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Encyclopedia > A. S. Byatt
A. S. Byatt
Born: August 24, 1936
Sheffield, England
Occupation: Writer, Poet
Nationality: British
Writing period: 1964 - present
Debut works: Shadow of a Sun
Website: http://www.asbyatt.com

Dame Antonia Byatt, DBE (born August 24, 1936, Sheffield, England) has been hailed as one of the great postmodern novelists in Britain. She is usually known as A. S. Byatt. August 24 is the 236th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (237th in leap years), with 129 days remaining. ... 1936 (MCMXXXVI) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will take you to calendar). ... For other uses, see Sheffield (disambiguation). ... Motto: (French for God and my right) Anthem: God Save the King/Queen Capital London (de facto) Largest city London Official language(s) English (de facto) Unification    - by Athelstan AD 927  Area    - Total 130,395 km² (1st in UK)   50,346 sq mi  Population    - 2006 est. ... Employment is a contract between two parties, one being the employer and the other being the employee. ... In English usage, nationality is the legal relationship between a person and a country. ... 1964 (MCMLXIV) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (the link is to a full 1964 calendar). ... Andy Byatt is a French documentary film director. ... Commanders Badge of the Order of the British Empire (Military division) The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is a British order of chivalry established on 4 June 1917 by King George V. The Order includes five classes in civil and military divisions; in decreasing order of seniority... August 24 is the 236th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (237th in leap years), with 129 days remaining. ... 1936 (MCMXXXVI) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will take you to calendar). ... For other uses, see Sheffield (disambiguation). ... Motto: (French for God and my right) Anthem: God Save the King/Queen Capital London (de facto) Largest city London Official language(s) English (de facto) Unification    - by Athelstan AD 927  Area    - Total 130,395 km² (1st in UK)   50,346 sq mi  Population    - 2006 est. ... Postmodernity (also called post-modernity or the postmodern condition) is a term used by philosophers, social scientists, art critics and social critics to refer to aspects of contemporary art, culture, economics and social conditions that are the result of the unique features of late 20th century and early 21st century... A novel is an extended work of written, narrative, prose fiction, usually in story form; the writer of a novel is a novelist. ...

Contents

Life and career

Antonia Susan Drabble was educated at Newnham College Cambridge, Bryn Mawr in Pennsylvania, USA and Somerville College, Oxford, though her research grant to the latter institution (dependent on single status) ended with her first marriage. She lectured at London University extra-murally, the Central School of Art and Design and from 1972 to 1981 at University College London. Since becoming a full-time writer, Byatt has published several novels, most notably Possession, which won the prestigious Booker Prize in 1990. Two of her works have been adapted into motion pictures: Possession and Angels & Insects. Full name Newnham College Motto - Named after Its location in the village of Newnham Previous names Newnham Hall Established 1871 Sister College(s) Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford Principal Dame Patricia Hodgson Location Sidgwick Avenue Undergraduates 396 Postgraduates 120 Homepage N/A A view of the Clough and Kennedy buildings of... The University of Cambridge (usually abbreviated as Cantab. ... Bryn Mawr is also the name of an official neighborhood of the city of Minneapolis, Minnesota. ... Official language(s) English, Pennsylvania Dutch Capital Harrisburg Largest city Philadelphia Area  Ranked 33rd  - Total 46,055 sq mi (119,283 km²)  - Width 280 miles (455 km)  - Length 160 miles (255 km)  - % water 2. ... Full name Somerville College Motto Donec rursus impleat orbem Named after Mary Somerville Previous Names Somerville Hall Established 1879 Sister College Girton College Principal Dame Fiona Caldicott JCR President Simon Bruegger MCR President Allen Middlebro Location Woodstock Road, Oxford Undergraduates 396 Graduates 88 Homepage Boat Club Somerville College is one... The University of Oxford (usually abbreviated as Oxon. ... Central Saint Martins - Southampton Row, Holborn Central Saint Martins (ex-St Martins) in Charing Cross Road. ... University College London, commonly known as UCL, is a college of the University of London. ... The Man Booker Prize for Fiction, also known as the Man Booker Prize, or simply the Man Booker, is one of the worlds most important literary prizes, and awarded each year for the best original novel written by a citizen of the Commonwealth or the Republic of Ireland in... See also: 1989 in literature, other events of 1990, 1991 in literature, list of years in literature. ... For other uses see film (disambiguation) Film refers to the celluliod media on which movies are printed Film — also called movies, the cinema, the silver screen, moving pictures, photoplays, picture shows, flicks, or motion pictures, — is a field that encompasses motion pictures as an art form or as... Possession is a 2002 motion picture. ... Angels & Insects is a 1996 U.S. romance and drama film directed by Philip Haas. ...


Also well-known for her short stories, Byatt has been influenced by Henry James and George Eliot as well as Emily Dickinson, T. S. Eliot, and Robert Browning, in merging realism and naturalism with fantasy. In her quartet of novels about mid-century England, she is clearly indebted to D.H. Lawrence, particularly The Rainbow and Women in Love. There and in other works, Byatt alludes to, and builds upon, themes from Romantic and Victorian literature. Byatt conceives of fantasy as as an alternative to--rather than an escape from--everyday life, and often it is difficult to tell if what is fantastic in her work is actually the irruption of psychosis. More recent books by Byatt have brought to fore her interest in science, particularly cognitive science and zoology. For other uses of this name, see Henry James (disambiguation). ... George Eliots birthplace at South Farm, Arbury Mary Anne Evans (22 November 1819 – 22 December 1880), better known by her pen name George Eliot, was an English novelist. ... This article does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Thomas Stearns Eliot, OM (September 26, 1888 – January 4, 1965), was a poet, dramatist and literary critic. ... Robert Browning For information about Robert X. Browning, Director of the C-SPAN archives, see Robert X. Browning. ... Literary realism most often refers to the trend, in early 19th century French literature, towards depictions of contemporary life and society as it is, in the spirit of general Realism, instead of a romanticized or similarly stylized presentation. ... Naturalism is a movement in theater, film, and literature that seeks to replicate a believable everyday reality, as opposed to such movements as Romanticism or Surrealism, in which subjects may receive highly symbolic, idealistic, or even supernatural treatment. ... D. H. Lawrence David Herbert Lawrence (11 September 1885 - 2 March 1930) was one of the most important, certainly one of the most controversial, English writers of the 20th century, who wrote novels, short stories, poems, plays, essays, travel books, and letters. ... The Rainbow was a 1915 novel by British author D.H. Lawrence. ... Women in Love was a novel by British author D.H. Lawrence published in 1920. ... Wanderer above the sea of fog by Caspar David Friedrich Romanticism is an artistic, literary and intellectual movement that originated in 18th century Western Europe. ... Victorianism is the name given to the attitudes, art and culture of the later two-thirds of the 19th century. ... Escapism is mental diversion by means of entertainment or recreation, as an escape from the perceived unpleasant aspects of daily reality. ...


A. S. Byatt's first novel, Shadow of a Sun, the story of a young girl growing up in the shadow of a dominant father, was published in 1964 and was followed by The Game (1967), a study of the relationship between two sisters. The Virgin in the Garden (1978) is the first book in a quartet about the members of a Yorkshire family. The story continues in Still Life (1985), which won the PEN/Macmillan Silver Pen Award, and Babel Tower (1996). The fourth (and final) novel in the quartet is A Whistling Woman (2002). The quartet describes mid-20th-century Britain and Frederica's life as the quintessential bluestocking -- a woman undergraduate at Cambridge at a time when women were heavily outnumbered by men at that University, and later, a divorcée with a young son making a new life in London. Like Babel Tower, A Whistling Woman covers the '60s and dips into the utopian and revolutionary dreams of the time. The Matisse Stories, (1993) featured three stories, each describing a painting by Henri Matisse that inspired Byatt, each the tale of an initially smaller crisis that shows the long-present unravelling in the protagonists' lives. Self-Portrait in a Striped T-shirt (1906). ...


Byatt's younger sister, Margaret Drabble, is also a successful novelist, and the rivalry between the two is legendary, although of uncertain origin. It has been suggested by some that, before becoming successful in her own right, Byatt resented her sister because Drabble gained a starred double-first over her own mere double-first. Drabble herself suggests that part of the rift is due, after the death of Byatt's son in a car accident, to the guilt she felt that her own children survived (this reported by Suzie Mackenzie of the UK's Guardian Unlimited.) Byatt has stated publicly that Drabble's depiction of their mother in Drabble's book The Peppered Moth angered her. Margaret Drabble (born June 5, 1939) is an English novelist. ... Front page of Guardian Unlimited from August 16, 2005 Guardian Unlimited is a British website owned by the Guardian Media Group. ...


She has also written several times for British intellectual journal Prospect magazine. She was awarded a CBE in 1990, then a DBE in 1999. Prospect logo Prospect is a liberal monthly British essay and comment magazine covering a wide range of topics, but specialising in politics and current affairs. ... Commanders Badge of the Order of the British Empire (Military division) The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is a British order of chivalry established on 4 June 1917 by King George V. The Order includes five classes in civil and military divisions; in decreasing order of seniority... Commanders Badge of the Order of the British Empire (Military division) The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is a British order of chivalry established on 4 June 1917 by King George V. The Order includes five classes in civil and military divisions; in decreasing order of seniority...


The Harry Potter controversy

More recently, A. S. Byatt caused controversy by suggesting that the popularity of J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter series of books is because they are "written for people whose imaginative lives are confined to TV cartoons, and the exaggerated (more exciting, not threatening) mirror-worlds of soaps, reality TV and celebrity gossip." In her editorial column in the New York Times newspaper, she scathingly attacked adult readers of the series as uncultured, claiming that "they don't have the skills to tell ersatz magic from the real thing, for as children they daily invested the ersatz with what imagination they had." Joanne Rowling, OBE (born 31 July 1965[1]) is an English fiction writer who writes under the pen name J. K. Rowling. ... This article is about the Harry Potter series of novels. ... The New York Times is an internationally known daily newspaper published in New York City and distributed in the United States and many other nations worldwide. ...


After the column appeared in the newspaper, her editorial was described by Salon.com contributing writer Charles Taylor as "upfront in its snobbishness." He also suggested that Byatt's claims may be due to jealousy towards Rowling's commercial success. Screenshot of Salon. ...


In an article in the Guardian, the author Fay Weldon defended Byatt in this controversy over Harry Potter, and praised her courage for speaking out. "She is absolutely right that it is not what the poets hoped for, but this is not poetry, it is readable, saleable, everyday, useful prose," Weldon said. She said she found the sight of adults reading the Potter series troubling, adding: "Byatt does have a point in everything she says but at the same time she sounds like a bit of a spoilsport. She is being a party pooper but then the party pooper is often right." Fay Weldon (born September 22, 1931) is a British novelist, short story writer, playwright and essayist whose work has been associated with the cause of feminism. ...


Bibliography

  • Shadow of a Sun Chatto & Windus, 1964
  • Degrees of Freedom: The Early Novels of Iris Murdoch Chatto & Windus, 1965
  • The Game Chatto & Windus, 1967
  • Wordsworth and Coleridge in Their Time Nelson, 1970
  • Iris Murdoch: A Critical Study Longman, 1976
  • The Virgin in the Garden Chatto & Windus, 1978
  • Still Life Chatto & Windus, 1985
  • Sugar and Other Stories Chatto & Windus, 1987
  • Unruly Times: Wordsworth and Coleridge, Poetry and Life Hogarth Press, 1989
  • George Eliot: Selected Essays, Poems and Other Writings (editor with Nicholas Warren) Penguin, 1990
  • Possession: A Romance Chatto & Windus, (1990 ISBN 0 7011 3260 4)
  • Passions of the Mind: Selected Writings Chatto & Windus, 1991
  • Angels & Insects Chatto & Windus, 1992
  • The Matisse Stories Chatto & Windus, 1993
  • The Djinn in the Nightingale's Eye Chatto & Windus, 1994
  • Imagining Characters: Six Conversations about Women Writers (with Ignes Sodre) Chatto & Windus, 1995
  • New Writing Volume 4 (editor with Alan Hollinghurst) Vintage, 1995
  • Babel Tower Chatto & Windus, 1996
  • New Writing Volume 6 (editor with Peter Porter) Vintage, 1997
  • Elementals: Stories of Fire and Ice Chatto & Windus, 1998
  • Oxford Book of English Short Stories (editor) Oxford University Press, 1998
  • On Histories and Stories: Selected Essays Chatto & Windus, 2000
  • The Biographer's Tale Chatto & Windus, 2000
  • Portraits in Fiction Chatto & Windus, 2001
  • The Bird Hand Book (with photographs by Victor Schrager) Graphis (New York), 2001
  • A Whistling Woman Chatto & Windus, 2002
  • Little Black Book of Stories Chatto & Windus, 2003

MCMXC redirects here; for the Enigma album, see MCMXC a. ... Angels & Insects is a 1996 U.S. romance and drama film directed by Philip Haas. ... The Biographers Tale is a book by A. S. Byatt. ...

Prizes and awards

She has been granted the title of "Duchess of Morpho Eugenia" by the Spanish writer Javier Marías, claimant to the micronational title of king of Redonda. See also: 1985 in literature, other events of 1986, 1987 in literature, list of years in literature. ... See also: 1989 in literature, other events of 1990, 1991 in literature, list of years in literature. ... The Man Booker Prize for Fiction, also known as the Man Booker Prize, or simply the Man Booker, is one of the worlds most important literary prizes, and awarded each year for the best original novel written by a citizen of the Commonwealth or the Republic of Ireland in... See also: 1989 in literature, other events of 1990, 1991 in literature, list of years in literature. ... Commanders Badge of the Order of the British Empire (Military division) The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is a British order of chivalry established on 4 June 1917 by King George V. The Order includes five classes in civil and military divisions; in decreasing order of seniority... See also: 1989 in literature, other events of 1990, 1991 in literature, list of years in literature. ... See also: 1990 in literature, other events of 1991, 1992 in literature, list of years in literature. ... The Commonwealth Writers Prize was established in 1987. ... See also: 1994 in literature, other events of 1995, 1996 in literature, list of years in literature. ... See also: 1994 in literature, other events of 1995, 1996 in literature, list of years in literature. ... The Aga Khan Prize for Fiction is awarded by the editors of The Paris Review for what they deem to be the best short story published in the magazine in a given year. ... See also: 1997 in literature, other events of 1998, 1999 in literature, list of years in literature. ... See also: 1998 in literature, other events of 1999, 2000 in literature, list of years in literature. ... Commanders Badge of the Order of the British Empire (Military division) The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is a British order of chivalry established on 4 June 1917 by King George V. The Order includes five classes in civil and military divisions; in decreasing order of seniority... See also: 2001 in literature, other events of 2002, 2003 in literature, list of years in literature. ... Javier Marías Franco (born September 20, 1951) is a Spanish novelist, translator and columnist. ... The micronation of Sealand A micronation – sometimes also referred to as a cybernation, fantasy country, model country, and new country project – is any entity that resembles independent nations or states but is unrecognized by them, and for the most part exist only on paper, on the Internet, or in the... Redonda is a Caribbean micronation founded in 1865. ...


External links


The Internet Book List (IBList) is an online database with information about books, authors, short stories, etc. ...


 
 

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