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Bower, M. (1992). Ruth Rendell talks to Marion Bower. Free Associations, 3(1):11-32.

(1992). Free Associations, 3(1):11-32

The Free Associations Interview

Ruth Rendell talks to Marion Bower

Marion Bower


Ruth Rendell is one of the best known and most successful crime novelists in Britain. Her work has won numerous awards and a number of her stories have been adapted for television.

As her alter ego Barbara Vine, Ruth Rendell has also written some highly praised novels of ‘psychological crime’. The critic and writer Julian Symons has compared her to the great Victorian novelists — in her fondness for intricate plots and minute attention to physical detail.

Why interview Ruth Rendell for Free Associations? Partly because, unlike many crime novelists, she makes explicit as well as more concealed use of psychoanalytical ideas. (For example, An Unkindness of Ravens has many references to Freud.) Secondly, like most creative writers, she has a great deal to tell us about the roots and craft of her work.

I first heard Ruth Rendell talk at Riverside Studios in Hammersmith. After this discussion she agreed to be interviewed for Free Associations. Although she is not keen on interviews, the nature of Free Associations. interested her, and she has been very generous with her time.


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