Famous literary author and University of Oxford graduate Dame Antonia Susan Duffy, who wrote under the pen name A S Byatt, has died age 87.

Her publisher Chatto & Windus confirmed that she died peacefully at home surrounded by close family.

The author of the 1990 Booker Prize-winning novel Possession studied for her postgraduate degree at Somerville College, Oxford.

READ MORE: Staff 'devastated and shocked' at university department closures

She taught in the Extra-Mural Department of London University and the Central School of Art and Design, and in 1972 became full-time lecturer in English and American Literature at University College, London.

She left in 1983 to concentrate on writing full-time. A distinguished critic as well as a writer of fiction, A S Byatt was appointed CBE in 1990 and DBE in 1999.

Clara Farmer, her publisher at Chatto & Windus, an imprint of Penguin Random House, said: “Antonia’s books are the most wonderful jewel boxes of stories and ideas.

“Her compulsion to write (A4 blue notebook always to hand) and her ability to create intricate skeins of narrative was remarkable. It was always a treat to see her, to hear updates about her evolving literary characters and indulge in delicious titbits of literary gossip.

“Like all Chatto’s publishers before me, I was devoted to her and her writing.

“2024 would have been her 60th (Diamond) anniversary as a Chatto author. We mourn her loss but it’s a comfort to know that her penetrating works will dazzle, shine and refract in the minds of readers for generations to come.”


Read more from this author

This story was written by Matthew Norman, he joined the team in 2022 as a Facebook community reporter.

Matthew covers Bicester and focuses on finding stories from diverse communities.

Get in touch with him by emailing: Matthew.norman@newsquest.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter: @OxMailMattN1