Beryl Bainbridge

Beryl Margaret Bainbridge (21 November 1932 – 2 July 2010) was an English novelist.

After having been expelled from Merchant Taylors’ Girls’ School (Crosby), Beryl went on to study at Cone-Ripman School, Tring, Hertfordshire (now Tring Park School for the Performing Arts). She married, had two kids, soon divorced, and later had a third child with another man. In 1958, she attempted suicide.

Beryl spent her early years working as an actress, and soon began to write about incidents from her childhood. She wrote her first novel, Harriet Said, during the 1950s, although it was not published until 1972. From the 1990s, she also served as a theatre critic for the monthly magazine The Oldie.

Bainbridge died from cancer in 2010.

Interviews

Honours and awards

  • Shortlisted for the Booker Prize for The Dressmaker (1973);
  • Shortlisted for the Booker Prize for The Bottle Factory Outing (1974);
  • Winner of the Whitbread Awards prize for best novel for Injury Time (1977);
  • Shortlisted for the Booker Prize for An Awfully Big Adventure (1990);
  • Shortlisted for the Booker Prize for Every Man For Himself (1996);
  • Winner of the Whitbread Awards prize for best novel for Every Man for Himself (1996);
  • Shortlisted for the Booker Prize for Master Georgie (1998);
  • Winner of the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction for Master Georgie (1998);
  • Appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE, 2000);
  • Awarded an honorary degree by the Open University as Doctor of the University (2001);
  • Named by The Times one of “The 50 greatest British writers since 1945” (2008);
  • Posthumously awarded a special honour  (“The Man Booker Best of Beryl”) by the Booker Prize committee (2011).

Books

Novels

  • A Weekend with Claude (1967)
  • Another Part of the Wood (1968)
  • Harriet Said… (written in 1958 and published in1972)
  • The Dressmaker (US title The Secret Glass) (1973)
  • The Bottle Factory Outing (1974)
  • Sweet William (1975)
  • A Quiet Life (1976)
  • Injury Time (1977)
  • Young Adolf (1978)
  • Another Part of the Wood (revised edn) (1979)
  • Winter Garden (1980)
  • A Weekend with Claude (revised edn) (1981)
  • Watson’s Apology (1984)
  • Filthy Lucre (written as a teenager in 1946 but published 1986)
  • An Awfully Big Adventure (1989)
  • The Birthday Boys (1991)
  • Every Man for Himself (1996)
  • Master Georgie (1998)
  • According to Queeney (2001)
  • The Girl in the Polka-dot Dress (2011)

Short story collections

  • Mum and Mr Armitage (1985)
  • Collected Stories (1994)
  • Northern Stories Vol. 5 (co-editor with David Pownall) (1994)

Non-fiction

  • English Journey, or The Road to Milton Keynes (1984)
  • Forever England: North and South (1987)
  • Something Happened Yesterday (1993)
  • Front Row: Evenings at the Theatre (2005)
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