A Whistling Woman

By A. S. Byatt
Read by Pamela Garelick

20.90 Hours 08/01/2003 unabridged
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This triumphant conclusion to A. S. Byatt’s great quartet of postwar English life and manners stands on its own as a magical and thought-provoking novel of ideas made flesh. Frederica, the spirited heroine of The Virgin in the Garden, Still Life, and Babel Tower, falls almost by accident into a career in television in London, while tumultuous events in her home county of Yorkshire threaten to split her world. In the late 1960s, the languages of religion, myth, and fairy tale overlap with the terms of science and the new computer age. The meaning of love itself seems to vanish and people flounder, often comically, while searching for their true sexual, intellectual, and emotional identities. Through her wayward, lovingly drawn characters and breathtaking twists of plot, A. S. Byatt illuminates the effervescence of intellectual and social life in 1960s Britain.

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Summary

Summary

This triumphant conclusion to A. S. Byatt’s great quartet of postwar English life and manners stands on its own as a magical and thought-provoking novel of ideas made flesh.

Frederica, the spirited heroine of The Virgin in the Garden, Still Life, and Babel Tower, falls almost by accident into a career in television in London, while tumultuous events in her home county of Yorkshire threaten to split her world. In the late 1960s, the languages of religion, myth, and fairy tale overlap with the terms of science and the new computer age. The meaning of love itself seems to vanish and people flounder, often comically, while searching for their true sexual, intellectual, and emotional identities.

Through her wayward, lovingly drawn characters and breathtaking twists of plot, A. S. Byatt illuminates the effervescence of intellectual and social life in 1960s Britain.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“A bold, brainy eulogy to the late ’60s…Byatt’s clashes between the intimate and the intellectual make for a raucous, lively work.” Entertainment Weekly
“Rich, acerbic, wise…[Byatt] tackles nothing less than what it means to be human.” Vogue
“With consummate skill and inventiveness, [Byatt] creates a large cast of characters who shine with intelligence and individuality.” Los Angeles Times Book Review
“Rich in metaphor and glancing allusion, it is a tale of learning and anti-learning, sects and cults, the complex sexual relationships of humans and snails...A Whistling Woman, like its predecessors, is predominantly a novel of ideas. Not about politics, foreign or domestic, but about philosophy, psychology and literature; the excitement of genetics and computer science edging towards their breakthrough.” Economist
“Byatt, like George Eliot and Doris Lessing, aims to show in her fiction the exemplary struggle between self-consciousness and the precepts of culture…a beautifully realized, smart novel.” Publishers Weekly
“Gloriously complex, extraordinarily dramatic, and diabolically clever, Byatt's tour de force, a descendant of Shakespeare, Milton, George Eliot, and Lewis Carroll, is fueled by penetrating inquiries into the nature of story and metaphor, the workings of the mind, and the mystery of love.” Booklist

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: A. S. Byatt

A. S. Byatt, a distinguished critic and author, was educated at Newnham College, Cambridge; Bryn Mawr College; and Somerville College, Oxford. In 1999 she was made Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire. Her other works include Possession, The Biographer’s Tale, and The Matisse Stories, among many others.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Fiction/Historical
Runtime: 20.90
Audience: Adult
Language: English