Michèle Roberts on A.S. Byatt’s Possession: a passionate dance between reader and text
In this personal essay, Michèle Roberts pays tribute to the late A.S. Byatt and praises her 1990 Booker-winning novel
In 1990, A.S. Byatt won the Booker Prize for Possession, at once a literary detective novel and a triumphant love story. The novel was a literary sensation, adored by readers and critics alike
Byatt, who once said that writing ‘is simply the most important thing in my life’, was shortlisted again for the prize in 2009.
Maud Bailey is a scholar researching the life and work of her distant relative, a little-known 19th-century poet named Christabel LaMotte. Roland Mitchell is looking into an obscure moment in the life of another Victorian poet, the celebrated Randolph Henry Ash. Together, the two uncover a dark secret in Ash’s life: though apparently happily married, he conducted a torrid affair with LaMotte. As Maud and Roland dig deeper, they too find themselves falling in love.
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