Margaret Drabble: In Defiance of Time

The Garrick Year

by Margaret Drabble
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 180 pp., $14.00 (e-book)

The Red Queen

by Margaret Drabble
Mariner, 334 pp., $19.95 (paper)

The Sea Lady

by Margaret Drabble
Harvest/Harcourt, 345 pp., $14.00 (paper)

The Millstone

by Margaret Drabble
Harvest, 192 pp., $14.00 (paper)

It only makes sense that a novelist of such long tenure, one so preoccupied with the slippery nature of time, should actually write a novel on the subject of “prolepsis”—the anticipation of future events. Margaret Drabble uses the adjectival form of the word frequently in her new novel, beginning with the first sentence: “What she felt for those children, as she was to realize some years later, was a proleptic tenderness.” When one notices its insistent reuse, by a writer of such verbal precision, consulting the dictionary seems a good idea.

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