(British, 1951– )
Patricia Duncker's award-winning first novel, Hallucinating Foucault (1996), is the story of a student's quest to track down the insane (and interned) French writer, Paul Michel. Although this is not strictly a novel of ideas (its effect on a reader is as visceral as a thriller) it is imbued with the spirit of philosopher Foucault, and seriously considers questions of sanity and gender. Gender is again central to James Miranda Barry (1999), which tells the life-story of a celebrated nineteenth-century surgeon, born a woman but who lived and worked as a man. Barry also appears in a story in Duncker's excellent collection, Monsieur Shoushana's Lemon Trees (1997).
Jeanette Winterson, Angela Carter DHa