Possession: A Romance

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Vintage, 1991 - Biographers - 511 pages
112 Reviews
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," 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.

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User Review  - ToddSherman - LibraryThing

I sent some of my smaller poems—a little sheaf—selected with trembling—to a great Poet—who shall be nameless, I cannot write his name—asking—Are These Poems? Have I—a Voice? He replied with ... Read full review

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User Review  - lissabeth21 - LibraryThing

After an extremely slow start, too full of over puffed ancient literature and near moldy scenes of unnecessary back story, it became evident that there was actually a story of interest buried beneath ... Read full review

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About the author (1991)

A. S. Byatt is internationally acclaimed as a novelist, short story writer and critic. Educated at York and Newnham College, Cambridge, she taught at the Central School of Art and Design, and was Senior lecturer in English at University College, London, before becoming a full-time writer in 1983. She was appointed CBE in 1990 and DBE in 1999. Her most recent novel is The Children's Book.

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