Anita Mason Biography
(1942– ), Bethany, The Illusionist, The War against Chaos, The Racket
Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Harriet Martineau Biography to John McTaggart (John McTaggart Ellis McTaggart) Biography
British novelist, born in Bristol, educated at Oxford University. Her first novel, Bethany (1981), was followed by The Illusionist (1983), perhaps her best-known work; through the enigmatic figure of Simon of Samaria, known as the Magus and the ‘Angel of Satan’, and said to have inspired the legend of Faust, the novel explores the growth of Christian doctrine, the conflicts that arose within it, and the gnostic cults assimilated or rejected by it. Her style is lucid and the structure of her novels is conventional but her themes are consistently adventurous. The War against Chaos (1988) is a dystopia set in an unnamed city in an unspecified future, seen through the eyes of the dispossessed John Hare; The Racket (1990) employs a Brazilian background and characters.
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