Mother Grimm: A.S. Byatt's Latest Novel

In her masterly new novel, A.S. Byatt explores the dark side of lives immersed in fairy tales

Andy Rain / EPA

Man Booker Prize for Fiction 2009 shortlisted author A. S. Byatt poses with a copy of her book The Children's Book.

A.S. Byatt's 1990 novel Possession was a hot, epistolary Victorian romance framed as a literary mystery, complete with epic poems, lost letters, adultery, suicide, lesbians, a bastard child, a grave robbery and hilarious send-ups of contemporary academics. No wonder it won Britain's prestigious Booker Prize and has sold hundreds of thousands of copies worldwide: it satisfies every possible literary constituency.

Byatt's latest novel, The Children's Book (Knopf; 675 pages), her ninth work of fiction since Possession, earned a spot on the Man Booker short list and has been hailed as a return to peak form....

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