Search >>
Pulitzer Prize
Pulitzer Prize for Fiction
Pulitzer Prize for Biography
Pulitzer Prize for History
Pulitzer Prize for Nonfiction
National Book Critics Circle Award
National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction
National Book Critics Circle Award for Biography
National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction
National Book Award
National Book Award for Fiction
National Book Award for Nonfiction
Man Booker Prize
Man Booker Prize
New York Times Best Books
New York Times Best Fiction Books of the Year
New York Times Best Nonfiction Books of the Year
LA Times Book Prize
LA Times Book Prize for Fiction
TIME Magazine Best Books
TIME Magazine Best Fiction Books of the Year
TIME Magazine Best Nonfiction Books of the Year
Amazon.com Best Books
Amazon.com Best Books of the Year
ALA Notable Books
ALA Notable Books - Fiction
ALA Notable Books - Nonfiction
PEN/Faulkner Award
Pen/Faulkner Award
100 Best Novels
The Novel 100: The 100 Greatest Novels of All Time
Modern Library 100 Best Novels of the Century
FAW Best Books of the Year
Best Books of the Decade
Best Books of 2016
Best Books of 2015
Best Books of 2014
Best Books of 2013
Best Books of 2012
Best Books of 2011
Best Books of 2010
Best Books of 2009
Best Books of 2008
Best Books of 2007
Best Books of 2006
Best Books of 2005
Best Books of 2004
Best Books of 2003
Best Books of 2002
Best Books of 2001
Best Books of 2000
Best Books of 1999
Best Books of 1998
Best Books of 1997
Author Honors
New Yorker 20 Under 40 (2010)
New Yorker Twenty Best Young Fiction Writers in America (1999)
Granta Best of Young American Novelists (2007)
Granta Best of Young American Novelists (1996)
Granta Best of Young British Novelists (2003)
MacArthur Fellows in Fiction
National Book Foundation 5 Under 35

Behind the Scenes at the Museum
KATE ATKINSON

Behind the Scenes at the Museum by Kate Atkinson
113 reviews (1996) (333p)
ALA Notable Books - Fiction Finalist

Visit this book's Amazon.com page >>


Book Description
ABOUTBOOK: From the moment Ruby Lennox announces her own conception ("I exist!"), it is clear that she is a narrator who will leave no stone unturned in her account of family life above a pet shop in England. Not content simply to describe her own circumstances, Ruby investigates the lives of the women in family both past and present, from her great-grandmother's affair with a French photographer to her mother's unfulfilled dreams of Hollywood glamour. Hurtling in and out of both World Wars, economic downfalls, the onset of the permissive '60's, and up to the present day, Ruby paints a rich and vivid portrait of heartbreak and happiness, and from it draws a rare understanding of the shared secrets, hopes and failures that unite every family. DISCUSSIONQUES: What do cupboards have to do with the story? More than one reviewer compared Behind the Scenes at the Museum to Tristram Shandy and to the works of Marcel Proust and Charles Dickens. What might these novels have in common? How does Kate Atkinson update or expand upon the earlier books' use of narration and history? One of Atkinson's innovations is her use of footnotes. Why do you think she adopted this non-fiction technique in a novel? Although this novel is very much about a specific time and place, it has been embraced by audiences in twelve countries, in as many languages. What gives Behind the Scenes at the Museum such a universal appeal? What is the meaning of the book's title? What other fictional narrators does Ruby Lennox bring to mind? What does Behind the Scenes at the Museum say about women's roles and opportunities in the family and in the world at large? What do the four generations of women in Ruby's family have in common? Behind the Scenes at the Museum generated controversy in England when a critic called it "anti-family." How would you defend the book against this charge? What other novels, now considered classics, might have had to face this sort of accusation? AUTHORBIO: Kate Atkinson was born in York in 1951, she earned her master's degree in English literature at Dundee University, and did further graduate work in American literature. While raising her two daughters, she held a variety of jobs, from university tutor to welfare benefits administrator, and always wrote, publishing short stories in British magazines and finally her first novel, Behind the Scenes at the Museum, in 1995 in England and 1996 in the United States. The critical response in both countries was overwhelming, and Atkinson's talent was justly celebrated when Behind the Scenes at the Museum was named England's Whitbread Book of the Year.


Amazon.com Review
"I exist!" exclaims Ruby Lennox upon her conception in 1951, setting the tone for this humorous and poignant first novel in which Ruby at once celebrates and mercilessly skewers her middle-class English family. Peppered with tales of flawed family traits passed on from previous generations, Ruby's narrative examines the lives in her disjointed clan, which revolve around the family pet shop. But beneath the antics of her philandering father, her intensely irritable mother, her overly emotional sisters, and a gaggle of eccentric relatives are darker secrets--including an odd "feeling of something long forgotten"--that will haunt Ruby for the rest of her life. Kate Atkinson earned a Whitbread Prize in 1995 for this fine first effort.


Other Award Winning Books by Kate Atkinson
A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson
794 reviews (2015) (480p) (Hudson Fiction) (Time Top10) (TIME)
Read Reviews | Visit this book's Amazon.com page
Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
3334 reviews (2013) (544p) (Amazon Top10Lit) (Amazon Top100) (PW Fiction) (NYT100) (Time Top10) (LJ More Best) (Econ) (Hudson Fiction) (NYT Top10) (NYTimes) (TIME) (Amazon) (ALA)
Read Reviews | Visit this book's Amazon.com page

Kate Atkinson Award Stats
Major Prize* Nominations 2  
Unique Books Nominated for a Major Prize* 2  
Pulitzer Prize Wins 0  
Pulitzer Prize Nominations 0  
National Book Critics Circle Award Wins 0  
National Book Critics Circle Award Nominations 0  
National Book Award Wins 0  
National Book Award Nominations 0  
Man Booker Prize Wins 0  
Man Booker Prize Nominations 0  
PEN/Faulkner Award Wins 0  
PEN/Faulkner Award Nominations 0  

*Major Prize = Pulitzer Prize, National Book Critics Circle Award, National Book Award, Man Booker Prize, and PEN/Faulkner Award

BACK

Pulitzer Prize | National Book Critics Circle Award | National Book Award | PEN/Faulkner Award | Man Booker Prize | Contact