The Pure Gold Baby

The Pure Gold Baby Cover

The Pure Gold Baby

By Margaret Drabble

Houghton Mifflin, Hardcover, 9780544158900, 304pp.

Publication Date: October 1, 2013

Jessica Speight, a young anthropology student in 1960s London, is at the beginning of a promising academic career when an affair with her married professor turns her into a single mother. Anna is a pure gold baby with a delightful sunny nature. But as it becomes clear that Anna will not be a normal child, the book circles questions of responsibility, potential, even age, with Margaret Drabble's characteristic intelligence, sympathy, and wit.
Drabble once wrote, Family life itself, that safest, most traditional, most approved of female choices, is not a sanctuary; it is, perpetually, a dangerous place. Told from the point of view of the group of mothers who surround Jess, The Pure Gold Baby is a brilliant, prismatic novel that takes us into that place with satiric verve, trenchant commentary, and a movingly intimate story of the unexpected transformations at the heart of motherhood.

Sunday, Oct 20, 2013

In The Pure Gold Baby, a budding anthropologist raises a developmentally disabled child and confronts the challenges of middle age. This is a surprise comeback for author Margaret Drabble, who swore in 2009 that she'd never publish fiction again. More at

NPR Audio Player Requires Flash Upgrade: Please upgrade your plug-in to view this content.