Possession: A Romance is a 1990 best-selling novel by British writer A. S. Byatt that won the 1990 Booker Prize. The novel explores the postmodern concerns of similar novels, which are often categorised as historiographic metafiction, a genre that blends approaches from both historical fiction and metafiction.
The novel follows two modern-day academics as they research the paper trail around the previously unknown love life between famous fictional poets Randolph Henry Ash and Christabel LaMotte. Possession is set both in the present day and the Victorian era, contrasting the two time periods, as well as echoing similarities and satirising modern academia and mating rituals. The structure of the novel incorporates many different styles, including fictional diary entries, letters and poetry, and uses these styles and other devices to explore the postmodern concerns of the authority of textual narratives. The title Possession highlights many of the major themes in the novel: questions of ownership and independence between lovers; the practice of collecting historically significant cultural artefacts; and the possession that biographers feel toward their subjects.
The novel was adapted as a feature film by the same name in 2002, and a serialised radio play that ran from 2011 to 2012 on BBC Radio 4. In 2005 Time Magazine included the novel in its list of 100 Best English-language Novels from 1923 to 2005. In 2003 the novel was listed on the BBC's survey The Big Read.
Read more or edit on Wikipedia
date of publication: 1990