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A brilliant but deeply flawed man struggles to earn absolution

Hilary Burde was a rising star in academia until a tragic accident plunged him and his mentor and rival, Gunnar Jopling, into two decades of depression and guilt. Hilary, unable to overcome his pain, abandoned his promising career for an unfulfilling job as a civil servant. But at age forty-one, Hilary crosses paths again with Gunnar—initiating a series of events that will change their lives forever. Set against a richly drawn backdrop of post-war London, A Word Child is a gripping story of passion and the redemptive power of love.

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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