A Whistling Woman

A Whistling Woman A Whistling Woman portrays the antic thrilling and dangerous period of the late s as seen through the eyes of a woman whose life is forever changed by her times Frederica Potter a smart spirited

  • Title: A Whistling Woman
  • Author: A.S. Byatt
  • ISBN: 9780679776901
  • Page: 157
  • Format: Paperback
  • A Whistling Woman portrays the antic, thrilling, and dangerous period of the late 60s as seen through the eyes of a woman whose life is forever changed by her times.Frederica Potter, a smart, spirited 33 year old single mother, lucks into a job hosting a groundbreaking television talk show based in London Meanwhile, in her native Yorkshire where her lover is involved inA Whistling Woman portrays the antic, thrilling, and dangerous period of the late 60s as seen through the eyes of a woman whose life is forever changed by her times.Frederica Potter, a smart, spirited 33 year old single mother, lucks into a job hosting a groundbreaking television talk show based in London Meanwhile, in her native Yorkshire where her lover is involved in academic research, the university is planning a prestigious conference on body and mind, and a group of students and agitators is establishing an anti university And nearby a therapeutic community is beginning to take the shape of a religious cult under the influence of its charismatic religious leader.A Whistling Woman is a brilliant and thought provoking meditation on psychology, science, religion, ethics, and radicalism, and their effects on ordinary lives.

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    About "A.S. Byatt"

    1. A.S. Byatt

      A.S Byatt Antonia Susan Byatt is internationally known for her novels and short stories Her novels include the Booker Prize winner Possession, The Biographer s Tale and the quartet, The Virgin in the Garden, Still Life, Babel Tower and A Whistling Woman, and her highly acclaimed collections of short stories include Sugar and Other Stories, The Matisse Stories, The Djinn in the Nightingale s Eye, Elementals and her most recent book Little Black Book of Stories A distinguished critic as well as a writer of fiction, A S Byatt was appointed CBE in 1990 and DBE in 1999ATT, Dame Antonia Susan , Dame Antonia Duffy , DBE 1999 CBE 1990 FRSL 1983 Chevalier de l Ordre des Arts et des Lettres France , 2003 , writer born 24 Aug 1936 Daughter of His Honour John Frederick Drabble, QC and late Kathleen Marie BloorByatt has famously been engaged in a long running feud with her novelist sister, Margaret Drabble, over the alleged appropriation of a family tea set in one of her novels The pair seldom see each other and each does not read the books of the other.Married1st, 1959, Ian Charles Rayner Byatt Sir I C R Byatt marriage dissolved 1969 one daughter one son deceased 2nd, 1969, Peter John Duffy two daughters.EducationSheffield High School The Mount School, York Newnham College, Cambridge BA Hons Hon Fellow 1999 Bryn Mawr College, Philadelphia, USA Somerville College, Oxford.Academic Honours Hon Fellow, London Inst 2000 Fellow UCL, 2004Hon DLitt Bradford, 1987 DUniv York, 1991 Durham, 1991 Nottingham, 1992 Liverpool, 1993 Portsmouth, 1994 London, 1995 Sheffield, 2000 Kent 2004 Hon LittD Cambridge, 1999PrizesThe PEN Macmillan Silver Pen Of Fiction prize, 1986 for STILL LIFEThe Booker Prize, 1990, for POSSESSIONIrish Times Aer Lingus International Fiction Prize, 1990 for POSSESSIONThe Eurasian section of Best Book in Commonwealth Prize, 1991 for POSSESSIONPremio Malaparte, Capri, 1995 Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature, California, 1998 for THE DJINN IN THE NIGHTINGALE S EYEShakespeare Prize, Toepfer Foundation, Hamburg, 2002 Publications The Shadow of the Sun, 1964 Degrees of Freedom, 1965 reprinted as Degrees of Freedom the early novels of Iris Murdoch, 1994 The Game, 1967 Wordsworth and Coleridge in their Time, 1970 reprinted as Unruly Times Wordsworth and Coleridge in their Time, 1989 Iris Murdoch 1976The Virgin in the Garden, 1978 GEORGE ELIOT Selected Essays, Poems and Other Writings , 1979 editor Still Life, 1985Sugar and Other Stories, 1987 George Eliot selected essays, 1989 editor Possession a romance, 1990Robert Browning s Dramatic Monologues, 1990 editor Passions of the Mind, essays , 1991 Angels and Insects novellae ,1992The Matisse Stories short stories ,1993 The Djinn in the Nightingale s Eye five fairy stories, 1994Imagining Characters, 1995 joint editor New Writing 4, 1995 joint editor Babel Tower, 1996 New Writing 6, 1997 joint editor The Oxford Book of English Short Stories, 1998 editor Elementals Stories of fire and ice short stories , 1998 The Biographer s Tale, 2000 On Histories and Stories essays , 2000 Portraits in Fiction, 2001 The Bird Hand Book, 2001 Photographs by Victor Schrager Text By AS Byatt A Whistling Woman, 2002Little


    1. bbc/programmes/b007jsrfDescription: Frederica Potter, a smart, spirited 33-year-old single mother, lucks into a job hosting a groundbreaking television talk show based in London. Meanwhile, in her native Yorkshire where her lover is involved in academic research, the university is planning a prestigious conference on body and mind, and a group of students and agitators is establishing an “anti-university.” And nearby a therapeutic community is beginning to take the shape of a religious cult [...]

    2. Oh AS Byatt, I love ye! Once again another engaging and engrossing book by Ms. Byatt. Sometimes I wonder if other people have realize that Byatt may be one of the smartest authors alive? But her story weaves together Univeristy life, cults, the study of snails, mythology, sexuality, dissertations, children's stories, the emerging influence of television, feminism and early 1970s rebellion in England. And she nails it all. This book is fascinating not only because she offers a buffet of ideas and [...]

    3. From BBc Radio 4-The Frederica Quartet:24/30: Frederica resigns but makes a living by reviewing. Edmund has an idea for a heavier television programme.25/30: Frederica has doubts about her television career and her brother, Marcus, makes a shocking discovery. 26/30: Frederica reignites an old flame, John, and her new TV series starts. Marcus finds a damsel in distress. 27/30: Daniel has difficulty communicating with Will and Lucy joins a disreputable religious commune.28/30: The religious commun [...]

    4. What is important, she thought, is to defend reason against unreason.So thinks the main character, Frederica Potter, the host of a television show that brings astrology to the masses.Unlike the other books in the Frederica Quartet, this fourth installment requires reading the other books to know what’s going on. Many of the characters, who you are expected to already know, aren’t explained.The majority of the story takes place in the sixties, from Christmas 1968 to a little after Christmas 1 [...]

    5. Having just re-read all of A.S. Byatt's Frederica Potter books, I can say that this ending volume isn't all that satisfying. In this book, it's now the late 1960s, and Frederica and her son have settled into post-divorce life. Frederica is the host of a nascent television multimedia talk show involving Alexander and Wilkie. Meanwhile, her parents are happy in retirement in a way they never were before, caring for her late sister's children. At North Yorkshire University, where Frederica had perf [...]

    6. A great book.My only real complaint is that Byatt doesn't show what happens when the police break up the demonstration at the variously titled NYU or UNY (North Yorkshire University). She's led us to despise the spiritualist, romantic, medievalist, Tolkienite excesses of the late 60s American/European student movement, while, yes, complicating matters somewhat by witnessing to its responsibility for the incipient animal liberation movement and cui bono critiques of reason. But when the students [...]

    7. The new book, A Whistling Woman has been a long time coming (and won't appear in the U.S. until December). While it avoids some of the ponderous over-stylization that made Babel Tower draggier than its predecessors, I found it disappointing as a conclusion to the series. Byatt devotes more attention to tying up small subplots from the previous books than she does to the main entanglements.The book describes several parallel events: the merging of the Children of Joy and the Spirit's Tigers (two [...]

    8. I have a love/hate relationship with the Frederica quartet. On the one hand, once started, I cannot put them down. It's like an intellectual soap opera; everyone is so special and everyone loves everyone because they're all ever so special and brilliant. On the other hand, they provide sheer narrative pleasure, much like a soap opera. My favorite character has always been brash, bold, "brilliant" yet stupid Frederica, and I really felt that Byatt did the character of Frederica a disservice with [...]

    9. Gave up in the middle.This was just not what I want to read right now. As a book of a very particular history of late 60's thinking and society it is thought-provoking and insightful, perhaps. I wanted to read because it would give some insight into the time, the time I was conceived and know relatively little about. I found Byatt's writing less than appealing though, she does not write cleanly and as precisely as I like an author to do (when it comes to prose I am a short story reader at heart, [...]

    10. As a lover of linguistics, Byatt outdid herself in this book. Words and science, combined with religious cults and fairy-tales.However, I find the elaborate description of a religious leader maniac somewhat too much! It reminds me too much of the stream-of-consciousness passages used in Modernist writing which, as everyone knows, gives no plot. The characters in the book are taken to the realm of parrody, mirroring Fredericka's TV shows.As usual, there are hidden things one can discover for ones [...]

    11. A Whistling Woman is the fourth book in the 'Frederica Quartet'. It is billed as a stand-alone novel but there are characters and storylines that appear here that have their genesis in earlier volumes. Perhaps it would be best to start from the beginning. While there is much to admire Byatt's writing I don't think I have ever come across a novelist as keen to show off their research - not an ounce of wasted effort as everything from snails, zygotes and psychiatry gets more than a mention while a [...]

    12. I'm done and I might cry. So full to spilling are these feelings, is this heart. (Somehow, everyone is somehow happy.) So stirring with thoughts is this mind. An immensely erudite and enjoyable series sweeps to a graceful, bowing, denouement. The camera-eye scans the contented scene, captures them in a single frame, then quietly leaves the characters to their own worlds, their own selves.

    13. What a fantastic conclusion to this series of books. I remain in awe of Byatt's skill as a writer. The previous books are bookended with glimpses into the future and then settle into a narrative that happened in the past. This book doesn't begin that way, and the reader slowly realizes that this book is taking place in the future that starts and ends the previous three; there's a wonderful moment where Byatt takes you full-circle back to the very beginning book and shows you a moment happening i [...]

    14. Fans of A.S. Byatt's fiction can be divided into two groups: Those who cannot understand her novels and those who lie. Even her most popular work, the Booker Prize-winning "Possession," was demanding, and her previous novel, "The Biographer's Tale," was downright baffling.Her latest, "A Whistling Woman," completes a tetralogy, meaning a fair number of us already feel intimidated. The series began 25 years ago with "The Virgin in the Garden," which introduced Frederica Potter, then a precocious t [...]

    15. 'That isn't the end. We don't know everything.''What's a real end?' said Frederica. 'The end is always the most unreal bit'It feels as though the series could continue on, is my initial thought on reaching the end of it.Some of the other reviews I've read seem to hate on Dr Byatt for what they perceive as her crapping all over the free-spiritedness of the sixties, when in fact, if they'd been paying attention, she's really having a go at a lot of the intellectual laziness that was endemic in pol [...]

    16. A S Byatt’s A Whistling Woman is a strange book. At one level it’s a straightforward account of university life, with its politics, affairs and academic pursuit. But then there’s the suspicion that none of this is ever satisfying for those involved. They yearn for something bigger, whilst at the same time trying to deny its significance in their lives. Another strand is the career of Federica, one of the book’s principal characters. Almost by default, she finds herself host of a BBC2-sty [...]

    17. A Whistling Woman is A.S. Byatt's conclusion to her quartet of stories about life in England in the 1950's - 1970's, central to which is Frederica Potter and the rest of her eccentric family and friends.Frederica and Leo are still living with Agatha and Saskia - comfortably post Frederica & Nigel's divorce. Frederica has fallen into a career in television - almost accidentally and works on a series with Wilkie, and occasionally, Alexander. In the first book, The Virgin In The Garden, a teena [...]

    18. I admire Byatt quite a bit because of her facility with language and her ability to tell her stories through an epistolary hodgepodge. She also captures both the absurd violence and eerie pastoral qualities of England and paints an acerbic picture of counter-culture '60s Britain. There's sympathy there but there's also room for judgment, even if she leaves it to us as an audience.I was disappointed to see less of Frederica in this one, though. Babel Tower focuses almost uncomfortably on her as s [...]

    19. I began this book unaware that it was fourth in a series, read it anyway, and now want to say that A WHISTLING WOMAN by A.S. Byatt stands brilliantly on its own. In fact, it may be best to read it first, or at least not to feel compelled to read the four Frederica novels in the order in which they were written. I read two of the preceding ones years ago, long enough ago to have forgotten them, and have begun reading STILL LIFE again. Have also read BABEL TOWER but not VIRGIN . . . GARDEN. I admi [...]

    20. The first time I read this book, I found it a fairly unsatisfactory ending to the Frederica Quartet. I will admit that I started the series in medias res with Babel Tower, the third book of the series. It was a boring summer and I had finally found a library with the Frederica Quartet - or part of it, at least. However, I re-read the series about a year and a half ago, in the proper order this time, and I was overwhelmed.The second time I read this series - perhaps because I started at the begin [...]

    21. The last in the series concerning Frederica Potter. I liked it a lot. A deserving ending for our heroine. From the Publisher"A Whistling Woman opens in the late 1960s, as the world begins to split, and as Frederica - the spirited heroine of the novel - falls almost by accident into a career in television in London. Tumultuous events in her home county of Yorkshire threaten to change her life and the lives of those she loves." Meanwhile, near the university, where the scientists Luk and Jacquelin [...]

    22. This is not a good book. I read it because it's the last of a quartet and I've read the first three. The concepts were fairly intriguing (late 60s cults and student unrest, scientific research into the formation of memories) and so I chose to finish, but the execution was pretty dire. The worst sin probably lay in character development, descriptions were repeated incessantly but not skillfully enough to qualify as a motif, and most characters who hadn't appeared in previous books were nothing bu [...]

    23. What was begun (The Quartet) so brilliantly with "The Virgin in the Garden" finished so disappointingly with this final episode. "Babel Tower" foreshadowed the decline and was a bottoming out of the narrative overall with the "Potter" family story being a secondary consideration. This was a brief but unsatisfactory return to what was begun so brilliantly in volumes 1 and 2. I never thought I would say it but Ms Byatt in these final two works of the Quartet seems like she is much too clever for h [...]

    24. I was very happy with this -- to me felt like a return to form after Babel Tower, which I rather hated (though Byatt is always interesting). Bill Potter's personal revelation about The Winter's Tale was perfect: "The thing about the late comedies - the thing is - that’s what they do, the effect they have, isn’t anything to do with fobbing you off with a happy ending when you know you witnessed a tragedy. It’s about art, it’s about the necessity of art. The human need to be mocked with ar [...]

    25. It continues like Babel Tower (of which it makes several references)the story of Frederica. Yet, in this book, she seems strangly apart from the drama, most of which seems to take place at universities. The Sixties becomes the usual drug use, false messiahs and anti education. Yet, the main drama of the story ends anticlimatically. I won't say I was disappointed, but like Children's Book, I expect more from the author of Possession, not to mention the first two volumnes Virgin in the Garden and [...]

    26. I may have been less bemused by A Whistling Woman if I had known that it was the fourth in a series by A.S. Byatt, of which I have only read Babel Tower, and that long ago. Instead, I kept having the feeling that there was something I just wasn’t understanding. My impression was that it was about too many things, so I was relieved to find a review in The Guardian that criticizes it for having “too many ideas” and being an “over-ambitious jumble.” The intent of the series, says The Guar [...]

    27. At last, a fitting resolution to the story Byatt began four novels ago with "The Virgin in the Garden." The Potter family - all of them, including Stephanie - have come full circle and Frederica (long-searching, long-suffering, and sometimes too intellectual for her own good Frederica) has settled into her own.Reading Byatt always opens me up historically and culturally, not to mention that I always feel compelled to read more great works of literature while I'm doing so in an effort to truly un [...]

    28. While not my favorite of the Frederica quartet, it does bring the series to a very satisfactory end. The whole first half of the book found me very resistant to the notion of adding all these new characters while pulling further and further away from some of my favorites. (Like Daniel, I may never be able to resign myself to Stephanie's death)I think it would be impossible to make any sense out of the plot if it were read out of sequence. My other complaint is that it leans a little too far into [...]

    29. I really liked this book. A really great look at the good things, bad things, weird things of the 60's as well as then ideals turn into fashion/hypocrisies or worse evil. The partial list of topic covered: student protests, cults, tarot, tv, laura ashleigh, drugs, a little bit of free love, science experiments/research involving snails, free speech, insanity, christianity. the overall tension reminded me of the movie Strawdogs which might have made the book more unsettling. I'm insisting that my [...]

    30. I never imagined giving a Byatt novel 2 stars but in this instance I couldn't bring myself to give any higher! There is no denying that Byatt is a master of her craft, but I'm afraid this descended into egotistical philosophising too often, at the expense of the plot and characterisation. The conclusion , as a result of far too many intricately detailed and academic tangents, felt rushed and unsatisfactory. There's no denying Byatt's erudition in many diverse matters, however there's a fine line [...]

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