Barber, Ros

Tagged: Author

(1964-    ) US-born academic, poet and author, in UK from the age of eighteen, her first book, How Things Are On Thursday (coll 2004 chap) being poetry. Her first novel, The Marlowe Papers (2012) could – given William Shakespeare's central importance to English literature – might almost be read as an Alternate History given a plot in which Christopher Marlowe (1564-1593) fakes his own death and writes the hugely better plays ascribed to his rival. The tiresomeness of the premise is partially redeemed by the verse form in which the tale is told, which generally avoids the risks involved in trying not to sound cod-Elizabethan. Her second novel, Devotion (2015), is set in a Near Future Britain, something like ten years after the death of Richard Dawkins (1941-    ), a time when Religion is officially treated with Dawkinsesque contempt. Embedded in this world, a storyline involving the death of beloved children and their possible Reincarnation moves with some ease. At its climax the tale bifurcates intriguingly, in perhaps the first use of a Jonbar Point to dramatize Pascal's Wager about the existence of God. [JC]

Rosalind Barber

born Washington, District of Columbia: 1964

died

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