In the High Peaks

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Do People Still Read Margaret Drabble?

I no sooner finished the following paragraph, my original post, when I found a recent article about Margaret Drabble in The Daily Telegraph. Answered a few of my questions! I'm glad she has a recently published volume of short stories available. I'll look for that.

So, do people still read Margaret Drabble?
I'm asking because I don't recall a single blog post about Margaret Drabble, among all the blogs I frequent, for at least two years or so. When I was in my twenties, from 1974-1983, Drabble was a very popular literary read for college-educated, young, "liberated" American women. I remember distinctly reading Realms of Gold, published here in 1975. I know for sure that I read one other title, but I'm sorry to say I did not keep a list of my reading at that time, and I don't recall which one I read, but I think it was The Summer Birdcage.

What are your thoughts and memories? And, do you hear of people still reading Drabble?


  1. I read one of her books about three years ago Judith ,i must admit I didn't overly like it but I will try her again at some point she is an important writer that maybe is falling out of fashion a bit of late ,all the best stu

  2. I've been racking my brains about Drabble for a few days now. I thought that I had read some of her books but none of them ring a bell. The trouble is I always get mixed up between Drabble and her sister A.S. Byatt.

  3. Stu,
    You know Drabble might be a dated read, only for people of a certain age. I don't know. But congrats to you for trying her! I definitely want to read Gates of Ivory, which I have on hand.

    Thanks for posting,

  4. Katrina,
    You know, it's funny, I got all bent out of shape when I rediscovered that Byatt was Drabble's elder sister.

    It's peculiar, it really is. For some reason, I have never been able to stand Byatt's writing. I have tried several times, and I read one of her books for a book group, but in the end, I really can't stand her writing.

    So, I guess I'm a Drabble person.


  5. Judith,
    I do recall that Byatt is one of the few writers which I've given up on early on in a book. It read like a list of notes which hadn't been worked up into anything, very strange. Drabble and Byatt hate each other so maybe I should try Drabble, sometime!
    Hope your mum gets better soon.

  6. Oh, Katrina!
    Yes, you are so right, Byatt is extremely odd AND strange. I can't agree with you more. I do think you'd like Drabble. She's, well--somewhat more normal, yet intellectual, too. She gives you a lot to think about without being all weird.

    I just picked up her latest published work, A Day in the Life of a Smiling Woman: Complete Short Stories, which I just ordered from the library. Wouldn't you know I'd turn to a random story, and get perfectly mesmerized! Wow! The story is "Homework."

    And I really would like to read her novel The Gates of Ivory by the end of 2011. So many books (!), but I have always been calmed by Drabble, so I think I'll enjoy turning to her again.

    Thanks for your wishes for my Mom!

  7. I read a few of Drabble's novels many years ago but can't remember much about them. I have never tried Byatt, though she's much admired (more fashionable these days than Drabble, I agree).

  8. Drabble is I think one of the great writers; she has admirers in practically all age-groups; Byatt is tediously "smart" and "postmodern" compared to her. Am reading Drabble's new short story collection with great pleasure. There's one amusing story about a woman living in a Jane Austen-ish house, and becoming, gradually, just like an Austen heroine herself. In the past there were people who said that only women read Drabble; today there are those who assert that only respectable (meaning dull) middle-aged people read her; neither was or is true!