Tuesday, November 22, 2005


LET’S TALK ABOUT ... Bernice Rubens

WHEN YOU READ Booker Prize-winning writer Bernice Rubens’s memoir, When I Grow Up (Little, Brown, November 3, 2005), you can’t believe she has already died, because her evocative memoir is so filled with the comedy of life. “My mother said I was over imaginative, but I was simply a liar by nature. I was happily at home with mendacity. It was less boring than the truth. My natural home lay in fiction,” she writes. She comes alive on every page and she grips you with her poignance and candour. Rubens died in the autumn of 2004, soon after completing her memoir, her last book as well as her first work of non-fiction. “Reading Bernice Rubens,” says Kate Kellaway in the Observer (November 20, 2005), “is like playing grandmother’s footsteps. You just wish that she hadn’t already touched the finishing line.” Yes, she still has a couple of good books in her for us.

RUBENS Bernice [1928-2004] Novelist, playwright. Born Bernice Ruth Rubens in Cardiff, Wales. NOVELS The Sargeants’ Tale (2003); Nine Lives (2002); Milwaukee (2001); I, Dreyfus (1999: shortlisted for the 2000 Jewish Quarterly Literary Prize for Fiction); The Waiting Game (1997); Yesterday in the Back Lane (1995); Hijack (1993); Autobiopsy (1993); Mother Russia (1992); A Solitary Grief (1991); Kingdom Come (1990: winner of the 1991 Jewish Quarterly Literary Prize for Fiction and the 1991 Welsh Arts Council Award); Our Father (1987: winner of the 1988 Welsh Arts Council Award); Mr Wakefield’s Crusade (1985); Brothers (1983); Birds of Passage (1981); Spring Sonata: A Fable (1979); A Five-Year Sentence (published as Favors in the U.S. in 1978) (1978: shortlisted for the 1978 Booker Prize for Fiction); The Ponsonby Post (1977); I Sent a Letter to My Love (1975: winner of the 1976 Welsh Arts Council Award); Go Tell the Lemming (1973); Sunday Best (1971); The Elected Member (published as Chosen People in the U.S. in 1969) (1969: winner of the 1970 Booker Prize for Fiction); Mate in Three (1966); Madame Sousatzka (1962); Set on Edge (1960) MEMOIR When I Grow Up (2005)

Fiction: I, Dreyfus (1999); Kingdom Come (1990); Our Father (1987); A Five-Year Sentence (1978); I Sent a Letter to My Love (1975); The Elected Member (1969)
Nonfiction: When I Grow Up (2005)


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