, Diary of an Ordinary Woman, IsThere Anything You Want?, Keeping the World Away, Over and The Unknown Bridesmaid. She also wrote bestselling memoirs – Hidden Lives, Precious Lives and, most recently, My Life in Houses – and biographies. She was married to writer and journalist Hunter Davies and lived in London and the Lake District. She died in February 2016, just before her last novel, How to Measure a Cow, was published.

Also by Margaret Forster

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Praise for Keeping the World Away

Forster's style is easy and unpretentious. In a brief paragraph she can create a character we care about, a story we long to see resolved

Sue Gaisford, Independent on Sunday

Few authors share Margaret Forster's extraordinary ability to transform the ordinary day-to-day activities of unremarkable people into compelling fiction

Daily Mail

[A] finely crafted novel

Francis Spalding, Sunday Telegraph

The characters are fully developed and differentiated...there is harrowing emotional insight; it also contains elements of real comedy

Matthew Dennison, The Times

Forster-lovers will not be disappointed by her depiction of a cornered creativity and its persisting power to subvert and enchant

Sally Vickers, Guardian

A skilful, apparently simple tale is unostentatiously styled to disguise its artificiality and this writer's artful adaption, but not contradiction, of historical facts

Jessica Man, Sunday Telegraph

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