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Margaret Drabble returns with a powerful novel of unbreakable love, enduring friendships and a society changing forever
Dame Margaret Drabble was born in Sheffield in 1939 and was educated at Newnham College, Cambridge. She is the author of eighteen novels including A Summer Bird-Cage, The Millstone, The Peppered Moth, The Red Queen, The Sea Lady and most recently, the highly acclaimed The Pure Gold Baby. She has also written biographies, screenplays and was the editor of the Oxford Companion to English Literature. She was appointed CBE in 1980, and made DBE in the 2008 Honours list. She was also awarded the 2011 Golden PEN Award for a Lifetime's Distinguished Service to Literature. She is married to the biographer Michael Holroyd.
Extraordinary and intriguing -- SADIE JONES * * author of The Outcast * * The Pure Gold Baby is an unexpected gift from a great author. How do we treat the child who walks among us in a different way than most? In Margaret Drabble's hands the answer is with a depth of empathy few master. Fortunately for us, Drabble has spent a lifetime doing just that in exquisitely written prose -- ALICE SEBOLD * * author of The Lovely Bones * * Moving and meditative -- MEG WOLITZER * * New Yorker * * Superb ... a richly complex narrative voice achieves a choric magnificence hardly equalled in her earlier work -- Stevie Davies * * Independent * * Involving and unexpectedly rich . . . a magnificent novel that confirms Drabble's status as a national treasure * * Daily Mail * * Subtle . . . The cadences of the prose, the kind of language used, the words that are chosen, echo the passing of the years . . . absorbing -- Kirsty Gunn * * Financial Times * * Its prose has an almost folkloric quality . . . Characters, plotlines and themes swirl and proliferate -- Alex Clark * * Observer * * Drabble's intelligence and compassion make it a hugely rewarding read * * Mail on Sunday * * A unique and profoundly stirring book -- Elizabeth Day * * Observer * * Written with compassion and bathed in a poignant glow * * Stylist * * Her distinctive narrative voice and soaring prose remain electrifying * * Spectator * * Achingly wise * * Wall Street Journal * * One of the most thought-provoking and intellectually challenging writers around * * Financial Times * * The book succeeds as both a social critique and a sensitive view of the agonies and joys of raising disabled children . . . Insightful and wise, The Pure Gold Baby chronicles the deep challenges of parenting under any circumstances - yet it also captures the almost unbearable vulnerability of being human * * Boston Globe * * Her [Drabble's] prose is graceful and flowing . . . This is a quiet, contemplative novel . . . a moving testament to love, loyalty, and friendships between women . . . a poignant but ultimately uplifting tale * * Independent * * Drabble richly recreates that place and that environment [1960's North London] . . . Contained in the story, in fact, is a history of ideas about the mentally disturbed and the treatment of them. This is a tough assignment, and Drabble's brilliance appears here . . . while it reads very easily and seductively as a naturalistic novel, it slowly builds up a sense of wide horizons that one has never seen in quite the same way before * * The Times * * A jigsaw; its ambitious themes of parenthood, innocence, wounded children, anthropology, literature, madness, ageing, illness and love juxtaposed -- Jane Shilling * * Telegraph * * The trick to reading the novel is to go with the flow as Drabble does, gliding into each event, laced with her dry, witty snaps of changing times of what was in the 1950s-'60s and what is now * * Sydney Morning Herald * * Moving . . . Thoughtful and provocative, written with the author's customary intelligence and quiet passion * * Kirkus * * [A] marvellously dexterous, tartly funny, and commanding novel of moral failings and women's quandaries, brilliantly infusing penetrating social critique with stinging irony as she considers what life makes of us and what we make of life * * Booklist, starred review * * The tone is relaxed, even chatty, narrative mixed with reflection and observations on changes in manners and moral . . . What it offers, convincingly, interestingly, and often charmingly, is a picture of a changing world . . . Margaret Drabble has written a novel in which she has resisted the temptation to form it into a pleasing work of art, instead offering a picture of life as one thing after another. Yet it is a version of a good life that she very winningly offers us, a life irradiated by kindness * * Scotsman * * This new novel by a tireless chronicler of our times returns to key Drabble themes, her voice as strong and shrewd as ever * * i * * Margaret Drabble's new novel radiates the kind of intelligent ability, breadth and wry insight that comes with a lifetime's practice of thinking and writing. Reading it as relaxingly satisfying as sinking into luxury upholstery * * Book Oxygen * * Drabble's insightful characterisation and beautifully written prose make this a deeply absorbing read * * The Gazette * * A contemplative, moving and compelling portrait of a fiercly devoted mother and her symbolic "pure gold" daughter * * The Leader * * Drabble's insightful characterisation and beautigully written prose make it a deeply absorbing read * * Aberdeen Evening Express * * Drabble's voice is both commanding and conversational * * Sunday Herald * * A London that is rather more quiet and textured than the loud and globalised bankers' capital it has become today, and described perfectly in Drabble's distinctive, finely grained prose -- KIRSTY GUNN * * Scotsman, Books of the Year * * Drabble's writing has the beautiful deep polish of the lid of a Steinway. Her social observations are often uncomfortably spot-on and there are some wonderfully wry asides * * Literary Review * * A tender, moving, wonderfully wise portrait of a family * * Saga Magazine * * She writes not about exemplary women, but about real ones * * New York Review of Books * * Shrewd, considered, many-layered in its almost anthropological examination of a culture and a period, this is a welcome return to the novel form for one of our finest writers * * Good Book Guide * * An intelligent book about the way we interpret our inner lives * * Culture, Sunday Times * * A novel of themes * * Seven, Sunday Telegraph * *