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About the book
  • Published: 6 June 1997
  • ISBN: 9780099839408
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 624
  • RRP: $19.99
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Babel Tower


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'Tartly funny, emotionally engrossing and headily intelligent' Sunday Times

In BABEL TOWER a cast of striking characters play out their personal dramas amid the clashing politics, passionate ideals and stirring languages of the early 1960s. Frederica (the heroine of VIRGIN IN THE GARDEN and STILL LIFE) now teaching English at an art college, is hiding herself and her son Leo from a violent husband; her urge towards freedom later leads to an angry, humiliating divorce case. Hers is not the only struggle; her friend Jude writes a novel, BABBLETOWER, which is tried for obscenity; her broth in law Daniel becomes involved in new movements for London's poor and distressed. Their crises mirror those of the age-abroad, this is the decade of the Berlin Wall, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the death of J F Kennedy; at home it is the era of the LADY CHATTERLEY case, of the Beatles, of Mods and Rockers, art school riots, the Profumo scandal. Moving and absorbing and full of comedy as well as strife, this superb novel brings our own recent past to vivid, and disturbing life.

  • Pub date: 6 June 1997
  • ISBN: 9780099839408
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 624
  • RRP: $19.99

About the Author

A S Byatt

A.S. Byatt is a novelist, short-story writer and critic of international renown. Her novels include Possession (winner of the Booker Prize 1990), the Frederica Quartet and The Children’s Book, which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction. She was appointed CBE in 1990 and DBE in 1999, and was awarded the Erasmus Prize 2016 for her ‘inspiring contribution to life writing’ and the Pak Kyongni Prize 2017. In 2018 she received the Hans Christian Andersen Literature Award.

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Praise for Babel Tower

“Frederica is one of the more interesting characters in contemporary fiction”

J.M.Coetzee, New York Review of Books


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