English writer and literary critic AS Byatt, author of the historical novel Obsession, for which she received the Booker Prize, died at the age of 87. According to the AP agency, the writer’s publisher, Chatto & Windus, announced it. Byatt died “peacefully at home, surrounded by family,” the publisher said. It did not release further details.
The writer was born in 1936, grew up in Sheffield and York, England, and studied English at Cambridge and Oxford universities. She wrote more than two dozen books during her lifetime, the first of which was The Shadow of the Sun (Shadow of the Sun) published in 1964.
However, she is most famous for Obsession from 1990, which follows two modern-day academics studying the life and love affair of two Victorian poets. The book served as the basis for the 2002 film of the same name, in which Gwyneth Paltrow and Aaron Eckhart played the central couple.
Obsession, together with the later collection of short stories Matisse’s Message, was also published in Czech. In total, AS Byatt’s work has been translated into 38 languages. During her six-decade-long career, the writer, whose real name is Antonia Susan Duffy, has earned numerous awards, from the aforementioned Booker Prize to the French Order of Arts and Letters.
Clara Farmer, the author’s publisher at Chatto & Windus, called Byatt’s books “the most amazing treasure trove of stories and ideas”.
“We mourn her loss, but we are comforted that her penetrating works will dazzle, shine and reverberate in the minds of readers for generations to come,” she said.