From the author of The New York Times bestseller Possession, comes a highly acclaimed novel which captures in brilliant detail the life of one extended English family--and illuminates the choices they must make between domesticity and ambition, life and art. Toni Morrison, author of Beloved, writes of Byatt: "When it comes to probing characters her scalpel is sure but gentle. She is a loving surgeon".
From the renowned author of Possession, The Children’s Book is the absorbing story of the close of what has been called the Edwardian summer: the deceptively languid, blissful period that ended with the cataclysmic destruction of World War I. In this compelling novel, A.S. Byatt summons up a whole era, revealing that beneath its golden surface lay tensions that would explode into war, revolution and unbelievable change — for the generation that came of age before 1914 and, most of all, for their children. The novel centres around Olive Wellwood, a fairy tale writer, and her circle, which includes the brilliant, erratic craftsman Benedict Fludd and his apprentice Phillip Warren, a runaway...
Hailed by The New York Times Book Review as "a gifted observer, able to discern the exact details that bring whole worlds into being" and "a storyteller who could keep a sultan on the edge of his throne for a thousand and one nights," A. S. Byatt writes some of the most engaging and skillful novels of our time. Time magazine calls her "a novelist of dazzling inventiveness." Possession, for which Byatt won England's prestigious Booker Prize, was praised by critics on both sides of the Atlantic when it was first published in 1990. "On academic rivalry and obsession, Byatt is delicious. On the nature of possession—the lover by the beloved, the biographer by his subject—she is profound," sai...
Like Hans Christian Andersen and the Brothers Grimm, Isak Dinesen and Angela Carter, A. S. Byatt knows that fairy tales are for grownups. And in this ravishing collection she breathes new life into the form. Little Black Book of Stories offers shivers along with magical thrills. Leaves rustle underfoot in a dark wood: two middle-aged women, childhood friends reunited by chance, venture into a dark forest where once, many years before, they saw–or thought they saw–something unspeakable. Another woman, recently bereaved, finds herself slowly but surely turning into stone. A coolly rational ob-gyn has his world pushed off-axis by a waiflike art student with her own ideas about the uses of the body. Spellbinding, witty, lovely, terrifying, the Little Black Book of Stories is Byatt at the height of her craft. From the Trade Paperback edition.
The Booker Prize–winning author of Possession breathes life into the Ragnorak myth through the novel of a young British girl during World War II. Ragnarok retells the finale of Norse mythology: a story of the destruction of life on this planet and the end of the gods themselves. What more relevant myth could any modern writer choose? As the bombs of the Blitz rain down on Britain, one young girl is evacuated to the countryside. She is struggling to make sense of her new wartime life. Then she is given a copy of Asgard and the Gods—a book of ancient Norse myths—and her inner and outer worlds are transformed. War, natural disaster, reckless gods and the recognition of impermanence in the world are just some of the threads that A.S. Byatt weaves into this most timely of books. Linguistically stunning and imaginatively abundant, this is a landmark. A Globe and Mail Best Book “A gorgeous, brilliant, and significant performance.” —Booklist, starred review “Byatt’s prose is majestic, the lush descriptive passages—jewelled one minute, gory the next—a pleasure to get lost in.” —The Telegraph
A.S. Byatt has always alternated novels with shorter fiction. Different literary and linguistic models are applied here to analyse how she guides her readers' understanding of vital, complex issues within her perennial themes of life, creativity and death. This study focuses on certain stories from the six volumes of short fiction she has produced to date. The two novellas of Angels and Insects are scrutinised for their intertextuality, while stories from "Sugar and Other Stories, The Matisse Stories, The Djinn in the Nightingale's Eye, Elementals: Stories of Fire and Ice" and "Little Black Book of Stories" are novel discussions of creativity and related gender issues.
Whether she is writing about George Eliot or Sylvia Plath; Victorian spiritual malaise or Toni Morrison; mythic strands in the novels of Iris Murdoch and Saul Bellow; politics behind the popularity of Barbara Pym or the ambitions that underlie her own fiction, Byatt manages to be challenging, entertaining, and unflinchingly committed to the alliance of literature and life.
From the winner of the Booker Prize: A ravishing book that opens a window into the lives, designs, and passions of Mariano Fortuny and William Morris, two remarkable artists who themselves are passions of the writer A. S. Byatt. Born a generation apart in the mid-1800s, Fortuny and Morris were seeming opposites: Fortuny a Spanish aristocrat thrilled by the sun-baked cultures of Crete and Knossos; Morris a member of the British bourgeoisie, enthralled by Nordic myths. Through their revolutionary inventions and textiles, both men inspired a new variety of art that is as striking today as when it was first conceived. In this elegant meditation, Byatt traces their genius right to the source. For...
A. S. Byatt is one of the most popular and critically acclaimed contemporary writers. This new study provides a lively and detailed exploration of her fiction and non-fiction, and examines Byatt's work in the light of postmodern concerns with language, narrative and self-referentiality. Ideal for students and general readers alike, A. S. Byatt features: • a supporting timeline of key dates • biographical and cultural analysis of key texts such as Possession and the recent The Children's Book • discussion of the full range of Byatt's literary output, including her novels, short stories and critical writings • a survey of selected landmark interviews • a comprehensive overview of the critical reception of Byatt's work.
A Whistling Woman portrays the antic, thrilling, and dangerous period of the late ‘60s as seen through the eyes of a woman whose life is forever changed by her times. Frederica Potter, a smart, spirited 33-year-old single mother, lucks into a job hosting a groundbreaking television talk show based in London. Meanwhile, in her native Yorkshire where her lover is involved in academic research, the university is planning a prestigious conference on body and mind, and a group of students and agitators is establishing an “anti-university.” And nearby a therapeutic community is beginning to take the shape of a religious cult under the influence of its charismatic religious leader. A Whistling Woman is a brilliant and thought-provoking meditation on psychology, science, religion, ethics, and radicalism, and their effects on ordinary lives. From the Trade Paperback edition.