Iris Murdoch, who died in 1999, was the author of 26 novels, including The Bell, A Fairly Honourable Defeat, The Black Prince, and the Booker Prize-winning The Sea, The Sea. In The Saint and the Artist, now fully revised and updated, distinguished literary critic Peter J. Conradi offers a lively and valuable critical appreciation of her works of fiction. He traces the way in which the zest and buoyant high spirits of her early novels gave way to a more deeply and darkly comic achievement in the novels of the 1970s. Conradi, who knew Murdoch well, suggests how her own life, wonderfully transmuted into high art, provided the raw material for her novels; he also argues that they should be read as serious entertainments and as important fictions in the Anglo-Russian tradition, and not as disguised philosophy. Peter J. Conradi is the author of the highly acclaimed biography Iris Murdoch: A Life.
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Peter Conradi is an Honorary Research Fellow at University College London. His previous publications include studies of the work of John Fowles, Dostoevsky and Angus Wilson. He edited Iris Murdoch's Existentialists and Mystics: Writings on Literature and Philosophy (1997).
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