Rose Tremain

(2449 words)
  • Sue Sorensen (Canadian Mennonite University)

A novelist who creates striking and often unsettling characters, Rose Tremain is best known for her three historical novels, Restoration, Music and Silence, and The Colour. Working within the realist tradition, Tremain's fiction refuses comfortable assumptions. She once said that “aspiration” is her subject, and it is true that longing permeates her work. Many of these longings are weighted with taboo – incest, sex between adult and child, suicide – but what is surprising is that her characters often overcome obstacles and achieve their desires. The result, however, is rarely fulfilment. The girl in Sacred Country, for example, who longs to be a boy, actually undergoes gender modification treatment. …

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Sorensen, Sue. "Rose Tremain". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 11 January 2005
[, accessed 05 July 2015.]