The Times of London included A.S. Byatt on its list of the 50 greatest British writers since 1945. She is a novelist, poet, critic, anthologist, essayist, and an unapologetic intellectual. In this study group, we will read her novel Possession by A.S. Byattt (Vintage International, 1991), winner of the 1990 Booker Prize. Possession defies categorization. It is rich in symmetry and symbolism, brimming over with myth, poetry, and fairy tale. The novel is part literary detective story, part academic satire, and part historical novel. This book explores the nature of obsession, possession, and love. We will also read The Matisse Stories by A.S. Byatt (Vintage Reprint Edition, 1996). Each of these three short stories was in some way inspired by a painting of Henri Matisse. They are beautifully written and call on the reader to explore the intimate connection between seeing and feeling — how the ways in which a casual glance may suddenly call forth our deepest emotions. Join us as we bask in Byatt’s lush prose.