From the award-winning author of Possession comes an ingenious novel about love and literary sleuthing: a dazzling fiction woven out of one man’s search for fact.
Here is the story of Phineas G. Nanson, a disenchanted graduate student who decides to escape the world of postmodern literary theory and immerse himself in the messiness of “real life” by writing a biography of a great biographer. In a series of adventures that are by turns intellectual and comic, scientific and sensual, Phineas tracks his subject to the deserts of Africa and the maelstrom of the Arctic. Along the way he comes to rely on two women, one of whom may be the guide he needs out of the dizzying labyrinth of his research and back into his own life. A tantalizing yarn of detection and desire, The Biographer’s Tale is a provocative look at “truth” in biography and our perennial quest for certainty.
About the Author
A.S. Byatt is an internationally acclaimed novelist, short-story writer, and critic. Her books include the Booker Prize winning Possession, as well as The Children s Book and the quartet of The Virgin in the Garden, Still Life, Babel Tower, and A Whistling Woman. She was appointed Dame of the British Empire in 1999 and has been awarded numerous prizes, including the Commonwealth Writers Prize, the PEN/Macmillan Silver Pen Award, and the Irish Times International Fiction Prize. She lives in London, England.
“Elegant . . .witty . . . intelligent.” –The Washington Post
“A tenderly funny novel. . . .One of Byatt’s most exuberant books.” –The Baltimore Sun
“Wise, sharp-witted. . . . miss it at your peril.”–St. Louis Post-Dispatch
“An impressive achievement, a literary mosaic at once exotic, academic, esoteric, engaging, and disconcerting. . . . A feast for the brain” –The Denver Post
“One of Byatt’s most exuberant books.”–The Baltimore Sun