Bernice Rubens entry: Overview screen.
Writing and Life
Works By
Bernice Rubens was an immensely, steadily prolific later twentieth-century novelist (with a couple of dozen titles, the last published in 2003). She also wrote for the stage, film, and television. A vivid memoir appeared posthumously. She is adept at satiric comedy, which both in early and later work she often achieves by moving out of naturalism into physical impossibility and absurdism. Early works in her fantasy style often employ extreme versions of stereotypically presented Jewish family life; in later works they are more likely to involve psychiatric topics. Several of her novels look at life in institutions (schools, orphanages, old people's homes); a few deal with the sweep of international, multi-generational history.
26 July 1923 BR was born in Cardiff (probably, she says, at 9 Glossop Terrace), the third of four children in the family (before the addition of an extra almost-brother, Hugo Gross, a Jewish refugee from Germany). Bibliographic Citation link.  scholarly note link.
1962 BR published her second and for a long time her best-known novel, Madame Sousatzka. Bibliographic Citation link.
By mid-October 2003 BR's final novel, The Sergeants' Tale, appeared about a year before her death. Bibliographic Citation link.
13 October 2004 BR died in the Royal Free Hospital, Hampstead, two weeks after suffering a stroke on top of her chronic bronchitis. Bibliographic Citation link.
3 November 2005 BR's When I Grow Up. A Memoir appeared in print about a year after her death; when she died she had almost finished writing it. Bibliographic Citation link.  scholarly note link.
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