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Still Life

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Still Life Cover

ISBN13: 9780684835037
ISBN10: 0684835037
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Frederica Potter, "doomed to be intelligent," plunges into Cambridge University life greedy for knowledge, sex and love. In Yorkshire her sister Stephanie has abandoned academe for the cozy frustration of the family. Alexander Wedderburn, now in London, struggles to write a play about Van Gogh, whose art and tragic life give the novel its central Leitmotiv.

In this sequel to The Virgin in the Garden, A. S. Byatt illuminates the inevitable conflicts between ambition and domesticity, confinement and self-fulfilment, while providing a subtle yet incisive observation of intellectual and cultural life in England during the 1950s.

Review:

"Still Life is the second volume of a tetralogy. The three Potter children, Stephanie, Frederika and Marcus, introduced in The Virgin in the Garden, continue in conflict with their Yorkshire roots. To them, and to the author, intellectual passions are as all-encompassing as emotional ties, and always at war with them. Frederika, whose novel this really is, escapes to Cambridge and the life of the mind, albeit not without constant struggle. Marcus, after a long breakdown, manages to stay and function in Yorkshire. Stephanie, having opted for small-town family life, loses her fight to retain an independent intellectual existence and is horribly vanquished by the material world in the book's one tragic moment. This is an opaque, challenging, and rewarding novel. While its intellectual preoccupations and allusions will not be readily accessible to a broad reading public, it belongs in major fiction collections." Library Journal

Review:

"A major novel...a marvelous and most unusual work." Iris Murdoch

Review:

"Affords enormous and continuous pleasure." Anita Brookner

Synopsis:

From the author of the New York Times bestseller Possession, comes a highly acclaimed novel which captures in brilliant detail the life of one extended English family — and illuminates the choices they must make between domesticity and ambition, life and art. Toni Morrison, author of Beloved, writes of Byatt: "When it comes to probing characters her scalpel is sure but gentle. She is a loving surgeon".

About the Author

A. S. Byatt, author of the Booker Prize-winning Possession, is internationally acclaimed as a novelist, short story writer and critic. Her most recent fiction outside this tetralogy is The Biographer's Tale, a novel, and Elementals, a collection of short stories. She was created a Dame of the British Empire in 1999.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

trueL, October 20, 2013 (view all comments by trueL)
At several surprising moments, an author's voice interrupts the narrative flow of A.S. Byatt's novel Still Life. As if in explanation of the title, it tells us, "I wanted to write a novel as [William Carlos] Williams said a poem should be--no ideas but in things." This unusual plan does result in some beautiful descriptive passages which rival painting in evoking a still life or landscape or interior. But Still Life is also a novel filled with many characters, people who can only be fully known if you read all four books of the Frederica quartet. You do get to know some people very well in this book but others are seen in the background, hinting at their secrets but not revealing everything.

Having read the last book of the four, A Whistling Woman, first, I was struck by the difference in tone between that rather rowdy book which captures the loudness and crowd actions of the sixties, and the hushed domestic life of the fifties in Still LIfe. Death makes a startling entrance into this quiet in an unforgettable scene. Having created a lifelike sense of continuity, of ongoing events never quite finished, Byatt is able to evoke the brutal way death can intrude and force an ending.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780684835037
Author:
Byatt, A. S.
Publisher:
Scribner Book Company
Author:
BYATT, A.S.
Location:
New York :
Subject:
General
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
England
Subject:
Married women
Subject:
Young women
Subject:
Sisters
Subject:
Domestic fiction
Subject:
Married women -- England -- Fiction.
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Potter, Frederica
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
B102
Series Volume:
83
Publication Date:
April 1997
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
400
Dimensions:
8 x 5.25 in 18.165 oz

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Still Life Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$6.50 In Stock
Product details 400 pages Scribner Book Company - English 9780684835037 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Still Life is the second volume of a tetralogy. The three Potter children, Stephanie, Frederika and Marcus, introduced in The Virgin in the Garden, continue in conflict with their Yorkshire roots. To them, and to the author, intellectual passions are as all-encompassing as emotional ties, and always at war with them. Frederika, whose novel this really is, escapes to Cambridge and the life of the mind, albeit not without constant struggle. Marcus, after a long breakdown, manages to stay and function in Yorkshire. Stephanie, having opted for small-town family life, loses her fight to retain an independent intellectual existence and is horribly vanquished by the material world in the book's one tragic moment. This is an opaque, challenging, and rewarding novel. While its intellectual preoccupations and allusions will not be readily accessible to a broad reading public, it belongs in major fiction collections."
"Review" by , "A major novel...a marvelous and most unusual work."
"Review" by , "Affords enormous and continuous pleasure."
"Synopsis" by , From the author of the New York Times bestseller Possession, comes a highly acclaimed novel which captures in brilliant detail the life of one extended English family — and illuminates the choices they must make between domesticity and ambition, life and art. Toni Morrison, author of Beloved, writes of Byatt: "When it comes to probing characters her scalpel is sure but gentle. She is a loving surgeon".
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