Dame Antonia Byatt began a quartet of novels twenty years ago with The Virgin in the Garden. She completes this huge project with A Whistling Woman (Knopf). Her goal has been to learn how to render the present as it occurs, to capture the ideas and events of a period through a discovery of prose in perpetual motion. Foreground becomes background, life becomes metaphor. Byatt laminates everything into a whirling collage and thereby describes her life and times. (Part II)
Read an excerpt from A Whistling Woman.