Dame Antonia S. Byatt
Dame Antonia S. Byatt er internationalt kendt for sine romaner og noveller. Hendes romaner inkluderer blandt andet Possession, der vandt Booker-prisen, The Biographer's Tale og kvartetten The Virgin in the Garden, Still Life, Babel Tower og A Whistling Woman. Blandt hendes højt besungne novelle-samlinger tæller Sugar and other Stories, The Matisse Stories, The Djinn in the Nightingale's Eye, Elementals samt hendes seneste bog Little Black Book of Stories.
Dame Antonia S. Byatt er - ud over at være en anerkendt skønlitterær forfatter - også en højt estimeret litteraturkritiker. Hun blev i 1990 udnævnt Commander of Order of the British Empire og i 1999 Dame Commander of Order of the British Empire.
Dame Antonia Byatt udtaler:
"I cannot really remember a time when I did not know Andersen's characters and inhabit Andersen's world. They were read to me before I could read and I read them as soon as I could read. My imaginative life was inhabited by the Little Mermaid, the Snow Queen, Thumbelina and the Emperor Who had No Clothes. Andersen's characters have the power and presence of the characters of true folk tales - although in general I believe, with the Grimms, that folklore is connected to primitive religious beliefs, and Andersen was very Christian. When I was working on the Grimms and asked everyone I met which was the first fairy tale they could remember, they usually cited the little Mermaid or the Snow Queen. Andersen knew how to recreate the world of the true tales. But he did something else - there is an authorial presence in both the beauty of the imaginary world, and in the fact that the characters have inner lives - unlike Cinderella or Beauty and the Beast. And because of this, and because of his own dark imagination, he made my first experiences of literary terror. The Mermaid, dumb and walking on knives. Kay with the splinter of glassy ice in his heart - these were agonising in a way Cinderella wasn't. As a little girl I was angry with him for making me suffer. I thought he was pushing my mind around. In fact he was turning me into a writer."