Margaret Drabble

Margaret Drabble, 1939–, English novelist, b. Sheffield, Yorkshire; sister of A. S. Byatt. Drabble's rigorous and unsentimentally realistic vision of an England split between traditional values and contemporary desires is apparent in such works as The Millstone (1965), The Waterfall (1969), The Needle's Eye (1972), and The Middle Ground (1980), and in her critical studies on Wordsworth (1966) and Arnold Bennett (1974). A noted scholar, she also edited the Oxford Companion to English Literature (1985, 1996). Drabble's later novels have become more complex and her fictional focus has moved from society as a whole to an insightful analysis of the fate of women, as in The Radiant Way (1987), its sequel, A Natural Curiosity (1989), The Gates of Ivory (1991), The Peppered Moth (2001), whose central character is based on her mother, The Seven Sisters (2002), and The Sea Lady (2006). Her complete short stories, 14 in all, were published as A Day in the Life of a Smiling Woman (2011). Drabble was made a dame of the British Empire in 2008.

See her autobiographical The Pattern in the Carpet (2009); V. G. Myer, Margaret Drabble: A Reader's Guide (1991); studies by D. Schmidt, ed. (1982), M. H. Moran (1983), S. Roxman (1984), J. V. Creighton (1985), E. C. Rose, ed. (1985), L. V. Sadler (1986), N. F. Stovel (1989), I. Wojcik-Andrews (1995), and N. S. Bokat (1998).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

Margaret Drabble: Existing within Structures
Mary Hurley Moran.
Southern Illinois University Press, 1983
Bucking a Trend: Oates's "The Buck" and Drabble's the Witch of Exmoor
Fiander, Lisa.
Mosaic (Winnipeg), Vol. 37, No. 3, September 2004
Investing in Conrad, Investing in the Orient: Margaret Drabble's the Gates of Ivory
Bowen, Roger.
Twentieth Century Literature, Vol. 45, No. 3, Fall 1999
The Therapeutic Narrative: Fictional Relationships and the Process of Psychological Change
Barbara Almond; Richard Almond.
Praeger Publishers, 1996
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 4 "Margaret Drabble's The Needle's Eye: A Depressive Neurosis Is Healed in a Spontaneous Relationship"
Faith of a (Woman) Writer
Alice Kessler-Harris; William McBrien.
Greenwood Press, 1988
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 4 "Acts of Self-Creation: Female Identity in the Novels of Margaret Drabble"
Gender and Literary Voice
Janet Todd.
Holmes & Meier, 1980
Librarian’s tip: "Mistresses and Madonnas in the Novels of Margaret Drabble" begins on p. 197
Women and Death: Linkages in Western Thought and Literature
Beth Ann Bassein.
Greenwood Press, 1984
Librarian’s tip: "Margaret Drabble" begins on p. 159
The Columbia History of the British Novel
John J. Richetti; John Bender; Deirdre David; Michael Seidel.
Columbia University Press, 1994
Librarian’s tip: "Drabble to Carter: Fiction by Women, 1962-1992" begins on p. 939
Women Writers Talking
Janet Todd.
Holmes & Meier, 1983
Librarian’s tip: "Margaret Drabble" begins on p. 161
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