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Iris Murdoch

Dame Jean Iris Murdoch (July 15, 1919 - February 8, 1999), novelist and philosopher.

She was born in 1919 in Dublin but is thought of more as a British author. She studied at Somerville College, Oxford.

In 1948 she became a fellow of St Anne's College, Oxford, and wrote her first novel, Under The Net, in 1954, having previously published works on philosophy, including a study of Jean-Paul Sartre. She went on to produce 25 more novels (plus other works of philosophy and criticism) until 1995 when she became afflicted with Alzheimer's disease. It was at Oxford that she met and married John Bayley, a professor of English literature and also a novelist. She wrote 26 novels, her last being written when she started to suffer from Alzheimer's disease.

The movie Iris stars Kate Winslet as the young Iris Murdoch and Dame Judi Dench as the older Iris descending into dementia.

Iris Murdoch's novels are by turns intense and bizarre, and yet very civilized and carefully observed at the same time. Before it was generally accepted she often created gay characters. Another recurring character type is the powerful and almost demonic male enchanter who imposes his will on everyone - a type which Murdoch is said to have modelled after her one-time lover Elias Canetti.

In 2001, her 1954 book, Under the Net[?] would be named as one of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century by the editorial board of the American Modern Library.

Link: http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi/imurdoch.htm

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