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Peter Benson Biography

(1956– ), The Levels, A Lesser Dependency, The Other Occupant, Odo's Hanging, Riptide

novel rural dorset levels

British novelist, born in Broadstairs, Kent. He was living in Dorset, where he worked as a basketmaker, when his first novel, The Levels (1987), was published. The novel is a subtle adolescent romance set in the Dorset countryside, with rich resonances of folklore and myth. His interest in archetypal structure and his keen novelistic intelligence are displayed in A Lesser Dependency (1988), a more controversial work. In its challenging theme and its fragmented structure, this novel represents a radical departure from the formal simplicity of his first novel. The Other Occupant (1989) is the terse account of a young man's deep emotional involvement with an elderly woman dying of cancer, which returns to the more conventional first-person narration and the rural setting of The Levels with the larger themes of death, rural bigotry, and violence. Odo's Hanging (1993), in characteristically simple, imageladen language, tells of the making of the Bayeux tapestry in the voice of a deaf-mute. Riptide (1994) interweaves images of surfing and turbulent sexuality in a story of a boy's encounter with, and ultimate loss of, his lost mother.

R. H. Benson, (Robert Hugh Benson) Biography - (Robert Hugh Benson), The Lord of the World, Come Rack! Come Rope!, The Sentimentalists [next] [back] E. F. Benson (Edward Frederic Benson) Biography - (1867–1940), (Edward Frederic Benson), Dodo, grande dame, Queen Lucia, Miss Mapp, Lucia in London

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