A. S. Byatt


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Byatt, A. S.

(Antonia Susan Byatt) (bī`ət), 1936–, British novelist; sister of Margaret DrabbleDrabble, Margaret,
1939–, English novelist, b. Sheffield, Yorkshire; sister of A. S. Byatt. Drabble's rigorous and unsentimentally realistic vision of an England split between traditional values and contemporary desires is apparent in such works as The Millstone
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. Educated at Cambridge, Bryn Mawr College, Pa., and Oxford, she is a noted critic and novelist whose work is erudite, subtle, and passionate. Her best-known novel, Possession (1989)—at once a mystery, a work of Victorian literary scholarship, a romance, and a philosophical inquiry into the nature of love—won the Booker Prize. Byatt's other fiction includes a quartet of novels, The Virgin in the Garden (1978), Still-Life (1985), Babel Tower (1996), and A Whistling Woman (2002), centered around a Yorkshire family and exploring modern English life. Her novella Angels and Insects (1992) and her novel The Biographer's Tale (2001) both examine Victorian times with a contemporary sensibility; the sweeping novel The Children's Book (2009) tells of a writer, her family, and the wider world during years from the late 19th cent. through World War I. Byatt is also known for studies of Iris MurdochMurdoch, Dame Iris
(Dame Jean Iris Murdoch) , 1919–99, British novelist and philosopher, b. Dublin, Ireland, grad. Oxford (1942). In 1948 she was named lecturer in philosophy at Oxford, and in 1963 she was made an honorary fellow of St. Anne's College, Oxford.
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 (1965, 1976) and other literary essays, e.g., Passions of the Mind (1992) and On Histories and Stories (2000); short stories, e.g., Matisse Stories (1993), Elementals (1999), and Little Black Book of Stories (2004); fairy tales (1997); and an appreciation of William MorrisMorris, William,
1834–96, English poet, artist, craftsman, designer, social reformer, and printer. He has long been considered one of the great Victorians and has been called the greatest English designer of the 19th cent.
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 and Mariano Fortuny, Peacock and Vine (2016).

Bibliography

See studies by K. C. Kelly (1996), A. Alfer and M. J. Noble, ed. (2001), C. Franken (2001), L. Hadley (2008), and L. Steveler (2009).

References in periodicals archive ?
Secondly, the last decades of the twentieth century and the first two of the third millennium have witnessed an ever-growing tendency among British women writers to engage in writing alternate histories, to experiment with literary historiography; Angela Carter, Penelope Fitzgerald, Jeanette Winterson, Zadie Smith, Sarah Waters, A. S. Byatt, Sylvia Townsend Warner, and many other female writers of fiction have chosen "history" as their subject only to reclaim the "ex-centric" voice of women.
A. S. Byatt's appreciation for Tennyson--she refers to In
Lawrence, Language and Ethics in A. S. Byatt's Fiction," by the late and much-missed Peter Preston.
In her illuminating and insightful article, "People in Paper Houses," A. S. Byatt identifies the difficulty of "reporting speech in a land where understatement is the normal style of all classes, and how facts have an unreal, almost satirical ring when committed to paper" (Byatt: 1979, 41).
Kelly, Kathleen Coyne 1996: A. S. Byatt. New York: Twaine Publishers.
Jane Campbell, one of the first academic critics of A. S. Byatt's fiction, has written a comprehensive, invaluable study of all Byatt's novels and short fiction published until 2002.
A. S. Byatt scatters narrative episodes and meta-artistic themes across a wide canvas in Babel Tower (1996), inventing and framing texts while juxtaposing literary and pictorial language.
The paper explores the theme of spiritualism in two neo-Victorian texts: In the red kitchen by Michele Roberts and "The conjugial angel" by A. S. Byatt. In recreating the Victorian setting, both writers self-consciously draw on the late nineteenth-century belief in the possibility of establishing communication between the living and the dead by means of spiritualist practice.
A notorious sibling rivalry exists between A. S. Byatt and her
Critics have positioned A. S. Byatt's Booker-winning Possession as a postmodern classic that plays with genres, combining elements of the detective novel, Victorian poetry, the epistolary novel, fairytales, and metafiction, as well as a post-postmodern text that returns us to "traditional" storytelling.
Little Black Book of Stories by A. S. Byatt. New York: Alfred A.
(12.) Lynn Wells, "Corso, Ricorso: Historical Repetition and Cultural Reflection in A. S. Byatt's Possession: A Romance," Modern Fiction Studies 48.3 (2002): 669.