Imagining characters: six conversations about women writers

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Chatto and Windus, 1995 - Literary Criticism - 268 pages
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In this innovative and wide-ranging book, Byatt and the psychoanalyst Ignes Sodre bring their different sensibilities to bear on six novels they have read and loved: Jane Austen'sMansfield Park, Bronte'sVillette, George Elliot'sDaniel Deronda, Willa Cather'sThe Professor's House, Iris Murdoch'sAn Unofficial Rose, and Toni Morrison'sBeloved. The results are nothing less than an education in the ways literature grips its readers and, at times, transforms their lives.Imagining Charactersis indispensable, a work of criticism that returns us to the books it discusses with renewed respect and wonder.

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Daniel Deronda
The Professors House

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About the author (1995)

A.S. Byatt, 1936 - A.S. Byatt was born on August 24, 1936 in Sheffield, England to John Frederick Drabble, a judge, and Kathleen Marie (Bloor) Drabble. 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. In 1959, she married economist Ian Charles Rayner Byatt, with whom she had two children. They divorced in 1969 and she later married Peter John Duffy, and they also had two children. Byatt was a staff member in the extra-mural department at the 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. She has also been a member of the British Broadcasting Corp. Social Effects of Television Advisory Group from 1974-77, a member of Communications and Cultural Studies Board of the Council for National Academic Awards in 1978 and a member of Kingman Committee on the Teaching of English from 1987-88. 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.

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