Byatt, A.S. 1936–
Byatt, A.S. 1936–
(Antonia Susan Drabble Byatt)
PERSONAL: Born August 24, 1936, in Sheffield, England; daughter of John Frederick (a judge) and Kathleen Marie (Bloor) Drabble; married Ian Charles Rayner Byatt (an economist), July 4, 1959 (divorced, 1969); married Peter John Duffy, 1969; children: (first marriage) Antonia, Charles; (second marriage) Isabel, Miranda. Education: Newnham College, Cambridge, B.A. (first class honors), 1957; graduate study at Bryn Mawr College, 1957–58, and Somerville College, Oxford, 1958–59.
ADDRESSES: Home—37 Rusholme Rd., London SW15 3LF, England.
CAREER: University of London, London, England, staff member in extramural department, 1962–71; Central School of Art and Design, London, part-time lecturer in department of liberal studies, 1965–69; University College, London, lecturer, 1972–81, senior lecturer in English, 1981–83, admissions tutor in English, 1980–83, fellow, beginning 1984; writer, 1983–. Associate of Newnham College, Cambridge, 1977–82; British Council Lecturer in Spain, 1978, India, 1981, and in Germany, Australia, Hong Kong, China, and Korea; George Eliot Centenary Lecturer, 1980. Member of panel of judges for Booker Prize, 1973, Hawthornden Prize, and David Higham Memorial Prize; member of British Broadcasting Corp. (BBC) Social Effects of Television advisory group, 1974–77; member of Communications and Cultural Studies Board, Council for National Academic Awards, 1978; member of Kingman Committee on the Teaching of English, 1987–88; member of British Council of Literature advisory panel, 1990–98, and board, 1993–98.
MEMBER: British Society of Authors (member of committee of management, 1984–88; chair of committee, 1986–88), PEN.
AWARDS, HONORS: English-speaking Union fellowship, 1957–58; fellow of Royal Society of Literature, 1983; Silver Pen Award for Still Life; Booker Prize, Irish Times-Aer Lingus International Fiction Prize, 1990, and Best Book in Commonwealth Prize, all for Possession; Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for adult literature, Mythopoeic Society, 1998, for The Djinn in the Nightingale's Eye: Five Fairy Tales; Commander of the Order of the British Empire, 1990, Dame Commander, 1999; honorary fellow, Newham College, Cambridge, 1999, London Institute, 2000. D.Litt. from University of Bradford, 1987, University of Durham, 1991, University of Nottingham, 1992, University of Liverpool, 1993, University of Portsmouth, 1994, University of London, 1995, Cambridge University, 1999, and Sheffield University, 2000; D.Univ. from University of York, 1991.
The Shadow of the Sun, Harcourt (London, England), 1964.
The Game, Chatto & Windus, 1967 (London, England), Scribner (New York, NY), 1968.
The Virgin in the Garden (first novel in tetralogy), Chatto & Windus (London, England), 1978, Knopf (New York, NY), 1979.
Still Life (second novel in tetralogy), Chatto & Windus (London, England), 1985, Scribner (New York, NY), 1987.
Sugar and Other Stories, Scribner (New York, NY), 1987.
Possession: A Romance, Random House (New York, NY), 1990.
Angels and Insects: Two Novellas, (contains "Morpho Eugenia" and "The Conjugial Angel"), Chatto & Windus (London, England), 1992.
The Matisse Stories, Chatto & Windus (London, England), 1993, Random House (New York, NY), 1995.
The Djinn in the Nightingale's Eye: Five Fairy Tales, Chatto & Windus (London, England), 1994.
Babel Tower (third novel in tetralogy), Random House (New York, NY), 1996.
Elementals: Stories of Fire and Ice, Chatto & Windus (London, England), 1998, Random House (New York, NY), 1999.
The Biographer's Tale, Chatto & Windus (London, England), 2000, Knopf (New York, NY), 2001.
A Whistling Woman (fourth novel in tetralogy), Knopf (New York, NY), 2002.
Little Black Book of Stories, Knopf (New York, NY), 2004.
Wordsworth and Coleridge in Their Time, Nelson (London, England), 1970, Crane, Russak (New York, NY), 1973, published as Unruly Times: Wordsworth and Coleridge in Their Time, Hogarth (London, England), 1989.
Iris Murdoch, Longman (London, England), 1976.
(Editor and author of introduction) George Eliot, The Mill on the Floss, Penguin (Middlesex, England), 1979.
(Editor) George Eliot, Selected Essays, Poems and Other Writings, Penguin (Middlesex, England), 1989.
(Editor) Robert Browning, Dramatic Monologues, Folio Society (London, England), 1990.
Passions of the Mind, Chatto & Windus (London, England), 1991.
(Editor with Alan Hollinghurst) New Writing 4, Vintage (London, England), 1995.
(With Ignes Sodre) Imagining Characters: Conversations about Women Writers: Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronté, George Eliot, Willa Cather, Iris Murdoch, and Toni Morrison, Chatto & Windus (London, England), 1995, Vintage (New York, NY), 1997.
(Editor with others) New Writing 6, Vintage (London, England), 1997.
(Editor) The Oxford Book of English Short Stories, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1998.
On Histories and Stories, Chatto & Windus (London, England), 2000, Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA), 2001.
Portraits in Fiction, Chatto & Windus (London, England), 2001.
Contributor to books, including Isobel Armstrong, editor, The Major Victorian Poets Reconsidered, Routledge (London, England), 1969; Malcolm Bradbury, editor, The Contemporary English Novel, Edward Arnold (London, England), 1979; and Patrick Heron, Tate Gallery Publications (London, England), 1998. Author of prefaces to books, including Elizabeth Bowen, The House in Paris, Penguin, 1976; Grace Paley, Enormous Changes at the Last Minute, Virago, 1979; Paley, The Little Disturbances of Man, Virago, 1980; Willa Cather, My Antonia and A Lost Lady, Virago, 1980, and My Mortal Enemy, Shadow on the Rock, Death Comes to the Archbishop, O Pioneers! and Lucy Grayheart; and George Eliot, Middlemarch, Oxford University Press, 1999. Also author of radio documentary on Leo Tolstoy, 1978, and of dramatized portraits of George Eliot and Samuel Taylor Coleridge for National Portrait Gallery. Contributor of reviews to London Times, New Statesman, Encounter, New Review, and American Studies. Member of editorial board, Encyclopaedia, Longman-Penguin, 1989.
ADAPTATIONS: "Morpho Eugenia" was adapted to film as Angels and Insects; Possession was adapted for a film by director Neil LaBute, David Henry Hwang, and Laura Jones, starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Aaron Eckhart, USA Films, 2002.
SIDELIGHTS: A.S. Byatt is a widely experienced critic, novelist, editor, and lecturer who "offers in her work an intellectual kaleidoscope of our contemporary world," according to Caryn McTighe Musil in the Dictionary of Literary Biography. Musil added: "Her novels, like her life, are dominated by an absorbing, discriminating mind which finds intellectual passions as vibrant and consuming as emotional ones." A celebrated polymath—whose fiction delves into science, the visual arts, Victorian history and sensibilities, and the postmodern concept of writing about writing—the London-based Byatt has attracted a reading audience on both sides of the Atlantic. In Publishers Weekly John F. Baker called Byatt "somewhat of a pillar in the English intellectual establishment … whose mind is so compendious that deciding what to leave out of her books is more of a problem than an author's usual frantic search for ideas."
Byatt was relatively unknown as a fiction writer until 1990, the year in which she published her bestseller—and Booker Prize-winning novel—Possession. Since then she has been in demand not only as a writer, but also as a lecturer and a judge of others' works. Her own fiction seeks to disprove that writing about the academy must necessarily be fraught with intellectual legerdemain. "All through Byatt's writing life, she has reflected on the way we earthly beings dream of spirit," Michael Levenson observed in the New Republic. "She is a Realist, a post-Christian, a sometime academic living in skeptical times…. For Byatt these are simply the latest natural conditions for our spirit-hunger. It's no use whining. Her point is not to confirm religious truth, but to enlarge the religious sense, which locates value not in the infinite but in the yearning for the infinite, not in God but in the search for God." As Donna Seaman put it in Booklist, Byatt is simultaneously "a dazzling storyteller and a keen observer of the power and significance of her medium…. She revels, to her readers' considerable delight, in the infinite potential of the storyteller's art."
Byatt grew up in a scholarly family. Her father was a judge, and her sister, Margaret Drabble, also pursued writing. Byatt attended both Cambridge and Oxford, where she studied art and literature, all the while writing fiction as well. Her career progressed relatively slowly—but considering that she raised four children while teaching, she in fact made commendable strides. Byatt has been a full-time writer since 1983, but still pursues scholarly work in the form of literary criticism, edited volumes, and the writing of introductions for new editions of classic fiction. To quote Hilma Wolitzer in the New York Times Book Review, Byatt "has always been concerned with the ways in which art and literature inform and transform our lives."
Byatt's first novel, The Shadow of the Sun, reflects the author's own struggle to combine the role of critic with that of novelist on the one hand, and the role of mother with that of visionary on the other, according to Musil. The critic wrote that The Game, "a piece of technical virtuosity, is also a taut novel that explores with a courage and determined honesty greater than [D. H.] Lawrence's the deepest levels of antagonism that come with intimacy. Widely reviewed, especially in Great Britain, The Game established Byatt's reputation as an important contemporary novelist."
Byatt's novel The Virgin in the Garden was described by Times Literary Supplement reviewer Michael Irwin as a "careful, complex novel." The book's action is set in 1953, the year of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, and Irwin reported that "its theme is growing up, coming of age, tasting knowledge." The book "is a highly intellectual operation," pointed out Iris Murdoch in New Statesman. "The characters do a great deal of thinking, and have extremely interesting thoughts which are developed at length." "The novel's central symbol," Musil related, "is Queen Elizabeth I, a monarch Byatt sees as surviving because she used her mind and thought things out, unlike her rival, Mary, Queen of Scots, who was 'very female and got it wrong.'" In Musil's opinion, the work initiated "the middle phase" of Byatt's writing career. "Much denser" than her previous novels "and dependent on her readers' erudition, [The Virgin in the Garden] achieves a style that suits Byatt. It blends her acquisitive, intellectual bent with her imaginative compulsion to tell stories." The Virgin in the Garden is the first in a series of novels featuring the character Frederica Potter, who, like Byatt, has grown up in the north of England, attended Cambridge, and has become a respected—if beleaguered—academician.
With Babel Tower and A Whistling Woman Byatt completes a fictional quartet that began with The Virgin in the Garden and continued with Still Life. Babel Tower finds Frederica Potter trying to overcome a soured marriage and make it on her own as a single mother in the tumult of 1960s London. The novel, which continues Byatt's sweeping portrayal of post-World War II England, also serves, in the words of New York Times Book Review critic Ann Hulbert, as a "portrait of the reader as a young woman," wherein Byatt questions the value of literature in modern culture. Time magazine reviewer Paul Gray deemed Byatt's subject "certainly worthy but perhaps not sufficiently vivid to propel read-ers through a long, long literary haul." Hulbert assessed this third novel as "bolder" than Byatt's earlier installments in the series. She wrote that in Babel Tower, Byatt's "usual impressive command of slippery ideas and the solidest of details … mix and move with new energy, even abandon." In his Maclean's review, John Bemrose suggested that "what propels Babel Tower into a whole new orbit of achievement is Byatt's fresh and keenly intelligent interpretation of the Sixties—an era many would argue has been documented to death." Bemrose styled the work "a brilliant novel of ideas … about the courage required to cope with change."
Noting Byatt's characteristic use of embedded narrative threads within her fiction, World Literature Today contributor Mary Kaiser commented that in A Whistling Woman "there is also a skein of symbolic threads in this intricate narrative tapestry, in which birds and women are linked as singers, spiritual vehicles, and embodiments of beauty." In this fourth novel in the series, Potter—now a thirty-something single mother and working as a teacher—has found a loyal and growing readership for her fiction. As Potter's acclaim and celebrity grows as a result of the publication of her novel Laminations, so too do the successes of her creative friends, often at the cost of romantic love. Potter's decision to shift from teaching to hosting a talk show puts her into the center of 1960s culture and the battle between the status quo and a liberation of social and cultural views, a counterpoint being the destructive influence of charismatic cult leader Joshua Ramsden. Potter represents the prototypical feminist of the period: according to a Publishers Weekly contributor, a woman who is "literate, shrewd and knowing, a character who could only be the product of centuries of Enlightenment." Ramsden, in contrast, is "dark, ecstatic," a man "whose psychotic episodes begin to bleed into his essential charismatic goodness," according to the critic. Praising Byatt as "Astute and omnipotent," Booklist contributor Donna Seaman described the novel's subject as "nothing less than Western civilization and its endless redefining of faith and fact, good and evil, art and science."
The 1990 publication of Possession finally brought Byatt into the mainstream in both English and American letters. Possession tells the story of Roland Michell and Maud Bailey, two contemporary literary scholars whose paths cross during their research. Roland is an expert on the famous Victorian poet Randolph Henry Ash, while Maud's interest is Christabel LaMotte, an obscure poet of the same period. Roland and Maud discover evidence that the two Victorians were linked in a passionate relationship; their joint investigation into the lives of the two writers leads to a love affair of their own. Byatt has been widely acclaimed for her skillful handling of this complex story. In a Spectator review, Anita Brookner called Possession "capacious, ambitious … marvelous," and noted that it is "teeming with more ideas than a year's worth of ordinary novels." Danny Karlin declared in the London Review of Books that Byatt's romance is "spectacular both in its shortcomings and its successes; it has vaulting literary ambitions and is unafraid to crash."
Much of the plot of Possession is conveyed through poetry and correspondence attributed to Ash and LaMotte, and many reviewers marveled at Byatt's sure touch in creating authentic voices for her fictional Victorians. New York Times Book Review contributor Jay Parini commented: "The most dazzling aspect of Possession is Ms. Byatt's canny invention of letters, poems and diaries from the nineteenth century. She quotes whole vast poems by Ash and LaMotte, several of which … are highly plausible versions of [Robert] Browning and [Christina] Rossetti and are beautiful poems on their own." Parini was also enthusiastic about the manner in which the love story of Ash and LaMotte serves as "ironic counterpoint" to the modern affair between Maud and Roland. Parini concluded: "Possession is a tour de force that opens every narrative device of English fiction to inspection without, for a moment, ceasing to delight." The literary world's high regard for the novel is reflected in the fact that Byatt won both the prestigious Booker Prize and the Irish Times-Aer Lin-gus International Fiction Prize for Possession in 1990.
Critical praise for Byatt's work continued when Angels and Insects was published in 1992. This volume contains two novellas set in the Victorian era. The first, "Morpho Eugenia," concerns a biologist who becomes part of a wealthy household with an ugly secret. The second, "The Conjugial Angel," revolves around the Victorian fascination with spiritualism. Marilyn Butler, a reviewer for Times Literary Supplement, called Angels and Insects "more fully assured and satisfying than Possession" and rated it Byatt's "best work to date." Belles Lettres contributor Tess Lewis asserted that "Byatt brings vividly to life the divided Victorian soul—split between faith in the intellect and instinct, free will and determinism, and rationalism and spiritualism…. The sheer beauty of many scenes as well as Byatt's luxurious, evocative language remain with the reader long after the clever plots and intriguing, but occasionally too lengthy, intellectual constructs have faded. Byatt's writing is masterful."
Byatt's novel The Biographer's Tale is the story of Phineas G. Nanson, a graduate student who, tired of post-modern abstractions, turns to biography in an attempt to deal with solid facts. He begins to read a biography of Elmer Bole, a nineteenth-century scholar, and is intrigued; he resolves to write a biography of the biographer. Byatt includes much of what Phineas reads, mimicking the dry voice of the biographer and providing information on the customs of Lapland, discussions of anthropometric measuring equipment, and descriptions of entomology. Through the course of his studies, Phineas is hired at a travel agency and becomes involved with two women, echoing the life of Elmer Bole, who was married to two women. The biography Phineas himself writes becomes something of an autobiography, and his search to find facts reveals itself as a search to find himself.
"Through clever, lively prose, Byatt … moves the action along briskly, treating the reader to numerous witty observations on contemporary academic and social mores along the way," wrote Starr E. Smith in the Library Journal. Many reviewers, however, were disappointed with the inclusions of the factual texts. As Jean Blish Siers noted in the Knight Ridder/Tribune, "That Phineas should dive into these artifacts is only right. That readers should be forced to read the manuscripts in their entirety is uncalled for." But Lynne Sharon Schwartz, in a review of The Biographer's Tale for the New Leader praised Byatt's handling of the shifts in narration, writing: "Like a genie rising from a bottle, the novel swirls out of these notes … demanding half a dozen voices that Byatt does expertly." A Publishers Weekly reviewer concluded, "The book is an erudite joke carried off with verve and humor" and "will appeal to discriminating readers ready for intellectual stimulation."
In Byatt's more recent short fiction, such as the works collected in The Matisse Stories, the author adopts a more concrete style. These stories all make some reference to French impressionist painter Henri Matisse. "The lasting impression the reader has of Antonia Byatt's three stories in this collection is of an extravagance of color, a riot of color, venous-blue and fuchsia-red and crimson and orange henna and copper," David Plante related in the Los Angeles Times Book Review. "Byatt's fiction … is essentially informed by an intelligent, even a scholarly mind, pitched more to interpretation rather than fact in itself, to 'ideas' rather than 'things.' But it is as though in 'The Matisse Stories' Byatt were trying to break out onto another level, that of making art." London Observer writer Helen Dun-more voiced a similar opinion: "These stories show us Byatt still advancing in her technique and range. Like Matisse she is excited by the way a vase of flowers, a white book or a human being stands in the stream of everyday light, and like Matisse she knows how to set down her observations."
In The Djinn in the Nightingale's Eye Byatt presents a collection of contemporary and self-reflexive fairy tales, two of the stories having appeared earlier, woven into the plot of Possession. The title story, which is the longest of the five, dramatizes literary theories of the fairy tale through the story of a middle-aged narratologist who encounters a djinn, or genie, with the power to grant her the traditional three wishes. Because she is a scholar of fairy tales, she knows all of the pitfalls, and so her wishes are anything but traditional. "The conversations between the genie and the scholar are beyond all praise," wrote Nancy Willard in the New York Times Book Review, "and the description of their lovemaking is a gem of exuberant metaphor and linguistic constraint." Baltimore Sun writer Susan Reimer claimed that "the scent of sandalwood and myrrh that rose from the pages of this book caused me to wish for my own wishes."
Elementals: Stories of Fire and Ice includes both realistic and fantastic tales which illustrate the deep connections between literature and life. In one of the pieces, a grieving widow begins to confront her personal tragedy during conversations about folktales with a new friend. In another, a princess who must constantly be freezing cold overcomes supernatural odds to marry a glassblower in the desert. A Publishers Weekly reviewer deemed the work a "virtuosic and beguiling collection" that reveals "an unfettered imagination, an intense lyricism combined with distilled and crystalline prose, and an astute grasp of the contradictory impulses of human nature." In Booklist Veronica Scrol likewise noted that Elementals "showcases Byatt's ability to get to the heart of the human condition," while New York Times Book Review critic Wolitzer concluded that the tales are "fired by a fierce intelligence and related in shimmering prose." The five tales included in Little Black Book of Stories continue the motifs of Elementals, creating a collection wherein "the writing is dauntingly precise and realistic, even as it points to something unnatural and bizarre," according to Spectator contributor Stephen Abell: "'always aiming,' as Byatt herself has characterised 'good' modern prose, 'at an impossible exactness which it knows it will never achieve.'"
Byatt once commented: "Perhaps the most important thing to say about my books is that they try to be about the life of the mind as well as of society and the relations between people. I admire—am excited by—intellectual curiosity of any kind (scientific, linguistic, psychological) and also by literature as a complicated, huge, interrelating pattern. I also like recording small observed facts and feelings. I see writing and thinking as a passionate activity, like any other."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Contemporary Literary Criticism, Thomson Gale (Detroit, MI), Volume 19, 1981, Volume 65, 1991.
Dictionary of Literary Biography, Volume 14: British Novelists since 1960, Thomson Gale (Detroit, MI), 1983.
Kelly, Kathleen Coyne, A.S. Byatt, Twayne (New York, NY), 1996.
Atlantic, January, 2001, Stephen Amidon, review of The Biographer's Tale, p. 84.
Baltimore Sun, January 6, 1998.
Belles Lettres, fall, 1993, pp. 28-29.
Book, January-February, 2003, Penelope Mesic, review of A Whistling Woman, p. 69.
Booklist, April, 1996, p. 100; September 1, 1997, Donna Seaman, review of The Djinn in the Nightingale's Eye, p. 6; March 1, 1999, Veronica Scrol, review of Elementals: Stories of Fire and Ice, p. 1103; January 1, 2000, Karen Harris, review of Possession, p. 948; November 15, 2000, Donna Seaman, review of The Biographer's Tale, p. 587; November 15, 2002, Donna Seaman, review of A Whistling Woman, p. 547.
Books and Bookmen, January 4, 1979.
Chicago Tribune, June 13, 1993, sec. 14, p. 3.
Chicago Tribune Book World, January 12, 1986.
Christian Science Monitor, March 31, 1992, p. 13; May 25, 1993, p. 13; April 20, 1995, p. 12; September 25, 1997, p. B8.
Economist, June 15, 1996, p. 3.
Encounter, July, 1968.
English Journal, March, 1995, p. 92.
Kirkus Reviews, November 1, 2002, review of A Whistling Woman, p. 1548; March 15, 2004, review of Little Black Book of Stories, p. 237.
Knight Ridder/Tribune, February 21, 2001, p. K6940.
Lancet, November 7, 1998, Gail Davey, "Still Life and the Rounding of Consciousness," p. 1544.
Library Journal, May 1, 1999, Ann H. Fisher, review of Elementals, p. 114; June 1, 2000, Nancy R. Ives, review of Elementals, p. 230; December, 2000, Starr E. Smith, review of The Biographer's Tale, p. 186; January, 2003, Edward Cone, review of A Whistling Woman, p. 151.
London Review of Books, March 8, 1990, pp. 17-18.
Los Angeles Times, November 18, 1985.
Los Angeles Times Book Review, October 28, 1990, pp. 2, 13; June 13, 1993, p. 8; April 23, 1995.
Maclean's, July 1, 1996, John Bemrose, review of Babel Tower, p. 59.
Ms., June, 1979.
New Criterion, February, 1991, pp. 77-80.
New Leader, April 23, 1979; January, 2001, Lynne Sharon Schwartz, "Not by Facts Alone," p. 26.
New Republic, January 7-14, 1991, pp. 47-49; August 2, 1993, Michael Levenson, review of Angels and Insects: Two Novellas, p. 41.
New Statesman, November 3, 1978; May 3, 1996, p. 40; June 12, 2000, Miranda Seymour, "History Lesson," p. 53.
New Statesman & Society, March 16, 1990, p. 38.
New York Review of Books, June 6, 1996, J.M. Coetzee, review of Babel Tower, p. 17; June 10, 1999, Gabriele Annan, review of Elementals, p. 28.
New York Times, October 25, 1990, Christopher Leh-mann-Haupt, "When There Was Such a Thing as Romantic Love"; July 9, 1996, p. C11; January 23, 2001, Michiko Kakutani, "A Bumbling Literary Sleuth Ends up Clueless," p. B9.
New York Times Book Review, July 26, 1964; March 17, 1968; April 1, 1979; November 24, 1985; July 19, 1987; October 21, 1990, pp. 9, 11; June 27, 1993, p. 14; April 30, 1995, p. 9; June 9, 1996, p. 7; September 14, 1997, p. 27; November 9, 1997, Nancy Willard, "Dreams of Jinni," p. 38; May 10, 1999, Hilma Wolitzer, "Secret Sorrow: Fantasy and Parable."
New York Times Magazine, May 26, 1991, Mira Stout, "What Possessed A.S. Byatt?: A British Novelist's Breakthrough Surprises Everyone but the British Novelist," p. 12.
Observer (London, England), March 11, 1990, p. 68; January 2, 1994, p. 17.
People, April 1, 1991, Michelle Green, "After Years in Her Sister's Shadow, Sibling Rival A.S. Byatt Makes Her Best-selling Mark with Possession," p. 87; April 17, 1995, p. 32.
Publishers Weekly, May 20, 1996, John F. Baker, "A.S. Byatt: Passions of the Mind," p. 235; March 29, 1999, review of Elementals, p. 89; November 6, 2000, review of The Biographer's Tale, p. 70; November 11, 2002, review of A Whistling Woman, p. 41.
Spectator, March 3, 1990, p. 35; January 15, 1994, p. 28; November 29, 2003, Stephen Abell, "Making It a Just so Story," p. 58.
Time, May 20, 1996, p. 76.
Times (London, England), June 6, 1981; April 9, 1987; March 1, 1990.
Times Literary Supplement, January 2, 1964; January 19, 1967; November 3, 1978; June 28, 1985; March 2, 1990, pp. 213-214; October 16, 1992, p. 22.
Vogue, November, 1990, pp. 274, 276.
Wall Street Journal, May 6, 1996, pp. A11-A12.
Washington Post, March 16, 1979; November 22, 1985.
Washington Post Book World, March 29, 1992, p. 11; May 2, 1993, pp. 1, 10.
World Literature Today, October-December, 2003, Mary Kaiser, review of A Whistling Woman, p. 93.
Writer, May, 1997, Lewis Burke Frumkes, "A Conversation with A.S. Byatt," p. 15.
Yale Review, October, 1993, Walter Kendrick, review of Angels and Insects: Two Novellas, pp. 135-137.
A.S. Byatt: An Overview, http://landow.stg.brown.edu/post/uk/ (March 6, 2001).
A.S. Byatt Home Page, http://www.asbyatt.com/ (April 10, 2004).
Scribbling (television documentary), BBC-2, 2003.