Iris Murdoch, revisited

Filed under: Biography

A.S. Byatt, Bidisha and Philip Hensher discuss Iris Murdoch's work.

From the publication of Under the Net in 1954 until she was overtaken by Alzheimer’s in the mid 1990s, the philosopher and novelist Iris Murdoch wrote prolifically, establishing herself as one of the great British fiction writers of the twentieth century. Her novels, which include The Bell, The Black Prince (winner of the James Tait Black Memorial Prize) and The Sea, The Sea(winner of the Booker Prize), explore with generosity and close attention the inner lives and outer confusions of individuals, combining gripping if often fantastical narrative with reflections on questions of good and evil, religious belief, morality and the power of the unconscious. Novelists A.S. Byatt, Bidisha and Philip Hensher, all of them powerfully influenced by Iris Murdoch, reconsider her standing as a writer. Chaired by Anne Chisholm.

We are grateful to the Royal Literary Fund for sponsoring this meeting.

Recorded on Monday 7 March 2011.

Related RSL Fellows

Philip Hensher 1998
A.S. Byatt (Dame Antonia Byatt) 1983