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).


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).

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References in periodicals archive ?
White, A.S. Byatt and others) find a way to inhabit vast stretches of time, accounting for everything that's happened before and what's to come, making past and future converge with vertiginous force onto the present moment.
In her book, Melusine the Serpent Goddess in A.S. Byatt's Possession and in Mythology (2003), this same writer examines the figure of Melusine in French medieval folklore, enlarging her grasp to contain pre-patriarchal goddess myth, comparing Melusine to mythic figures such as Medusa.
Jordana Ashman Long brings both of these critical threads together--Tolkien and Girard--among other approaches in her discussion of A.S. Byatt's Possession as a romance.
A.S. Byatt's Delineation of the Proper 'Function of Criticism
Ellen Rees's study of the dilemma biographical fiction faces with the conceptual boundaries between fact and fiction as illustrated by A.S. Byatt's novel based on the life and death of Henrik Ibsen, The Biographer's Tale (2000), can also be placed among these excellent essays despite its weak ending which stands in stark contrast to the rest of an otherwise brilliant piece.
In her essay collection On Histories and Stories (2000), A.S. Byatt claims that "storytelling is intrinsic to biological time, which we cannot escape....
In an interview by Sam Leith for The Guardian, A.S. Byatt speaks about the capacity of language to depict the surrounding world in inexhaustible ways: "We are always being told language is inadequate to describe things.
As the writer A.S. Byatt suggests in Passions of the Mind, the demands of formal verse push writers to "search for words, select, reject, consider, make discoveries." In those discoveries lies the happiness Espaillat was talking about.
Her lecture invited us to a literary quest through personal and collective memory in novels by A.S. Byatt, Tracy Chevalier, Timothy Findley, Alexander Hemon, and W.G Sebald and guided us through a world of "double fiction" created out of images and texts.
A SHOCKING 14 libraries in Sheffield - birthplace of great writers such as the sisters A.S. Byatt and Margaret Drabble, home town of Malcolm Bradbury, and a city brimming with arts and industry - face closure.
The first issue, titled "Britain," features works from 18 English writers, including David Mitchell, A.S. Byatt and Kazuo Ishiguro, all of whom Chinese readers are familiar with.
Hadley's focus is on the ending of two neo-Victorian novels, John Fowles' The French Lieutenant's Woman (1969) and A.S. Byatt's Possession: A Romance (1990).