Possession: A Romance

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Vintage, 1991 - Biographers - 511 pages
113 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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LibraryThing Review

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  - meandmybooks - LibraryThing

Considering how much I hated the first three hundred pages of this book, I was astonished by how engaged I was by the last one hundred and fifty or so. A friend had told me that this has an excellent ... Read full review

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About the author (1991)

A. S. Byatt is famed for her short fiction, collected in Sugar and Other Stories, The Matisse Stories, and The Djinn in the Nightingale's Eye. Her full-length novels include the Booker Prize-winning Possession and the trilogy sequence The Virgin in the Garden, Still Life, and Babel Tower.

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