Rubens, Bernice (Ruth) 1923-2004

views updated

RUBENS, Bernice (Ruth) 1923-2004

OBITUARY NOTICE— See index for CA sketch: Born July 26, 1923, in Cardiff, Wales; died October 13, 2004, in London, England. Filmmaker and author. Rubens was a Booker Prize-winning novelist, as well as a documentary film screenwriter and director. A 1944 graduate of the University of Wales, where she earned a bachelor's degree, she taught English in Birmingham, England, from 1948 to 1949. In 1950 she started a career as a documentary screenwriter and director, typically making movies involving people with disabilities or facing other difficult challenges. She often traveled to distant parts of the world to make her films. When her daughters were old enough to attend school, Rubens also took up fiction writing. The first of over two dozen novels she would write, Set on Edge was published in 1960. Writing on many different themes and in a variety of genres, she was a difficult writer for critics to categorize, although her books are consistently marked by a dark sense of humor. She won the Booker Prize in 1970 for Chosen People, which was published in England as The Elected Member. Many more novels followed, including The Ponsonby Post (1977), Mr. Wakefield's Crusade (1985), Hijack (1993), Nine Lives (2002), and her last book, The Sergeant's Tale (2003). At the time of her death, she was working on her memoirs.



Independent (London, England), October 15, 2004, p. 42.

Los Angeles Times, October 19, 2004, p. B11.

New York Times, October 17, 2004, p. A31.

Times (London, England), October 14, 2004, p. 69.