A.S. Byatt ©Seamus Kearney

Books by A.S. Byatt

A. S. Byatt (1936-2023) was a British writer and academic, who won the 1990 Booker Prize for her novel Possession, now considered a key postmodern text. Byatt published eleven novels and six collections of short fiction, including The Children’s Book, which was shortlisted for the Booker and won the prestigious James Tait Black Memorial Prize in 2010. “No novelist, perhaps, has done so much to widen the range of English fiction,” declared The Paris Review in 2001, and she continues to be widely admired for her literary ambition and the grand ideas encapsulated in her fiction.

After losing her son in a tragic accident, she later explained, she lost her appetite for writing tragedy. She “slowly came to value comedy, because I began to see that tragedy and terror are things for the young, to whom nothing dreadful has happened.” In a “world of desolation and devastation,” she continued, “Why the hell not have happy endings? Everybody knows they’re artificial. Why not have this pleasure, as one has the pleasure of rhyme, as one has the pleasure of color?”

© Five Books 2024

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