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The Sea, the Sea; A Severed Head


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About the Author

IRIS MURDOCH (1919-1999) was born in Dublin and brought up in London. She studied philosophy at Cambridge and was a philosophy Fellow at St Anne's College for twenty years. She published her first novel in 1954 and was instantly recognized as a major talent. She went on to publish more than twenty-six novels, as well as works of philosophy, plays, and poetry. SARAH CHURCHWELL is Professor of American Literature and Public Understanding of the Humanities at the University of East Anglia. She is the author of The Many Lives of Marilyn Monroe and Careless People: Murder, Mayhem and the Invention of The Great Gatsby. She writes regularly for New Statesman, The Guardian, and The Times Literary Supplement, among other publications.


Praise for The Sea, the Sea

"Dazzlingly entertaining and inventive."
--THE TIMES (London)

"One of Miss Murdoch's best novels . . . Murdoch was always balancing the demands of storytelling with the more urgent need to examine how the truth of a fleeting life reflected the larger, permanent truths of existence."
--THE NEW YORK TIMES "Murdoch's subtly, blackly humorous digs at human vanity and self-delusion periodically build into waves of hilarity, and Arrowby is a brilliant creation: a deeply textured, intriguing yet unreliable narrator, and one of the finest character studies of the twentieth century."
--THE GUARDIAN Praise for A Severed Head "Beautifully and wittily written."
--THE NEW YORK TIMES "This is a comedy with that touch of ferocity about it which makes for excitement."
--Elizabeth Jane Howard

"Remarkable . . . One feels a power of intellect quite exceptional in a novelist."
--THE SUNDAY TIMES (London) "Murdoch's novels are not merely cerebral exercises in ideas about moral philosophy, ethics and aesthetics, although those ideas shape her fiction. They are also shot through with the dark energies of occult forces, variously figured as Eros, the id, the unconscious, the repressed, the monstrous, the supernatural, the libidinous . . . Murdoch's fictional experiments . . . fuse realism with the mystical."
--from the Introduction by Sarah Churchwell

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