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Michele Roberts - Author

About the Author

Michele Roberts is the author of eleven highly-acclaimed novels as well as short stories and poetry, most recently collected in All the Selves I Was. Half-English and half-French, she lives in London and Mayenne, France.

Featured books by Michele Roberts

Other books by Michele Roberts

Negative Capability

Negative Capability

Author: Michele Roberts Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 20/08/2020

Yesterday ended in disaster. Very late at night, I decided to write down everything that had happened; the only way I could think of coping. Following a series of devastating rejections, Michele Roberts began keeping an account of her life in the hope it might help mend her shattered sense of self. In this intimate and wryly honest journal she reflects on cities and countryside, loss and love, food, friendships, sisterhood, pleasure and memories, her abiding relationship with France and with literature. Over the course of a year a new pattern of being develops, until, finally, she finds a better relationship between inner and outer worlds.

Negative Capability

Negative Capability

Author: Michele Roberts Format: Hardback Release Date: 28/05/2020

Yesterday ended in disaster. Very late at night, I decided to write down everything that had happened; the only way I could think of coping. Following a series of devastating rejections, Michele Roberts began keeping an account of her life in the hope it might help mend her shattered sense of self. In this intimate and wryly honest journal she reflects on cities and countryside, loss and love, food, friendships, sisterhood, pleasure and memories, her abiding relationship with France and with literature. Over the course of a year a new pattern of being develops, until, finally, she finds a better relationship between inner and outer worlds.

The Walworth Beauty

The Walworth Beauty

Author: Michele Roberts Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 19/04/2018

From the Booker-shortlisted author comes a sensuous, evocative novel exploring the lives of women in Victorian London, for fans of Sarah Waters, Emma Donoghue and Kate Atkinson 2011: When Madeleine loses her job as a lecturer, she decides to leave her riverside flat in cobbled Stew Lane, where history never feels far away, and move to Apricot Place. Yet here too, in this quiet Walworth cul-de-sac, she senses the past encroaching: a shifting in the atmosphere, a current of unseen life. 1851: and Joseph Benson has been employed by Henry Mayhew to help research his articles on the working classes. A family man with mouths to feed, Joseph is tasked with coaxing testimony from prostitutes. Roaming the Southwark streets, he is tempted by brothels' promises of pleasure - and as he struggles with his assignment, he seeks answers in Apricot Place, where the enigmatic Mrs Dulcimer runs a boarding house. As these entwined stories unfold, alive with the sensations of London past and present, the two eras brush against each other - a breath at Madeleine's neck, a voice in her head - the murmurs of ghosts echoing through time. Rendered in immediate, intoxicating prose, The Walworth Beauty is a haunting tale of desire and exploitation, isolation and loss, and the faltering search for human connection; this is Michele Roberts at her masterful best.

The Walworth Beauty

The Walworth Beauty

Author: Michele Roberts Format: Hardback Release Date: 20/04/2017

From the Booker-shortlisted author comes a sensuous, evocative novel exploring the lives of women in Victorian London, for fans of Sarah Waters, Emma Donoghue and Kate Atkinson 2011: When Madeleine loses her job as a lecturer, she decides to leave her riverside flat in cobbled Stew Lane, where history never feels far away, and move to Apricot Place. Yet here too, in this quiet Walworth cul-de-sac, she senses the past encroaching: a shifting in the atmosphere, a current of unseen life. 1851: and Joseph Benson has been employed by Henry Mayhew to help research his articles on the working classes. A family man with mouths to feed, Joseph is tasked with coaxing testimony from prostitutes. Roaming the Southwark streets, he is tempted by brothels' promises of pleasure - and as he struggles with his assignment, he seeks answers in Apricot Place, where the enigmatic Mrs Dulcimer runs a boarding house. As these entwined stories unfold, alive with the sensations of London past and present, the two eras brush against each other - a breath at Madeleine's neck, a voice in her head - the murmurs of ghosts echoing through time. Rendered in immediate, intoxicating prose, The Walworth Beauty is a haunting tale of desire and exploitation, isolation and loss, and the faltering search for human connection; this is Michele Roberts at her masterful best.

Mistressclass

Mistressclass

Author: Michele Roberts Format: eBook Release Date: 18/03/2014

A painter's death sets into motion a story of desire--past and present--and its enduring repercussionsCatherine and Vinny are sisters and writers living in contemporary London. Catherine, a professor, publishes erotic novels under an assumed name, keeping her acclaimed novelist husband, Adam, in the dark. When not writing her poetry, Vinny wanders the streets of the city marking the houses of female authors with chalk quotations from their work.When Adam's father dies, both women are forced to reconsider the event that shaped their lives, the betrayal at the heart of their relationships. Haunted by their individual and common pasts, they must come to terms with each other, and with their present-day lives. Acclaimed author Michele Roberts not only brings history to life--interwoven into this contemporary narrative is the story of another set of sisters, the Brontes--but illuminates the way it informs, or shadows, the present. Evocative, emotional, and intelligent, The Mistressclass is an exploration of the desires that move us--toward art and literature, and toward each other.

Daughters of the House

Daughters of the House

Author: Michele Roberts Format: eBook Release Date: 22/10/2013

A Booker Prize Finalist, Daughters of the House is Michele Roberts' acclaimed novel of secrets and lies revealed in the aftermath of World War II. Therese and Leonie, French and English cousins of the same age, grow up together in Normandy. Intrigued by parents' and servants' guilty silences and the broken shrine they find in the woods, the girls weave their own elaborate fantasies, unwittingly revealing the village secret and a deep shame that will haunt them in their adult lives.

Ignorance

Ignorance

Author: Michele Roberts Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 14/03/2013

LONGLISTED FOR THE WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION 2013 Jeanne and Marie-Angele grow up, side by side yet apart, in the Catholic village of Ste Madeleine. Marie-Angele is the daughter of the grocer, inflated with ideas of her rightful place in society; Jeanne's mother washes clothes for a living and used to be a Jew. When war arrives, the village must play its part in a game for which no one knows the rules - not the dubious hero who embroils Marie-Angele in the black market, nor the artist living alone with his red canvases. In these uncertain times, the enemy may be hiding in your garden shed and the truth can be buried under a pyramid of recriminations. A mesmerising exploration of guilt, faith, desire and judgement, Ignorance brings to life a people at war.

Wooing Mr. Wickham

Wooing Mr. Wickham

Author: Michele Roberts Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 17/11/2011

Mud

Mud

Author: Michele Roberts Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/09/2011

Chosen as a Fiction Book of the Year in the Daily Telegraph by Maggie O'Farrell In this witty and subversive collection of stories, Michele Roberts explores women's desires, memories and loves as only she can. A jilted woman skirts the edges of time and place as she walks the streets of London at night; another returns to the scene of her honeymoon without her husband; a wife takes apt revenge on her vegetarian husband . . .

Paper Houses

Paper Houses

Author: Michele Roberts Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/07/2008

Rebellion, revolution, experimental living, feminist communes, street theatre, radical magazines, love affairs - gay and straight - sex, drugs and rock and roll. Michele Roberts, one of Britain's most talented and highly acclaimed novelists, now considers her own life, in this vibrant, powerful portrait of a time and place: alternative London of the 1970s and beyond. A fledgling writer taking a leap into radical politics, Roberts finds alternative homes, new families and lifelong friendships in the streets and houses of Holloway, Peckham, Regent's Park and Notting Hill Gate. From Spare Rib to publishing her first book, Paper Houses is Roberts' story of finding a space in which to live, love and write - and learning to share it. 'Beguiling, enthusiastic, charming and vivid, this is an autobiography to be savoured' Amanda Craig, DAILY TELEGRAPH

The Secret Gospel of Mary Magdalene

The Secret Gospel of Mary Magdalene

Author: Michele Roberts Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/02/2007

In the parched soil of Provence, a fifth gospel has been discovered, Mary Magdalene's account of Jesus' teaching and her relationship with him. It is a book of revelation, for it unveils a new Christianity, one which embraces the female equally with the male and acknowledges and celebrates women's spirituality. A passionate story of love and search, of separation and rebirth, The Secret Gospel imagines an alternative history for the much maligned Mary Magdalene, where she runs away from her family but returns to be captivated, both emotionally and theologically, by Jesus. The Secret Gospel of Mary Magdalene is a brilliant and moving vision of Christianity that is also startlingly modern in its conclusions.

The Mistressclass

The Mistressclass

Author: Michele Roberts Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/04/2003

Adam is a writer, struggling to come to terms with the death of his painter father, Robert, and his difficult marriage to Catherine. Before he married Catherine, he had been the lover of her sister, Vinny. The classic menage a trois seems about to repeat itself, when Adam discovers his wife's father was less innocent than he had thought. Set mainly in contemporary London, partly in France, the action also harks back to the 1970's. The narrative evokes the style of the nineteenth century novelists and their themes: desire, guilt, pleasure. Pastoral landscapes alternate with those of the inner city and the past's interaction with the present is acted out by ghosts. The dead father haunts his son; in real life Vinny haunts her sister; and the whole novel is haunted by one of its great earliest exponents, Charlotte Bronte, and her passionate search for creative fulfilment.

Playing Sardines

Playing Sardines

Author: Michele Roberts Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 04/04/2002

Playing Sardines - a game in the dark, a game about desire, about wanting, all whipped up in a tale about the erotic allure of recipes: a cook whose obsessive love turns hungry and dangerous; a fan who tries to get into a celebrity novelist's sheets; a fanatical dieter and maker of lists working out how to deal with a husband who snores; a faddy eater thrown off-course by a miracle; a child greedy for love who faces up to her demon of jealousy - just some of the characters who shape this wonderful collection. Women yearning for what they haven't got - prepared to be wily, deceptive, cunning and perverse - all these strategies for survival in love and life are deployed here to mouth-watering effect.

A Piece of the Night

A Piece of the Night

Author: Michele Roberts Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/12/2001

This is the story of Julie - the dutiful daughter, the romantic heroine, the perfect wife and mother. The woman who seeks nothing but acceptance. But Julie knows she is also the witch, the whore, the madwoman, the insatiable, the lesbian. As her two worlds threaten to collide and fall apart, Julie realises she must come to terms with the different aspects of her psyche, that she must fight to find an identity uniquely her own. Michele Roberts's first novel - and the first work of fiction to be published by The Women's Press - is a sensual and engrossing portrait of Everywoman's dilemma.

The Visitation

The Visitation

Author: Michele Roberts Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/12/2001

Helen is in conflict with her suburban upbringing, her independence, her creativity, and generations of silence surrounding notions of gender and sexual behaviour. This story is a daring exploration of female sexuality.

The Looking Glass

The Looking Glass

Author: Michele Roberts Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/08/2001

In her place as maid to Madame Patin in the cafe next to the sea, orphan Genevieve becomes the breathless audience for her mistress's alarming folk stories, beginning with the one about the mermaid - the beauty who is also a monster - who must be killed. Genevieve happily falls into the patterns and ways of Madame Patin and contentedly cooks, cleans, gardens and serves the customers alongside her. Until, that is, Genevieve ripens to siren beauty. To avoid the mermaid's fate she must take flight. And she does, to a poet who has the hearts of all his women: his mother, his mistress, his niece, his niece's governess - and before long, his new maid's.

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