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The Pure Gold Baby

The Pure Gold Baby will both raise you up and break your heart, as it follows Anna, a child of special, unknowable qualities, who also presents profound parental challenges. Over decades, we observe her touch the lives and loves of those around her.

Margaret Drabble writes with great beauty, wisdom and stealthy power about parenthood, about friendship and ultimately about the ways in which we care for one another.

The Pure Gold Baby is a captivating novel from one of Britain’s most admired literary figures.


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New York Review of Books
Crikey review of Wheeler Centre event.

Margaret Drabble
About the Author

Dame Margaret Drabble was born in Sheffield in 1939 and was educated at Newnham College, Cambridge. She is the author of seventeen highly acclaimed novels, including A Summer Bird-Cage, The Millstone, The Peppered Moth, The Red Queen and most recently The Sea Lady.She has also written biographies and screenplays, and was the editor of the Oxford...

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Text publication date:
25 September 2013
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Praise for Margaret Drabble
andThe Pure Gold Baby

‘Vintage Drabble.’

‘As meticulous as Jane Austen and as deadly as Evelyn Waugh.’

‘Drabble’s fiction has achieved a panoramic vision of contemporary life.’

‘Reading Margaret Drabble’s novels has become something of a rite of passage…Sharply observed, exquisitely companionable tales.’

‘One of the most versatile and accomplished writers of her generation.’

‘Margaret Drabble is a wonderful writer. The Pure Gold Baby is full of astute observations, wry commentary and her ability to make her characters come alive in only a few well-chosen words is astounding.’

‘Drabble approaches the subjects of care for the disabled and one another, friendship and ageing with her customary intelligence and wisdom. This is her first novel in six years and she doesn’t disappoint.’

‘Writers of a certain vintage often fall into one of two camps: those whose creative powers are irrevocably on the wane and those who are at the height of their game. Margaret Drabble’s 18th novel, The Pure Gold Baby, is evidence, if we needed it, that the 74-year-old British novelist, biographer and critic fits firmly in the latter category.’

‘Even her [Drabble’s] throwaway lines kept me stopping to admire the apparent ease with which they were conceived. It’s clever, sometimes humorous, sometimes depressing, but always thought-provoking.’

‘Easy to read and insightful about both the process of raising a disabled child, and the role of memory and hope in all lives.’

‘The author pulls of the tricky subject…with aplomb, even humour, never self-pity.’

‘insightful and wise…[it] chronicles the deep challenges of parenting under any circumstances—yet it also captures the almost unbearable vulnerability of being human.’

‘Everything and nothing happens in a moving testament to love, loyalty, and friendships between women. Perhaps the real pure gold baby will know she, or he, has inspired this great writer to return to fiction with a poignant but ultimately uplifting tale.’

The Pure Gold Baby is an intelligent book about the way we interpret our inner lives.’

‘In determinedly not giving a pleasing shape to the story of Jess and Anna, Margaret Drabble has written a novel in which she has resisted the temptation to form it into a pleasing work of art, instead offering a picture of life as one thing after another. Yet it is a version of a good life that she very winningly offers us, a life irradiated by kindness.’

‘A narrative that consistently prods at the idea of how we know what it is that we are seeing; how we determine the combined effects of historical context and personal circumstance, and how we can weigh out the minute adjustments we need to make as time flows on, subtly altering both us and the objects of our scrutiny.’

‘a magnificent novel that confirms Drabble’s status as a national treasure.’

Other editions ofThe Pure Gold Baby
  • The Pure Gold Baby
    ISBN: 9781922148551
    25 September 2013
    Buy ebook
Other Titles byMargaret Drabble