Margaret Drabble

Novelist, biographer and critic Margaret Drabble was born in Sheffield on 5 June 1939.

She became an actress and worked for the Royal Shakespeare Company at Stratford-upon-Avon before her first novel, A Summer Birdcage, the story of the relationship between two sisters, was published in 1963. Her other novels include The Garrick Year (1964); The Millstone (1965), winner of the Mail on Sunday/John Llewellyn Rhys Prize; Jerusalem the Golden (1967), winner of the James Tait Black Memorial Prize (for fiction); The Waterfall (1969); The Needle's Eye (1972), winner of the Yorkshire PostBook Award (Finest Fiction). 

Margaret Drabble is also the author of biographies of Arnold Bennett (1974) and Angus Wilson (1995), and is editor of both the fifth (1985) and sixth (2000) editions of The Oxford Companion to English Literature.She is a former Chairman of the National Book League (1980-82), and was awarded the CBE in 1980. She received the E. M. Forster Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1973, and holds honorary doctorates from the universities of Sheffield (1976), Manchester (1987), Keele (1988), Bradford (1988), Hull (1992), East Anglia (1994) and York (1995).

Her latest books are the memoir, The Pattern in the Carpet (2009), in which she looks at her own life, the history of games and the delights of puzzling and A Day in the Life of a Smiling Woman (2011), a collection of short stories.

Margaret Drabble is married to the biographer Michael Holroyd and lives in London and Somerset. Her sister is the novelist and critic A. S. Byatt. In 2008 she was made a DBE.

Anthologies featuring Margaret Drabble

The Book of Sheffield

Bringing together fiction from some of the city’s most celebrated writers, The Book of Sheffield traces the unique contours that decades of social and economic change can impress on a city.