Bernice Rubens

Standard Name: Rubens, Bernice
Birth Name: Bernice Ruth Reuben
Self-constructed Name: Bernice Ruth Rubens
Married Name: Bernice Ruth Nassauer
BR 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.


Connections Sort descending Author name Excerpt
Family and Intimate relationships Penelope Mortimer
In summer 1957 PM embarked on her first affair since her second marriage, which she felt as retaliation for her husband's constant infidelities. Her lover was a Belgian painter named Hermann Minner , and she...
Friends, Associates Beryl Bainbridge
Among the writers whom BB met the trip to Israel in 1977, Bernice Rubens and Melvyn Bragg became in time her close friends. Bainbridge and Rubens saw each other regularly for thirty years, met each...
Friends, Associates Elaine Feinstein
At Cambridge she met a lot of very interesting Jews who were very Zionistic or left-wing or kinds of things like that.
Pacernick, Gary. Meaning and Memory: Interviews with Fourteen Jewish Poets. Ohio State University Press.
She later met other writers who hailed from Liverpool, like Brian Patten
Friends, Associates Fay Weldon
Their social circle in north London included many writers and painters, including Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath , David and Assia Wevill , Kingsley Amis and Elizabeth Jane Howard , Bernice Rubens , psychologist R. D. Laing
Instructor Fay Weldon
Fay attended another progressive establishment, the co-educational Burgess Hill School , which she found absurd, not only noisy and disorderly but actively anti-academic. The best thing about it was being taught English briefly by the...
Literary responses Penelope Mortimer
It won the Whitbread Prize.
Gordon, Giles. “Obituary: Penelope Mortimer”. Guardian Weekly, p. 26.
Bernice Rubens found this book deeply impressive, especially the way that Mortimer portrays her unloving parents with understanding and even affection.
Rubens, Bernice. When I Grow Up. Time Warner Books.
Graham Lord calls it devastatingly honest.
Lord, Graham. John Mortimer, The Devil’s Advocate. The Unauthorised Biography. Orion.
Occupation Anne Conway
AC 's studies, driven by her own interests and the desire better to understand her health problems, embraced religion, philosophy, the natural philosophy which we now call scientific principle, and the practice of medicine. She...
Performance of text Ruth Prawer Jhabvala
The film of Bernice Rubens 's Madame Sousatzka, with RPJ 's screenplay, opened in New York; for this Jhabvala worked without her usual collaborators on the invitation of Robin Dalton , her former literary agent.
Long, Robert Emmet. The Films of Merchant Ivory. Harry N. Abrams.
Textual Production Beryl Bainbridge
BB commemorated Colin Haycraft in an essay titled Mr Chips in a book of tributes to him, Colin Haycraft: Maverick Publisher, 1995.
King, Brendan. Beryl Bainbridge. Bloomsbury .
On 15 October 2005 she contributed to The Guardian a moving...
Textual Production Gillian Clarke
GC has contributed poems to more than half a dozen journals, Welsh, English, and American, and most frequently to Poetry Wales, the New Welsh Review, and Poetry Nation Review (PNR). She has reviewed...
Travel Iris Murdoch
After IM 's stimulating visit to Paris in 1947, that city became permanently necessary in her life.
Conradi, Peter J. Iris Murdoch. A Life. HarperCollins.
Later, Murdoch and her husband visited many parts of the world, either on holiday (Scotland,...


1979: Paines Plough Theatre Company produced two...

Women writers item


Paines Plough Theatre Company produced two plays by Elisabeth Bond this year: the premiere of her Six Feet Apart and theatrical rendering of the story of Sabbatai Sevi , The Messiah of Ismir.

By early September 1986: Kingsley Amis published his novel The Old...

Writing climate item

By early September 1986

Kingsley Amis published his novelThe Old Devils, which won the Booker Prize from a strong field after a tie with What's Bred in the Bone by Robertson Davies was broken by a casting...


Rubens, Bernice. A Five Year Sentence. W. H. Allen, 1978.
Rubens, Bernice. “A Little Night Reading: What Bernice Rubens has on her Bedside Table”. Sunday Times, p. Section 9, Culture 40.
Rubens, Bernice. A Solitary Grief. Sinclair-Stevenson, 1991.
Rubens, Bernice. Autobiopsy. Sinclair-Stevenson, 1993.
Rubens, Bernice. Autobiopsy. Abacus, 1994.
Rubens, Bernice. Birds of Passage. Hamish Hamilton, 1981.
Rubens, Bernice. Brothers. Delacorte Press, 1983.
Rubens, Bernice. Brothers. Hamish Hamilton, 1983.
Rubens, Bernice. Go Tell the Lemming. Cape, 1973.
Rubens, Bernice. Hijack. Samuel French, 1993.
Rubens, Bernice. I Sent a Letter to My Love. W. H. Allen, 1975.
Rubens, Bernice. I, Dreyfus. Little, Brown, 1999.
Rubens, Bernice. I, Dreyfus. Abacus, 2000.
Rubens, Bernice. Kingdom Come. Hamish Hamilton, 1990.
Rubens, Bernice. Kingdom Come. Abacus, 1991.
Rubens, Bernice. Madame Sousatzka. Eyre and Spottiswoode, 1962.
Rubens, Bernice. Mate in Three. Eyre and Spottiswoode, 1966.
Rubens, Bernice. Mate in Three. Abacus, 1989.
Rubens, Bernice. Milwaukee. Little, Brown, 2001.
Rubens, Bernice. Mother Russia. Chapman, 1992.
Rubens, Bernice. Mr. Wakefield’s Crusade. Hamish Hamilton, 1985.
Rubens, Bernice. Nine Lives. Little, Brown, 2002.
Rubens, Bernice. Our Father. Hamish Hamilton, 1987.
Rubens, Bernice. Set on Edge. Eyre and Spottiswoode, 1960.
Rubens, Bernice. Spring Sonata. W. H. Allen, 1979.