A Fairly Honourable Defeat

(Author) (Introduction by)

Product Details

Penguin Group
Publish Date
5.24 X 7.68 X 0.99 inches | 0.75 pounds
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About the Author

Dame Iris Murdoch (1919-1999) was one of the most acclaimed British writers of the twentieth century. Very prolific, she wrote twenty-six novels, four books of philosophy, five plays, a volume of poetry, a libretto, and numerous essays before developing Alzheimer's disease in the mid-1990s. Her novels have won many prizes: the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for The Black Prince, the Whitbread Literary Award for Fiction for The Sacred and Profane Love Machine, and the Booker Prize for The Sea, The Sea. She herself was also the recipient of many esteemed awards: Dame of the Order of the British Empire, the Royal Society of Literature's Companion of Literature award, and the National Arts Club's (New York) Medal of Honor for Literature. In 2008, she was named one of the Times' (London) 50 greatest British writers since 1945.


Praise for Iris Murdoch and A Fairly Honourable Defeat

"[A Fairly Honourable Defeat] remains, fifty years later, perhaps the most beautiful literary representation of a same-sex marriage I know . . . the richness of Murdoch's novel comes from its success [. . .] in combining Shakespearean tragedy with Shakespearean comedy . . . decidedly her best." --Garth Greenwell

"Murdoch was the rare kind of great, buoyant, confident writer who could drive the whole machine. She was as in touch with animal instincts as intellectual ones. The scope of her vision makes you feel, when you are close to her fiction, that you have glimpsed the sublime." --Dwight Garner, The New York Times

"An ambitious exploration of the philosophical problem of evil . . . one of the most enjoyable and interesting of Iris Murdoch's recent books . . . one is left with a feeling of admiration for the brilliance and complexity of Murdoch's intellect." --Rubin Rabinovitz, The New York Times

"The most important novelist writing in my time." --A.S. Byatt

"A distinguished novelist of a very rare kind." --Kingsley Amis

"Of all the novelists that have made their bow since the war she seems to me to be the most remarkable--behind her books one feels a power of intellect quite exceptional in a novelist." --Sunday Times