After Nora

Penelope Curtis


In stock

Penelope Curtis is an art historian whose first novel, ‘After Nora’, imagines the life and motivations of a grandmother she never knew, but whose paintings she inherited. Her granddaughter imagines Nora’s life as a woman who struggles to identify the sources of self-worth. This account of a woman’s struggle to take her painting seriously is accompanied by that of the Portuguese scientist Maria de Sousa, who worked with Nora’s son, the author’s father, and whom Penelope struggled to get to discover in Lisbon. Through three generations this three-part novel talks of the meaning of creative independence.

ISBN: 9781739778347 Category:


In early 1920s England, Nora’s life in a state of flux. A gifted painter, married to man named Herbert, she has fallen in love with another. Sent away to her parents’ home to consider her position, she decides to take control of her life. She divorces her first Herbert to marry the second, then embarks on an existence on the margin of the artistic and political elite. This quest for control of her life as an artist, mother and wife will continue. Nora is a gifted painter but struggles to find the focus that seems to come so easily to male artists who are not required to fit their work into their domestic lives. In late 1960s Glasgow, young biologist Maria de Sousa wrestles with her feelings for Adam, her older colleague. Fifty years later, his daughter seeks out Maria to discover what really happened between them. Adam is the author’s father, and Nora the grandmother she never knew. Penelope Curtis offers sensitive portraits of those whose lives she has had to imagine in order to understand. After Nora reveals the forces that check personal callings, and movingly resurrects a past whose remnants still permeate the present.

Additional information

Weight 0.196 kg
Dimensions 18 × 12 × 1.7 cm










Paperback original


823.92 (edition:23)


General – Trade / Code: K

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