Author A.S. Byatt, who wrote best-seller ‘Possession’ and had a beetle named after her, dies at 87


LONDON (AP) — British author A.S. Byatt, who wove history, myth and a sharp eye for human foibles into books that included the Booker Prize-winning novel “Possession,” has died at the age of 87.

Byatt’s publisher, Chatto & Windus, said Friday that the author, whose full name was Antonia Byatt, died “peacefully at home surrounded by close family” on Thursday.


Byatt wrote two dozen books, starting with her first novel, “The Shadow of the Sun,” in 1964. Her work was translated into 38 languages.

“Possession,” published in 1990, follows two young academics investigating the lives of a pair of imaginary Victorian poets. The novel, a double romance which skillfully layers a modern story with mock-Victorian letters and poems, was a huge bestseller and won the prestigious Booker Prize.

Accepting the prize, Byatt said “Possession” was about the joy of reading.

“My book was written on a kind of high about the pleasures of reading,” she said.

“Possession” was adapted into a 2002 film starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Aaron Eckhart. It was one of several Byatt books to get the film treatment.

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