Beryl Bainbridge dies aged 75
The amazingly unique and funny author passed away following a recurrence of cancer on Friday. She was just putting the finishing touches on her 19th novel, The Girl in the Polka Dot Dress, which she had been working on for the last six months.
One of the grandes dames of the UK’s literary scene, Bainbridge was a prolific writer whose short, dark comic novels – which invariably included a streak of tragedy – landed her five shortlistings for the Man Booker prize (and the label of perennial Booker bridesmaid), made her a two-time winner of the Whitbread award and saw her awarded a DBE in 2000.
“She was a wonderful writer in the tradition of British petit guignol that included Evelyn Waugh and Muriel Spark: coolly stylish, meticulous, beady-eyed and horribly funny. I would have wished her more injury time, but her record stands,” said the Man Booker prize-winning author John Banville. “I met [her] on a couple of occasions and was much taken with her manner of stark lugubriousness tempered with high and subversive irony – just like her books.”