Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction and Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel and post Colonial Asian Fiction are some of my Literary Interests

Friday, June 23, 2017

Possession by A. S. Byatt (1990, Winner of the Booker Prize)

Possession by A. S. Byatt (born 1936 in Sheffield, England) won the 1990 Booker Prize.  It is widely considered one of the best novels of the post World War Two era and had long been on my TBR list.  It was made into a movie I hope to see one day. About ten years ago, before the start of The Reading

Life, I read and greatly enjoyed her novel, The Biographer's Tale.

Possession sort of centers on two contemporary academics researching the previously unknown romance between two created by Byatt Victorian era poets.  They have discovered a treasure trove of letters, journals and diaries from both of the poets.  Researching and making the details of this romance known in the academic world will make their reputations and guarantee them professional success.

About half of the novel is taken up with the imaginary journals and the letters between the two poets.  We see the development of their relationship through the letters.  We see the struggles of the contemporary academics to come to terms with the material and wrestle with the ethics revealing the vast trove of material.

Possession is a very biting satire of the squabbles of academics.  The characters are all very well developed.  Byatt even included extensive poems.

I am very glad I finally read Possession. I hope to read two more of her novels soon, The Children's Book and The Virgin in the Garden.

Mel u


Bellezza said...

Oh, I loved this book! And my friends and I agreed they had one of the best endings ever.

Lisbeth Ekelof said...

I really loved this book. The film was ok, and betterbthan one can expect when loving the book.

Mel u said...

Bellezza. I was wondering if you have read more of Byatt and what you can suggest?. Thanks for your comment

Mel u said...

Lisbeth Ekelof - have you read other Byatt works? Any suggestions for next reads? Thanks as always for your comment

Lisbeth Ekelof said...

I have read one called "Angels and Insects", which, if I remember correctly, contains 2-3 novellas. As far as I remember it was rather good, but I have no real recollection of it. I met A.S. Byatt some years ago when she visited Brussels. It was very interesting to listen to her and she told us about her, then, latest book; "The Children's Book". I bought it and got it signed, but it is still unread on my shelves. But it sounds rather intriguing.

Fred said...

Great novel. I've often thought about reading more by her, but haven't gotten around to it yet. I didn't know about the film, so I'll have to check up on that.

Mel u said...

Fred, I hope to read more one of these days.,,thanks for your comment

Carole said...

Hi there, this looks like a goodie. Please bring this over to Books You Loved: July so everyone can see it. Cheers from Carole's Chatter