Margaret Drabble is a consummate chronicler of London, which she knows ‘as thoroughly as any novelist has ever known any city’, according to Joyce Carol Oates. Her insightful, affecting novels about the inner lives of conflicted women as they navigate the change-filled terrain of the 1960s onward (including ambition and motherhood), have been much loved and celebrated.
Her eighteenth novel, The Pure Gold Baby, explores single motherhood and disability, through the life of anthropologist Jess, who has an affair with a professor that results in ‘pure gold baby’ Anna, a special needs child who will need Jess’s care for the rest of her life, altering its course forever in complex ways.
She chats about her work with Ramona Koval.
Dame Margaret Drabble was born in Sheffield in 1939 and was educated at Newnham College, Cambridge. She is the author of eighteen highly acclaimed novels, including A Summer Bird-Cage, The Millstone and most recently The Pure Gold Baby. She has also written biographies and screenplays, and was the editor of the Oxford Companion to English Literature. She was appointed CBE in 1980, and made DBE in the 2000 Honours list.
Ramona Koval is a writer, journalist, broadcaster and editor. She is an Honorary Fellow at the centre for Advancing Journalism, University of Melbourne.