A novel about the frightfulness and ruthlessness of being in love, from the author of the Booker Prize-winning novel The Sea, The Sea

Martin Lynch-Gibson believes he can possess both a beautiful wife and a delightful lover. But when his wife, Antonia, suddenly leaves him for her psychoanalyst, Martin is plunged into an intensive emotional reeducation. He attempts to behave beautifully and sensibly. Then he meets a woman whose demonic splendor at first repels him and later arouses a consuming and monstrous passion. As his Medusa informs him, “this is nothing to do with happiness.”

A Severed Head was adapted for a successful stage production in 1963 and was later made into a film starring Claire Bloom, Lee Remick, Richard Attenborough, and Ian Holm.
Iris Murdoch (1919–1999) was born in Dublin and brought up in London. She studied philosophy at Cambridge and was a philosophy fellow at St. Anne's College for 20 years. She published her first novel in 1954 and was instantly recognized as a major talent. She went on to publish more than 26 novels, as well as works of philosophy, plays, and poetry. View titles by Iris Murdoch

About

A novel about the frightfulness and ruthlessness of being in love, from the author of the Booker Prize-winning novel The Sea, The Sea

Martin Lynch-Gibson believes he can possess both a beautiful wife and a delightful lover. But when his wife, Antonia, suddenly leaves him for her psychoanalyst, Martin is plunged into an intensive emotional reeducation. He attempts to behave beautifully and sensibly. Then he meets a woman whose demonic splendor at first repels him and later arouses a consuming and monstrous passion. As his Medusa informs him, “this is nothing to do with happiness.”

A Severed Head was adapted for a successful stage production in 1963 and was later made into a film starring Claire Bloom, Lee Remick, Richard Attenborough, and Ian Holm.

Author

Iris Murdoch (1919–1999) was born in Dublin and brought up in London. She studied philosophy at Cambridge and was a philosophy fellow at St. Anne's College for 20 years. She published her first novel in 1954 and was instantly recognized as a major talent. She went on to publish more than 26 novels, as well as works of philosophy, plays, and poetry. View titles by Iris Murdoch

Books for Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Every May we celebrate the rich history and culture of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders. Browse a curated selection of fiction and nonfiction books by AANHPI creators that we think your students will love. Find our full collection of titles for Higher Education here.

Read more