The Byatt event
Posted by Jane Elizabeth on November 18, 1997 at 10:54:18:
In response to A.S. Byratt in person..., written by Kate on November 17, 1997 at 23:46:31
Kate hasn't missed much, but I'd like to add something to Byatt's answer to "the Question." I thought it was interesting that Byatt said "I think so." After all, they were her invention. Didn't she KNOW? It seemed to me that she sees her characters much as we the readers do: she doesn't know everything about them, because they exist outside of her.
Byatt described her busy life: four children, a full-time university job, her work, scholarly writing... I felt so inadequate! Yet she was very approachable and human and even self-deprecating, especially about being middle-aged.
She said "very interesting" when Kate told her we'd met in an internet group, but I couldn't tell whether it was said with a slight bit of derision (Kate?). But she was quite enthusiastic when we mentioned Austen, and the book she referred to is a dialog between her and a psychologist about women writers, Austen included. I ran across it at amazon when looking for Byatt books at the start of the group read, but I didn't realize it was new.
It sounds like we spent ages talking to her, but really it was just moments. I'd have liked it to be longer, but it was quite satisfying. And bravo to Kate for asking the question! I would have chickened out!
Wish Hil, Karen, Cassia could have joined us. But you were there in spirit...and it was certainly a great way to end an illuminating group read. Thank you all.
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