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Banks, Lynne Reid

london jane

(British, 1929– )

Lynne Reid Banks was born in London, and educated in Canada and London. She is successful both as a children's author and a writer for adults, her most famous novel being The L-Shaped Room (1960). Unmarried Jane Graham discovers she is pregnant and chooses to live in a sordid bed-sit in Fulham. The people she meets in her lodging-house, and even the environment itself, have a transformational effect. The heroine is plucky and honest, and the book is an engaging read. Reid Banks wrote a sequel, The Backward Shadow (1970) in which Jane experiences motherhood in a country cottage not far from London. In 1962 Banks moved to Israel, and her most powerful novels for teenagers (such as One More River, 1973) are based on her first-hand understanding of the Arab–Israeli conflict.

Monica Dickens, Nadine Gordimer, Margaret Drabble  SA

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