Rose Tremain Analysis

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(Survey of Novels and Novellas)

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Although Rose Tremain is most highly recognized as a novelist, she has also published acclaimed collections of short stories, including The Colonel’s Daughter, and Other Stories (1984), Evangelista’s Fan, and Other Stories (1994), and The Darkness of Wallis Simpson (2005). She wrote the popular 1985 children’s book Journey to the Volcano and has written plays as well as scripts for television and radio. Her early writings also include works of nonfiction.


(Survey of Novels and Novellas)

Rose Tremain is considered to be an important contemporary British novelist, and she is also one of the most celebrated of her generation. In 1983, Granta magazine named her one of its twenty “Best Young British Novelists” along with Martin Amis, Salman Rushdie, and Ian McEwan. Tremain’s 1985 novel The Swimming Pool Season won the Angel Literary Award, as did her 1989 work Restoration, which also was named the Sunday Express Book of the Year and was short-listed for the Booker Prize for Fiction. An award-winning film adaptation of Restoration, starring Robert Downey, Jr., Sam Neill, and Meg Ryan, was released in 1995.

Tremain’s 1992 novel Sacred Country won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize and the Prix Femina Étranger, and in 1999 Music and Silence won the Whitbread Award. The Colour was short-listed for the 2004 Orange Prize for Fiction, an honor that Tremain received again for The Road Home in 2008. In addition, Tremain was named as a judge for the Booker Prize for Fiction in 1988 and in 2000. In 2000, she was awarded an honorary Litt.D. by the University of East Anglia, and in 2007 she received the prestigious honor of being named a Commander of the Order of the British Empire.


(Great Authors of World Literature, Critical Edition)

Biswell, Andrew. “A Boy and His Fictions Try to Forget Real Life.” Review of The Way I Found Her, by Rose Tremain. The Boston Globe, July 26, 1998, p. F3. An extensive review that focuses on Tremain’s clever construction of her novel.

Buford, Bill, ed. “The Best of Young British Novelists 1.” Granta 7 (March, 1983). Although the biographical information provided for Tremain is minimal, the inclusion of her short story “I Married a White Russian” in this special issue of the prestigious magazine set the British literary community’s stamp of approval upon her work.

Fendler, Susanne, and Ruth Wittlinger. “Rose Tremain’s Restoration and Thatcherism.” Culture and Communication 3 (Winter, 2000): 29-50. A convincing argument for the influence of contemporary politics on Tremain’s novel of seventeenth century court intrigues.