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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 the prestigious Man 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," said The Sunday Times (London). The New Yorker dubbed it "more fun to read than The Name of the Rose . . . Its prankish verve [and] monstrous richness of detail [make for] a one-woman variety show of literary styles and types." The novel traces a pair of young academics - Roland Michell and Maud Bailey - as they uncover a clandestine love affair between two long-dead Victorian poets. Interwoven in a mesmerizing pastiche are love letters and fairytales, extracts from biographies and scholarly accounts, creating a sensuous and utterly delightful novel of ideas and passions.
"A triumphant success on every level." - Cosmopolitan
"Teeming with more ideas than a year's worth of ordinary novels." - Spectator
"This is a novel for every taste: a heartbreaking Victorian love story, a take-no-prisoners comedy of contemporary academic life, and an unputdownable supernatural mystery. You turn the last page feeling stunned and elated, happy to have had the chance to read it." - Washington Post
"Possession is eloquent about the intense pleasures of reading. And, with sumptuous artistry, it provides a feast of them." - Sunday Times
"Our best novelist." - Evening Standard
“Gorgeously written... dazzling... a tour de force.” - The New York Times Book Review
“What a book! This is a novel for every taste... An altogether magical performance.” - The Washington Post Book World
“A masterpiece of wordplay and adventure, a novel that compares with Stendhal and Joyce.” - Los Angeles Times Book Review
“A genuine winner... original and unforgettable.” - Time
“The most dazzling novel of the year.” - USA Today
"an ambitious and wholly satisfying work, a nearly perfect novel." - Publishers Weekly
"This wonderfully written work is highly recommended." - Linda L. Rome, Library Journal
ISBN: 9780099800408 ISBN-10: 0099800403 Audience:
Number Of Pages: 528 Published: 7th February 1991 Publisher: Vintage Publishing Country of Publication: GB Dimensions (cm): 19.8 x 12.9
Weight (kg): 0.38
Edition Number: 1
A.S. Byatt (Antonia S. Byatt) is internationally known for her novels and short stories. Her novels include the Booker Prize-winning Possession, The Biographer's Tale and the quartet, The Virgin in the Garden, Still Life, Babel Tower and A Whistling Woman, and her highly acclaimed collections of short stories include Sugar and Other Stories, The Matisse Stories, The Djinn in the Nightingale's Eye, Elementals and her most recent book Little Black Book of Stories.A distinguished critic as well as a writer of fiction, A S Byatt was appointed CBE in 1990 and DBE in 1999.
Daughter of His Honour John Frederick Drabble, QC and late Kathleen Marie Bloor
1st, 1959, Ian Charles Rayner Byatt (Sir I. C. R. Byatt) marriage dissolved. 1969; one daughter (one son deceased)
2nd, 1969, Peter John Duffy; two daughters.
Sheffield High School; The Mount School, York; Newnham College, Cambridge (BA Hons; Hon. Fellow 1999); Bryn Mawr College, Philadelphia, USA; Somerville College, Oxford.