Regrettably Dame Margaret Drabble is unable to attend the 2017 Fairway Galle Literary Festival due to personal issues that have arisen. We hope we will see her in the near future.

FGLF 2017 Participant - Author Margaret Drabble

Dame Margaret Drabble, is the author of eighteen novels including ‘A Summer Bird Cage’ (1963), ‘The Millstone’ (1965), ‘The Peppered Moth’ (2001), ‘The Red Queen’ (2004), ‘The Sea Lady’ (2006) and most recently, the highly acclaimed ‘The Pure Gold Baby’ (2013).

“She is a British prodigy, I think, dedicated to the delineation of the provisional, the tentative, the non-triumphant … what life is rather than what it might be”. – Daphne Merkin (New York Times Magazine 2009)

Margaret began writing her first novel,  ‘A Summer Bird Cage‘, to drive away the time while she was unemployed. The book was published in 1963, receiving wide recognition among readers and critics.

Three years later, in 1966, her third novel, ‘The Millstone‘, about an unmarried, young academic who becomes pregnant after a one-night stand and, against all odds, decides to give birth to her child and raise it herself, earned her the John Llewellyn Rhys Memorial Prize.

‘The Millstone’ was adapted into the film ‘A Touch of Love‘ (1969) starring Sandy Dennis and Ian McKellen.


The next novel, ‘Jerusalem the Golden‘, won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize in 1967.

Her novel, ‘The Needle’s Eye‘ (1972), the story of a young heiress who gives away her inheritance, was winner of the Yorkshire Post Book Award (Finest Fiction),

The Pure Gold Baby‘ published in 2013, is the novelist’s first novel to be published in seven years, following ‘The Sea Lady’ (2006).

The Pure Gold Baby by Margaret Drabble - FGLF 2017 Participant.

‘The Pure Gold Baby’ is about an anthropology student, Jessica (Jess), who gets pregnant in the 1960s and decides to keep the baby. The beautiful, blond baby, Anna, is developmentally disabled and no one knows exactly what’s wrong with her. However, Jess is an accepting and kind mother, and the mother-daughter duo is at the heart of this book.


Margaret Drabble was born in Sheffield in 1939, educated at the Mount School in York and read English at Newnham College, Cambridge.

She became an actress and worked for the Royal Shakespeare Company at Stratford-upon-Avon, at one point serving as an understudy for Vanessa Redgrave and Dame Judi Dench, before her first novel.

Margaret is also a critic, screenplay writer and the highly regarded biographer of Arnold Bennett (1974) and Angus Wilson (1995). She was also the editor of the Oxford Companion to English Literature.

Dame Margaret Drabble received the E. M. Forster Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1973; was appointed CBE in 1980; made DBE in the 2008 (Honours List) and awarded the 2011 Golden PEN Award for a Lifetime’s Distinguished Service to Literature.

She is married to biographer Michael Holroyd.

Margaret Drabble at FGLF 2017

Don’t miss meeting Dame Margaret Drabble at the Fairway Galle Literary Festival 2017. Her events will be announced in November 2016 … Please click the FOLLOW button below to receive email updates as festival news and announcements are published.