Howard Jacobson

Books Jonny Geller, +44 (0)20 7393 4357 Email Jonny Geller

Live a Little

book | Fiction | Jul 2019
UK & Comm → Jonathan Cape (Ed. Dan Franklin)
US → The Hogarth Press

A wickedly observed novel about falling in love at the end of your life, by the Man Booker Prize-winning author of The Finkler Question.

At the age of ninety-something, Beryl Dusinbery is forgetting everything – including her own children. She spends her days stitching morbid samplers and tormenting her two long-suffering carers, Nastya and Euphoria, with tangled stories of her husbands and love affairs.

Shimi Carmelli can do up his own buttons, walks without the aid of a frame and speaks without spitting. Among the widows of North London, he’s whispered about as the last of the eligible bachelors. Unlike Beryl, he forgets nothing – especially not the shame of a childhood incident that has hung over him like an oppressive cloud ever since.

There’s very little life remaining for either of them, but perhaps just enough to heal some of the hurt inflicted along the way, and find new meaning in what’s left. Told with Jacobson’s trademark wit and style, Live a Little is in equal parts funny, irreverent and tender – a novel to make you consider all the paths not taken, and whether you could still change course.


Kate Cooper manages the translation rights for Live a Little

Film Rights


Contact Luke Speed for more information

Translation Rights Sold

Prometheus/Bert Bakker
Klett Cotta Verlag
La nave di Teseo
Editura RAO

Wise, witty, and deftly crafted.

Full Review

Live a Little is ... a novel that nonetheless feels urgent ... 
it’s rarely less than bitterly funny in its determination to face up to the obliteration that awaits us all.


Live a Little is about growing old, but it’s also about gender, race, love and politics, penned in a playful and genuine way ... the book also comes to a surprisingly tender conclusion and delivers some extremely astute home truths.


Just look at the way he makes the English language dance for us ... the characters, as they converse, striking sparks of each other.

Nicholas Lezard

A joyous new novel ... a life-affirming tale of late-flowering love ... if we manage to live a little longer we might have the privilege of enjoying more novels such as this one.

Alexander Nurnberg
Sunday Times

This book is alive. It pulses with warmth and intelligence.

Johanna Thomas-Corr
The Times

Brilliantly observed ... no other novelist writing in Britain could dramatise this nonagenarian love story with greater verve and tenderness.

Tim Adams

A thoroughly enjoyable read ... there is a lot to feast on.

Holly Baxter

Howard Jacobson is a rather rare bird among contemporary novelists ... one opens a new Jacobson novel in the expectation of pleasure. 

Allan Massie

Fast and clever ... brilliant.

David Herman
Jewish Chronicle

Witty and razor sharp.

Ian Critchley
Literary Review

Tender and funny.


Unparalleled linguistic verve .. Vintage Jacobson.

Hephzibah Anderson
Mail on Sunday
Full Review

Jonny Geller
+44 (0)20 7393 4357
Email Jonny Geller
Translation Rights
Kate Cooper
+44 020 7393 4425
Email Kate Cooper