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A.S. Byatt (1936–2023)

Author of Possession

69+ Works 34,887 Members 807 Reviews 228 Favorited

About the Author

A.S. Byatt was born on August 24, 1936 in Sheffield, England. She received a B.A. from Newnham College, Cambridge in 1957, did graduate study at Bryn Mawr College from 1957-58, and attended Somerville College, Oxford from 1958-59. She was a staff member in the extra-mural department at the show more University of London from 1962-71. From 1968-69, she was also a part-time lecturer in the liberal studies department of the Central School of Art and Design, London. She was a lecturer at University College from 1972-80 and then senior lecturer from 1981-83. She became a full-time writer in 1983. Her works include The Biographer's Tale, The Virgin in the Garden, Babel Tower, A Whistling Woman, and The Children's Book. She also wrote numerous collections of short stories including Sugar and Other Stories, The Matisse Stories, The Djinn in the Nightingale's Eye, Elementals, and Little Black Book of Stories. Byatt received the English Speaking Union fellowship in 1957-58, the Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1983, the Silver Pen Award for Still Life, and the Booker Prize for Possession: A Romance in 1990. (Bowker Author Biography) show less
Image credit: Seamus Kearney

Series

Works by A.S. Byatt

Possession (1990) 12,984 copies
The Children's Book (2009) 3,812 copies
Angels & Insects (1992) 2,163 copies
Babel Tower (1996) 1,918 copies
The Virgin in the Garden (1978) 1,755 copies
Still Life (1985) 1,435 copies
The Matisse Stories (1993) 1,190 copies
The Biographer's Tale (2000) 1,186 copies
Little Black Book of Stories (2003) 1,011 copies
A Whistling Woman (2002) 920 copies
The Game (1967) 738 copies
Sugar and Other Stories (1987) 497 copies
The Shadow of the Sun (1964) 441 copies
The Oxford Book of English Short Stories (1998) — Editor — 196 copies
Portraits in Fiction (2001) 83 copies
Deadly Sins (1994) — Contributor — 83 copies
Memory (1769) 52 copies
Writers on Artists (2001) 38 copies
Vintage Byatt (2004) 22 copies
Morpho Eugenia {novella} (1992) — Author — 20 copies
New Writing 4 (1995) — Editor — 11 copies
New Writing 6 (1997) 7 copies
BP Portrait Award 2003 (2003) 7 copies
The Frederica Quartet (2003) 5 copies
Iris Murdoch (1976) 5 copies
Possession | Angels & Insects — Author — 2 copies
On The Conjugial Angel (2021) 2 copies
The July Ghost (1991) 2 copies
Cold {story} 2 copies
Création (1996) 2 copies
Der verliebte Dschinn (2022) 2 copies
2001 1 copy
Bulbulun Gozundeki Cin (2013) 1 copy
Envy {story} 1 copy

Associated Works

Beloved (1987) — Introduction, some editions — 22,922 copies
Middlemarch (1871) — Introduction, some editions — 17,792 copies
Mort (1987) — Introduction, some editions — 15,811 copies
My Ántonia (1918) — Introduction, some editions — 13,647 copies
The Magic Mountain (1924) — Introduction, some editions — 9,637 copies
The Mill on the Floss (1860) — Introduction, some editions — 8,748 copies
O Pioneers! (1913) — Introduction, some editions — 6,372 copies
Death Comes for the Archbishop (1927) — Introduction, some editions — 5,967 copies
The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám (1120) — Introduction, some editions — 5,209 copies
Daniel Deronda (1876) — Introduction, some editions — 3,760 copies
The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám (1048) — Introduction, some editions — 2,929 copies
The Bostonians (1886) — Introduction, some editions — 2,757 copies
The Bell (1958) — Introduction, some editions — 2,037 copies
The Professor's House (1925) — Introduction, some editions — 1,936 copies
The Arabian Nights: Tales from a Thousand and One Nights (2001) — Introduction, some editions — 1,793 copies
A Lost Lady (1923) — Contributor — 1,628 copies
A Blink of the Screen: Collected Shorter Fiction (2012) — Foreword, some editions — 1,240 copies
The Annotated Brothers Grimm (2004) — Introduction, some editions — 1,145 copies
The Pink Fairy Book (1897) — Introduction, some editions — 965 copies
The House in Paris (1935) — Introduction, some editions — 885 copies
Shadows on the Rock (1931) — Introduction, some editions — 873 copies
Traitor's Purse (1941) — Introduction, some editions — 815 copies
Enormous Changes at the Last Minute: Stories (1974) — Introduction, some editions — 691 copies
The Quest for Corvo : An Experiment in Biography (1934) — Introduction, some editions — 590 copies
The History of England (1791) — Introduction, some editions — 589 copies
The Little Disturbances of Man (1959) — Introduction, some editions — 537 copies
The Brontes Went to Woolworths (1931) — Introduction, some editions — 496 copies
Song of Songs {broadside} (1935) — Preface, some editions — 391 copies
The Fifth Queen Trilogy (1962) — Introduction, some editions — 364 copies
Ghostly: A Collection of Ghost Stories (2015) — Contributor — 343 copies
Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: Women Writers Explore Their Favorite Fairy Tales (1998) — Contributor, some editions — 298 copies
The Pleasure of Reading (1992) — Contributor — 189 copies
First Folio: A Little Book of Folio Forewords (2008) — Contributor — 180 copies
Black Water 2: More Tales of the Fantastic (1990) — Contributor — 152 copies
Selected Essays, Poems and Other Writings (1990) — Editor — 145 copies
The Virago Book of Ghost Stories (2006) — Contributor — 140 copies
Mistresses of the Dark [Anthology] (1998) — Contributor — 122 copies
The Penguin Book of Ghost Stories (1984) — Contributor — 122 copies
Granta 115: The F Word (2011) — Contributor — 113 copies
The Penguin Book of Modern Women's Short Stories (1990) — Contributor — 100 copies
The Literary Ghost: Great Contemporary Ghost Stories (1991) — Contributor — 75 copies
Best European Fiction 2013 (2012) — Contributor — 73 copies
Possession [2002 film] (2002) — Original novel — 73 copies
The Oxford Book of Twentieth-Century Ghost Stories (1996) — Contributor — 71 copies
The Man of Fifty (1821) — Foreword, some editions — 64 copies
Ovid Metamorphosed (2000) — Contributor — 64 copies
The Grimm Reader: The Classic Tales of the Brothers Grimm (2010) — Introduction — 57 copies
The New Uncanny: Tales of Unease (2009) — Contributor — 52 copies
The Norton Book Of Ghost Stories (1994) — Contributor — 50 copies
Dramatic Monologues (1991) — Selection and Introduction — 49 copies
A Virago Keepsake to Celebrate Twenty Years of Publishing (1993) — Contributor — 48 copies
The Secret Self: A Century of Short Stories by Women (1995) — Contributor — 34 copies
La Bible (1990) — Preface — 25 copies
Angels and Insects [1995 film] (2002) — Original novel — 20 copies
Best Short Stories 1991 (1991) — Contributor — 16 copies
Founders and Followers (1992) — Contributor — 13 copies
Short Stories: The Thoroughly Modern Collection (2008) — Contributor — 5 copies
Great fairytales, part 3, Love (2009) — Afterword — 2 copies
[Anthologie de nouvelles anglaises] (2001) — Contributor — 1 copy
Het beste uit Rainbow : een Bijenkorf selectie (1994) — Contributor — 1 copy

Tagged

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Common Knowledge

Legal name
Duffy, Antonia Susan
Other names
Byatt, Antonia Susan
Drabble, Antonia Susan (birth)
Birthdate
1936-08-24
Date of death
2023-11-16
Gender
female
Nationality
UK
Birthplace
Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England, UK
Places of residence
Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England, UK
Education
University of Cambridge (BA|1957|Newnham College)
Bryn Mawr College
University of Oxford (Somerville College)
Occupations
short-story writer
novelist
academic
teacher
Relationships
Duffy, Peter (husband)
Byatt, Ian Charles Rayner (first husband)
Drabble, Margaret (sister)
Langdon, Helen (sister)
Holroyd, Michael (brother-in-law)
Swift, Rebecca (1) (niece) (show all 7)
Swift, Joe (nephew)
Organizations
University of London (University College)
Central School of Art and Design
Awards and honors
Order of the British Empire (Commander, 1990)
Order of the British Empire (Dame Commander, 1999)
Premio Malaparte (1995)
Shakespeare Prize (2002)
Booker Prize (1990)
Park Kyong-ni Prize (2017) (show all 17)
American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2014)
Aga Khan Prize for Fiction (1995)
PEN/Macmillan Silver Pen Award (1986)
Irish Times International Fiction Prize (1990)
Commonwealth Writers Prize (1991)
Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature (1998)
James Tait Black Memorial Prize (2010)
Erasmus Prize (2016)
Fellow, British Academy (2017)
Golden Plate Award from American Academy of Achievement (2017)
Hans Christian Andersen Literature Award (2018)
Short biography
Antonia Susan Drabble was born in Yorkshire and educated at a Quaker school in York. After studying at Cambridge University and Bryn Mawr College, she did postgraduate work at Oxford University. In 1959, she married Ian Charles Rayner Byatt and had two children; she later married Peter John Duffy and had two more children. She goes by the pen name A.S. Byatt. She taught in the Extra-Mural Department of London University and the Central School of Art and Design, and in 1972 became full-time Lecturer in English and American Literature at University College, London. She left in 1983 to concentrate on her writing full-time. She has travelled widely to lecture and talk about her work, often with the British Council, and was Chairman of the Society of Authors between 1986 and 1988. She has served on the judging panels for a number of literary prizes, including the Booker Prize for Fiction, and is recognised as a distinguished critic, contributing regularly to journals and newspapers including the Times Literary Supplement, The Independent and the Sunday Times, as well as to BBC radio and television programs. Her first novel, Shadow of a Sun, was published in 1964. A.S. Byatt was awarded a CBE in 1990 and a DBE in 1999.

Members

Discussions

BRITISH AUTHOR CHALLENGE - SHEFFIELD in 75 Books Challenge for 2017 (June 2017)
***Group Read of The Children's Book by A.S. Byatt in 2015 Category Challenge (April 2015)
JULY: Reading A. S. Byatt in Monthly Author Reads (September 2011)

Reviews

Interesting to learn about the two designers although I have to admit, I was pretty confused for a while. The illustrations didn't seem show the kind paintings I remember seeing in Barcelona, nor did he seem to be a Catalan -- he was Spanish, born in Granada. When I finally looked him up on the internet, I discovered he was the son of the Fortuny whose paintings I had admired, who was Catalan -- born in Reus -- and who had moved to the south. So, mystery solved.

There are many illustrations. It's a lovely book.… (more)
 
Flagged
dvoratreis | 7 other reviews | May 22, 2024 |
Blick. Bluck. Blech.

I'm not a huge Byatt follower (give me her estranged sister, Margaret Drabble, any day). But at her best, she's good.

Here... she ain't.
 
Flagged
therebelprince | 16 other reviews | Apr 21, 2024 |
Yes, I must confess my initial dismissal of this novel (10 years ago) has evolved quite a lot, from 2 stars to a solid 4 stars. Marvellous stuff that is far warmer than perhaps I gave it credit for in my nebbishly intellectual youth.
 
Flagged
therebelprince | 288 other reviews | Apr 21, 2024 |
But why?

Why is this book called The Game?

There is a game the two sisters played as children, and this game is still important in their later lives. I also know that the one sister needs the other one to weave a web, and that snakes always try to deceive women, but which man is the snake? I further know biting a apple isn't always biting an apple and that bananas often represent something that isn't a fruit.

Byatt seems to love the romantic poets. Nobody can blame her for that, but in this novel she seems to get stuck in her own metaphorical web. I think I was disappointed because I really loved The Children's Book.

Nevertheless, this book is food for thought, and in some passages you recognise the fact that Byatt is a good writer. I wouldn't suggest this book to anyone, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't read Byatt. I still have Possession on my shelf. I wont read it know, but reading this book doesn't mean I'll never read it.

… (more)
 
Flagged
Lokileest | 16 other reviews | Apr 2, 2024 |

Lists

1990s (1)
My TBR (2)

Awards

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Associated Authors

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John Updike Contributor
Joyce Carol Oates Contributor
Mary Gordon Contributor
William Trevor Contributor
Richard Howard Contributor
Melanie Walz Translator, Übersetzer
Virginia Leishman Narrator, Reader
Thomas Judd Narrator
J. G. Ballard Contributor
Mary Mann Contributor
Rosamond Lehmann Contributor
G.K. Chesterton Contributor
Charlotte Mew Contributor
Anthony Trollope Contributor
Evelyn Waugh Contributor
Rudyard Kipling Contributor
D. H. Lawrence Contributor
H. G. Wells Contributor
Ian McEwan Contributor
Graham Greene Contributor
Thomas Hardy Contributor
P. G. Wodehouse Contributor
Aldous Huxley Contributor
VS Prichett Contributor
Malachi Whitaker Contributor
T. H. White Contributor
A. E. Coppard Contributor
Alan Sillitoe Contributor
Elizabeth Taylor Contributor
M. R. James Contributor
Ronald Firbank Contributor
Saki Contributor
Philip Hensher Contributor
H. E. Bates Contributor
Leonora Carrington Contributor
Rose Tremain Contributor
Arthur Morrison Contributor
John Fuller Contributor
Charles Dickens Contributor
Virginia Woolf Contributor
Angela Carter Contributor
William Gilbert Contributor
Étienne Delessert Illustrator
David Bowie Contributor
Fausto Galuzzi Translator
Anna Nadotti Translator
Marja Alopaeus Translator
Erez Volk Translator
Merete Alfsen Translator
Marian Lameris Translator
Rowena Dugdale Illustrator
Gerda Baardman Translator
Knut Johansen Translator
Leevi Lehto Translator
Sanna Nyqvist Afterword
Merja Polvinen Afterword
Kersti Juva Translator
Stephen Parker Cover designer
Nadia May Narrator
Sophie Aldred Narrator
Claus Bech Translator
Susanne Röckel Übersetzer
Geoff Brightling Cover artist
Titia Schuurman Translator
Jenny Funnell Narrator

Statistics

Works
69
Also by
70
Members
34,887
Popularity
#542
Rating
3.9
Reviews
807
ISBNs
527
Languages
20
Favorited
228

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