Beryl Bainbridge

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Dame Beryl Margaret Bainbridge DBE (21 November 19322 July 2010) was an English novelist who had been shortlisted five times for the Booker Prize.


  • I am of the firm belief that everybody could write books and I never understand why they don't. After all, everyone speaks. Once the grammar has been learnt it is simply talking on paper and in time learning what not to say.
    • James Vinson & D. L. Kirkpatrick (eds.), Contemporary Novelists, 2nd edition, (London: St. James Press, 1976). [1]
  • Being constantly with the children was like wearing a pair of shoes that were expensive and too small. She couldn't bear to throw them out, but they gave her blisters.
    • Injury Time (London: Abacus, [1977] 2003) ch. 4, pp. 41-42.
  • She opens her case with an account of her own experience — she married three times and twice it was rotten — and goes on to list, throughout the ages, the devastation perpetuated in the name of love. ...
    I disagree with some of her book. She chronicles a horrific list of cruelties and repressions practiced in the name of love and she infers that it is the exception rather than the rule that people know how to love one another.
    She must be wrong. What about all those millions of human beings who, long before the welfare state, despite misery, hunger and disease, mostly managed to care for each other with charity and tenderness? I don't know why any of us should presume that we're here to do anything very special, except procreate ...
  • Everything else you grow out of, but you never recover from childhood.
    • The New York Times (1 March 1981)[2]
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