Radio Wolinsky

A.S. Byatt (1936-2023), “A Whistling Woman,” 2003

A.S. Byatt (1936-November 18, 2023), in conversation with host Richard Wolinsky on ​​​​​January 27, 2003 while on tour for the novel, “A Whistling Woman.” This would be the first of two interviews, the second in 2010 for her novel The Children’s Book.

Born Antonia Drabble and sister to novelist Margaret Drabble, A.S. Byatt spent her early professional life as a teacher before becoming a full time writer in 1983. In 1978 she began the first of a tetralogy, The Virgin in the Garden, which continued with Still Life, Babel Tower, and finally A Whistling Woman.

Her 1990 novel, Possession, probably her best known work, won the Booker Prize. and was turned into a successful film by Neil LeBute. Her novella Morpho Eugenia was adapted into a film titled Angels and Insects in 1995.

Over the course of her career, she wrote ten novels, the last of which was Ragnarok: The End of the Gods in 2011, along with six short story collections, a two-novella collection titled Angels and Insects, and nine essays and biographies. Her final work was a short story collection, Medusa’s Ankles, published in 2021.

This wide-ranging interview focuses not only on her most recent novel, but on the build-up to the American invasion of Iraq, which would happen in March, 2003, her views on Umberto Eco’s works, genre fiction, and other issues.

Remastered and re-edited by Richard Wolinsky, November 18-19, 2023.