Barbara Trapido Biography
(1941– ), Brother of the More Famous Jack, Noah's Ark, Temples of Delight, nouveau riche
British novelist, born in Cape Town, South Africa, educated at the University of Natal and the University of London. After working as a schoolteacher in London, she published Brother of the More Famous Jack (1982), her first novel, a highly polished satirical romance whose complex plot ranges over fifteen years in the life of a well-educated but naïve young woman. Strongly informed by Trapido's South African background, Noah's Ark (1984) follows the social and emotional chaos surrounding its heroine's attempts to deal with her past. Temples of Delight (1990) was praised for the Dickensian vigour of characterization in its treatment of social and cultural mobility from a restricted nouveau riche milieu to international bohemian circles. Its sequel, Juggling (1992), adapts the structure of Shakespearean comedy to frame its elaborate and sometimes sexually disquieting narrative of two sets of twins growing up in New York. Trapido's novels are noted for their opulently sensual descriptions and their success in sustaining an aspect of psychological and emotional seriousness amid their predominant comedy.