A S Byatt's fairy tales and fables are among the best-loved features of her fiction. Innumerable readers have asked for the two marvellous fairy tales in POSSESSION - 'The Glass Coffin' and 'Gode's Tale' of the Breton Naie des Trepasses - to be published seperately. Here they take their place with three other stories with medieval and oriental settings. The title story, 'The Djinn and the Nightingale's Eye', a long story about an Englishwoman in Turkey who unwittingly releases a genie from his bottle, is a reflection on women's lives, on magic and on the power of storytelling itself.
A.S. Byatt is internationally known as a novelist, short-story writer and critic. Her novels include Possession (winner of the Booker Prize in 1990), and the quartet of The Virgin in the Garden, Still Life, Babel Tower and A Whistling Woman, as well as The Shadow of the Sun, The Game and The Biographer's Tale. Her latest novel, The Children's Book, is shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2009. She is also the author of two novellas, published together as Angels and Insects, and four collections of stories, and has co-edited Memory: An Anthology.
Educated at York and Newnham College, Cambridge, she taught at the Central School of Art and Design, and was Senior Lecturer in English at University College, London, before becoming a full-time writer in 1983. She was appointed CBE in 1990 and DBE in 1999.