Passions of the Mind

Overview

Whether she is writing about George Eliot or Sylvia Plath; Victorian spiritual malaise or Toni Morrison; mythic strands in the novels of Iris Murdoch and Saul Bellow; politics behind the popularity of Barbara Pym or the ambitions that underlie her own fiction, Byatt manages to be challenging, entertaining, and unflinchingly committed to the alliance of literature and life.

Whether she is writing about George Eliot or Sylvia Plath; Victorian spiritual malaise or Toni ...

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Passions of the Mind: Selected Writings

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Overview

Whether she is writing about George Eliot or Sylvia Plath; Victorian spiritual malaise or Toni Morrison; mythic strands in the novels of Iris Murdoch and Saul Bellow; politics behind the popularity of Barbara Pym or the ambitions that underlie her own fiction, Byatt manages to be challenging, entertaining, and unflinchingly committed to the alliance of literature and life.

Whether she is writing about George Eliot or Sylvia Plath; Victorian spiritual malaise or Toni Morrison; mythic strands in the novels of Iris Murdoch and Saul Bellow; politics behind the popularity of Barbara Pym or the ambitions that underlie her own fiction, Byatt manages to be challenging, entertaining, and unflinchingly committed to the alliance of literature and life.

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Editorial Reviews

Suzanne Berne
A. S. Byatt's "Passions of the Mind," will delight the very literary and intimidate everyone else....Those who persevere, however, will find Ms. Byatt's insights into the writers she discusses both elegant and commanding....Perhaps many of Ms. Byatt's readers will buy "Passions of the Mind" hoping for more of the same. Instead, they will get a straight, bracing dose of the real thing. -- New York Times
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Wide-ranging essays in literary criticism from the Booker Prize-winning author of Possession. (Apr.)
Library Journal
Readers of Byatt's Still Life ( LJ 11/15/85) and, to a lesser extent, Possession ( LJ 11/1/90) will find this collection of her criticism true to her quality and themes. The essays range from describing the influences on her own work to analysis of her favorite Victorians, Robert Browning and George Eliot, and such modernist writers as Ford Madox Ford, William Golding, and Iris Murdoch. Some female writers (Willa Cather, Elizabeth Bowen, and Toni Morrison, among others) are treated, as are the relationship of the real and the symbolic, as revealed by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Charles Rycroft, and Vincent Van Gogh. Byatt's interest in the influence of religion on writing shines through. The writing is brilliant, requiring a substantial awareness of English literature and command of the language. For academic and large public libraries. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 10/15/91.-- Ann Irvine, Montgomery Cty. P.L., Md.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780679736783
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 3/28/1993
  • Series: Vintage International Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 8.03 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

A.S. Byatt is the author of the novels Possession (winner of the Booker Prize in 1990), The Game, and the sequence The Virgin in the Garden, Still Life, and Babel Tower. She has also written two novellas, published together as Angels and Insects, and four collections of shorter works, including The Matisse Stories and The Djinn in the Nightingale's Eye. Educated at Cambridge, she was a senior lecturer in English at University College, London, before becoming a full-time writer in 1983. A distinguished critic as well as a novelist, she lives in London.

Biography

A. S. Byatt, author of the Booker Prize-winning Possession, is internationally acclaimed as a novelist, short story writer and critic. Her most recent fiction outside this tetralogy is The Biographer's Tale, a novel, and Elementals, a collection of short stories. She was created a Dame of the British Empire in 1999.

Author biography courtesy of Random House, Inc.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Antonia Susan Drabble Byatt (full name)
    2. Hometown:
      London, England; France
    1. Date of Birth:
      August 24, 1936
    2. Place of Birth:
      Sheffield, England
    1. Education:
      B.A., Newnham College, Cambridge, 1957; graduate study at Bryn Mawr College and Somerville College

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