Iris Murdoch turns her microscopic gaze on vanity and obsession in her 19th novel, which won the Booker Prize in 1978.

Charles Arrowby, leading light of England’s theatrical set, retires from glittering London to an isolated home by the sea. He plans to write a memoir about his great love affair with Clement Makin, his mentor, and to amuse himself with Lizzie, an actress he has strung along for many years. But his plans fail, and his memoir evolves into a riveting chronicle of strange events and unexpected visitors - some real, some spectral - that disrupt his world and shake his oversized ego to its very core.

The Booker Prize 1978
Published by
Chatto & Windus
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Iris Murdoch

Iris Murdoch

About the Author

Iris Murdoch was born in Dublin and made her writing debut with Under the Net in 1954. She wrote 26 novels and several books of philosophy.
More about Iris Murdoch

In a time when fiction seems to be growing resolutely weirder, bending and breaking the boundaries between genres, reaching for the strange and the uncanny to better understand the world we live in, Iris Murdoch is the perfect companion

Listen to an extract from The Sea, The Sea

The characters of The Sea, The Sea are brought to life by Simon Vance and Kimberly Farr in the audiobook.

PRH Audio · The Sea, the Sea by Iris Murdoch, read by Simon Vance, Kimberly Farr
The Sea The Sea

Iris Murdoch and James Atlas in conversation

Other nominated books by Iris Murdoch

The Book and the Brotherhood
The Good Apprentice
The Black Prince
The Nice and the Good
Bruno's Dream