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AS Byatt

English novelist

Died when: 87 years 84 days (1046 months)
Star Sign: Virgo


AS Byatt

Dame Antonia Susan Duffy DBE HonFBA (née Drabble; born 24 August 1936), known professionally by her former marriage name as A.

S.Byatt (/ˈbaɪ.ət/ BY-ət), is an English critic, novelist, poet and short story writer.Her books have been widely translated, into more than thirty languages.

After attending the University of Cambridge, she married in 1959 and moved to Durham.It was during Byatt's time at university that she began work on her first two novels, subsequently published by Chatto & Windus as Shadow of a Sun (1964; reprinted in 1991 with its originally intended title, The Shadow of the Sun) and The Game (1967).

Byatt took a teaching job in 1972 so as to help pay for the education of her only son.In the same week she accepted, a drink-driver killed her son as he walked home from school.

He was 11 years of age.Byatt spent a symbolic 11 years teaching (the same length of time as her son had lived), then began full-time writing in 1983.

The Virgin in the Garden (1978) was the first of The Quartet, a tetralogy of novels that continued with Still Life (1985), Babel Tower (1996) and A Whistling Woman (2002).

Byatt's novel Possession: A Romance received the 1990 Booker Prize, whilst her short story collection The Djinn in the Nightingale's Eye (1994) received the 1995 Aga Khan Prize for Fiction.

Her novel The Children's Book was shortlisted for the 2009 Booker Prize and won the 2010 James Tait Black Memorial Prize.Her critical work includes two studies of Dame Iris Murdoch (who was a friend and mentor), Degrees of Freedom: The Early Novels of Iris Murdoch (1965) and Iris Murdoch: A Critical Study (1976).

Her other critical studies include Wordsworth and Coleridge in Their Time (1970) and Portraits in Fiction (2001).Byatt was awarded the Shakespeare Prize in 2002, the Erasmus Prize in 2016, the Park Kyong-ni Prize in 2017 and the Hans Christian Andersen Literature Award in 2018.

She has been mentioned as a candidate for the Nobel Prize in Literature.

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