Christine Brooke-Rose

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Christine Frances Evelyn Brooke-Rose (16 January 1923 – 21 March 2012[1]) was a British writer and literary critic, known principally for her later, experimental novels.[2]


Christine Brooke-Rose was born in Geneva, Switzerland to an English father and American-Swiss mother. She was brought up mainly in Brussels, and educated there, at Somerville College, Oxford and University College, London.[2] During World War II she worked at Bletchley Park as a WAAF in intelligence, later completing her university degree. She then worked for a time in London as a literary journalist and scholar. She was married three times: to Rodney Bax, whom she met at Bletchley Park; to the poet Jerzy Pietrkiewicz; and briefly to Claude Brooke. On separating from Pietrkiewicz in 1968 she moved to France, teaching at the University of Paris, Vincennes, from 1968 to 1988. After she retired she lived in the south of France.[2]

During Brooke-Rose's time at Bletchley Park "assessing intercepted German Communications", she mentioned how being exposed to that otherness, helped her in constructing her journey into becoming a novelist, making her aware of the "viewpoint of the other". In 1968, Brooke-Rose crossed the Channel, by this time Brooke-Rose had already separated from her second husband, Claude Brooke, this added to what was "Brooke-Rose's third marriage". Whilst teaching "linguistics and English literature at the University of Paris", in 1975, she became "professor of English and American literature and literary theory". In 1988, Brooke-Rose decided to "settle down in a village near Avignon", after deciding to retire from teaching in 1988.[3]

Her novel Remake (1996) is an autobiographical novel:

It is an autobiographical novel with a difference, using life material to compose a third-person fiction, transformed in an experiment whose tensions are those of memory -- distorting and partial -- checked by a rigorous and sceptical language which probes and finds durable forms underlying the impulses and passions of the subject. It is not a simple process of chronological remembering. Remake captures not facts but the contents of those facts, the feelings of a war-time child, the textures of her clothing, tastes and smells, her mother, an absent father, a gradual transformation into adulthood.[2]

She shared the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction for Such (1966).

She was also known as a translator from French, in particular of works by Robbe-Grillet.


  • Gold (1955) poem
  • The Languages of Love (1957) novel
  • The Sycamore Tree (1958) novel
  • A Grammar of Metaphor (1958) criticism
  • The Dear Deceit (1960) novel
  • The Middlemen: A Satire (1961) novel
  • Out (1964) novel
  • Such (1966) novel
  • Between (1968) novel
  • Go When You See the Green Man Walking (1970) short stories
  • A ZBC of Ezra Pound (1971) criticism
  • Thru (1975) novel
  • A Structural Analysis of Pound's Usura Canto: Jakobson's Method Extended and Applied to Free Verse (1976) criticism
  • A Rhetoric of the Unreal: Studies in Narrative and Structure, Especially of the Fantastic (1981) criticism
  • Amalgamemnon (1984) novel
  • Xorandor (1986) novel
  • Verbivore (1990) novel
  • Stories, Theories, and Things (1991) literary theory
  • Textermination (1991) novel
  • Remake (1996) autobiographical novel
  • Next (1998) novel
  • Subscript (1999) novel
  • Poems, Letters, Drawings (2000)
  • Invisible Author: Last Essays (2002)
  • Life, End of (2006) autobiographical novel
  • Brooke-Rose Omnibus (2006)

Further reading[edit]

  • Christine Brooke-Rose and Contemporary Fiction (1994) Sarah Birch
  • Utterly other discourse : the texts of Christine Brooke-Rose (1995) Ellen J. Friedman and Richard Martin
  • Nicoletta Pireddu, "Scribes of a transnational Europe: Travel, Translation, Borders," "The Translator" 12 (2), 2006: 345-69
  • Verbivoracious Festschrift Volume 1: Christine Brooke-Rose (2014) G.N. Forester and M.J. Nicholls.


  1. ^ Margalit Fox (April 10, 2012). "Christine Brooke-Rose, Inventive Writer, Dies at 89". The New York Times.
  2. ^ a b c d "Christine Brooke-Rose is dead", PN Review, 22 Mar 2012
  3. ^ Jeffries, Stuart (23 March 2012). "Christine Brooke-Rose obituary". the Guardian. Retrieved 8 March 2018.

External links[edit]