Michèle Roberts

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Michèle Brigitte Roberts (born 20 May 1949, Bushey, Hertfordshire) is a British writer, novelist and poet. Roberts was the daughter of a French Catholic teacher mother (Monique Caulle) and English Protestant father (Reginald Roberts); she has dual UK-France nationality.

Early life[edit]

She was raised in Edgware, Middlesex and educated at a convent, expecting to become a nun, before reading English at Somerville College, Oxford, where she lost her Catholic faith.[1] She also studied at University College London training to be a librarian. She worked for the British Council in Bangkok, Thailand in this role from 1973 to 1974.

Career[edit]

Active in socialist and feminist politics (the Women's Liberation Movement) since the early 1970s, she formed a writers' collective with Sara Maitland, Michelene Wandor and Zoe Fairbairns. At this time she was the Poetry Editor (1975-7) at Spare Rib, the feminist magazine, and later at City Limits (1981–83). Her first novel A Piece of the Night was published in 1978 and Daughters of the House (1992) was shortlisted for the Booker Prize.

She is a Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, awarded by the French government, but has turned down an OBE as a consequence of her republican views.[2]

Michèle Roberts is an Emeritus Professor of Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia and was Visiting Professor in Writing at Nottingham Trent University for several years. Paper Houses, a memoir of her life since 1970, was published in 2007.

Publications[edit]

Essays[edit]

  • Food, Sex & God: on Inspiration and Writing, 1988, Virago

Novels[edit]

  • A Piece of the Night, 1978, Women's Press
  • The Visitation, 1978, Women's Press
  • The Wild Girl (Also known as The Secret Gospel of Mary Magdalene), 1984, Methuen
  • The Book of Mrs Noah, 1987, Methuen
  • In the Red Kitchen, 1990, Methuen
  • Psyche and the Hurricane, 1991, Methuen
  • Daughters of the House, 1992, Virago and Morrow (USA)
  • During Mother's Absence, 1992, Virago
  • Flesh & Blood, 1994, Virago
  • Impossible Saints. Hopewell, 1998, Ecco Press
  • Fair Exchange, 1999, Little, Brown
  • The Looking Glass, 2000, Little, Brown
  • The Mistressclass, 2002, Little, Brown
  • Reader, I Married Him, 2006, Little, Brown
  • Ignorance, 2012, Bloomsbury Publishing [3]

Poetry[edit]

  • The Mirror of the Mother, 1986, Methuen
  • Psyche and the Hurricane , 1991, Methuen
  • All the Selves I Was, 1995, Virago

Short stories[edit]

  • Your Shoes, 1991[4]
  • During Mother's Absence, 1993, Virago
  • Playing Sardines, 2001, Virago
  • Mud: Stories of Sex and Love, 2010, Virago

References[edit]

  1. ^ Discussed in Paper Houses.
  2. ^ Roberts' personal biography
  3. ^ Guardian review of Ignorance, 2012
  4. ^ BBC English literature

External links[edit]