The British novelist, dramatist and theatre critic, Dame Beryl Bainbridge has died aged 75.
Born in Liverpool in 1934, she worked as an actress and began writing after a disastrous marriage and relationship left her a single mother with three young children. Her first novel Harriet said was rejected many times and not published until 1972, four years after her third novel, Another part of the wood was published. In 1974 she won the Guardian Fiction Prize for The Bottle factory outing and in 1977 the Whitbread Prize for Injury time. Three of her 18 novels were short listed for the Booker Prize. Her slim novels are all urban black comedies, which highlight isolated eccentrics sometimes with violence, but often absurdity. Her last four novels have been based on historical events, Every man for himself, published in 1996 concerns the Titanic disaster, and Master Georgie is set during the Crimean War. Three of her novels were adapted to film. Beryl Bainbridge spent her life in Liverpool; she was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2000.
It is again very sad to know this is the end of such a prolific, wonderful entertaining body of work. If you have never read one of Beryl Bainbridge’ s novels, please start now, you will definitely not be disappointed, and I can guarantee you will want to read more.