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A powerful novel of a family’s search for love amid the wreckage of failed relationships

An Unofficial Rose is a story of a father and son, both dissatisfied with their lives, and both in love with someone other than their wives. While the father, a widower, regrets never leaving his wife for his mistress, the son seeks any opportunity to escape his dull marriage.

Written with Murdoch’s masterful blend of comedy and tragedy, An Unofficial Rose is a compelling story of love, regret, and the complexity of human relationships.

ABOUT Iris Murdoch

  • BIOGRAPHY

    Iris Murdoch (1919–1999) was one of the most influential British writers of the twentieth century. Heavily influenced by existentialist and moral philosophy, Murdoch's novels were also notable for their rich characters, intellectual depth, and handling of controversial topics such as adultery and incest.

    Born in Dublin, Ireland, Murdoch moved to London with her parents as a child. In 1954, she published her first novel, Under the Net, about a struggling young writer in London. Two years later, she married John Bayley, an English scholar at the University of Oxford and an author. In a 1994 interview, Murdoch described her relationship with Bayley as "the most important thing in my life." Bayley's memoir about their relationship, Elegy for Iris, was made into the major motion picture Iris, starring Judi Dench and Kate Winslet, in 2001.

    For three decades, Murdoch published a new book almost every year. She was awarded the 1978 Booker Prize for The Sea, The Sea, won the Royal Society Literary Award in 1987, and was made a Dame of the British Empire in 1987 by Queen Elizabeth. Her final years were clouded by a long struggle with Alzheimer's before her passing in 1999.

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